“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” as the French would say. Remember Artur Zawisza, a former PiS politician, who in 2016 lost his driving license for drink driving, but continued to drive and in 2019 hit a cyclist, so he continued to drive because, I guess, he assumed that they can’t ban him from driving even more? Guess what: he still drives. And the police do not give a flying flamingo about it. The law is for minions, not for friends of PiS.
The prosecution is also not interested in investigating the case of the patient who died because there were no free beds for her in the intensive care unit. The intensive care unit, which is designed for the short-term treatment of people in the critical state is short one bed because it is occupied by the husband of the speaker of the parliament Elżbieta Witek (of PiS, of course). He is in a vegetative state and lies there for more than two years, which cost taxpayers a fortune as the beds at intensive care units are one of the most expensive ones. Witek claims she didn’t pull any strings to keep him there – and I believe her. After Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, saw his father dying in hospital, he was suing doctors and sent prosecutors after them for well over a decade, doing everything in his power to get them sentenced for medical error, I am sure the medical staff does not need to be reminded they have to tip-toe around the Witek’s husband to ensure they won’t get into any trouble.
However, there are still some questions. For example, Mr Witek was a PiS councilor. The fact that he ended up unconscious in a hospital, caused trouble, as his vote was needed for PiS to remain in power. So he gave up his mandate. How he managed to do that while being in a vegetative state remains a mystery. But at the same time, he is employed by a state-controlled company – and there, he remains in employment and the company pays him a hefty salary every month. One could ask if that would be at least one of the reasons why Witek’s family hasn’t decided to pull the plug yet (especially since they don’t have to pay for hospice care).
Of course, the Twitter accounts who were so enraged about Magdalena Filiks’ lack of will to take care of her family, which resulted in her son taking his own life, are outraged again and also write nasty comments about Elżbieta Witek placing her political career over taking care of her husband…Did I got you? If you are a regular reader, you surely know I am pulling your finger now. They are instead up in arms about how that poor woman is being attacked while she suffers so much after her husband fell ill.
Because that’s how you can make a career in PiS Poland. Readers of that series already might remember Oskar Szafarowicz, a young man who for his brown-nosing to PiS in social media was rewarded with a cozy job. His even younger 18-years old colleague Wiktoria Mielniczek has already a job as a social media advisor to the Voivode of Opole with a salary around the median wage in Poland. The press office declined to comment, which opens a new placement for another PiS activist, apparently, public relations as a whole needs improvement too.
This is where we are. They no longer even pretend. For example one of PiS’s promises when they were struggling to get power in Poland was the prevention of the privatization of the Polish forests. The problem was completely made up, as nobody wanted to privatize Polish forests per se. It was only about cleaning the Augeas Stable that the institution of State Forest is. This organization is a hybrid between a state institution set to protect Polish forests, and the enterprise that makes money on chopping the trees (and keeps profits for itself). So basically as it stands, State Forests are profiteering from the common goods that should belong to all Poles and nobody can do anything about that because they supervise themselves. After PiS took power, this institution was one of the most valuable loots and it is now controlled by the politicians from Solidarna Polska, Zbigniew Ziobro’s PiS satellite party. The State Forest funds, as regular readers might remember, are used to siphon money to the foundations and charities run by friends of Solidarna Polska or to the church.
We don’t know who else gets money from chopping of the Polish forests, as the State Forest refuses to answer freedom of information requests, for which they are being sued now. But while you might not know that, at least it seems you’ll be able to vote for state forests in the oncoming election. You don’t believe me? “We are strong. We are ready to win this great electoral battle in autumn 2023. I think we will make it, and the Polish right will show its great power (especially that some people are helping us)” said the director of State Forests during a recent press conference:
Pilne! Lasy Państwowe już oficjalnie wchodzą do kampanii wyborczej i udzielają poparcia Zjednoczonej Prawicy! Dyrektor Józef Kubica w asyście kierownictwa LP ogłosił to właśnie na konferencji prasowej.
— Nasze Lasy (@Nasze_Lasy) March 21, 2023
As I said, they don’t even pretend anymore. They virtually privatized resource that belongs to everyone, and share it with their friends (the opposition MP who lost her son after he was outed as paedophilia victim (see here) was targetted in revenge for uncovering how Solidarna Polska’s internet haters are rewarded with cosy jobs in State Forests), syphon money out of it and now don’t even try to hide that they politicized that institution.
But while most Poles are outraged with public money being used to sponsor Solidarna Polska’s political allies, including the church, for their allies in PiS pumping money into the church is nothing out of order. This is how they are cut. While discussing the housing situation in Poland with an economic expert, the deputy minister of development made an interesting claim “There will be no sufficient housing until the church won’t be taken for”.
Minister rządu: Dobrobytu mieszkaniowego nie będzie jak nie będzie dbałości o kościół@ZygmuntowskiJ: Mieszkania będą jak będą regulacje, jak będziemy budować czynszówki i ograniczać patologie na rynku i tym się powinniście zajmować. #PunktWidzenia, 2023-04-03, @PolsatNewsPL pic.twitter.com/DO1ZTBNNNV
— Polska Sieć Ekonomii🇵🇱📈⚒️🏥🏘️🤑 (@PLSiecEkonomii) April 4, 2023
This was, of course, still a spill off of the recent shitstorm regarding John Paul II’s alleged involvement in covering paedophilia scandals in the church, as the Polish right went crazy about it… literally.
