We all love to watch a crash during a rally race, a falling ice dancer during the olympics or perhaps like me, I kick back, relax and watch from a safe distance, the United Kingdom commit unnecessary self flagellation named Brexit. Trumps America has itself ‘enjoyed’ a full 360 degree view of super fails. Its all wonderfully entertaining and almost all of it, pointless.

Most of what we see and hear around so called big ticket issues lacks context and the nuance to make it in anyway relevant. One side effect of all this irrelevance is keeping people’s attention diverted away from the important stuff and towards the pointless ‘ will it-wont it-what if ‘ rubbish, expending energy to defend current positions rather than the braver, heavier push to press a fair progressive agenda ever forward. As we observe around the world this kind of bravery is in very, very short supply.

…And far from preserving what we have, we should be planning to use the inevitable chaos to demand and extract more

Finland is no different from the rest of the world in many respects. We have our own forehead slapping situation in the form of the upcoming social and healthcare reforms or SOTE. With distinct echos of the UK government here in Helsinki, the official chaos, conflicting official statements, massive egos’ and the huge question marks that surround this unpopular and highly likely to fail reform has led to a lot distraction and an expectation of a fantastic political crash. So much talk about the SOTE transistion over shadows the result that we should all be wanting from that process. And far from preserving what we have, we should be planning to use the inevitable chaos to demand and extract more. We need to be keeping an eye on those targets. We all need to be watching the peripheral grey boring picture rather than those central flashing lights and fireworks that fills op-eds in the media.

A few weeks ago I filled out my election candidate application only to hear at a Vasemmisto spring conference, that the whole reform and election may not even happen! Naturally, if I read this in a paper, I would write off fifty percent of it as mere journalistic sensationalism, but hearing it from a bona-fide higher political source is another thing entirely.  This seemingly amateurish clown show of people shrugging when asked any question regarding SOTE brought into mind Naomi Klein’s the shock doctrine. In it someone is ALWAYS waiting to take advantage of chaos or disaster for financial or ideological gain. I am now re-reading the book to see if any tactic lays inside the pages for us to use. No doubt the business community already have their plans formed.

This would only end with two taxes to receive the same amount of service

The point of these reforms are to take power and the ability to control money away from the public. The public kind of knows this. No reasonable person could arrive at a conclusion that inserting an entirely new and expensive layer of government and infrastructure could ever save money or add more value to our current mode of governance. The argument of local taxation rights also rings hollow. This would only end with two taxes to receive the same amount of service. Ive seen that in the UK with their council and poll tax.

These up coming elections should not be about the SOTE process itself. If we get to the election, then the reforms are going to be implemented. What we should be doing from the left is the brave thing, not to just maintain but use the uncertainty to get good people into a position to push for more and more and more. Lets make four or five clear post-reform objectives that we can campaign on and do it big and do it loud. If big business routinely use this tactic, then so can we.