Don’t worry, this is still Britske Listy’s “Meanwhile in Cuckooland” series. What you are looking at is a mayor of Jarocin burning private parts of Jan Szyszko with a jet burner. If you are loyal reader of that series, the name Szyszko might ring a bell – he was an environmental minister known for his very peculiar approach to the environment: he denied global warming, aimed to chop every tree in the country and was an avid hunter. I know many people in Poland who think one’s genitalia burned with an acetylene torch would be a just punishment for even some of those crimes against Polish nature, but things aren’t what they like.
First, Jan Szyszko died already of natural causes some years ago, being one of the most despised politicians. And what does PiS like to do? They like to spit people in the face. So they decided that they will erect a monument to him, and so they did, in Jarocin. Local people had none of that and someone threw the bucket of paint at it, and the only way to get rid of it was to burn it off. The mayor himself decided to give it ago, so he can claim he was fighting the barbaric behavior of the opposition.
I am not sure if PiS actually realizes how ridiculous they make themselves look, but I guess they are too busy spitting people in the face. The National Bank just issued a new 20 zł banknote to commemorate “defence of the Polish eastern border” and “exceptionally humanitarian and emphatic treatment of migrants” by the border force in the army. How shameless you have to be to celebrate people who were sending people to their death and breaking every human right and international convention possible (read more here) so much that the special envoy of the UN had to come to Poland to tell them to stop?
The other emanation of that trend is placing obvious idiots in the most important jobs in the country. Or rather should I say, formerly most important, as today to be a chief of the Constitutional Tribunal means just being Kaczyński’s puppet. Still, as I write these words, I see the chief of the Tribunal speaking on government propaganda TV about the Warsaw Uprising. “The Warsaw Uprising was a great victory of good over evil” Przyłębska said. Please, someone tell her who won. She might be surprised when she finds that despite the bravery of the Home Army, it was the Nazis…
Adam Glapiński, the chief of the National Bank seems to not be the brightest tool in the box either. And I am not even saying about all those banknotes and the fact that he has absolutely no clue about the economy and when approached by random people mocks them or gives them worthless advice, like when a woman asked him how is she supposed to live when she is already working two jobs and running a company and her mortgage went up by 100%. He told her she should vote for Tusk if she does not like this, and that if she took her mortgage when credits were cheap it was only her own fault. His wife seconded him, advising the women to win a lottery and speak to Putin. When NATO was mentioned she mocked it, saying It’s silly to count on NATO or the EU.
Asked straight in the face, Mr. and Ms. Glapińscy denied that they are against European Union. But are there? Glapiński give an interview to pro-government (of course, PiS politicians don’t speak to independent media) weekly. The National Bank of Poland was obviously very chuffed with it, as they advertised it on the Bank’s social media “Chief of Polish National Bank discloses how they want to overthrow the government and the Polish złoty. “It’s happening here and now. Overthrow the government, bring Poland into Eurozone, submit to the idea of the pan-European nation. This is their plan” – this is the quote from the whole interview they thought is the most important to spread using the bank’s press office.
Meanwhile, how’s the economy doing? Just great. At least when we believe the pro-government papers. Just look at this sheet of Gazeta Polska:
“Petrols prices go down and will continue to!”
“Poland advances in the wealth ranking”
“Export of our food products is raising”
“There will be no shortages of sugar!”
“There is so many orders, that there will be enough of coal” (yes, this last one does not make much sense in Polish either).
