Those few weeks I was unable to write due to sickness, a lot had happened in Poland. The last battle for the justice system is going on, and it has been covered well by international media. If you are getting confused and trying to make ends of it, allow me that simplified explanation: PiS have introduced new law which says, that judges of the High Court have to be retired at ther age of 65 years. This is obvious contradiction to the Constitution, as the Consitution says that the term of the office cannot be shortened. But with Constitutional Tribunal being replaced with PiS’s puppet theatre there is not much hope for them to step in. Especially that, according to PiS there is a precedent: once the term of the office of the Chief Judge was cut short, because he died!
The judges forced to retire will be replaced by those recommended by PiS. And they won’t have to be under 65, as the retirement is not necessary the only choice: one can ask president for permission to continue working. In other words: PiS forced judges to retire, but those liked by PiS might be allowed by PiS to work longer.
They might need some judges to work longer, as so far the quality of the PiS cadres leaves a lot to be desired. As a part of the reforms PiS wants give the voice in justice system to the people: they created a new position of non-professional assessors in the high court. The interviews for this position was pure comedy: with a few people that were interested, most presented quite unorthodox approach: there was a guy who turned up in flip flops and shorts saying “somebody has put my candidacy forward, perhaps this might have some sense”. There was a guy wanted by the police and people, who “wanted to see how justice system look from the other side” and the lady who admitted that “she don’t know much about the law, but she is happy to read something about that”. In her view she is qualified for that position, as being a kindergarten teacher she works with 3 years old, and they taught her the difference between right and wrong.
And even those people don’t want to work for PiS, as after the whole comedy was boycotted by the opposition, one of them have already resigned.
But there is no lack of volunteers to bring law and order. But no, nothing has changed since my last piece, where I was writing about lack of candidates to the police. Who would want to become a policeman in boring Poland, when one can join National-Radical Camp and go to the famous coastal resort of Rimini in Italy – Polish nationalists in cooperation with fascist organisation Forza Nuove have organized security watch there to protect Europeans from Islamic rapists, as last summer a Polish women has been raped there by a gang of Muslim immigrants.
Luckily for them, those Polish neo-nazis haven’t been traveling by Polish Airlines LOT, as they could be stuck in the airport: Polish planes had an unfortunate chain of technical difficulties, leaving passengers stranded. Meanwhile two new ones, instead of being put into regular service as quick as possible, were serving as decoration for the gala to celebrate yet another success of LOT, attended by PiS politicians and transmitted live on TVP:
See, if you are just a regular passenger, nobody cares about you, as proved by Polish railways. They refused to give passenger a refund for delayed train, as he was only entitled to 9.80 zł, which is a sum not big enough to bother. This is what Terms and Condition say, so everything is OK. Years ago, there was a point in the T&C which said “Train delayed by up to 15 minutes is not considered delayed” – we were having a laugh at this when, as a teenager, I’ve been attending a Technical Collegue for Railways. Apparently when it comes to railway, customer care hasn’t evolved too much.
But if you are from PiS – that’s a different story. A symbol of the previous government of PiS is the upgraded train station in Włoszczowa – PiS politicians wanted to have a comfortable connection from their city inhabited by 10 000 people to Warsaw, so after upgrading a small rural station in the middle of the forest, Express train were made to stop there. We’ve already mentioned changes in train schedule, diverting long distance trains from the main station of the Silesian aglomeration – Katowice – to a small town of Brzeszcze, that happened to be a hometown of prime minister Szydło. Recently yet another example had emerged, as now InterCity train from Terespol to Warszawa stops in the little village of Mrozy. The station is already served by Koleje Mazowieckie, Warsaw’s aglomeration railway, with trains calling at this station at least twice an hour, but the new employee of the Ministry of Infrastructure won’t be using just a commuter train like some pleb, right?
And this is how it goes. There is no sign of the new helicopters for the army (we wrote about this in one of the first chapters of this series) while the new planes for VIP’s have been bought without any hesitation. While the soldiers are forced to eat canned pork made of the pigs that had to be killed due to being infected with African Pig Plague, parliamentary restaurant has been caught ordering moules, langoustines, caviar and calamari (funny, if we remember how far PiS went on drumming into that drum of Radek Sikorski eating calamari in the restaurant at the expense of the taxpayer). And so on, and so forth, you get the picture I guess.
