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PM Stubb’s triathlon tweets raise eyebrows

Prime Minister Alexander Stubb is renowned as a Twitter enthusiast. He has even written a book on the topic, but his recent activity on social media has come in for criticism in the media. Over the weekend the athletic politician was accused of posting updates about his triathlon performance while his Nordic counterparts were making somewhat more serious statements about international crises.

Alexander Stubb
PM Alexander Stubb at the Vierumäki triathlon earlier this month. Image: Finntriathlon

 

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  • riku

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    probably the PM needs to realise the rest of the world isn't on "summer holiday" and even if they are, then when major events happen the holiday is interrupted.

    On the other hand perhaps running a country of only 5m people isn't a full time job, so plenty of spare time for pastimes such as this.

  • Insane Reindeer

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    Look, we all knew this PM loves his technology and his sport before he became PM so all this, seems to me, to be just a bunch of sour grapes on behalf of the journalists involved. How do we know that he didn't make/participate in a series of calls immediately before and after the race? His total race time of less than five hours is also hardly an eternity for a PM to not be talking to his fellow leaders etc too! He could of spent longer watching an opera and having dinner! He also has a very very capable foreign secretary who can do such things as well. If he was needed I am sure there was a procedure in place for extracting him from the race and, probably most importantly, he will work better as a PM as a result of doing something that he finds fun and invigorating! And lets face it, he is probably one of the fittest PMs in the whole of Europe!

    • Karhun koski

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      The problem is not what he does in his free time, the problem is his showy behaviour and total disregard for bigger issues faced by the world. I would say very poor attitude. Embarrassing for us as a nation

  • Prahaar

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    The PM's approach can be taken up as too self-centered given that he is not JUST A CITIZEN anymore. The head of the government is a 24x7 responsibility not a day job. Being a PM is not an occupation but a commitment to work for improvement of the citizens' lives. So while being a PM, it is expected that he/she does things that will overall benefit the nation, always. If Half-Ironman makes him more efficient for the rest of the period, no issues with running the race. But communication needs to become less self-centered.

  • Jy

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    He should leave the politics and start sports career + social media marketing.

    • Aurinko

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      couldn't agree more.

    • Solaris

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      Well, that might be his next career option and he might just be positioning for that next job? ;)

      Isnt it common in Finland prime ministers to take up even private company jobs?

  • Susan Fourtané, Journalist

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    Everyone needs some free time and healthy sports to be able to perform at his best at work, even the PM of Finland. It was the weekend. It's very nice he shares his sports achievements with the citizens. It's inspiring.

    Finland should be proud of having a healthy and fit PM who promotes sports and a healthy lifestyle with the example. His mind needs a break as well, just like everyone else. He is a human being just like you and me, after all. Doing sports is part of leading a healthy life. Even the PM has the right to this.

    Taking a day off, which was on the weekend, is not bad. It is not going to have any influence in any international affairs' discussions and is not going to change anything that has already been done. But it's going to have a great positive influence in his duties as PM. There is nothing to criticize there.

  • A Canadian

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    Having participated in this event in the past, why shouldn't Stubb tell everyone that he's having fun competing against some of the best athletes in Europe? Isn't that the point of social media? Who were these "media companies" trying to get in touch with him? Did they on purpose make a big deal out of his absence simply because their political bosses wanted to score some points by taking a few cheap shots at him while he was on vacation? Don't be sheep people, don't take everything you read in the Finnish media as the truth.

  • Pro-fin

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    "All news papers are filled with job cuts and how bad economy is doing. Tampere city talks about closing down Dolphin shows for green causes - job losses. Stephen elope came to Finland and killed Finnish phones. Someone in up in eastern Finland talks about taxing empty bottle recycle pennies people make from collecting bottles.

    No one talks about new jobs , new sectors of services can be delivered from Finland.

    We as finn lack ambition and we dont dare to cross borders around the world and get best for our citizens.

    PM running or doing cycle race in free time , its up to him. But hope he really understands acute need of becoming big and competitive , as we dont have very fun loving neighbors

    • jar

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      Stephen Elop didn't kill Finnish phones. It was killed by Finns management before he became CEO. when iPhone was introduced there was change required within Nokia which Finns are bit afraid of. Change never happened within Nokia. All those failure ex-Nokia managers are always pleased because they are finns. Finland needs change in good ways.

      I have complained multiple times to tax, immigration authorities for people working in cash in hand, fake marriages but they have always ignored. Finland allowing more immigration within country is just a mess. They allowing tons of immigrants who are finding hard to find jobs within Finnish market as a result there is more benefits to be paid.

    • jar

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      Is jar American ?to be defending Elop like this...he was a mole planted by Microsoft with sole purpose to make Nokia stocks worthless to be sold in pieces by banana price to Microsoft. Look in most companies,when management goes bad and the company is sold,they immediately replace the manager,but on the case of Nokia Elop was even promoted and thanked for his "great services"...

    • Secons time reply

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      Jar leaves a message "in the air" that Finland is being invaded by immigrants and its their fault they cannot get jobs. Nothing more far than truth. I know immigrants (even from EU countries) who have applied for hundreds of companies and were never called for interviews because of either their foreign names or not stating on the CV that their finnish skills was Erinomainen. One thing what is true though is that to allow immigrants in the whole hiring culture in Finland must be updated otherwise job market will never accept multiculturalism...

  • Dude

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    Let the Prime Minister enjoy his triathlon.

    • yes dude

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      No one saw that this dude all he wanted to do was to run his triathlon in Brussels...he doesn't deserve to win the next elections and he won't..."leave it for the real politicians boy"!

  • Aurinko

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    As a PM, his statement and behavior represent the whole country. He should behave in a normal typical pattern as a politician.

