The emperor is weak. The empire is crumbling. Those who, up till now, were faithful servants of Kaczyński are raising their heads and try to cut themselves a piece of the power. Fratricidal fight begun amongst the top ranks of PiS. Gazeta Polska’s Man of the Year 2007 arrested Gazeta Polska’s Man of The Year 2009, as ordered by Gazeta Polska’s Man of the Year 2019, 2015 and 2004.. Meanwhile a minister in a government of Gazeta Polska’s Man of the Year 2016, 2017 and 2018 had Man of the Year 2009 seizing his documents and arresting his son. I feel sorry for Comedians in Poland, because how you can beat that?
But OK, let me explain. Gazeta Polska is a hardline pro-PiS paper that awards titles Man of the Year to PiS Politicians. Jarosław Kaczyński (Man of the Year 2004, 2015 and 2019) was not happy when former agent of Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) Tomasz Kaczmarek (Man of the Year 2009) spoke to the press about abuse of power in CBA during first PiS government, so he asked Mariusz Kamiński (Man of the Year 2009), who was a chief of CBA back then and now is a chief of all secret services, to arrest him. Mind you, Mariusz Kamiński has already been found guilty for abusing power as CBA chief and sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years ban on holding public offices, but before he had a chance to appeal the sentence, he has been illegally pardoned by president Duda (see here).
At roughly the same time – probably to prove, that they do fight corruption – CBA entered the office and house of Marian Banaś, his daughter and his son – Banaś, formerly minister in the government of Mateusz Morawiecki (Man of the Year 2016, 2017 and 2018) and currently chief of Supreme Audit Bureau is suspected of illegally acquiring valuable property, conducting businesses with known criminals and hiding it in his financial declarations (see here). In retaliation, Banaś ordered audit in the National Prosecution Office.
In other news, a gangster using nickname “Broda” acting under witness protection scheme confirmed circulating rumours that Patrycja Kotecka, wife of minister of justice and prosecutor general Zbigniew Ziobro has been in the past associated with well known criminals. The situation is tricky, as Mariusz Kamiński claimed in the past that Broda is very trustworthy. Other opinions were that he is confabulating and should have his protected status revoked long ago. But only after he accused minister’s wife his status was finally revoked. In other words: he was trustworthy as long, as his revelations were helping Kamiński to act against his political opponents. Because this is how it works in PiS Poland: you can do good if you are acting against opposition. But raise your hand at PiS or its political alies and you can be done in no time: just as the prosecutor, who investigated Jacek Międlar, former Catholic priest turned radical right antisemitic preacher – the case was taken away from her without a clear reason and she herself was demoted.
Meanwhile documents, that PiS tried to keep secret at all price, finally seen the light. And it instantly became obvious why they tried to hard to prevent that happening, despite several court rulings. Those documents are the lists of signatures from judges supporting candidates to the new National Judicial Council (the one, that everyone but PiS deems to be illegall). It seems that even if it was legal, the judges themselves could be not, as the signatures were, most likely, collected in blanco. Several judges had support of the same people, some even supported themselves and their nominations were possible only because a significant chunk of those signatures were coming from the judges already promoted by PiS as a payment for their subordination to PiS politicians. Over a half of 468 signatures were coming from just 8 judges.
All those events still failed to cover a scandal with a middle finger shown to the opposition by PiS MP Lichocka (see here). A crowdfunded bilboards with this moment of shame started to appear across the country. Lichocka herself is “shocked” by the “campaign of hate against her” which only further infuriates the voters and the disciplinary officers of PiS parliamentary club does not help with his claim, that “PiS could not remove Lichocka from its ranks, as if one was to be removed for such things, the government would fall”. TVP attempts to draw attention to the fact that despite opposition’s accusation, the Polish oncology is better than ever also failed after it had emerged, that the man said to be prof Góźdź, chief of Kielce Oncology Centre praising the government in TVP is actually NOT profesor Góźdź.
‼️Parodiowanie głosu Kingi Rusin w Wiadomościach to dopiero początek. Okazuje się, że Wiadomości „podrobiły” także dyrektora Świętokrzyskiego Centrum Onkologii. Profesor Stanisław Góźdź chwalący rząd w Wiadomościach wygląda zdecydowanie inaczej niż ten prawdziwy… pic.twitter.com/YaATPnPu4D
— Agnieszka Pomaska (@pomaska) February 17, 2020
The material was also accopmanied by pretty interesting graph depicting amazing growth in helthcare funding under PiS government. Apparently it nearly doubled, from 5% to 6% GDP:
And even their last attempt to buy voters by giving away money failed: after in August last year the new law abolished income tax for young people entering the job market, the gross salaries for young people had been lowered so they will still take home same amount of money as before, while their employers pocketed the difference. And the whole notion of PiS giving money only to their own people has been confirmed after it had emerged, that the government road building funds are distributed mostly amongst the councils in which PiS is in power: more than half of the councils ruled by the opposition did not received a single penny. But some of PiS friends don’t get enough in the first round, and they need more. After a PiS supporting architect won a rigged tender for a project of a new museum a few years back, last week he had been awarded further 3 millions to correct it. Museum itself is, of course, nowhere near to be built.
