Friday, April 20, 2007

For two ministerial seats

From the original Ovi magazine (Ovi lehti in Finnish)

When we are referring to an environmental movement we are not talking about green trees and flowers, we are talking about the concrete that has destroyed our lives and our minds; we are referring to the concrete walls we have built in the name of consumerism and civilization. These are some of the things I talked with Petra Kelly one night during the late-80s in a friendly house in Berlin.

For the ones who had the honor to know her and remember her passionate voice, they must remember how ardent she was about nuclear power. How could anyone who is the least bit interested in the environment ever support the idea of nuclear power? That was one of her rhetorical questions that night followed by the question: How can an environmental party, with all the meaning of environment that includes the humans and their well-being as part of this environment, even compromise and support the ones who are responsible for what’s happening?

I’m really sorry to say it but Petra Kelly is lucky to be dead because now we know that there are green - self-labelled environmental - parties that can compromise to anything just to get a seat in government. The Finnish Green Party exchanged its 30 silver coins for the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Labor.

Well, Labor won't be for long because from January 2008 the Finnish government will have a new "super ministry" when the Ministry of Trade and Industry take over labour affairs, regional policy and copyright issues, possibly renamed as the "Ministry of Labour and Commerce". In practice, this may mean that the Ministry of Labour will be dissolved. Immigration issues will be transferred to the Ministry of the Interior.

Petra Kelly was one of the strong opponents of military pacts and alliances like NATO but the partners of the Finnish Green Party are seriously thinking of the possibility, especially Kokoomus, the right-wing party. Petra Kelly believed strongly in free education for all while the new partners of the Finnish Green Party believe that it is about time to start charging and that goes to the suffering health system as well. Petra Kelly strongly believed in the rights of the workers while the Finnish Green Party will have to compromise with the rights of the big cooperation and their employees’ cuts in the name of better profit for the share-holders.

Petra Kelly refused to believe that an environmental party would ever compromise in nuclear issues; that’s why the Finnish Green Party avoided any connection with the environment ministry believing that this gives them the role of Pilate washing their hands since the Green Party condemns the use of nuclear power while their partners are already planning the next nuclear plant. Pity because the thirty silver coins are burning the two seats they got.

Because of an article I wrote a few days ago, I got a few comments mainly from members of the Finnish Green Party, so I would like to mention that an environmental party is not necessarily left or right and definitely not communist despite what they used to say for decades about the new partners of the Green Party in Finland. But, at the same time, how would you feel if you heard that in France the conservative party of Mr. Sarkozy agreed a coalition government with Le Pen and the Green Party, or in England the Conservatives, the right member of the National Front and the Greens made a government, and please don’t answer that …this is Finland, because other than hypocrites, you are blind as well.

Last and not least, for the younger readers and definitely the members of the Finnish Green Party who have no idea who Petra Kelly was, she was one of the creators of the parliamentary environmental parties in Europe and the first Green Party in Germany.

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