    Most important, lets see his performance on the domestic economical issues. More and more people suffer from unemployment or under the threaten of losing the job.

    He should care more about the people, thinking of what to do for this country.

  • paddy

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    Good for him. I wish more politicians in other countries would take more time off. Any democracy can do without its PM for a few hours! Only dictators need to be on duty 24/7.

    • Truth

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      Your statement is right but conclusions are wrong. Yes' most of the democracies can do without their prime ministers/head of states because most of them are just puppets in the hands of big businesses and strong lobbies and have no real power anyway.

  • karjalan karhu

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    His showy and self-centered attitude is more suitable for a paranoid showbiz person than a prime minister. He should know there is a difference in the life of a common person and a prime minister. He can run and do whatever he wants in his personal life but to have time to tweet about personal life but no time to care about hundreds of dying innocent people in Gaza and elsewhere. So in other words he feels he has no worth at international stage so why to bother about that. Very poor judgement and very shameful behaviour.

  • Pikku Lusikka

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    It feels like the PM is getting more criticism for this half triathlon than his predecessor did for quitting the post. Even PM's and minister's get time off and. weekends, I'm sure Stubb sleeps 4 hours a night max. I also feel that he would get less criticism for watching TV and being the size of arhinmäki on his weekends, or Timo Soini in office than being fit. Everyone knows Stubb does this, if they had a problem they can stop voting for him, but so far in every election he runs in he wins. I honestly think he won't be prime minister after the next election, not for his sports (which I think are great, and exemplary for this quickly getting out-of-shape nation), but for the government failing the people, and people becoming disillusioned with kokoomus. Let's keep our eye on the ball and talk about what matters in this country.

  • Mimi

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    Everyday there are some tragedies in the world. Should statemen all the time feel sad? As long as PM did not ignore his duty, he has 100% of rights to enjoy his life.

    • enjoying his life

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      Imagine that all PM's in the world start twitting stupid messages such as "having a cold beer in my balcony" or " on the movies watching the new action flick"... If it's dumb and irritating to see regular joes posting messages of such low cultural importance online, even worse is to be a citizen of a country where the president or pm does the same...does he want to be Putin?Why doesn't he go fly a jet or wrestle a bear and twitt us about it? lol

    • PakistaniFinn

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      with due respect PM stubb is communicating directly to people who voted for him or like him. Obviously he gets feedback through his tweets. Unfortunately some people are still living in 15th century kingdom mindset. See the beauty of modern day technology is direct connection with decision makers letting them know what is a regular joe thinking about the policies. A prime minister is Finnish citizen first then he is a prime minister.

  • PakistaniFinn

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    With all due respect people whining about PM Stubb not prioritizing international politics May i ask what impect can Finland have on international events?? Be for real..PM Stubb have every right to have fun in free time. These international issues are not impecting or will be impecting in future. So bottom line PM Stubb is an honest guy he is what he is..He is not wasting tax payers money on some useless fake outrage meetings...

    • peaceful Finland

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      Yes you are right. Finland doesn't impact much in international events. Also because Finland is not sending millions of asylum seekers to other countries, it does not compete with India in "who has the most nukes", it has never housed Bin Laden and is not an international crib of jihadists...

  • Antti Rahalainen

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    This is the video of our prime minister 3 months ago before he became a prime minister. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCdQUl9dRs

  • Milla Sepo

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    It is better he become a Sport Minister or Special Adviser to the President on Social Media.

  • Hyvää

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    If he gets the job done, he is fine.

    Those tweets are ok. Its about the non-politican side of the man. Nothing to be ashamed of. It's good to see that he is not a dull politican.

    Just don't overdo it, as with anything; sports, work, etc.

  • Concerned Immigrant

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCdQUl9dRs

    Stubb featured in this comedy sketch programme while He was still in government serving as the Minister for Trade and Investment. So, It should have been evident to the finns that this oblivious behaviour will be sustained even if He becomes a president in the future. But on the other hand, His reckless attitude also paid off for him and it benefited his party. Recall, He pulled the highest vote at the last European election with a very wide margin, largely as a result of being perceived as down-to-earth and having a strong connection with the grassroot.

    But I hope the electorate will send a strong message to Stubb and the NCP in the next parliamentary election, that they would prefer a serious minded politician lead the government in the upcoming election next year. Anyway, it is democracy, so in the end, competence and performance does not reallly matter. the voice of 1000 18 year-old voters count more than the voice of 900 50yrs.

  • fareast

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    So what? You fools just do the same by talking about it!!! When was the last time that the world wasn't in the crisis? So now everytime the world is in crisis somewhere, all the leaders in the free world must pretend to do something or what??? I'm sick and tire of the lefty media BS!!!

  • fareast

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    Oh, and in case you geniuses have forgoten, that the foreign policy is fall in the hands of president of Finland, not the PM! It is the presient's job to deal with the international crisis, the PM is dealing with the domestic problems, understand that geniuses???

  • maisu

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    It is good and right that Stubb focus on his favourite sports on his free time. He should not be available for work 24-7. I am very sure that he knows what he is doing...he knows what to communicate, how to communicate. There is no need to dictate his life style.

  • de Bruxelles

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    Let this man have his fun. He gives great example of how one ought to live a healthy and interesting life. As an inspiration to non Finnish people, we are happy seeing him off having fun on private time and next giving his astute insights and decision on the policy making track. Stubb for president!

  • Makkara

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    Mass media just doing their job and their efficiency is just great. Uber hypocrisy in action. BTW, how was the weather in Pori? I heard Pori Jazz was outstandingly performing this year (just a few days after MH17 fall) like widely presented by Finnish mass media articles and news.

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