If you are told that the Government Commission for Paedophilia Investigation is just a puppet body that does nothing, you might want to re-evaluate that opinion. I decided to reevaluate it when I heard that it demanded the Episcopate to provide it with all data from curia and church courts regarding the crimes of paedophilia. The episcopate considered that demand and said “interesting proposition, but, ehm, no, thank you”. And the commission can’t do anything, as it has no legal tools to order the church to choke up those files. It can only politely ask. So, after my re-evaluation, I decided to uphold my previous opinion: The commission is just a puppet body that allows the government to pretend that they do something on the matter of church paedophilia.
The new program of the government called “Nowy Ład” (New Order) and then renamed to “Polski Ład – Nowa Nadzieja” (Polish Order – the New Hope) seems also to be a smokescreen. It contains mostly promises – some nice – like further money give-aways dresses as construction of welfare state, some less nice – like raising taxes (which caused a stir amongst businessmen threatening to move their businesses to the Czech Republic – even deputy leader of Polska Razem, a ruling coalition party threatened to take his business abroad) to some unreal promises such like turning Rzeszów area into “Hydrogen valley”, the world-class hub of hydrogen technologies.
Some say that the name “New Order” has been changed to “Polish Order” to reflect a German stereotype of Polnische Wirtschaft, according to which “Polish order” means dirt, lack of wise planning and mismanagement. Surely under the new rules, Poland will look the part, as the project allows Poles to build flat-roofed houses up to 70 square metres without permission. As if Poland urban planning was not dying in the ditch for the last 30 years already… The newly proposed law on forestry, which would allow companies to swap land with State Forest – even industrially polluted wasteland will be swapped 1:1 for the forest – will surely complement the look.
It’s not clear how all those promises from Polnische Ordung, sorry, Polish Order, are to be funded and it’s pretty clear, that government hopes for those EU funds that are to restart Europe after the COVID-19 crisis. I hate to play prophet, but I expect that all we get is higher taxes and some strategically placed money giveaways for the public to ensure re-election. I base my predictions on the outcomes of the previous plan of Mateusz Morawiecki, “The Strategy for Responsible Development” from 2016. It ended up in raised taxes and inflation due to government give-aways but the promised million electric cars etc. are nowhere to be seen. The only part that can be considered successful is the bit when Morawiecki promised to consolidate businesses in holdings – except that he consolidated them under control of PiS oligarchs.
For example, recently every single local paper recently purchased by Orlen published an article in which it praised the idea of the fusion of the Orlen and Lotos – two bigger Oil companies in Poland. Only the really careful readers would spot a tiny row of numbers in the corner of the page, and even less of them will know that this is an advertisement number, which means that this was actually a sponsored content.
It’s ironic, as, in other places of the PiS-controlled media empire, the search for the subliminal advertising is very strict – to such extent that employees of TVP were ordered to “remove, or discolour” any takes of teenage starlet Roksana Węgiel in which she has a rainbow make-up on her cheeks. The ban has been extended on social media, including people who post pictures on their private feeds…
No wonder that to exclude such outraging situations like a teenage girl painting a rainbow on her cheeks PiS is forced to ensure, that only people they can trust work everywhere. A recent poll in the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed that they observe an unprecedented scale of nepotism. According to employees, the qualifications are no longer relevant, and many of them feel that they are not valued for their work. The poll has been summed up by a joke:
– The Minister of Foreign Affairs asked his employees if they are happy with their work:
– 21% said NO
– 7% said YES
– 72% said: “What with those silly questions, uncle?”
The ruling coalition treats the state institutions and public money as their own. Marcin Warchoł – a deputy justice minister, and a candidate in the race to the chair of Mayor of Rzeszów took leave from his work in ministry for the time of his campaign. Recently thou, he took a break from his leave in order to grant local voluntary fire brigades 1 200 000 zł from the Justice Fund. The money from that fund is supposed to help victims of crimes and sponsor project that help prevent crimes, but apparently he thinks it can be used to win an election as well. But if you ask him, he sees nothing wrong: “I wasn’t giving those cheques as a mayoral candidate, as a deputy minister I have no party affiliation as well” – he said.
