Another week, another attack on the PiS politician phone. This time it’s Marek Suski, and the hacker complained on his behalf about a woman who “sexually molested him”, publishing her sexy photos and a link to much more explicit material. This time I don’t know what would be worse – if the tweets were written by him in cooperation with Johny Walker, or if his phone was indeed hacked – because he is a member of the parliamentary commission for the intelligence services…
This was not a good week for PiS when it comes to technological devices. A local TV station in Wałbrzych published secret recordings of the local PiS politicians made by one of them, in which they threaten each other or divide public money amongst their cronies. In response, Jarosław Kaczyński kicked everyone local from his party and dissolved it’s a local chapter, so the city of Wałbrzych is now officially first PiS-free zone in the country.
The things in the National Hospital at Warsaw’s stadium also don’t go well. The opposition keeps digging and finding how gigantic costs of running of that Potiomkin’s village is (see more here). Gazeta Wyborcza’s reporter employed himself as a nurse there to find, that despite being one of the best-paid healthcare workers in the country and being housed at the luxury hotel, the staff at the stadium has not much to do, as there are still barely any patients (basically, you need to be pretty healthy to be admitted there, so the only patients in the hospital are people who could easily stay at their own beds at home). According to him, the government sent a busload of homeless people to this hospital to have any patients at all – so perhaps at least in this instance conspiracy theories about hospitals being full of actors just pretending to be sick are true. But at least management can’t complain – they earn, amongst them, almost 400 000 zł in November only. But according to the government, this hospital is like an army – costs a fortune, but let’s hope that we will never really need it. Although that might change with that dreadful Czech variant of COVID-19 at our borders. Haven’t you heard about Czech COVID mutation? Me neither. Or any of the experts. But Minister of Health claims that it has been discovered in Poland. But if it was discovered in Poland, should it not be called “a Polish variant”?
Meanwhile, businesses struggle under the government’s chaotic reactions to the pandemic. Various branches of the economy are being opened and closed without any visible plan, the entrepreneurs rarely receive any help, but they are still burdened with dues. Despite the fact, that hotels and pensions are supposed to be closed for more than two weeks now, they are still expected to pay their TV license – 24.50 zł per month per TV set. That means bigger hotels, that are already at the verge of bankruptcy have to pay thousands per month only so the government propaganda station can broadcast such important events like a holy mass to celebrate the anniversary of Kaczyński’s mom’s funeral (yes, seriously, we are like North Korea now, the government TV commemorates mother of our beloved leader). During that mass, Kaczyński made a speech in which (In loving memory of his mother, no doubt) he accused “evil enemies of trying to destroy our nation and church” and mentioned the Amber Gold scandal – a Ponzi scheme scam, which happened during the previous government and for which Kaczyński desperately try to blame Donald Tusk.
Which is a trendy thing recently, a flagship “information” program of TVP broadcasted 5 minutes long material in which they say that a recent message of Donald Tusk to his German partners that was recorded in German on the backdrop of Gdańsk’ old pier crane is yet another proof that he is a traitor and a servant of German interests, and, by the way, how dared he to speak German on the backdrop of Gdańsk, the city that German attacked from their Schleswig-Holstein battleship on 1st of September 1939!
But, back to businesses. The business owners are becoming desperate – one even threatened to set himself on fire outside the offices of the prime minister. Others try ingenious ways to go around the lockdown laws. Like Michał Drzymała – a farmer who got famous for that after in 1904 German occupants denied him permission to build a home at his own land, he lived in a mobile home that he moved around his farm for years – modern entrepreneurs sell their goods from the vans and trucks parked outside their closed shops. But as more and more people are successfully contesting their penalties and ticket in courts, that point out that government bans are illegal, some decided that enough is enough. The mountain resorts are full of tourists, who, when asked by the reporter where they sleep, openly laugh and say that they stay with friends and family, who, being unable to rent their rooms in their hotels or pensions, simply invited their relatives to spend time with them. Since last week hundreds of businesses simply ignored the rules and opened up from customers. In Cieszyn, Kraków, Karpacz, Katowice, Nowy Tomyśl and several other towns and cities restaurants, bars, nightclubs and gyms are being opened, intervening police officers and sanitary inspectors are booed by their customers and if they act too aggressively, MP’s from right-wing Konfederacja (that consist, amongst other, of COVID-deniers and anti-vaxxers) intervene on behalf of business owners.