And all this just at the start of the presidential campaign. It does makes thing difficult for PiS. It is crucial for them for Andrzej Duda to be reelected, so they do everything in their power to help him. For the start, they have deleted all his promises from his old Twitter Account, probably so those pesky journalists cannot check if he delivered on his promises (because, obviously, he did not). The choice of newly appointed Duda campaign chief suggest, that they might be getting ready to play dirty, as while she was allegedly distributing leaflets smearing a candidate opposing to PiS by a random man during an election silence, she has badly bitten him in the hand and then denied everything, claiming that she had to act in self defence as he has attacked her – which would be a strange thing to do since he himself called police to the incident before. The dirty games have already begun.
Opposition candidate Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, who as a great-grandaughter of a Polish president and prime minister from pre-war era is proud of her ancestry is being ridiculed even in TVP soap operas – one of them has recently introduced a repulsive character of repugnant aristocrat treating “normal people” like shit that happens to look and talk exactly like her (from 00:25):
Compare it to actual footage of Kidawa-Błońska:
In other material she has been accused of cheating, as the crowds during her electoral conference shouted “Kidawa, Kidawa”, dropping second half of her surname. According to one commenter (incidentally, from pro-PiS paper) “this shows how shallow their campaign is, if one can juggle with the wording so easily to fit current needs”.
But at least she was shown in TVP at all. Because of all candidates, TVP shows mostly Duda. It is easy, as he is on tour, trying to visit every single district in Poland, so he visits a few towns per day, which can be easily reported in TVP. As if it was not enough, the footage of him is included in every news item that could be even loosely relevant, especially in those that praise the government (of which in TVP there is plenty). Even invited guest try to praise him, sometimes in ridiculous ways. This Disco Polo singer after criticizing Kidawa-Błońska for being unable to speak without having her speech written for her says: “Andrzej Duda and his wonderful spouse represent us perfectly. Moreover, I think that Andrzej Duda is an erudite, literally, it’s honey pouring out of his mouth, he has pollen on his lips when he starts talking, he can choose his words perfectly, with no paper, one can just snap one’s fingers and he can instantly speak for hours, this is probably how president should be”. See for yourself:
#WPełnymŚwietle | @s_swierzynski u @EwaBugala: Kidawa-Błońska nie wie, co powiedzieć, kiedy zabiorą jej kartkę albo zgaśnie tablet. Ta pani jest nieprzygotowana do roli prezydenta. Andrzej Duda doskonale nas reprezentuje. Świetnie dobiera słowa, bez kartki. Jemu miód kapie z ust. pic.twitter.com/fEwVPZh0Bs
— TOP TVP INFO (@TOPTVPINFO) February 16, 2020
Meanwhile police officers who tortured and killed Igor Stachowiak (see here) have been sentenced to jail terms from 2 to 2.5 years. The victim’s family is outraged, saying that those sentences are too lenient. But I guess it’s all relative: A hunter who killed a man walking in the forest has just been sentenced for one year of jail, suspended…
And then, there is that disease. If we believe Polish bishops, the disease is gay right activism. And it’s spreading. A 16 years old boy got in trouble after posting online coat of arms of his city modified to include LGBT rainbow. His case is investigated by police and he is told that he might even face a jail term, perhaps as big as the hunter got for killing a man. Meanwhile more and more European towns revoke their partnerships with Polish towns that announced themselves to be “LGBT-free” zones, so for example Tuchów is no longer partnered with Saint-Jean-de-Braye in France and other French City, Douai, is no longer a partner of Puławy.
When it comes to real disease, the corona-virus, even that issue had been on the forefront of the political fight. After speaker of the Senate, a doctor and a member of opposition party, introduced hand sanitisers, the speaker of the Sejm, also a doctor but from PiS, accused him of washing his hands wrongly. In response, the former accused the latter of being silly and pointed out that the Senate is dealing with corona-virus for weeks while nothing has came up from Sejm. In a typical manner for PiS a project of a new bill came to Sejm late in the evening to be voted first thing in the morning. The bill is chaotic, clears the government of financial responsibilities caused by anti-epidemic measures and gives it vast competences without clearly limiting them – some accused it to be preparation of introducing kind of martial state in Poland. As for preparations on the ground level, a clip from a women closed in isolation went viral. She accused the government of being completely unprepared – she has been held in isolation for several days in her local hospital, after infectious hospitals denied her admission due to idiotic guidelines. When her sample was finally allowed to be tested for corona-virus, she had to wait 88 hours for a result, as the only laboratory in the country that does those tests closes at 3pm everyday. Another clip shows a crew of an ambulance demonstrating anti-viral equipment they were issued, containing of anti-chemical gloves so old, that they fall apart when one tries to put them on. (this movie has been since deleted, but it had been described here).
Luckily our emergency services are experienced in cooperation with the divine powers, so there is still hope. Below you can watch a clip of the fire brigades escorting peregrinating copy of the picture of Black Madonna of Częstochowa:
This piece was written for Britské Listy
Picture: Public Domain (via Pixabay)