Christmas in Poland went rather peacefully. Not much was going on in Politics. Although the legend, that animals and pets speak in human voice on Christmas Eve proved to be just a fairy tale, the state forest employers from Białowieża forest stepped in: they have produced this highly professional clip in which, accompanied by stuffed animals, the crew of the State Forest District Hajnówka wish everyone Merry Christmas:
The only possible reason why anyone would have to star in such production is punishment for their actions in Białowieża Forest, I honestly can’t think of anything else.
While politicians retracted to their family homes, just as almost any other Pole, the Christmas were not free of absurds. The country was laughing at that funny interview with Jacek Kurski, a chief of TVP, in which he said such jokes as “I never lied” just after saying that “it is not true, that viewership of TVP falls dramatically”, where he stated that “he believes that TVP is very reliable television”, that its programs are “balanced, honest and decent” and that PiS has so much support because his TV tells the truth about Poland. Meanwhile TVP is so balanced, that it’s reporters don’t even bother to let their guests speak, instead saying everything by themselves, as it can be seen in that interview in which a reporter talks for a minute and then says “we are going back to the studio” before his guest had a slightest chance to respond:
Interesująca rozmowa reportera TVP Info (Miłosz Kłeczek?) z senatorem Jackowskiem. Senator nie musi nic mówić. pic.twitter.com/tcZG4xwWGN
— TVΠ Korea (@tvpiKorea) 20 grudnia 2017
The interview with Kurski was almost as sad and funny at the same time as the other story that has emerged around the same time: about some creative man, who removed an LPG tank from his car in order to save on MOT costs (in Poland, cars converted to run on LPG induce extra fee during annual tests). The driver then took a few of his friend and went to the fuel station. They forgot that the car is no longer fitted with the tank to store all this LPG gas, so it ended instead in the car’s boot. After realising their mistake, they just filled the car with 20 l of normal fuel and drove away. Soon one of the passenger decided that it will be a good idea to lit a cigarette. The rest is history (or just a big show of fireworks). Luckily, everyone on board survived the explosion with just burns.
The boxing day was also quite explosive. A 19 years old driver, after filling his diesel car with petrol, has decided that using garage’s coin operated hoover will be a great idea to rectify his mistake. He attempted to suck the petrol out of the tank with it. Luckily this time the poor vac was the only victim of a spectacular explosion.
But Christmas passed quickly and we are back to the usual, when most of absurds are not coming from the field of motoring. While speculations on the Kaczyński reasons behind replacing Beata Szydło with Mateusz Morawiecki were still running (some believe, that he prepares ground for retiring from politics which makes sense – after surrounding himself with people of no qualities or intellect, Kaczyński had to reach outside the circle of his faithful followers to find someone who has at least some brain and Morawiecki, who is indeed an outsider fits the description, while at the same time sharing right wing values), it turned out that changing prime minister does not mean that Kaczyński can no longer distract the public with rumours about changes in the government: after making Morawiecki a prime minister of Beata Szydło government, the first thing in 2018 was yet another “government reconstruction”. So far the only thing that is sure is that the only person in this government that has been considered to be an expert in her field and a right person in right job – minister for IT, Anna Streżyńska – was sacked after her ministry was liquidated. Well, right, if Poland is going back to middle ages, surely computerisation, IT and digitalisation will no longer be needed.
Speaking of middle ages, the PiS controlled TVP made a great hype about the premiere of new TV drama “Crown of the kings”.
The series, that was advertised as Polish response to “Game of Thrones” was widely ridiculed for it’s wooden acting, historical inconsistency, portrayal of Lithuanians as wild savages and terrible costumes and cheap scenography. In popular opinion one can forget about “Game of Thrones”, it was not even a match to a popular Turkish costume soap-operas. The PiS camp ran to defend it’s super production. “Wiadomości”, a flagship news program of TVP informed, that the series was met with “enthusiastic response of the viewers”. Well, if you believe the comments on the internet, that might be true. Or should I say “if you believe the comment on the internet” as the army of trolls hired by PiS to defend this production turned out to be too lazy to be creative and the bots are merely copying one same comment everywhere:
According to “Wiadomości”, the series is criticized only by anonymous haters and compromised elites, that were not protesting when during previous government TVP was broadcasting historical programs that were smearing Poland and presenting anti-Polish point of view. I don’t think it’s fair to call flagship historical drama of TVP from couple of years back, “Time of honour”, anti-Polish, but at least was valued for it’s quality and bought by some foreign TV stations, including Scottish broadcaster STV.
