Friday, December 30, 2005

Most Significant Polish Moment 2005


A worldwide BBC poll has found that Planet Earth thinks the tsunami (15%) and the war in Iraq (15%) have been the most important events of 2005. But guess what Poles thought was the most earth shattering.

The survey for the BBC World Service, taken from sample of 32,000 in 27 countries including Poland, finds that the third most significant was Hurricane Katrina (9%).

In fourth place was the death of John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict (6%).

But in Poland the death of ‘the Polish Pope’ came top for 48% of Poles polled.

No surprise, really. The week before he died, and the week after, was a strange time here. Football hooligans from Legia Warsaw and Warsaw Polonia dropped to their knees in the middle of John Paul II Avenue in prayer and a truce of solidarity among thugs. Lech Welesa offered his hand to ex-communist and bitter enemy, Aleksander Kwasniewski and invited him to Solidarity's 25th birhtday bash in Gdansk in July.

And then the lying in state with crowds of people shuffling past, taking photos with their mobile phones. This year everyone has turned into paparazzi photographers, and we are all the paparazzi victims.

This was probably the last ever Great Polish National Experience. The Pope wasn’t just a religious symbol, he was a political and national one. It’s going to be hard to find someone or something that can bring them together like he could.

The Great Polish Solidarity only lasted a few days, though. It wasn’t long before riot police had to break up fights again at football grounds (in fact, it was only two days), and politicians, with an eye on the looming general and presidential elections, started knocking lumps out of each other.

I was relieved in a way. The normal state of affairs in this country is that when you put four Poles in a room you get five points of view coming out. And I quite like that.

Most Important Event 2006?

Well, it’s between two front runners: the Football World Cup – can England win, or will they fail at the quatre finals as usual?

Or maybe it’s going to be when Ania and I get married in Gibraltar in April. We have not told many people, so that's a bit of a beatroot exclusive!
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If England win the World Cup the Most Important Event 2006 is going to be a close call.

Happy New Year to the beatroot readers.

ps. The subject of torture has never been far from a blog somewhere this year, and many governments, including Poland's, have been caught up in this nasty trade. See how Blair and New Labour have got sucked into it all at my favourite blog at the moment, Blairwatch. See blogging at its best as it helps you see documents that Blair would rather you didn't.

26 comments:

eulogist said...

Thanks for your last comment, and a very happy New Year to you too - although judging from your plans for April it looks like it will be one.

Gibraltar huh. Is Ania Spanish? ;-)

beatroot said...

No, she's Polish. But Gibraltor is, weirdly, a British colony...so it will be under British law...it's the same registery office as Lennon and Ono got married (although we are not going to be wearing white suits and staying in the Amsterdam Hilton for our honeymoon.

Happy New Year eulogist.

eulogist said...

I know - but as Spain doesn't entirely agree, I thought it could be a reconciliation gesture. Or tempting the gods ;)

Pan Emigrant said...

I've seen that picture of the Pope a few times now, and it's certainly a corker. Dramatic lashing wind, lovely pale colours... I'm not sure what those things are in the background - they look like Zulu shields?! And what does the Holy Father look like he's doing under his cloak with his spare hand. With all due respect to this epic Pole, it seems like he's writing a text message (SMS).

Merry Christmas to one and all

Pan Emigrant said...

Actually, Happy New Year might be more appropariate, with the 12 days of Christmas rapidly fizzling out like the dying embers of a cremation.

Pan Emigrant said...

Just realised what all the talk was about above as I'd just skimmed the entry: Beatroot and Ania getting married in Gibraltar! Congratulations are due... Knowing a thing or two about the history of these two lovebirds I can only say it's about time!!

beatroot said...

I am getting very intrigued Pan Emigran about your identity. But you are right, JP II in the photo is checking the football scores on his mobile...Krakow Carinthians 1 Vatican Academicals 1... it may go to penalties....

And the Gibraltons are a bunch of UK reactionary Little Englander rednecks who should give the Spanish back what's theirs. London can give them back all those average tapas bars in Soho.

Pan Emigrant said...

Oh God, me again.

The question I have been dying to have answered ever since the Polish Pope ascended heavenwards, is how the fluffy beret brigade, the legion listeners of the despicable, hatemongering Radio Maria, feel about the election of a new Pope from a country as reviled among that generation as Germany? Particularly as having relatives in the Wermacht was of such great import in the presidential elections. Are millions of Polish old ladies frantically petitioning the Vatican for a visit from the Pope?

beatroot said...

When the 'election' for Pope was going on I was thinking the same thing. The three main choices seemed to be Ratzinger (the zinger of rats) a south american (marxist liberationaist theologian) and an African So the ladies from radio maryja had a difficult choice - a lefty, a black or a german. So probably the German was the best of a bad lot...

Pan Emigrant said...

Well, here it is - 2006 has arrived here in Oz with a massive firework display over Sydney harbour followed by a 2-hour traffic jam and now the hangovers are beginning to set in, although everyone is still up for a party!!

Gustav said...

Happy New Year beatroot, and to all.

And congrats. Kill a Gibraltar monkey for me, while you're there, please.

Pan Emigrant said...
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beatroot said...
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beatroot said...
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Pan Emigrant said...
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Pan Emigrant said...
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beatroot said...
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Pan Emigrant said...
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Pan Emigrant said...
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benavar said...

Late... sorry, just coming back to Poland and Polish blogs...
Happy New year! All the best for you and, thus, Ania.

beatroot said...

Cheers!

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