A military cook spilled the beans about the source of the meat, and the soldiers rebelled… Perhaps if the meat has been blessed by a priest, the situation would be different? That wouldn’t be anything unusual, after all recently a new McDonald’s outled in Nakło nad Notecią has been sprinkled with Holy Water. According to father Dominik Ostrowski PhD, “food outlets and restaurants can be blessed, especially on request of their owners and employees, as it brings to them reality of spiritual profits and protects from bad supernatural realities”. But I think the more important factor has been mentioned by bp Adam Bałabuch, who said: “when the place is blessed, it is excluded from public use and included into the sacral”. So, basically, this is in a way, annexation of the public space by the church. The comparision with dogs marking the area they consider to be “theirs”, while controversial to some, springs to mind.
In other words, Poland fells back into the dark ages again. Magical artefacts are attacking us from everywhere – and I am not only talking about Holy Water. Institute of National Rememberance gave a souvenir as a thank you to the volunteers who helped in searching for the graves of the victims of the Stalinist regime. They have received a phial of the earth from those mass graves.
And that’s not all! We are even building castles! As it emerged last week, a mysterious investor, rumoured to be one of the richest Poles, is building a giant castle that would put famous Teutonic Knight’s castle in Malbork to shame. One can say “why shouldn’t he, if he has money”. Well, there are some reasons. First, the castle is being build in the protected area of Natura 2000. Secondly, the local masterplan has been amended in order to accommodate investor’s need. Thirdly, the lake the castle is built on had to be dredged in order to lay foundations for the artificial island. Of course there are procedures, and the experts should prevent this from happening, but money talks, and even the professor that was fighting for saving Białowieża Forest issued a positive opinion, according to which the construction of the gigantic construction of the size of the great Pyramid or a small town will have no negative influence on the protected birds living in the area. It has to be mentioned, that permission for this castle to be build had been granted back in 2014, so during the previous government, so bashing PiS for allowing this to happen is not fair. But some point out, that after taking over the government first thing PiS did was to order an audit on the work of the previous government. Some might say that such scandals should be picked up by it, but as we know today it was merely a PR stunt and despite Beata Szydło and Jarosław Kaczyński crying about corruption, nepotism and criminal activities of the leaders of the Platforma Obywatelska, nothing ever came out of it.
And even prime minister Morawiecki seems to be falling for that. Not long ago, he promised that Poland will become a world leader in automotive industry, producing a million of electric cars. For some time we heard nothing about this subject, and now he suddenly emerged as a big fan of horse drawn waggons. According to him, during previous governments those horse drawn carts were used to show Poland as backward country, while Poland should be, in fact, proud of those horse drawn vehicles!
Premier #Morawiecki bardzo kocha furmanki i teoretycznie mógłby się nimi szczycić.
Musimy być dumni z tych furmanek i nie wstydźmy się ich!
CWP! PCV! USB! pic.twitter.com/JWpIR8VIK8
— Tynx (@tynxik) 12 lipca 2018
But the fact is that PiS is slowly loosing momentum. The polls still shows a big support amongst it’s followers, but anger grows in the rest of the society. And I don’t even mean those openly anti-PiS people who care about such abstract things like women’s rights, division of power or democracy. Even benefitiens of PiS handout start to notice, that while they might be pay 500 zł per kid, everything is becoming more and more expensive, and on the top of that PiS is introducing new taxes, such as fuel charge. Meanwhile the right is growing in anger for the fact that PiS broke their promises and while officialy stands against Europe on the refugee crisis, they quietly let migrants from other countries in growing numbers.
With anger on the left for breaches of the human rights, anger on the right on the topic of the immigration, and being unable to deliver their promises to their voter’s base, no wonder that PiS is so desperate to take over control of the High Court. Because it’s High Court that oversees elections, and without control over it it will be much more difficult to rig them.