Meanwhile in Cuckooland 126

Yet another record transport has arrived in Poland! But for some reason, the government has not decided to make this one into a big propaganda event, as they did with the medical transport from China last week. This time the transport came via the seas – the biggest bulk carrier in the world, Agia Trias, delivered 140 000 tonnes of Columbian coal to Gdańsk’s port. Because, as we learned last week from a lesson prepared by the Ministry of Education, Global Warming can only be good for Poland.

Click HERE to read the previous part of the series
Click HERE to see all chapters of the series so far

But the truth is that Poland is on the verge of environmental disaster as it is. Due to exceptional droughts, the wildfires became a major risk – it took nearly a week of heroic work of firemen supported by the military, border guards, police and State Forest to extinguish a fire in Biebrza National Park. 5300 hectares went up with smoke. Luckily the fire stays above the ground and layers of peat have not ignited, because if they did, the fire would be nearly impossible to extinguish and this valuable environment would be completely destroyed – some say that marshes of Biebrza, one of the few remaining in Europe that has been mostly untouched by human activities, are to nature what Notre Dame cathedral to architecture. But thousands of protected species of wetland nesting birds, moose, and other animals died in the fire. The fire has been started by humans, most likely due to idiotic habit of burning meadows still practised here and there – a reward has been offered for the person who can bring the arsonist to justice.

This fire has been extinguished, but the government still faces an economical disaster. Many entrepreneurs point out, that the so-called “economic shield” is pretty useless and punishes honest businesses that never tried to push their workers to self-employment to save on taxes. Many suspects that the whole “economic shield” is just another propaganda stunt – and they might be right. In Wrocław, for example, every single claim was refused on formal grounds. Weirdly enough, the legislators had time to delegalize work of the organisations preventing cruelty on animals.

Meanwhile, the drive to organize elections at any price went completely off the rail. After the new bills have been hastily pushed through Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, the Senate, in which opposition holds a majority, decided to use the 30 days that they have at their disposal, to look closely at those new regulations, consult experts, etc. Meanwhile PiS propaganda machine in a flagship news program in TVP daily broadcasts materials entitled “Xth day of Senate delay puts Poles in risk” in which they peddle the message, that because of the Senate’s failure to pass relevant laws, it will be impossible to conduct elections safely…

As if they needed laws to act. Deputy PM Jacek Sasin announced that the government is already printing the ballot cards (although it is not true, as portal Onet revealed, that the job went to a private company). By this he admitted to breaking the law, as with the relevant laws still being not passed on, there were no legal grounds to begin printing. PM’s orders have been made 2 days before those took effect.

This might be just an example of the electoral promises delivered by PiS. They promised that everything will work faster, and they are simply so fast, that they act before it’s legal. The justice system seems also to be significantly improved: after prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek opened an investigation into the legality of presidential elections and putting Poles at risk, it has been dropped and closed in about three hours by her superior. This is an astonishing achievement, especially that her superior wasn’t even at work and had no chance to look into any documentation. But could a PiS abiding prosecutor allow an investigation in which leading PiS politicians would have to be investigated? Of course not, that would be outrageous. No wonder that the Country Prosecutor started disciplinary action against Wrzosek.

Meanwhile, the organization of elections becomes more and more chaotic. The voting envelopes are to be distributed by post, most likely not ready for the task. To shut down those, who points out that if the postman is just to leave the card in their mailbox (or stick it into the fence, if they don’t have one) it was decided, that every postman shall be accompanied by a witness. The postmen are also not happy, pointing out, amongst other issues, injustices in the payments they are to receive as city postmen, able to deliver hundreds per hour will be paid the same sum per delivery as their rural colleagues.

The government also started to threaten owners of non-standardized mailboxes with hefty penalties. People quickly pointed out, that Jarosław Kaczyński does not have one at his home, but that was quickly rectified. And all for nothing, as PiS forgot to remove a certain point in the law, so the voting packets will have to be delivered sign-on-delivery, personally to voters anyway. That makes the challenge impossible logistically and also risky in the time of the pandemic, as the postmen will have to collect 30 000 000 signatures from citizens, including those self-isolating or sick with COVID-19.

But to organize any of that, the Post needs data of all voters. They sent an e-mail to local councils demanding them to provide the list in a compressed .txt file. They clearly demanded that those files are NOT to be protected by a password. The vast majority of local councils declined that request, pointing out that they are not obliged to answer silly demands send to them by anonymous e-mails, and while some decided to simply ignore it, others decided to report it as a phishing attempt. The government called them “rebels”, but some of them don’t mind being called that, pointing out that in Star Wars it was not rebels who were on the dark side. To save trouble, the government decided to just illegally pass personal data of every single citizen. But they still need more info from the local councils.

Nobody cares about Polish diaspora though. We are not eligible for a postal vote, and while during last elections I could choose amongst three voting stations in Glasgow and one in one of the smaller satellite towns, now every Pole in Scotland is expected to travel to a single one in Edinburgh. Many Poles call for boycott, but the opposition tries to convince former deputy PM Jarosław Gowin “to come to the light side” or is hoping for a dialogue with PiS. They are naive, this example of a radio interview shows how dialogue with PiS looks like:

And even if they somehow manage to postpone the elections, Kaczyński is prepared for that as well and is planning to introduce state of emergency – but not a civil emergency to answer the pandemic, but the peacetime’s equivalent of the Martial state, which would allow him to intern members of the opposition, paralyze the local government, censor the media and so on… Rumours? Perhaps. But the police just went shopping and is on the market for 5 water cannons, 124 prisoner carrying vehicles and 30 000 000 pieces of ammo – the latter number is almost triple the size of the usual orders.

This piece was written for Britské Listy
Picture of Water Cannon: Adam Kliczek (CC 3.0)



Leave a Reply