It was the old British prime minister, Harold Wilson, who said ‘A week is a long time in politics’: he should have come to Poland.
It’s all been going off here.
Police raided the house of ex-construction minister in the previous SLD government, Barbara Blida, investigating allegations she had been involved in corruption when allocating building contracts. Blida went to the toilet, accompanied by a female police officer, when, somehow, she put a hand in a drawer in the bathroom, pulled out a gun and shot herself dead through the chest.
What had she been up to as minister of construction in that sleaze ridden, ex-communist government? How was she allowed to get hold of a gun when under police supervision? What was a gun doing in her bathroom in the first place?
Jurek and church
Only a few days ago, Marek Jurek announced, with a flourish, that he was resigning the powerful position of Speaker of Parliament, leaving the government and leaving the ruling Law and Justice party (see previous post)to set up his own party – the Polish Right.
Quite apart from the fact that Jurek’s Polish Right would not be ‘Right’ at all – it would be much the same as the current government: a conservative leftish party (a marriage made in hell) – we already have one of those nationalist-conservative grouping: the barmy League of Polish Families.
So the ‘right’ looked set to split and split again, and so split the ‘right’ vote in the process.
But now the talk is of Jurek rejoining Law and Justice. Maybe. But maybe not.
A week is a long time in the politics of Marek Jurek. But what has changed his mind and tempted him back with his old mates?
Cue – stage right – the entry of the good old Polish Catholic Church, which has been trying to mediate between Jurek and the Kaczynski government. Why? Because the church does not want further splintering of the rightwing (read ‘conservative-left) in Poland in case the real Left or secular liberals get in power.
That the Church thinks it has a role in Polish politics is a scandal. If Jurek does come back then I think quite a few Poles will vote in a way that will make the cardinals cry into their pulpits.
How to become exempt from lustration in Poland?
Become a Catholic.
I have had to go through the ‘auto-lustration’ process. Everyone who works in the media here, and born before 1972, has to sign a form saying that he, ''Is not aware or conscious of the fact that he worked for the Polish communist secret service.’
Me, a root vegetable from south London, a Polish communist spy?
I spent most of the 1980s half conscious in some university student bar near the Elephant and Castle.. So how would I know if, unaware to myself, the conscious half of my brain had been spying for the Polish communists, or any other communists, for that matter?
I signed this nonsense. I would have gotten in trouble, and my boss would have gotten in bigger trouble, if I had not. So I did.
But it appears that employees of anything to do with the Polish Catholic Church are exempt from the lustration process, because of the Concordat signed between the Vatican and the Polish state.
So the government thinks that I am a greater potential threat to Poland than some Polish Catholic university lecturer.
A week is not just a long time in Polish politics, it's a very weird week, as well.