I don’t think if that’s a wise thing to do, but can we blame those business owners? Their livelihoods are being ruined by chaotic politics of the government and at the same time, they keep watching the ruling party members making fortunes on shady deals for facemasks etc. and ignoring their own rules. Like when former deputy prime minister Jadwiga Emilewicz was spotted skiing with her sons. On her Facebook, she lied that her sons fall for the exception as sportsmen who are training for some competition as members of the Polish Ski Association. She claims they were PSA members for years, but her lie was quickly debunked both by the association itself and by the journalists who spotted, that her sons’ memberships were acquired two days after the situation went public while her own name was manually added to the list. Do you think she will answer for breaking the law? Nobody in Poland believes it. So when she does not have to bother with lockdown rules, just as Jarosław Kaczyński who visited his family graves during strick lockdown, or prime minister Morawiecki who went with his coworkers to the restaurant despite the rules at the time allowing only one household per table, then why would anyone else have to listen to this government at all?
What surely is open and busy, it is courts. Kaja Godek, radical ultra-Catholic activists has won the case after being sued by 16 gay, lesbian and bisexual people who felt offended when she said on TV that “homosexuals are deviants”. According to the court what she said is wrong, but they can’t claim to be offended, because they weren’t specifically mentioned. So as long as you don’t say “Jan Kowalski is gay, and therefore deviant” but speak in general about all gay people, you’re fine. Your gay feelings are not protected, only “religious feelings” have that privilege in Poland, as we are learning now in another court case. In that one three activists are accused of offending religious feelings for publishing a sticker on which the Holy Mary and Baby Jesus have a rainbow halo around their heads. In case you’re interested, this is how Holy Mary with rainbow halo looks like:
Although this is not the one Elżbieta Podleśna distributed. This one is a poster celebrating one of the papal visits to Poland in 1980s. Apparently back then it was not offensive.
Kaja Godek has been present at this court hearing as well. Along with the priest who claims that LGBT and Gender are one of the biggest sins in the world, they are acting as auxiliary prosecutors. She took the matter so seriously, that despite being COVID denier and anti-vaxxer, she wore a face mask, although her face mask was made of lace, so it was completely unfit for purpose. Actually, it looked as if she was wearing her lace panties on the wrong end of her torso.
Outside the court, there was a manifestation in support of the accused. Members of that gathering spotted Kaja Godek leaving the building and threw some snowballs (or, as Godek, being a radical anti-abortion activist, would probably call them “conceived snowmen”) at her. This is now under police investigation. I wonder what the attackers will be accused of? Terrorist attack? I would not be surprised. When two women brought a tiny snowman, or rather snow-duck, under the monument of the victims of Smoleńsk crash, the police officers, who guard this monument 24/7 (yes, Police in Poland has nothing better to do, apparently), told them to remove it and when asked to provide a basis for their demand, explained that the snowmen “poses a terrorist threat”. The girls were informed that they can build their snow figures in another part of the square, so apparently causing terrorist threats 50 metres further is OK.
With such great demand for a law enforcing, no wonder that the government decided that the prosecutors are to receive priority vaccinations. All those cashiers in the shops or delivery drivers can wait, after all, it’s not like THEY have a lot of contacts with other people. But perhaps it’s actually a sign that the government cares about its employees. About all those prosecutors who don’t’ want to bend to Zbigniew Ziobro demands and refuse to participate in his political witchhunts, refuse to accuse innocent people or just criticize the reforms of the judicial system introduced by PiS. They will be definitely at greater risk, especially now as they have been delegated to the most remote posts possible. Some of them have to report to work in the towns several hundred kilometres across the country day after tomorrow, even though, obviously, all hotels are supposed to be closed so they will have nowhere to stay… For everyone, it’s obvious that this is an element of bullying…
The local papers, recently purchased by PiS controlled Orlen, will probably not write about it. Perhaps because they might also become homeless after it emerged that government paid a hefty sum for a the press concern that has been stripped of all of its assets such as office buildings or printing works. Surely that “investment” will now require more money than expected. It’s so good that we’re building that canal through the Vistula split allowing ships to reach port in Elbląg, as the vast deposit of amber that is to be excavated will bring us a fortune… Except, it turns out, it won’t. Experts concluded that even with the excavations taking place, amber deposits are not big enough for its extraction to be economically viable. Just like the whole project, that is already expected to cost us several times more than predicted and even at the original costs the return of that investment was expected in several dozen, or even couple hundred years.
Speaking of press, the constant drive of the government to subject media to PiS caused the radical fall in the international index of Press Freedom. Poland, that before PiS took power was on 18th place now slid down to 62nd. But, if we believe PiS MP Joanna Lichocka (known for showing her middle finger to the opposition) the opposition is to blame.
But hey, we can’t be best at everything. We are to lead way in using John Paul II’s teachings in education after our education minister said his works should be used to teach in various classes: from business to sexual education. And if that’s not enough, as I write those words, Wrocław leads in the ranking of most polluted cities in the world (according to IQAir.com), surely that’s good, free advertising of our coal, isn’t it? And the Polish air isn’t really that bad, you just need to chew it carefully before inhaling.
This piece was written for Britské Listy
Illustration: Collage using public domain pictures.