Images of Finland’s Prime Minister dancing and singing at a house party are “not quite Boris Johnson holding parties during lockdown”, according to Shane Coleman.
Images of 36-year-old Sanna Marin enjoying herself at the house party have gone viral all over the world and caused some controversy in Finland.
Critics say Ms Marin should be focused on the issues her country - which shares a border with Russia - is facing, particularly an energy crisis brought about in part by the Ukraine War.
Supporters note that she is entitled to enjoy herself on her time off, especially at a private party with friends.
Media outlets in Finland have suggested one of the people in the videos shouts out a euphemism for cocaine; however, Ms Marin has denied using any drugs or being aware of any drug use at the party.
Finland’s Prime Minister @MarinSanna is in the headlines after a video of her partying was leaked today.
She has previously been criticized for attending too many music festivals & spending too much on partying instead of ruling.
The critics say it’s not fitting for a PM. pic.twitter.com/FbOhdTeEGw
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) August 17, 2022
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, presenter Shane Coleman said the controversy “raises all sorts of questions about the life of a politician”.
“Finland’s Prime Minister has been caught up in party storm,” he said.
“Sanna Marin, 36, young, very cool politician, known for her partying and wearing leather jackets to gigs – oh my God, the scandal of it all.”
“She’s letting her hair down; she knows how to dance, she’s on her knees singing a song, roaring a song, but it’s caused a lot of controversy in Finland.
“I suppose a couple of things, there is a chant in the background … they’re chanting something that can be associated with cocaine, but apparently can also be associated with something else.
She herself has said she didn’t take drugs at the party, but it raises all sorts of questions about politicians.”
He said it might be different if the videos were filmed in a public place like a nightclub.
“I think senior politicians, whether you’re the prime minister or a minister or whatever, I think there’s a duty to conduct yourself in a certain way in a public environment.
“But with your pals, you’re entitled to have a few drinks - maybe a few drinks too many - and roar and shout and dance along and sing along. I think that’s totally fine.”
Fellow presenter Vincent Wall questioned how Irish people might react if the Taoiseach or another senior minister was pictured in the same way.
“My view basically is that people regardless of what they do in life are absolutely entitled to enjoy themselves and do whatever they like in their own home as this woman was, as long as they are not breaking the law,” he said.
“So obviously, the key issue here in terms of the controversy is, was she taking drugs? Or were there people in the immediate vicinity taking drugs.
“I suppose she has a responsibility, or a senior politician or Taoiseach would have a responsibility to make sure that drugs weren’t being taken at a private party in their own house.”
He said the current political climate also has a part to play in the controversy.
“The issue as well I suppose is, it could be exacerbated if a country, as we are, is heading into a very tough winter economically and all of that,” he said.
“People might feel that it is a little bit in your face to see the Taoiseach partying wildly in that kind of environment.”
Shane agreed but noted: “It’s not quite Boris Johnson holding parties during lockdown, is it?”
Ms Marin has said she is “disappointed” that the videos went public – but insisted she has done nothing more than enjoyed an evening with friends.