After being attacked by the pack of wolves, two heroic lumberjacks were defending themselves for fifteen minutes using their chainsaw. No, this is not the screenplay for the new B-class horror movie. This is actually the story told to the media by one of the prosecutors in Poland. He says “this was unprecedented” and he’s perfectly right: wolves virtually never attack people. Yet all the media caught up on that story and the Polish papers and online portals are now full of scary stories about how wolves are dangerous to the public and how they should be shot. Nobody (including the prosecutor’s office, as there was no crime) will investigate if there were, for example, stray dogs. The environmental office in record time approved wolf hunt, despite the fact, that the local ZOO would want to capture the animals and – if it’s true, that they have attacked domestic animals before – keep them in the sanctuary. It was a race between hunters and ZOO and the ZOO lost – the wolves were shot on the next day.
So are those wolves really a threat to the public? Or could it be that hunters dream about being legally allowed to shot them deliberately started media frenzy to obtain permission, as those who do it illegally are now, since wolves are under close observation of environmental activist, often caught and punished. My bet would be on the latter possibility. Why? Because the prosecutor in question is a keen hunter himself.
And if he would like to catch some wolves or dangerous animals, he had a chance recently. There was a Neo-Nazi march in Częstochowa, during which the participants shouted slogans such as “White Europe”, “We’ll beat the leftists with the club” or “Janusz Waluś is our role model”. Yes, the Janusz Waluś, the white supremacist from South Africa who serves life in jail for murdering a black activist:
“Janusz Waluś naszym wzorem”, “Biała – Biała Europa”, “Znajdzie się kij na lewacki ryj”.
6 marca – przez Częstochowę przy bierności @PolskaPolicja maszerują neonaziści.
Nikt nie został spisany pomimo agresji i nienawistnych haseł. Policja woli łamać ręce kobietom.@strajkkobiet pic.twitter.com/QWXQZtTqY0
— Piotr #FBPE (@piotr4913) March 6, 2021
But, as you could guess, the police did nothing. It’s clear on which side they are on: the Warsaw’s police was asked about the results of the control they carried after women strike protests. The superiors seem nothing wrong when the officers unlawfully detain people, deny them access to their lawyers, beat them or transport them to remote police stations. Attacking press reporters or opposition MP with the tear gas from close range is also accepted. The only officers who got reprimanded were those, who allowed citizen to decorate Kaczyński’s fence with the sign “wypierdalaj” (“get to fuck”).
In other words, under PiS police only pretends its job is to protect citizens. But this seems to be a wider pattern. The government also pretends its protecting citizens – after a new pandemic outbreak (and no wonder, as the churches, for example, are still open, often with disregard to social distancing, and those who report breaking rules to the police are then bullied by their fellow churchgoers, or even receive threats) government helped local institutions with face masks, many of which turned to be out of date. After Polish army was ridiculed online for that its soldiers still use helmets designed in 1967, they have received a brand new, modern kevlar helmets… In Photoshop. There were some other things that look funny at first, but actually are not. For example Julia Przyłębska, chairwoman of the Kaczyński’s puppet Constitutional Tribunal received an Catholic award for that she is so brave and independent that she made that ruling about abortion. Archbishop Jędraszewski received recognition for his “fight for the truth by pointing out to evil ideologies dresses in new clothes: LGBT, extreme feminism, abortionism and anti-human environtalism”. You might remember his name – he’s the guy who called LGBT people “a disease”.
But definitely the story of Daniel Obajtek remains a topic of the month: it is now turning into some kind of the soap opera, or rather a crime drama scenario. Still, the attention to this hero of PiS is definitely not making it any easier for Kaczyński to promote him as the further prime minister. Apart from what I wrote in the last chapter of this series, it has now emerged, that he is indeed a very skilful manager. He developed a great way to have his mansion refurbished at taxpayer’s expense.
The system is actually very simple. Obajtek purchased a mansion that required extensive renovation. Basically speaking: it was a ruin. He then offered it rent-free to some charity, that applied for funding. Knowing that funding will go to renovate Obajtek’s property, government controlled institutions and companies were generous, and so over last couple of years Obajtek property has had some work carried at the expense of the taxpayer: 1.15 mln came from Ministry of Culture, 410 000 zł from state-controlled mining company KGHM and some more funding came from a foundation ran by a state-controlled bank PKO BP. Then, the contract between Obajtek and that Charity was terminated and the property has been rent to another charity, that already managed to obtain some funding for the further renovation work. The story was first published by Wyborcza and the matter has been analysed in detail in Oko.press.
Who knows, perhaps Obajtek has more in his estate portfolio, but we won’t know that, as he seems to have a tendency to give newly obtained property as a gift to the members of his family – thus avoiding the need to inform the public about them.
