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Thailand needs a model for democracy? Check Scandinavia  

Dec 14. 2017
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Re: “Stop pointing fingers and start open investigation of ‘weapons find’”, Have Your Say, December 7. 

Robin Grant offered his thoughts on my claim that, “Finger-pointing seems to be used mainly as a political tool, and not something you do every time wrongdoings occur, whoever is behind them.” 

There is no good or bad violence – so we should all point fingers when war weapons are used in political struggle. The “popcorn” gunman is just one story; there are other and graver stories with more innocent people killed. The good thing is the popcorn gunman got 37 years in jail, the bad thing is that other killers in the same political struggle are still free and walking among us, perhaps protected by sympathetic law officers.

I also wrote that unions and labour movements in Scandinavia had helped make their countries among the most equal and democratic in the world, yet Mr Grant countered by saying the suicide rate in Sweden tops that in the UK. Is he using the old propaganda trick of diversion to belittle the achievements of Sweden and its neighbours? Scandinavia’s suicide rate is more likely rooted in depression from lack of daylight in winter months rather than failing democracy. In fact, the most important indicator of living conditions is average life expectancy – which is going up in my Scandinavian homeland but falling in the UK. Mr Grant would have known this had he watched Oxford University Professor Danny Dorling discuss declining UK life expectancy in the programme “Going Underground” on RT (December 6), in what was a good lesson on democracy. Perhaps if Mr Grant broadened his taste beyond Western mainstream news outlets he would see there is more than one side to every issue and thereby come to less biased conclusions.

A Johnsen

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