Meanwhile in Cuckooland 80

Summer is usually a lazy time in politics. It was quite lazy for me as well, as I ditched everything and went for a road trip across Europe – from Scotland, through England, Benelux and French Alps to Tuscany and San Marino. I expected people to ask me questions about Brexit – after all, I travelled with British registered car – but it turned out, that nobody cares about it. I only heard a few jokes behind my back like “Look, some Britons came all the way here in their car”. “Well, after that idiocy their did, it might be their last chance, so they are desperate to see Europe”. Hehe, funny.

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To my surprise, even in the most remote Alpine villages I managed to bump onto a few people who, after finding that I am actually Polish, were asking me what on Earth is going on in my country. Here, the answer is a bit more tricky, as I am loosing grip myself. It turns that everything is being changed upside-down. The president for example made a speech at the mass in the church (as this is where Polish political leaders make their official speeches now, apparently) in which he claimed, that “Poland is sick” and that “this is the price we pay for that bloodless revolution in 1989”. So, it seems, what was always considered a great success of our nation, that we managed to dismantle the communism in a way of peaceful negotiations, setting the first domino block in motion, that lead to a total collapse of the Eastern Block is now, in some way, considered to be a mistake. What would president Duda want to see instead? A bloodshed like in Romania? A civil war? In that case, he would be unable to enjoy support of former communists like Stanisław Piotrowicz, as they would be shot, or at best, forced to hide somewhere abroad…

PiS’s strive to rewrite history is gaining momentum – during celebrations of anniversary of Gdańsk Shipyard’s strikes, members of Solidarity Trade Union (that today become reduced just to PiS sidekick) removed portrait of Lech Wałęsa from the gallery depicting portraits of all strike leaders:

Luckily, the idea of unveiling a commemorate plaque celebrating the fact that Kaczyński brothers “were present in the building during the strike” had been abandoned after it had became a laughing stock all across the Polish internet. And rightly so, it sounded like trying to attach them to some battle by saying “during the heroic fight with the enemy, they were taking a dump in a nearby forest”… But of course, everything is ahead of us yet.

Meanwhile the widespread action of “offending monuments” (see more here) gains momentum as well. It seems that it is pretty easy to offend a monument – a councillors from one of Warsaw’s districts made an official protest against a cycle path being built nearby a monument commemorating Cursed Soldiers! According to them, cycle path is incompatible with the solemnity of such location. If cycling nearby the monument can be considered offensive, then just imagine how outraged the Polish right is when several monuments of pope John Paul II were dressed in plaques or t-shirts saying “I’ve been protecting paedophiles”. As usual, they throw everything they have to protect the clergy. Anti-abortion activist Kaja Godek went as far, as to blaming the left for the paedophilia within the church – apparently, paedophilia leaked into the church as a part of leftist sexual revolution

Why they would do it? Well, the church is one of PiS closer allies, and they cannot allow it to get under attack. The fact, that Poland became a country where the number of young people turning away from the church is the highest in the world makes it pretty clear: they have to act fast, while the church is still strong. The footage from Ireland probably made a few people think: while just a few decades ago pope John Paul II was welcomed by nearly everyone alive, recently pope Francis car was crossing virtually empty streets, as nobody really cares any more. This is likely to be a future of Poland unless church stops sweeping their scandals under the carpet, and affiliating itself with the right in order to fight the changes in the society in exchange for millions of taxpayer’s money…

Some church officials, though, are becoming even more radical. Archbishop Wacław Depo for example is inconsolable with the fact, that some people dare to say, that Constitution of Poland is above the church’ teachings. How ungrateful those Poles are, have they forgot that in 1920 our victory in the Polish-Bolshevik war was possible only thanks to personal intervention of the Holy Mary? (The question where was the Mother of God when we needed our arses saved in September 1939 remains unanswered).

Luckily, the government remembers how the Virgin Mary was there to help us in seemingly hopeless situation back in 1920. And since she is such a highly qualified specialist in crisis management, they have decided to entrust the Polish energetic sector to her.

“Our almightyLord, through Your son and our saviour, Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Ghost and aware, that our work serves not only our own families, but it is a service to the whole nation, all Poles, we are standing today here, at the feet of Mary, through her hands entrusting ourselves, our families, our work places to Your Godly Providence. Oh, Great mother of God the Human, immaculate Virgin Mary, mother of Church and Queen of Poland, mother of our entrustment, we, Polish energy sector workers, bring to this sanctuary of the Polish nation our worries, our joys and hopes, we are coming here with the words spoken from the cross in our minds: Behold thy mother!.

