Mad dog Brownlee | The Jackal

26 Mar 2012

Mad dog Brownlee

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

A top minister has sparked a near-diplomatic incident after suggesting Finns are uneducated, unemployed murderers who don't respect women.

Speaking in Parliament, Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee rejected Labour's plans to model the economy on Finland, "which has worse unemployment than us, has less growth than us, can hardly feed the people who live there, has a terrible homicide rate, hardly educates its people, and has no respect for women."

Ari Hallenberg, Finland's consul-general in Auckland, said Brownlee's comments were inaccurate. "I think it would have been better left unsaid," the diplomat said.

He was considering calling the Finnish embassy in Canberra to complain, and said Finnish media would also take issue with Brownlee. "This will create a storm when the comments go back to Finland."

The Finnish media have widely reported the insults and dubbed Brownlee the Minister of violent comments with reporting that Brownlee barked like a dog.

After watching the video below, I tend to agree with the headline on the front page of one of Finland's most popular tabloids.

Polls are running at around 84% of Finn's wanting an apology for the disrespectful comments and there are reports that the Finnish government has already made a diplomatic complaint.

One of Scandinavia's largest subscription newspapers Helsingin Sanomat reported on the reaction from Juha Parikka, counsellor to the Embassy of Finland:

"We understand each other very well. We are of the same size of countries and we have similar problems. In general, finding common ground is very easy. My guess is that New Zealanders will be very sorry," Parikka said.

Parikka is right, most New Zealanders would be sorry Brownlee made the insulting comments. He is not representing anybody I know with such stupid remarks and should make a formal apology to the Finn's without needing a request.