Who can you trust?

This is not a parable devoted to paranoia but lately I’ve been considering the matter of trust with some degree of reflection. In the external world it’s an election year here in Finland and in the UK and as a result we are all subjected to the worst form of showbiz for ugly people – political advertising.

Not having Finnish citizenship means that I am totally disenfranchised politically here, with the exception of local elections, which is fine because I’ve never really been convinced about national politics anyway (the last time I voted at that level was in England back in 1987 though I can’t be totally sure). The elected government at that time introduced the poll tax which was a good example of the government serving the people.

Here in Finland, roadsides and lamp posts are presently festooned with billboards advertising the various candidates and, people, let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. As an outside observer, I find it very hard to understand how a close up portrait with a lame, badly thought out slogan would convince anyone to elect someone to public office. The trend in recent years to elect sportsmen and women, b class celebrities and entertainers also tends to demean the institution of politics.

Of course, I shouldn’t complain – it’s still a free country and you can vote for who the hell you like unlike our neighbouring state where the ‘democratically elected president’ seems to make up laws to keep him in power for longer and opponents tend to meet quickly solved but bloody ends.

Personally, and cynically, I doubt very much will change for the better, whoever gets into power. The illusion of democracy will be served to the masses once more and a new rogue’s gallery will be assembled. Later, behind closed doors, the most idealistic candidates will lose their impetus, professional politicians will continue to serve their parties and themselves and the caravan will move on.

That’s one thing you can certainly trust, if nothing else…


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