kolmapäev, 14. mai 2008
Seedy secrets of Estonian Reform Party
Estonian MP Jürgen Ligi (front right) and his mistress Jekaterina Ljubobratets, picture from Eesti Ekspress weekly, taken during the election night in 2007.
Politics and media make strange bedfellows. Vanity Fair's Craydon Carter is relentless in criticizing George W, his monthly column talks mostly about him, and that is how things should be - those with power should be watched.
Finnish foreign minister Ilkka Kanerva was forced to step down from his office because of the media strom that followed his dalliances with a stripper named Johanna Tukiainen. Kanerva lost his job because of some measly sms-s where he said that he'd wait for the stripper "behind the tree". Prime minister Matti Vanhanen does not have it easy too. His short affair with a dame who went on to write a book about the minister's sexual preferences has been Iltalehti's favorite topic.
In Estonia things are different. Here we have our minister of justice, Rein Lang who is having an affair with his secretary Kairi Õun and minister of defence Jürgen Ligi who is having an affair with his adviser Jekaterina Ljubobratets. Everybody knows it, me and Inno have written about it in our blog, but the media is silent. It also happened that minister Lang came to our university town Tartu with his lover and when one innocent bystander started snapping photos of the drunk and wet minister and his lover, his lover yelled at the bystander: DO YOU WANT TO GO TO JAIL? The minister later declined to comment on anything and the media didn't push the subject. Our prime minister Andrus Ansip, a married man, has had a long affair with our minister of culture Laine Jänes, but again, nobody's writing about it! It is a scandal, certainly, would be in any other country, and if it happened in, say, our good neighbor Finland, Andrus Ansip would have been forced to resign. Not here, nope. And i tell you why.
Like i said, politics and media make strange bedfellows. Estonia has two media kings: Schibsted's Mart Kadastik and Ekspress Group's Hans H Luik. They determine what are the things the journalists can write about. And these two guys have lots of friends. Mart Kadastik's best buddy is prime minister Andrus Ansip and Hans H Luik's buddy is minister of justice Rein Lang. I'd like to point out that both Andrus Ansip and Rein Lang are the members of our governing party, the Reform. Which is why Reform party has been enjoying vast honey-glazed media coverage for a very loooong time. Hans H Luik was once a very enthusiastic journalist, creating the first independent weekly, Eesti Ekspress, but now that he's started dabbling in real estate, he's forgotten everything about objectivity, journalist's conscience and honesty. Lately all he's been doing is praising his friends and attacking his enemies. Oh, and since he has a cocaine-addiction, then sometimes he is busy with his legendary drug-parties.
I guess it never crossed Ilkka Kanerva's and Matti Vanhanen's head to inivite their lovers to work for them. Susan Ruusunen could have been Keskusta's political adviser and Johanna Tukiainen could have been Kokoomus's political adviser. You see, our ministers don't just take lovers, they make lovers their political advisers which is very clever because this way you don't:
a) have to pay to prostitutes because you can always have sex with your lover/adviser
b) your lover/adviser will work for you day and night
c) you'll be able to mix business with pleasure!!!
You have to hand it to our ministers, they certainly have fixed things favorably for them. And since they also control the media, there is nothing that could threaten them. Brilliant!
Our Reform Party and its leader, prime minister Andrus Ansip have also great tolerance for pedophilia and child molestation. Shocking? I'll explain. Lately there was one case i dealt personally with. One young girl Liis Haavel was taken into custody and jailed. She's accused of committing a crime, coaxing some elderly people to give their houses to her as a present, but of that later... I met Liis, she contacted Inno and asked for help, and she told me that her parents, prominent members of the Reform party, Hannes and Varje Haavel, doctors in Kuressaare have been making her life a living hell. She told me that her father, Hannes Haavel had been abusing her sexually since she was a 15-year-old-girl. I was horrified and posted a video of her confessions immediately at our blog. I expected that a scandal would erupt, that her father would be jailed, called into questioning, anything... What followed, was silence. A deep and rather resentful silence, as i sensed. Like we'd stepped on a rotten toe. And then - Liis was jailed. Before that, when Liis went to the police and asked that a criminal case be started about her father, the police shrugged and said: sorry, can do nothing. When she opened her mouth and told about the abuse, she was jailed. Again, i must remind you that her parents are prominent members of the governing Reform Party. The media, especially Schibsted's Postimees and Hans H Luik's Eesti Ekspress, they, who should have protected her, branded Liis a "born criminal" and applauded to her arrest.
Sometimes i think that i live in Soviet times when someone who spoke badly about Stalin was thrown into jail. When we wrote about Liis's case in our blog and defended her passionately, the police called us and questioned us both for two hours. Why do you write about her? Do you believe everyhting she says? the police officer asked. Shortly after that Liis was arrested and thrown into jail. They said that it was necessary because she didn't appear to the courthouse at appointed time. She didn't appear because her kid was sick. That was her first hearing. Liis is afraid that her pedophile-parents will now take control of her little kid. When i explained that to the police officer, he rolled his eyes and asked: But do you think that they are still pedophiles? I'd laugh if it didn't hurt so much.
Imagine that someone in Finland, say some politician's child came forward and said that her father was a child molester. It'd be all over the papers and the politician would be called into questioning immediately. When Casa Pia-scandal erupted in Portugal, even ministers were taken into custody and celebrity-pedophiles did not recieve any mercy from the media and judicial system.
In Estonia there was silence. And more silence which brings me to the question: are we a country that tolerates, no, even celebrates pedophilia? Where it's okay to molest children, if you are a member of the leading political party. Mind you, even Vladimir Putin would not get away with that!
And if yes, shouldn't we be called not Estonia, but Pedostonia?
Estonian PM Andrus Ansip and his mistress, Laine Jänes, picture from business daily Äripäev.