We are entrusting in you, the
Lady of Jasna Góra, all matters of Polish energy sector, it’s security, development, modernisation, the service of thousands of our colleagues, day and night, without rest, with sacrifice and risk to their lives. We are entrusting our bosses to you. Please, make sure they have wisdom and responsibility in all decisions they take” – said minister of energy during energetics’s pilgrimage to Jasna Góra sanctuary. Alas, he never mentioned customers, so it seems there is no hope for the miracle, and the steep hike in energy prices prognosed by all experts due to critical state of the sector that desperately needs investments is still to be expected. The other aspect of that whole circus, that is the obvious fact, that constitution clearly states that government is to remain impartial in the religious matters does not really surprises anyone any more.

But maybe I am too harsh? Maybe Mary is not that bad as a manger? After all the mayor of Siemianowice Śląskie claims, that he delegated his duties to her, and she is doing pretty good as a city manager. Apparently there are some miracles happening elsewhere as well. On 23rd of August 2018 minister of environment Henryk Kowalczyk has confirmed changes in the National Board of Environmental Protection. One of the new members is late prof. Zygmunt Jasiński, who died in April 2017. Knowing, that the candidates have to actively express their consent, if that’s not Holy Mary’s doing’s, then I don’t know what it is.

This was not the only strange thing that happened recently when PiS people were being chosen to star in PiS puppets theatres (that until recently were serious government bodies). During elections of the member of National Judicial Council, one candidate has been replaced with the other in a final documents. PiS says that it was a simple mistake, as both candidates shared the same surname.

I guess such inaccuracies are happening because the election process is not transparent enough. Luckily, this is soon to become thing of the past. After PiS questioned the validity of the local elections a few years back, the previous government introduced the new law, that requires for the ballot boxes to be made of transparent plastic, so everyone can see inside and check for himself if some frauds are not taking place. This will surely ensure that the elections will be reliable – after all, ballot boxes during Crimean referendum were transparent and nobody questions Russia’s right to claim this territory, right? There are few problems though. First, new boxes are too big to fit through standard doors, which causes an issue in several voting points. Secondly, as they are made of plastic, the electrostatics becomes a problem – some ballot cards can stick to the side of the box, thus showing to everyone how the person who just put them into the box voted…

But this can be solved, I trust. After all, the government is doing a lot to solve Poland’s problems. After three years of criticizing previous government for not doing so, PiS have decided to actually do something about workers rights. The State Work’s Inspection investigated Amazon: the mega-corporation has been accused of breaking workers rights and appalling work conditions. The investigation found several breaches of employment laws, issuing 38 recommendations and 42 orders. The corporation had been fined as well. The fine was 1000 zł. Yeah, you heard right. Over 6000 Czech crowns, or 200 British pounds. 271 US Dollars 81 cents, according to today’s exchange rates. That will surely teach this Jeff Bezos a lesson!

But maybe they just need more time in that instance? While some things, like demolishing Polish democracy, PiS can do virtually overnight, one has to wait longer to see other stuff taking place. But even they are coming in their due time. Antoni Macierewicz, former minister of defence finally got himself a new premises and vacated his offices in the Ministry building. The new HQ of his commission for investigating Smoleńsk crash is now located in Aviation Institute. Despite 8 months he needed to organize his removal, previous tenants – an organization of retired soldiers – were kicked out of the premises literally overnight.

The state of the army after his rule urgently needs a holy intervention. We’ve already wrote in this series about the state of the Polish navy, that currently would be able to defend Polish seas only if we were attacked by the navies of our Souther neighbours. Recent report of the Polityka weekly disclosed, that also the condition of our air forces is tragic: all jet fighters apart of some F-16 are grounded and after Antoni Macierewicz shot down the deal with the French for new helicopters in the army nothing is going on at this front as well, and our flying museum of Soviet derived helicopter technology is at the brink of being grounded as well.

But of course it is not that we are not making any strategic purchases of the weaponry. Recently Parliament Guards have been treated with the new sabres, and the Sejm office’s refused to provide public information on the price, quoting security reasons. But who needs modern weaponry, North Korea regularly organizes parades in which they present their 1960’s army equipment, and yet nobody dares to ridicule their military powers. Apparently it is enough to organize biggest Military Parade since 1960’s showing all kinds of Polish armoury since the middle ages, everything will be OK here as well.

(scroll to around 40:00 to see historic units).

Speaking of North Korea, actually, is not that bad at all. The government knows it, probably from watching video-blog of a popular Youtuber Lois Cole, who presented North Korea in very positive light. They actually liked it so much, that they have hired him to do a similar series on Poland. For only quarter of a million!

Vanity Fair portrayed him as a man, who “just wants to focus on the positive things about one of the world’s most oppresive nations”. I wonder, if his new deal with Poland means that he lowered his standards, or that he sees potential in Poland under rule of PiS?

This piece was published in Britske Listy
Picture: Robert Drózd (C.C. 3.0 via Wikipedia)



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