But the love towards voluntary fire brigades is not so constant in the ruling coalition. This organization is very strong in Poland, and the voluntary firemen provide a crucial role in the firefighting system for over 100 years – there are 10 times as many of them as professional firefighters. But under the new proposed law, they would lose their right to be called firemen, to wear uniforms or to participate in free training provided by the state fire service. But of course, their duties will remain the same.
So where this idea comes from? Well, the Voluntary Fire Brigades is a strong and numerous organisation – and at the same time one of the few that are still pretty much independent from politicians. Such changes would overthrow the status quo, that exist during pre-war times, and made them more reliant on the funds distributed by politicians. And Warchoł’s try to bribe them into voting for him shows how important it is.
Other organizations seem to be completely submitted to the current rulers of Poland by now. Polish Scouting Association seriously debates the question if it is possible for a Scout to be an atheist. This is nothing new: the alternative oath has been removed in the 1990s and since then Scouts can only swear “to serve God and Poland”, and a lot of acrobatics was done over many years to explain that “God” in that does not mean actual God, but some unspecified higher good, but now the masks are officially off.
The state institutions are not better either. After a 25-year-old vandal kicked the head of the figure of the Saint Faustyna in Myślibórz, the Polish state sprung to action. The voivode and two MP’s instantly rushed to the location, where they prayed the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy! Luckily a TV and Radio crews from the government media happened to be there, so they were able to speak to them about yet another attack “aimed at our values, the Christian values” which was “even more incomprehensible behaviour, especially that this is a Polish saint, who spoke about mercy. This mercy, thanks to her, became known across the whole world. Saint Pope John Paul II introduced Mercy Day when he canonised Sant Sister Faustyna”
I wonder why the Polish state pays for all those chaplains, do we really need them? The other state officials apparently are doing just fine…
Surprisingly while the well-being of the statues is getting so much attention, no state official or media interest worried about the faith of a living person, that is of a woman who is pregnant with siamese twins that will be impossible to separate. The birth can be really dangerous to her but, afraid of the criminal repercussion, doctors refused an abortion, as the pregnancy is not dangerous to her “at this stage”. She was advised to “continue the pregnancy” and, between the lines, to hope that the fetuses will die on their own, which is likely. Very humane.
If you thought that the state officials who run to pray for a damaged figure made idiots of themselves, I would recommend you a closer look at the work of the Polish police. Just last week a couple of activists drove their car around Warsaw, near where Kaczyński lives. The car was decorated with a small rubber duck with lighting (symbol of the Women’s Strike) in its arse. The duck is a reference to Kaczyński, whose surname is derived from that bird.
The activists soon got stopped by the traffic police and they were ordered to remove the decoration, so it does not obstruct the view. But it was just so the other police vehicles have time to come to the area. For the next couple of hours, they were followed by at least 8 police cars – six of them unmarked – and up to four at one time. The activists tried to troll the police by changing lanes just before the solid line or driving into the cul-de-sac streets. When they tried to film police officers with their mobiles, the cars were driving away at high speed. When they got ouf of the car and went for a walk, they were soon met with a line of police officers…
You can watch the dashcam clips from that action here:
The police denied that they ever followed the activists, but this is not the first time when they did it and were uncovered.
Another activist has been brutally detained by the police when he stood with an anti-government transparent.
Plac Zamkowy. Warszawa. Milicja w akcji. pic.twitter.com/4l99W5Oiuw
— Joanna (@naprawdejoanna) May 16, 2021
Police claim he was arrested for “participating in spontaneous gathering and refusing to provide his name”. This is a bit silly, as the police know very well who he is: he’s the same guy who places a wreath for the victims of the Smoleńsk crash only for it to be stolen by the police or the army every month (read more in last week piece). The lawyers agree that this detention was completely illegal – police has no right to demand a name from a person who does something illegal. And even if “participating in spontaneous gathering” was illegal (which it isn’t, even during COVID-19), being the only participant of this gathering, it is hardly that he was able to disperse himself, isn’t it?
Just a few years ago when I read “a man arrested by the police for staging one-man protest” I would think this has to be Russia or Belarus. Today, you can’t be sure anymore.
This piece was written for Britské Listy
Illustration created using only royalty-free graphics (from pixabay.com)