Saturday, January 30, 2010

Finland doesn't work (3)

Despite being a regular listener to the BBC's "From our own correspondent" for many, many years, I don't think I've heard a story from my home town - Helsinki - before. So it was good to hear one this week - Nick Higham looks at the controversial new music hall and points out the old one, well, doesn't work and never really has. I'm not sure if I've written about it here before, but I'm inclined to agree with Leif Jakobson the new head of the Finnish Arts Council, quoted in the FOOC piece as saying that there are plenty of other places they could have used. The new music hall is one of those sort of high culture temples that there is always money to build because a certain class in the capital supports it. Perhaps 'class' is the wrong word - I don't mean "the bourgeoisie" - more the political class (the music hall is literally across the road from the Parliament). It's a white elephant to national pride. Meanwhile our kindergarten has one teacher looking after 30 odd kids because they can't get anyone in for sick cover. It's a cheap shot, sure. But it's true as well.

I wouldn't have necessarily gone back to the whole "Finland doesn't work" thing, but the BBC reminded me and I liked this Hesari headline from earlier in the week: "Yet another flood in Helsinki".

...Oh, and the trains have broken down again.

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