Those headlines could easily be taken from a 1950’ Trybuna Ludu or – if they were in Czech – Rudé právo from at least half a century ago…
But this coal, especially, is a mystery. Just a couple of years back Poland was supposed to have enough coal for 200 years. And now suddenly, there is a shortage and prices are skyrocketing. Could it be that, despite PiS’ anti-Russian rhetoric, during their time in power import of coal from Russia more then doubled? (spoiler: it is true, yes). And so with the import of Russian coal ceased, Poland has to buy coal from the other end of the world. Just like during communism time the state TV was tracking the trip of a ship bringing oranges from Cuba, now it is broadcasting information about the ship bringing coal to Poland. With two exceptions:
1. During the communist time they were lying, but they weren’t stupid. The ship they claim brought 700 000 tonnes of coal to Poland has a capacity of 60830 tonnes…
2. During the communist time nobody claimed we have enough of our own oranges to last us 200 years…
Anyway, the coal export companies can still make money by selling Polish coal abroad. So where is the problem? Well, the problem is, that ordinary people might not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter. The government had to think of a solution, as, apparently, the suggestion of some ministers that “people could eat cheaper and less” was not met with great enthusiasm. At first, the government came with the idea that people could buy the coal cheaper and the merchants would get some money for their losses later. Somehow, though, the coal merchants weren’t too keen on lending money to the government for several months and were still not being compensated fully. The next idea was a special coal benefit: every house with a coal stove would get 3000 zł. This won’t be means tested and you’ll be free to spend it as you wish, which further angered people. Because it means that Mr Kowalski, who installed gas heating in his house but retained his old coal stove just in case will get 3000 zł and will be able to spend it even on that other type of coke and hookers, as NOBODY will check this. Meanwhile, Mr. Nowak next door, who is poorer and lives in a smaller house, so had to remove his coal stove to make space for his gas boiler, will get nil.
Just in case people need to be reassured that the government has some plan regarding the difficult situation in the energy market, Piotr Naimski, a secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure – and one of the few men in the government who seemed to be knowing what he’s doing – was sacked for no apparent reason, although unofficially it is said that he was sacked for opposing the suicidal direction the government was taking when it comes to decissions related to energy. We can’t confirm that, but we know very well that the government is stupid: let me just remind you that Poland lost yet another case in the European Tribunal of Human Rights – this time for indiscriminately revoking pensions and benefits to everyone who even briefly worked for the Ministry of Interior Affairs before 1989, which was one of Kaczyński’s pet projects. They also purchased country flags for 5 million, which is ridiculous as if instead of ordering them wholesale they would just buy them in retail, they would only have to pay 3.5 million. Could it be, that the company that suspiciously easy won the tender is owned by people who own the brand of “patriotic” clothing Red is Bad, which sells mostly t-shirts with right-wing images and motifs, and is known to be often worn by President Duda? The company proudly advertises on their website that they are against the EU and never take EU funds – obviously, who needs EU funds if you have friends like that?
Surely the shady arms dealer who sold the government overpriced respiratory machines during the peak of COVID-19 pandemics won’t be getting any EU funds either. But I guess he doesn’t need them. He took the money, delivered a few useless machines, and disappeared with the money. Now the news is he died in Albania, where he lived. Nobody saw his body, apparently was cremated. It is surely a hot summer, as there is not a single crematorium in Albania… This is a story for a good spy movie. But more along the lines of Austin Powers or Johny English than James Bond, as this is a complete shame for the Polish intelligence, who RECOMMENDED this guy to the government.
I guess we won’t be hearing about any successful investigation in that matter any time soon. Especially if the Ministry of Justice is about as professional. After the chairman of the water and sewage company in Opole and the father of Patryk Jaki MEP, was accused of mobbing, the journalists tried to follow up on that story. One of them, after trying to reach Ireneusz Jaki was called back by his son, who invited her to the Ministry of Justice building – where he no longer works, but his party’s boss, Zbigniew Ziobro controls this ministry. He then threatened the journalist with a lawsuit unless she “writes the truth” – that is that his father is innocent, and the accusation are only a revenge for something else…
The journalist was not the only one that was invited to unexpected places. In recent weeks two new sexual scandals emerged with priests. One of them was trying to pick up a man on Grindr without knowing this man is a former cleric and recognized him. The man reported this to the bishop but was told the priest is innocent and it was all lies. The man submitted the screenshots from their really steamy conversation to Gazeta Wyborcza.
