I am a law-abiding citizen and a good driver. I have been living in Finland for more than 20 years now and if we don’t count the regular ID renewals and paperwork, I have encountered the police only a few times. Often during those encounters, however, I have asked myself: Do they know what they are doing?

Undoubtedly, the Finnish Police is one of the most disciplined and most trustworthy police forces in the world. There are few signs, or news, of police corruption, violence or abuse of power here. Yet the Police are in trouble – they are not doing their jobs right.

A friend of mine seems to be becoming a terrorist. OK, he’s not exactly Al-Qaeda, but he is starting to talk about setting fire to banks.

He is furious about the role of banks in the global economic meltdown, and feels they need to be held accountable. I totally agree with him on this, and anyone who has read the details of the debt swap deal done between Goldman Sachs and the Greek Government some years back will be as well. Both parties set out to cheat the EU, the financial markets and the Greek people, and both should face serious consequences.

I’ve been feeling a bit impoverished recently. Prices are edging up, and I’ve certainly noticed that costs of some basic products like meat and fish have risen significantly in the past couple of years. Likewise in business, prices are rising. The costs of accountancy, transport and even internet access all add up, and as soon as my workflow dips I find it difficult to cover my costs.

“I’M an ordinary man, nothin’ special, nothin’ grand…” Ordinary Man is a mournful piece of cheesiness best performed by Christy Moore, Ireland’s favourite troubadour. In recent years there’s been a remarkable revival in the well-worn notion of the “average,” “ordinary,” or “common man,” the mythical figure who supposedly represents the majority and whose taxes, so the updated version of the legend goes, put food on the tables of all the uppity, ungrateful parasites – minorities, immigrants, in short anyone’s who’s not “normal” – who never stop biting the hand that feeds them.

Living here in Finland, it sometimes seems that the world’s protests pass us by. We don’t often see cars set on fire in Kuopio, or shop windows smashed in and looted in Joensuu. But the Occupy Wall Street protests have extended here, albeit to a modest extent, and have asked questions about Finnish society some might prefer were not asked.

But given this protest movement began in America and is largely concerned with American issues, let’s look at America first.