The Suomalaiset – Finns to you – have a word we could well adopt in English: "sisu", a term that means a mix of physical and mental stamina, the sort of inward resilience that allows you to hack your way across the winter tundra after a wolf has torn your leg off (in Finland, it’s also a brand of truck).

You need a bit of "sisu" to cope with the ideological pumpings of the right -- a case in point, being Blaise Joseph and Jennifer Buckingham’s comment piece for The Age on Wednesday, decrying the recent enthusiasm for the Finnish school system as a model for Australia. The article is mostly mealy-mouthed question-begging: While acknowledging that Finland’s socialist, low-testing, non-streaming, flexible system delivers the best results in the world: