We need to be adults

31/03/2020

Sweden is an outlier in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic:

After a long winter, it’s just become warm enough to sit outside in the Swedish capital and people are making the most of it. . .

On the roads in Sweden, things are noticeably quieter than usual. Stockholm’s public transport company SL says it saw passenger numbers fall by 50 per cent on subway and commuter trains last week.

Polls also suggest almost half of Stockholmers are remote working.

Stockholm Business Region, a state-funded company that supports the city’s global business community, estimates those numbers rise to at least 90 per cent for people working in the capital’s largest firms, thanks to a tech-savvy workforce and a business culture that has long promoted flexible and remote working practices.

“Every company that has the possibility to do this, they are doing it, and it works,” says its CEO Staffan Ingvarsson.

His words cut to the heart of the government’s strategy here: self-responsibility. Public health authorities and politicians are still hoping to slow down the spread of the virus without the need for draconian measures. . . 

Self-responsibility.

We tried that here with people from overseas who were supposed to self-isolate but it didn’t work.

There are more guidelines than strict rules, with a focus on staying home if you’re sick or elderly, washing your hands, and avoiding any non-essential travel, as well as working from home.

“We who are adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumours,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in a televised address to the nation last weekend.

“No one is alone in this crisis, but each person has a heavy responsibility.” . .

Whether we’re locked down, as people in many countries are, or left to take responsibility for ourselves, adults need to be adults.

I’ll try to keep reminding myself that every time I hear the woman in the advertisement telling me to wash my hands often and well as if I was a child.


Relatively better isn’t the same as good

19/11/2009

New Zealand tops Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perception index.

The others in the top 10 are: Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands and Australia, Canada and Iceland which are 8th equal.

The countries at the bottom are: Chad, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Corruption is a form of oppression and this map shows how widespread it is:

While it’s good to be relatively good, what really matters is not how good we are perceived to be relative to anyone else but how good we are fullstop.

A score of 9.4 does mean we’re perceived to be pretty good.

That makes it more likely that other countries and other people will trust us and our institutions.

But we need to be vigilant to ensure that reality matches the perception.

Hat tip: Poneke.


NZ tops Global Peace Index

03/06/2009

 New Zealand has topped the  Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index .

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The Institute is an Australian think tank dedicated to developing the inter-relationships between business, peace and economic development.
The results of the 2009 survey  suggest:
that the world has become slightly less peaceful in the past year, which appears to reflect the intensification of violent conflict in some countries and the effects of both the rapidly rising food and fuel prices early in 2008 and the dramatic global economic downturn in the final quarter of the year. Rapidly rising unemployment, pay freezes and falls in the value of house prices, savings and pensions is causing popular resentment in many countries, with political repercussions that have been registered by the GPI through various indicators measuring safety and security in society.
 
The GPI uses 23 indicators  of the existence or absence of peace, divided into three broad categories:  measures of ongoing domestic and international conflict, measures of safety and security in society and measures of militarization.
The Top 10 countries were: New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland and Slovenia.
At the bottom were: Georgia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Pakistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Israel, Somalia, Afghaanistan and Iraq.
The full list is here.

NZ 5th in gender equality

13/11/2008

New Zealand is ranked fifth in an international list of countries which have closed the gender gap.

Norway heads the list, and three other Scandanavian countries dominate the ‘Gender Gap Index’, which monitors progress in political, education and economic spheres.

New Zealand came fifth and was the first non-Scandanavian country after Finland, Sweden and Iceland.

130 countries were monitored. The UK rated 13th and Australia 21st.

Ranking tells only part of the story, being not as good as perfect isn’t bad and being better than appalling isn’t good.

I take it the ranking looks at women’s participation, but I wonder how we’d all rate if it also looked at men’s involvement in what have been, and maybe still are, predomiantly female roles and activities?


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