Meanwhile the “Crown of the kings” was defended also by our old friends, PiS MP Krystyna Pawłowicz (who spitted, as usual, some rubbish about leftist traitors) and the popular ace of intellect Samuel Pereira, chief editor of web portal TVP.info, who after seeing a tweet saying “I know, PiS camp, that Stuhr, Wajda or Holland are nobodies for you and that you can do better and more patriotic. But let’s be honest, this drama simply didn’t turned out good” responded “But Stuhr, Wajda and Holland also are not what they used to be”. Well, one has to agree about Wajda surely, if we remember that he’s been dead for nearly two years now…
I wonder if Samuel Pereira also received some letters of gratitude during Christmas? I am pretty sure his colleague, Klaudiusz Pobudzin, responsible for all news programs in TVP got some, after Minister of Infrastructure ordered companies owned by the state to send such letters to him, in which the senders were supposed to thank him for his honest and reliable everyday work.
Apart from that, things in Poland are going on as usual. Money is pumped into the church in every way possible. For example this reportage tells the story of a woman, who developed an innovative way of preserving roadside shrines and crosses by scanning them in 3D and then creating a virtual reality environment where they could be experienced. She applied for some European grant from the innovation funds. Initially her project received highest scores, but then the points awarded were struck through and replaced with zeros. She tried to appeal, but it proved to be nearly impossible. So what was the more innovative project? Sorting out the yard around one of the local churches. The park alleys will be widened to allow processions to march trough, and the information boards for tourists will be added. Yeah, processions and wooden boards, this is some innovation, nobody ever heard about such stuff before!
Meanwhile foreigners still cannot feel safe. Just after 14-years old girl of Turkish descent was badly beaten in Warsaw by a 40 yo man shouting “Poland for Poles” another man, this time from India, was attacked in Wrocław. At the tram stop in the city centre, three drunk man attacked him after mistaking him for an Arab. They have threatened to throw him into the traffic tunnel below. Despite the fact that the whole thing was taking place in one of the most crowded places on Saturday evening, only one man stood in defence of the victim, and ended up beaten as well…
The government still denies that there is any problem with racism. They are focused on different types of crime – they have published a register of sex offenders. Strangely enough, not even one of commonly known paedophile priests made into this database.
With the new year coming, the new law regarding inland waters also comes in force. According to them, if you want to sell a property with some inland waters, the state has rights of first refusal. That applies to any inland waters, which, under new law, means that if you created a fish pond in your garden, or if your house has an outdoor pool, if you want to sell it, you have to ask the local government for permission first. This is not the only limitation of ownership rights that came in force recently, as the hunters were finally made de facto untouchable. As the opposition against the caste of hunters grows in the society, the new regulations were smuggled inside the special bill regarding a pig disease. So from now on, you can be fined for “willingly obstructing the hunt”. What does it mean? In the extreme case, you are a farmer working on your field. Hunters come and demand for you to go away as they are willing to hunt animals on your land. From the moment you’ve been informed about the hunt, if you do not comply with hunter’s demands, you are “willingly obstructing the hunt” and can be fined. So in that extreme case, hunters have more rights to your own land than you do, but it of course apply to everyone else. If you like to cycle in the forest, if you want to go mushroom picking or just wander with your backpack, the rights of the man who likes to kill animals as a hobby are more important than yours.
But of course this is not the only gift that Minister of Environment, Jan Szyszko, had for his friends this Christmas. In the health insurance packet provided to employees of National Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management a significant discounts for plastic surgery were included. So perhaps Minister Szyszko subordinates might not be doing the best job when it comes to protection of environment, but at least they will be beautiful thanks to liposuction and boob jobs.
EDIT: Breaking News!
Antoni Macierewicz – minister of defense, Jan Szyszko – minister of environment and Witold Waszczykowski – minister of foreign affairs – all fell victims to the government reconstruction. As Krystyna Pawłowicz said on her Facebook page they fell victim of the secret services plotting and leftism.
So is prime minister Morawiecki plotting with disgraced secret services and Jarosław Kaczyński is a lefty, or is it other way round?
This piece was written for Britske Listy