The topic of last week is of course a disastrous poisoning of the Odra river. As usual in Poland nowadays there are two narrations here. The opposition – and pretty much everyone else – blames the government. The PiS in turn tries to blame the Germans. And the clean out – just like everything that actually needs to be done in this country – is performed mostly by local councils and volunteers.
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But even some PiS voters see that the government failed really miserable. First alarming signals about dead fish in the water were raised by anglers weeks ago, but they were ignored. When literally millions of dead fish, along with otters and beavers, started to gather in the river bends, locks, and weirs, and when the problem reached Germany, the government started to pull its ministers back from their holidays. Deputy Minister of infrastructure Grzegorz Witkowski – seemingly still drunk – daringly assured everyone it’s safe to bath in the river and that he would do it himself, if only they give him a couple of minutes to put his swimming trunks on (spoiler: he never did it).
When Mateusz Morawiecki came back from his holidays, he organized a press conference in Gorzów Wielkopolski – a city nowhere near the Odra river. Probably he was afraid someone will expect him to take the plunge as well, or perhaps he simply could not bear the smell. He was desperate to throw someone under the bus for that so he sacked few, apparently randomly picked, people.
The government-controlled media drew water in their mouth – unfortunately only as a figure of speech, although I am sure plenty of Poles would want to see them following the steps of that Indian politician that drank water from the poisoned river to prove it’s safe only to end up in hospital a couple of days later – and for many days not a single word about issues with Odra river was uttered there. This is telling as when there was a malfunction in Warsaw’s sewage plant that resulted in sewage ending up in the Vistula river – which was relatively safe, most of the sewage was flowing to the river until that sewage treatment plant was constructed just over a decade ago – the TVP and other government-controlled media had a frenzy and tried to squeeze every last drop of that (literal) shit to throw it at Rafał Trzaskowski, an opposition mayor of Warsaw. Just check here to see how many news items related to Czajka – this is the name of that sewage plant – can be found on their website. A picture of a dead pike had been broadcasted so many times that it actually became a meme and yet despite now having literally millions of opportunities to make another dead fish the biggest start of the major news channel, TVP is too busy accusing Germans.
Because when poisoned water reached Germany, the media informed that Germans found mercury in it. They said that they have to repeat the test, as it was beyond the scale. The (opposition) Marshall of the Lubuskie district spoke about it, and that gave PiS-controlled media pretext to attack her, saying that Brandenburg’s environmental minister denied it, while he himself denied denying the presence of the mercury, blaming mistake made by the Polish interpreter. Meanwhile, several PiS politicians and activists, including the judge of the Constitutional Tribunal Krystyna Pawłowicz or the spokesperson of the Environmental Inspectorate suggest that it might be actually Germans who poisoned the water. If that’s true it remains to be seen how they managed to push the poisoned water unnoticed as far as Oława, a town 40 km upstream of Odra from Wrocław.
Meanwhile, when government-run TV finally noticed the problem, it instantly began asking questions about who could benefit from hiding the source of the pollution. The media soon picked up that a certain company in Oława, namely Jack-Pol sp. z.o.o. is known for pouring their toxic waste into the river for years. As one of the opposition MP pointed out, the problem persist at least since 2009. The company had been disconnected from the city sewage network as its sewage was found to be too polluting for the treatment plants designed to deal with the household waste and it was supposed to remove its own sewage by tanker trucks, which it did in minuscule numbers (one tanker per several days for the paper recycling company is nothing) just to pretend they observe the rulings while pouring excess sewage to the river at night. Local activists try to tackle the problem for years, but reporting to all relevant institutions falls on deaf ears. Allegedly the company is partially owned by a family member of a local PiS politician…
But it seems that while this kind of intentional pollution is appalling, it is yet to be established if this is the culprit for a most recent disaster. The government promised a reward for the informants. Meanwhile, questions are raised why relevant institutions haven’t been seen reacting. And here we hit another problem: Polish waters are actually maintained by several different institutions with overlapping responsibilities. To sort that problem PiS created a new institution named Polish Waters (Wody Polskie), which instantly got busy with employing family members of local PiS activists and buying themselves a fleet of luxury SUVs and powerboats, but did not much else. When the disaster happened for two weeks there was silence. Then they informed that the “reaction of Wody Polskie’s employees was instant”. To hear what exactly that reaction was, you had to wait another day to find that they “helped the angling association in removing dead fish from the water”. Yes. They spent millions of taxpayer money on building their byzantine institution and all they did was send some bodies to help amateur angler associations… Ah, no, wait, their chairman also gave an interview in which he complained about being attacked by everyone. But some suggest they actually knew and DID act swiftly. According to The Bild, the water level has briefly raised by 30 cm despite no rainfall – as if someone opened the dams in an attempt to flush the poisoned water to the sea…
Unfortunately, this was not the only catastrophe that Poland faced recently. A coach carrying a group of Polish pilgrims to Medjugorje in Croatia had an accident in which 12 of its passengers lost their lives. Here, the government reacted swiftly and even sent planes to repatriate some of the less injured under the close watchful eye of the Health Minister himself. Soon the speculations about the cause of the accident were raised. Somebody tried to blame the fact that the coach driver was 72 years old, but it is possible that the accident happened due to tire blowout and the driver’s age was completely not relevant. But closer investigation unearthed an appalling standard of the tourist industry that thrives on the religious people willing to visit popular sanctuaries. The travel agency that organized the trip actually operated illegally so the participants were not insured, they cannot rely on industry warranties either. The business owner claims that it was not an excursion but just a private trip organized by a nun for a group of her friends, to whom he provided some assistance of pure kindness. But perhaps the victim can sue someone else? The bureau’s website gives the organizer’s testimony. According to him, he was touched by Jesus and the Holy Mary herself told him to start bringing people to Medjugorje. People also asked him to organize those trips and share his experience of Godly Love. “It was a challenge, but with God’s help, it succeeded. But it wasn’t easy. Satan was disturbing and obstructing, the fight was on, but Mary came and is always coming with help” – the business owner writes on his website – “I understood that it’s the Holy Mother that is the real organizer of those trips, and I am just mere tool in her motherly hands. I am sure it’s her doing”.
