Writing about Polish politics becomes more and more boring from week to week. Because how many times you can report stories, that are almost the same as the ones that you have reported already several times? The sewage pipe under Vistula river in Warsaw broke, shit goes down with the river and PiS blames opposition mayor Rafał Trzaskowski for it? That had happened a year ago already. With the difference, that this time PiS hijacked internet domain for the new political movement that is being set up by Trzaskowski and placed a counter for the liters of sewage dumped into the river there.
How many times you could also write about hunter shooting at things that they mistook for a wild boar? This time the hunter killed a horse worth several thousands of złoty that was grazing at the private field. This barely makes the news anymore, as even hunters killing random people are not an exceptional thing anymore.
Surely it would be a time to discipline hunters, who are practically above the law and the system is completely pathological? But the government has more urging matters on their plate. Zbigniew Ziobro and his ministry try to discipline judges who don’t agree with the “reforms” introduced by PiS? That had happened already, would the fact, that 16 more judges from Piotrków are just facing disciplinary actions for that they signed the letter to OSCE regarding illegal presidential elections that were planned by PiS?
Would anyone be surprised to hear that yet another bishop was caught covering for pedophile priests by the journalists? Will that be a surprise to anyone that the justice system not only ignores it, but tries to censor a scientific publication on pedophilia in the church, calling it Christianophobic? Or that PiS politicians talk bilge about LGBT “have a program of destroying humanity, family, the nation and the state”? Or that the PiS took over Westerplatte, where for years city of Gdańsk celebrated the anniversary of the German attack that started World War 2 with the scouts and organized its own celebrations there, banning (opposition) mayor of Gdańsk from speaking?
Would you be surprised to hear, that there are equals and more equal, like when father Tadeusz Rydzyk, an influential priest and media mogul organizes a mass event under the patronage of the Minister of Defence and mayor of Toruń and disposes of COVID-19 related concerns with the words “what we do believe more: Jesus or the virus?”. Interestingly, the virus is a concern when it can help to curb the media freedom: TV stations were informed that due to COVID they won’t be allowed to report from Mariusz Morawiecki visit to Wieluń on 1st of September, but they can always get footage from TVP that WILL be allowed to be there.
The attitude to the pandemics is also pretty predictable. The new minister severely limited the number of tests done, so the official numbers of infections dropped down. Meanwhile, in the ministry of education, there was a press conference. A headteacher from one of the schools calmed down concerned parents with the words: “Of course the coronavirus exists – this is obvious. But it does not mean that EVERYBODY will get infected and go to the other side of the mirror. There is no such possibility. There is flu, there was tonsillitis, one can also get some complications from those and sometimes even death occures. But we are not concerned about it, and we don’t call what are the bad things that can happen, on the contrary – if we are going to emanate with optimism and look for positive outcomes, the outcomes will be positive. But more often you think negatively, about bad things that can happen, and those bad things happen to you. Because man gets what he wants, what he keeps thinking about”.
See? There you go. Forget facemasks, social distancing and other crap, it’s enough just to be positive. Joanna Lichocka, famous for showing her middle finger to the opposition has also been thinking positive. And so, the parliamentary presidium scrapped the reprimand she got for her actions, making it possible for her to sue an organization that crowdfunded money to put up billboards with her infamous gesture.
And even the things that have made the news recently – like the results of the investigation by Oko.press showing connections between right-wing activists and publicists and Islamophobic right-wing organizations in the US and the West – are not new to me. I disclosed such connections of Matthew Tyrmand – one of the heroes of the new investigation – in the fifth chapter of this very series.
The only surprise to me this week is the court ruling that a woman, who disclosed a recording of her German boss, in which he shouts at her that he “hates Poles” for that “they are all idiots”, says that “he should put them all against the wall, kill all the Poles” and proudly saying that he is a Nazi, has to apologize to him.
Yeah. He was saying all those things, he was sentenced in the criminal case, he had to pay a fine and apologize. But in the civil case, the court ruled that they both have to apologize to each other and pay 10 000 zł towards good causes. He – for being an aggressive and abusive Nazi. She – for damaging his reputation by recording and suing him. Moreover, the victim has to cover the legal expenses of her Nazi boss.
She said that she would sooner go to jail than apologize to him or pay him a penny…
But apart from that everything in Poland goes in the same direction: the country is rolling more and more towards an authoritarian, religious state. Radek Sikorski is of a similar opinion. He wrote today on his Facebook: “Polish right not only tries to build their power on the alliance with the radical wing of the Church. They want to amalgamate it with the state, so the discussion about the fact with the use of arguments is replaced with a discussion about faith. In its attacks on various social and professional groups, it’s not about power or humiliating this or that group: this is the bigger fight, with the enlightenment, with the belief that the world can be understood and bettered with the reason, that the knowledge is valuable, that scientific authorities make sense and facts matter. Instead, they propose us return to faith and revelation, and the laws created by us for us are to be replaced with church rules. All of that under the slogan of returning to some “Golden Age”, when people were better and Poland more Polish”. Spot on. And we can’t do much about it.
But if you think you can’t think of living in a country like that, there is always hope that you won’t live to see it. And I don’t only mean the hunters. The government just proposed the new traffic law, in which to lose your driving license, you would not have to drive 50km/h over the limit, as it is the case at present, but to be twice over it. That would mean you could drive 280 km/h on the motorway and still end only with a ticket…
The government promised that the rulers will be closer to the people. And they deliver. Now everyone will be able to feel as if he was driving in the motorcade of government limousines.