In Wrocław, local parishioners held overnight guard at the statue of the pope, because a rumor circulated that someone wants to vandalize it. But if you think that’s crazy, just check this snippet from the (in theory) information channel of TVP where some opera singer performs the song he composed and allegedly once performed on a plane going to Melbourne:
— Strefa Starcia (@StrefaStarcia) April 2, 2023
“Oh, Compatriot, Pope Wonderful
How good is to be here with you
Oh, Compatriot, Pope Wonderful
You give us faith and straight”
According to him passengers – mostly foreigners – were very moved, came to him to shake his hands with tears in their eyes, and were shouting “Papa Polacco, Wojtyla” etc.
Somehow I doubt this story is true. The faces of people in the studio clearly show the ultimate cringe. And it’s TVP, so they are the most staunch followers of PiS, as nobody with even an iota of self-respect (with the exception of our editor, Jan Culik) ever accepts invitations to TVP anymore…
But of course, while the government makes sure the church is comfortable, the clergy never had enough. Half of the country was watching with popcorn buckets the drama that was unveiled in the village of Czarna Dąbrówka. It is an Easter tradition that Jesus’s graves are staged in churches on Great Fridays and local organizations such as scouts or volunteer firemen hold honorary guards there. But the local priest demanded that to be allowed this privilege, the firemen will need to prove they have donated to the church. I won’t bore you with how the story developed, there were mutual accusations of lying, recording conversation, firemen being kicked out of the parsonage and the priest trying to blame parents of First Communion children to give him money instead. But this is everyday life in Poland now.
But while the church is having its time, the opposition activists are really persecuted in the worst Russian’ style. Angelika Domańska, an opposition activist that raises an autistic son, took part in an internet discussion on Facebook. After a suicide attempt in Warsaw’s metro, somebody wrote that “people are taking their lives because of PiS”. She answered that people might really be desperate, as live can be hard, and that she understands them. “As a single mother of a disabled son I sometimes struggle myself and even considered suicide” she said. Apparently, her online activities were monitored, as on the same day she was detained by police and driven to a psychiatric hospital where doctors of duty examined her and found her to be perfectly fine. It did not matter, social services have already took her son away and placed in an orphanage. The boy was held there for three weeks and mother was permitted only very limited contact with him. At the same time, the institution failed to provide even basic care to the kid – they even failed to change his nappies, so no surprise that the boy, already under a very stressful situation for a child with autism, received no specialist treatment he requires. The mother was able to get back her son only after the media attention resulted in the intervention of the Citizen Rights Ombudsman’s office, but she was placed under the curator’s supervision. But months of progress in her son’s condition rehabilitation were already lost.
But this will not be the only way opposition activists’ civil rights will be limited. PiS tries to establish a special commission “to investigate ties to Russia”. This looks like something along the lines of the infamous McCarthy’s commission from the cold war the US, and their members – appointed by the parliamentary majority – are to be able to strip people found to be “acting in the interest of Russia” from their citizen’s rights, so they can’t held public functions or stand up (or perhaps even vote) in the elections. This is most likely aimed at Donald Tusk, who is regularly being accused of staging the Smoleńsk assassination, or at least cooperating with Putin in the cover-up of this terrible crime. So if you hope that it would at least explain once for all if PiS’ Antoni Macierewicz is a Russian asset or just an ordinary idiot, don’t hold your breath.
This is not the only way PiS tries to meddle with the oncoming election. After Poles living abroad were stripped from the right to hold a postal vote while simultaneously reducing a number of polling stations abroad (which for many will mean they will have to travel hundreds of miles to cast their vote), the new rules state that if the polling stations won’t be able to count all the votes in less than 24 hours, the votes will go to waste. This is especially concerning for Poles in Britain and Ireland, where polling stations are already overcrowded. This is an aim of those changes, as Poles abroad are the least likely to vote for PiS. Unlike Poles over 60 in Poland, that constitutes the core of the PiS voting base. Those will not only have the right to vote by post but also now can also demand to be transported to their polling station for free by the local governments.
New standards are to be seen not only in politics but also in business. The owners of a large haulage Polish company, trading under the names of AG-MAZ and LUK-MAZ transport, employed many drivers from Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, then stopped paying them. When the delay in payments reached six weeks, the drivers gathered their trucks in one of the German motorway parking areas and began a strike, which of course had to cause severe losses for the transport company. The boss suddenly realized that he still has some money left…
…so he hired Rutkowski Patrol to disperse the strike by force.
Let’s stop here for the second, what is Rutkowski Patrol, you might ask? Krzysztof Rutkowski used to be a militia officer in communist times. As many former militia officers who failed to pass verification after communism collapsed, he opened a detective agency, but he lost his personal license after being found to be a criminal himself. Still, he runs a successful business where his employees, dressed in bulletproof vests, masks, and helmets take part in some shady “interventions”. Think of it as a cheap Chinese knock-off of the Wagner group you would get from the Poundland shop. Rutkowski himself meanwhile is sporting his ridiculous haircut on Instagram when he tries to play an influencer. As nobody treats him seriously, he created a network of his own “internet media” to “inform” about “his successes”. Yes, employees of this “serious detective agency” drive around in armored military vehicles and decommissioned American police cars and everything is streamed live on the internet…
Back to our story. So, the Rutkowski Patrol went to Germany and started to threaten the participants of the strike with violence. The drivers called the police and, because the whole thing happened in Germany and not in Poland, that for some reason tolerates Rutkowski’s activities for decades, his team, together with the owner of the haulage business, was arrested by the Polizei.
And as if it was not enough bad publicity for the haulage company, just around this time the company owner’s 19-year-old son, an “internet influencer” who bases his whole online activity around showing off the collection of the sports cars his dad bought him, dropped a new youtube clip about his newest toy: a tuned Maybach car.
I might not be a licensed detective, but I got a strong suspicion about where the money owed to the drivers is.
Tekst ukazał się w portalu Britské Listy
Zdjecia: Fryta73 (CC 2.0), AgMaz.