So now the prosecutors only have to establish if the accident was caused by Satan’s meddling with the trip, or if the Holy Mary cocked something up, and the problem is sorted (Seriously though, I am pretty sure the victims will just get some special compensation from the government hoping to buy the votes of the religious pensioners which are a large portion of their electorate).
Another train wreck is the new handbook for the new school subject: Contemporary history (Historia i teraźniejszość). It’s actually not an educational, but a propaganda book, clearly aimed to brainwash young people into right-wing Catholic drones, but it is bad even at this. According to its author feminism is an ideology as destructive as nazism, European Union is evil because it propagates atheism, and heavy metal music is an example of being possessed by noise, but the author warns teenagers against such nihilistic musicians like Sex Pistols (and punk rock in general), Eminem (for wearing stupid wigs, playing sounds of farting and vomiting and instead of working his addiction problems, trying to make millions by dragging millions of teenagers into addiction as well. Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Pink, and Rolling Stones are all also bad influences. According to the new handbook, Poland is working on charging Germans for the war losses and this is “strongly protested by Polish-language media controlled by German owners”. Recent Women’s strikes are described as “unrest of the barbarians” – which happens to be a title of a previous book of its author, along with his other work “The fall of the Western Civilisation” which seems to be the basis for the new school handbook. Professor Roszkowski is known for his controversial views – according to him for example Christians are the most persecuted minority, he doubts the Big Bang theory, evolution, and, by the way, Nietzsche, Darwin, and Freud might be responsible for Nazism. I can go on, but let’s not waste any more time on it, I guess it’s already clear why this man should not be tasked with shaping the worldview of the younger generation by now.
Donald Tusk picked on it as well, and in one of his speeches quoted a fragment in which the children conceived with in vitro fertilization technology are results of “separating love from sex and fertility” which leads to “human farms”, which it turns poses a question: “who will love children produced in that way?”.
The education minister Przemysław Czarnek was outraged… with Donald Tusk’s words, as Tusk blamed him – as a minister of education – for placing such words in a school handbook. He decided to sue him for defamation, claiming that he is not responsible for publishing school handbooks and that such words are never to be found in that book. It would be tricky, as while he personally indeed didn’t write or published that book, it was approved by his ministry with flying colors, despite the fact that the words quoted by Donald Tusk indeed are written in there.
But you know what’s the worst thing about it? The fact professor Roszkowski, a highly valued professor and author of highly rated by Minister Czarnek’s ministry school handbooks is such an idiot that he does not even understand what in vitro means. There is a recording of his lecture, during which he says that in vitro is a technology developed so the women don’t need to get pregnant – the kids are produced in the laboratory instead, which will lead to fall of genealogy, as such manufactured children will have no parents, which is might be not important now, but they will demand to know when they turn 18 and it will be a terrible violation of their human rights that they will be unable to know.
A to akurat klasyczne u Roszkowskiego, on tak do końca chyba nie rozumie czym jest in-vitro. Dla niego to jest jeden wór “neomarksizm” i rzuca jakieś domyślne konserwatywne hasełka. pic.twitter.com/dxD6pkCViK
— Piotr Kędziora (@imifilm) August 12, 2022
Professor Roszkowski says that percentage of idiots amongst the professors is not particularly lower than in general population. It might very well be true, but I suspect that Roszkowski’s own idiocy might be contributing a value of at least a dozen of common idiots to that estimate.
This text was written for Britské Listy
Picture: India Water Portal via Flickr, CC 2.0