While the other scandal involves a woman, who was receiving unsolicited messages of sexual nature on Facebook from another priest, there is some gay aspect to that as well. “The bishop’s secretary invited me to the Sauna today but I declined. I am saving my sperm” he wrote to her on one occasion. Later he said: “You will be the first woman [emphasis mine – TO] ever fucked in the office of the Białystok’s bishop”…
Meanwhile, Kaczyński’s tour around Poland turned out to be a total train wreck. While his faithful believers were brown-nosing him under the pretext of asking his questions
I’ve added subtitles to this video of our beloved leader answering the question from a member of the public, so everyone could see what a glorious nation we have become. pic.twitter.com/oL2S29gMAF
— Tomasz Oryński (@TOrynski) July 14, 2022
outside of the venues the atmosphere was dense. Some people were angry that they are not being let in (only the most faithful, vetted by local PiS offices were allowed in) and some were there simply to protest and told him to get lost. In Gniezno a man threw eggs on the cavalcade of the Kaczyński’s limos, and PiS is instantly using it to pump the message that opposition is on the way to the political murders. A bold claim, if we remember that we already had political murder and the victim was the mayor of Gdańsk killed by anti-opposition fanatic agitated by the government propaganda (see here). I personally don’t understand the problem: those weren’t eggs, those were unborn birds, why anybody should be made responsible for flying birds, this is the most natural thing in the world.
Kaczyński meanwile sees the problem elsewhere. “Young people are under the strong influence of smartphones” – he said – “we can’t do much about it, but we will counteract this”:
Jarosław Kaczyński o tym dlaczego młodzi wyborcy nie popierają PiS: „Młodzież jest pod bardzo wielkim wpływem smarfonu”. Zapowiada też wielkie kontrakcje!? Zabierze sfarfony!? 😱 pic.twitter.com/j5oCrNLhVp
— Michael Wolf 🐺 (@MikeWolf9999) July 24, 2022
Anyway, after a couple of weeks of traveling, spurting total nonsense to show how detached from reality he is, being met with crowds chanting “you’re going to jail” and having been thrown eggs at, Kaczyński cut his campaign short, allegedly to go for long-planned holidays.
At least we can be sure he’ll be safe there. Because the police is there to protect and serve. When a man almost died at the lakeside, another man was arrested almost instantly. But the story is more complicated.
Przemysław Zachajka was enjoying time with the family at the local beach when he noticed that other people pulled a drowning man out of the lake. He runs to help and begins resuscitation. After 10 minutes of his efforts, the man starts to breathe again on his own. Meanwhile, the police patrol called to the situation stood by, and did nothing. Zachajka, under understandable stress, called them up: “For fuck’s sake, do something to help! Why are you standing here like two morons”? – he shouted at them. They did nothing until the drowning man was in the safe hand of the ambulance crew and then threw the rescuer to the ground, beat him, and arrested him for “offending the police officer on duty”. They released him on the next day – just as they arrested him on the beach: barefoot and wearing just his swimming trunks.
Meanwhile, police claim they were saving the life of the drowning man and Zachajka was just an aggressive onlooker. Do you feel safe when you think about going for your holidays in Poland? I don’t.
So apparently things are not going well for PiS. But some people are tired of the opposition parties as well and would like to be able to cast a vote for something else. Marianna Schreiber, the wife of one of the PiS MPs created a new political movement. Some say she is genuinely fed up with her husband’s party rule. Others suspect that this is just a life raft for PiS activists who already realized they might not be up for victory.
And what the party stands according to Schreiber? Hard to say. Formerly strongly homophobic, now she took part in the Pride March. And her declarations vary from the radical right to socialist and change constantly. This was picked by one of the journalists during recent interviews:
“During last month you have changed your manifesto three times” – he pointed out, and she confirmed – “it’s a bit strange” – he continued, and she agreed again – “ You were liberal, then you decided you are interested in socialism, and then you become Christian Democracy. If I went for holidays and had no access to the internet and then came back and voted for you, it could be that I voted for something completely else than I wanted to”
“It can’t be like that” – agreed Schreiber – “this is why we gave for the Mass in the intention of our manifesto and views to clarify, and they clarified”.
W ciągu miesiąca trzy razy zmieniliście program. Wyjeżdżam na wakacje, wasza partia jest liberałami, wracam – są socjaliści.
Marianna Schreiber: Tak nie może być, dlatego daliśmy na mszę w intencji naszego programu wyborczego i poglądów, żeby się uszczegółowiły
— gromota (@gromotapl) July 11, 2022
That sounds like the the political party Cuckooland was really waiting for!
This piece was written for Britské Listy
Picture of Szyszko monument taken from the Jarocin Mayor’s online stream.
Picture of Gazeta Polska pages used with permission