Luckily, the Polish Anti-Corruption Bureau is very sensitive and not afraid to fight corrupt officials. This is why Józef Pinior, the Solidarity legend from the 1980 and a fierce critic of PiS has been just sentenced to 18 months in jail for corruption, after the prosecutors accused him that 40 000 zł lent to him by his friend (by bank transfer) was, in fact, a bribe (we wrote about it 5 years ago). To compare: the strongly founded corruption allegation against Kaczyński (he was supposed to accept 50 000 bribe in cash) led to nothing, the prosecution refused to investigate and Kaczyński hasn’t even been interrogated (read more here and here). Pinior (just as pretty much everyone who knows him) disagrees with the verdicts and claims his innocence, claiming that the phone recordings used as proof against him have been edited. He and his supporters say that the case was strictly political, despite the fact, that court stresses several times that its verdict is not political. But if it’s not, then why to stress it so much? Under PiS even the courts cannot be trusted any more: the case of the infamous Beata Szydło’s car accident just had a new judge appointed – after one of the judges got ill a judge known for his pro-PiS sympathies replaced him, even though it was someone’s else’s turn…
It’s worth to mention, that Pinior was one of the men who were responsible for protecting Wrocław’s Solidarity funds (80 000 000zł – a fortune back then) from the communist during Martial State and has accounted of every single penny of it – there was even a feature movie made about it:
Seems that the reenactment of communist Poland is well underway: Józef Pinior has been sentenced to 18 months in jail again, meanwhile the First Secretary, sorry, the Prime Minister, travels around the country, making pompous speeches and cutting ribbons. “This mighty drill will not only crush layers of earth, but it will also crush the barrier of the impossibility, submissivity and weakness” – said Mateusz Morawiecki during the celebratory beginning of boring the tunnel in Świnoujście (this city at the Polish coast lies on both sides of river Świna, providing access to the port in Szczecin, so until now it is connected only by ferries). This is a long-overdue infrastructure investment and Mateusz Morawiecki could really be proud if he was the one who made it possible… Except, he’s not. As he was reminded promptly by the European Union, it was the EU, that forked out 85% of the costs – and the remaining 15% was paid by the city itself…
This is not the only time this week when Morawiecki tried to score some promotional points on things he had nothing to do with. In Września Morawiecki and some other PiS VIP’s tried to make a speech to celebrate the opening of the new bypass. Alas, he had to retreat after people started to run towards him through the fields, hoping to ask him questions about some other promises he made. Btw: the Września Bypass, despite being a national road, had been funded by the local council (with some funds from the Local Road Development funds), as they were fed up with big trucks jamming the city centre and unable to wait for the government to do it any more…
I am surprised why Morawiecki tries so desperately to claim other people’s successes? Isn’t he a hero already? Just look at this promotional movie prepared by Polish National Foundation (the one, that is supposed to promote Poland abroad):
The rate of thumbs up versus thumbs down under the movie could suggest that this is not exactly the kind of promotion Poland might want or need. For example, the year 2021 has been proclaimed to be Stanisław Lem’s year. Many people abroad heard about it and seek some related events of materials. There are some, but all in Polish. I already saw several people asking on social media for some Lem year related materials in Polish, some of my own friends, whom I introduced to Lem, also asked me about it, so I looked at myself and failed. There is absolutely nothing.
Why would the Polish government choose to promote Poland abroad with fairy tales about 11 years old Morawiecki fighting with communist secret police instead of promoting the work of our own giant of the science-fiction genre (and much more!)? I think I know the reason. He was still alive during the first time PiS was in power.
So allow me to celebrate The Year of Lem by quoting excerpts from one of the last texts he ever published:
“The political advice that would be worth to give to Kaczyński brothers, can be basically summed up by explaining to them that none of the ideas that come to their heads should be realised (…)
The activity of those two can be summed up as amateur, for two important reasons. First: they don’t have a wide bench of competent professionals, capable to undertake difficult tasks (…) Second – and perhaps the most fatal flaw of the twin’s politics, is their irrefutable belief that they are infallible, and because of that one can’t see in their political decisions even the slightest dose of self-reflection.
A very old saying goes that if God wants to punish someone, he takes his mind away. I can truly assure you, that the unbelievable naivety, that each of the Kaczyńskis’ move shows, has to be a kind of God’s punishment. (…) They still think, that society consists solely of idiots and will be happy to swallow every lie and every excuse (…) They do everything that is completely unnecessary while leaving burning issues untouched”
Now just look at 2020 Poland under PiS rule and you’ll see that Lem’s words came true in every way. As usual.
This piece was written for Britské Listy
Picture of Wolves: Pixabay (royalty free)