Meanwile in Cuckooland 143

It has been over three years since Mateusz Morawiecki celebrated the beginning of the construction of the new ferry in Szczecin. The vessel was to be launched in 2019 and to enter service this year. Was. Because, as usual with PiS promises, nothing happened of it. The keel to which Morawiecki affixed a commemorate plaque was just some random piece of scrap. Because no actual job has been done – simply because nobody even designed the ferry on paper yet. Today, over three years later opposition senator Krzysztof Brejza is trying to find out what had happened. The ministry seems to be very wary of providing any information, so we don’t know how much the project costed so far. But we know, that ferry companies carried various analysis regarding their ferry needs and “due to delays in this process” a purchase of the ready project is now being considered. And what is to blame for those delays? COVID-19 epidemics of course. Look, how brilliant is our government, they anticipated the pandemics three years ago and organised delays accordingly!

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But seriously. How is that possible, that whatever PiS tries to put their hands into never works as intended. Some say that this might be because of the enormous scale of nepotism that leaves no job in the public sector for the expert – only recently it had emerged, that cosy jobs were given to the wife of deputy minister, ex PiS MP, president’s uncle and the wife of the leading propagandist in TVP. But come on, somehow needs to be working there, and experts are no good. We know it right from the source – a PiS spokesman, who said they tried that when they were in power in the 2005-2007 but it didn’t worked out. “The problem turned to be that their way of thinking about the economy and management was completely contradictory to what PiS has in its manifesto”. Yes, he actually said this:

And so, we can be pretty sure that nothing of sense will be built by this government. And same goes for the new laws introduced by PiS. Near Kampinoski National Park, in the nature reserve, a developer is building 15 new houses. This would be of course illegal, but he points out at the new COVID-19 regulations, that allow him to build without permit if the constructed buildings are to help fight the pandemics. And so, those new villas are not villas, but quarantine pods allowing people to separate themselves from the others.

Being unable to do anything right, the government has to pretend it’s doing something and that’s why they are so busy attacking everyone, stirring hatred in the general public. So far, most people could feel safe walking the streets of Polish cities, as only those who are gay, or look like gay people were beaten by thugs. Reports of aggression flowing from everywhere, according to Piotr Pytlakowski, a known journalist, one of his female colleagues were assaulted when walking the street with her 13-years old niece. Allegedly the attacker took them for a lesbian couple. As usual, PiS sees one solution.

One of the government ministers calls for ban on “LGBT ideology” and wants to remove gender studies from Polish universities. There is already a proposed bill, that would do that and more – pride marches, for example, would be outlawed. The church already supported it and encouraged the clergy to gather signatures in support of it in the churches. But this is not enough yet.

According to archbishop Jędraszewski there is new dangerous ideology: apart from “gender ideology” and “LGBT ideology” we have to face “ideology of being single”. And you can only live fully if you realise yourself in marriage and family – claims the bishop. Does it mean that soon if you walk the street alone, you could be beaten up for “promoting ideology of being single”? Or it’s simply that the bishop decided to criticise his organisation, full of single men and women living in celibacy?

If the latter, then it seems the church is getting under attack. After Otwarte Klatki, an NGO preventing animal cruelty published a movie they did in cooperation with in which an undercover activist got a job on one of fur farms and documented the horrendous conditions those minks are kept in, Kaczyński decided this is a good moment to strike against father Tadeusz Rydzyk, an influential priest and media mogul. I know, it makes no sense but bear with me.

PiS already tried to ban fur farms a few years back, but was defeated. The fur industry potentates are in very good terms with Rydzyk, so with his help the industry began a strong media offensive crying how damaging this new law would be for the farming industry. Which is actually not that far from the truth: the biggest companies make a fortune on exporting mink and fox furs or halal meat, and ban on animal cruelty will surely end vast majority of those operations. Back then, Kaczyński lost. Rydzyk’s support was too important for him and he had to back down. In exchange for Rydzyk’s help, the fur companies support his activities – not only moneywise. It was Szczepan Wójcik, known fur industry lobbyist, who’s family runs the biggest fur farms in Poland, who gave face to the ridiculous article in Ś (Farmer’s World), in which he claims that LGBT is a major treat for the farming industry.

But today’s situation is different than it was a few years ago. Today Rydzyk plays mostly on Zbigniew Ziobro who tries to emancipate his satellite party and become more independent from Kaczyński. But as Rydzyk’s media appeal almost exclusively to older generation and for the most part fail to attract any new viewers or listeners, it’s clear that he is hardly an option for the future. Kaczyński’s party is desperate to attract young, educated voters, who are amongst those the most opposing the PiS rule. This is why Kaczyński decided to strike – posing as a fighter for animals right might help to warm this generation to him. He seems to be really desperate to attract them – he even recorded a TikTok video in which he sets a “challenge” to his party colleagues to support this bill and does everything to stress that this is something young people want.

But apparently not all young people want it. Wójcik and other fur moguls found an allies not only in the church, but also in the right wing Konfederacja. It’s MP and former presidential candidate Krzysztof Bosak even visited Wójcik’s farm with cameras to show how wonderful the mink’s life on the farms is. Incidentally we can’t see too much of those animals, as we can’t watch it in HD: the maximum resolution of this movie is 360p. Would it be so we could not see closely what condition the animals are?

Of course the church also hasn’t abandoned it’s friends. And they are very adamant at their support for the people who make fortunes from the suffering of animals. Surely this is a bold move for Kaczyński, as being defeated for the second time over the same subject will clearly show that he can do as much, as the radical right and the church allows him to do. A bishop at the pulpit, giving a bollocking to the minister of the government is just a perfect picture of what the situation is now. He has wisely chosen a subject in which lack of the support in his own ranks can be replaced with the votes of the left and the opposition – who were calling for new laws on animals welfare for years.

But of course it’s not that he turns his back on the church. On the contrary, he calls for fight to defend “Catholic values”, citing the example of Ireland, that until recently was extremely Catholic and now it’s just a Godless desert ravaged by LGBT ideology. We’ll see how it goes for Kaczyński.

But meanwhile, the Poles are talking shit again. I mean, literally. And this time it’s not about the failure in the Warsaw’s sewage system. This time it’s the hype about the new app, called AirPnP. PnP is short from Poo and Pee, and this is kind of AirBnB for toilets. Apparently it has been inspired by the lack of public toilet in Warsaw. So far everyone I know agrees that the idea is utterly stupid, and it is yet another of thousands of crazy startups that pop up everywhere like mushrooms after rain. So why would this particular one get so much attention? Would it be because it’s a shitty app (pun intended)? Or because it can be used to attack Trzaskowski again, to blame him for the lack of public toilets in Warsaw?

I am going to watch this one closely.

Picture: Patrick Reijnders via Wikipedia (CC 3.0)
This column was written for Britské Listy



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