Meanwhile in Cuckooland 180

An employee of the wastewater processing plant had found a human fetus in one of the tanks. It is estimated to be about 20 weeks old. The police immediately sprung to action and it is now on the hunt for a fetus’ mother. Except this is not in the Republic of El Salvador, this is in Poland, and having a miscarriage – or even an abortion – is not the crime in itself. Therefore people started to ask, what are the grounds for the police to search for that woman?

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The police were confused with such questions (especially that some other women reported that they had miscarriages as well and demanded action). Finally, they said they are worried if the miscarriage was not a result of violence, and then finally settled on that they have to check if the woman was not forced to have an abortion. I can see a certain logic in it: abortion in itself is not illegal, but forcing other people to do stuff is. But here we got a problem: it would also be a crime to force someone to take a dump against his or her will. Let’s pray that water processing plant staff don’t discover any shit in their tanks, as that would give the police a shitload of work!

But in general, it is good that the police sees the need to tackle violence. They have already managed another degenerate. A teacher from Tczew who during Women Strike shouted “Kaczor do wora, wór do jeziora! [Duck to the sack, sack to the lake]” (duck is a popular nickname for Kaczyński, as his surname is derived from that bird) have been just accused of… inciting violence against animals.

But if something is brutal, it is government propaganda. It’s not only disgusting drivel, they now try to carry some subliminal messages. Just check this graph, depicting the money spent on healthcare in Poland:

If you look closer you might notice that the scale begins at 4%, not at zero, which might give you an impression that the changes are bigger. Then we have the colours – the previous government has been bleak, the PiS is marked with nice, warm, bright green. But then, look closely at the dates. Have you noticed something? Where are the years 2017, 2018 and 2019? The scale is biased as well. If you don’t pay attention you might think this is growth under PiS. But in fact, those are just promises of PiS going as far as to 2027 into the future.

This is the kind of the propaganda Poles are bombarded from the government controlled media. And it gets even worse. Recently, for example, Donald Tusk indicated that he might want to get back to Polish politics. TVP rushed to associate him with German interests in every way possible. For example by inserting a snippet from his speech in German in every possible material, so people constantly hear Tusk saying “fur Deutchland” over and over again. Just look it up yourself:

Even if the topic does not really involve Tusk, the subliminal message has to be there. Look at this article, saying that some opposition MP’s are against PiS drivel about demanding war reparation from Germans. Does the German soldier in the first row remind you of someone?

And as the public media is supposed to set standards, this now leaks into the wider use. The picture of a job advert circulates Polish internets recently:

Let me translate it for you:

in 3 months you can earn around
12 000 zł
pre-tax, with bonuses and shift allowance”


That some clickbait-style job advert, isn’t it?

Anyway, it’s still better to offer than a job of Ryszard Czarnecki – whom you might remember from that he embezzled money from Europarliament by falsely claiming mileage. He agreed to take up the duties of the deputy chairman of the Polish Volleyball Association with no salary. What a noble way to do! Ah, wait… Poor chap, he had to take salary after that. The other members of the association, apparently, have felt it’s not right that one of the directors is not being paid, so he had no choice but to agree to receive wages. Perhaps it was because apparently he is employed as a driver. According to the documentation in his company vehicle, he travelled around the globe and then some, burning through 75 000 zł worth of fuel over three years. Just since last November, he burned 19 000 zł worth of fuel. I have to say I am impressed. I work three days a week as a truck driver and I don’t think I used much more fuel than he did over the same period of time.

But perhaps he has to drive so much as he is under attack from Russian agents? Apparently, he would be not the only one. Michał Dworczyk, a prime minister’s chief of staff, has had his e-mail account hacked. His private email account, but it does not matter, as he was using it for work, sending official government documents through it. Everyone now can see some of them on an anonymous Telegram account of some Russian-speaking hacker, which is not a surprise, since he was for years involved in supporting democratic opposition in Minsk.

Whatever the reason is for Czarnecki to drive so much, he might soon run out of roads to drive on. It is good then, that some local councillors show innovative ways to build the new ones. The mayor of Brańsk, who has a construction background, came with an innovative – at least in Poland – solution to constantly raising prices of the road-building services: after investing in a concrete manufacturing plant and aggregate mine, some other equipment and training his staff, the parish became building its own roads. The investment is expected to return quickly, as the roads built by the parish cost about 20% of what commercial road-building companies charge per kilometre.

Since we are talking good news, there was another reason to celebrate. “Father Bogusław”, a big yacht constructed by homeless people have been officially launched and christened after a late priest who came with the idea. The people experiencing homelessness, who participated in the project, will now go sailing around the world – which will help them to tackle their trust issues and build self-confidence (they have already proved that they can work together). Later, the yacht will also be available for charter, supporting the Camilian charity that helps the homeless. I really wanted to write about it, as this is one of those situations that we don’t hear so much about: when the church is actually doing a good job, instead of just syphoning public money in every way possible.

And now, for news that is bad for some, good for the others: the results of the mayoral elections in Rzeszów. An opposition candidate Konrad Fijołek came victorious in the first round, receiving well over 50% of the votes. PiS candidate (female) came second with just over 20% of votes (even despite the fact, that Kaczyński himself turned up to show her support, although the fact, that he mixed Rzeszów with Szczecin – which is located literally in the opposite corner of Poland – could not be very helpful). Another candidate of the “Unified Right”, as the ruling coalition calls itself, Marcin Warchoł from Zbigniew Ziobro’s party, despite throwing public money at his campaign (as Ziobro party tends to) and being anointed by the ongoing mayor, received only about 10% of votes, on par with an ultra-Catholic anti-vaccination COVID denial conspiracy theory proponent Grzegorz Braun.

Prime minister Morawiecki said that “while he congratulates the victor, and admits that two candidates from his coalition might not be the best idea, he would like to point that Fijołek, despite being supported by the whole opposition, has not fared as well, as the previous mayor did back in 2018”. As if that in any way mattered: YOU LOST, LOOSER, because you thought that PiS apparatchiks with the support of the public media can win over a genuine, experienced local councillor!

And this was not the only defeat for the government. After a telling-off during the international summit with other world leaders, they had to quietly retreat and the case put in front of “constitutional” Tribunal, in which it was to decide that the EU law is not compatible with the Polish constitution had been secretly withdrawn from the schedule.

But at least the minister of education is still going strong. His newest idea is that the headteachers of schools – which are under the control of the local governments, or even private institutions or NGO’s, often opposed to PiS – will be appointed, and especially sacked, by the Education Ombudsmans (controlled by the central government). So if you are opposed to minister’s brilliant ideas, such as using the teachings of John Paul II as sources in the business and enterprising classes (or, if the things will continue in the current direction, in every handbook from ancient history to mathematics and chemistry), you’ll be simply sacked and replaced by someone more submissive.

Because if PiS learned something from history, they remember words of Jan Zamoyski, an important advisor to Polish kings back in the late 1500s and founding of the first private and secular university in Poland, who said “What the Commonwealth will be like depends on how their youth will be raised. Moreover, I am convinced that only public education makes citizens agreeable and good”.

And thus PiS offensive in education. They want their citizens “agreeable” and educated in their values. But that makes me optimistic: communist tried it, it didn’t work. And the young people turn their back on the church an unprecedented pace, I doubt that pushing more of Pope down their throats is likely to overturn this trend.

This piece was written for Britské Listy.
Main Picture: Wiadomości TVP



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