Is the leader of Law and Justice (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczynski turning into a peace-loving hippy?
At the party’s congress at the weekend he said that Polish politics must end the squabbling that has so characterised it since 1989 and that it was time for the government and his party to “Make peace… Poles want peace.” Observers are wondering if Kaczynski has not been rollin’ and smokin’ a little too much wacky-backy, lately.
The party congress was part of a new initiative by Kaczynski to change Law and Justice’s image. And it needs to - recent poll results put PiS twenty percent or more behind Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform. So, whereas focus groups have been telling him that he and Law and Justice are seen as conflictual and aggressive, Jaroslaw and his merry band are now presenting themselves as people of reason, of consensus, of peace. A bit like...Barack Obama, perhaps?
But can Jaroslaw keep it up? He has been picking fights with communists, liberals, old colleagues from the Solidarity movement - and who knows; maybe even his pet cat? - for most of his life. So will the new Man of Peace image sit easily with him? Well, already he is struggling. Jaroslaw only gets out of bed in the morning to pick a few fights.
Prime Minister Tusk - who wants a cross party consensus on ways to fight the little spot of economic bother that Poland is now in, along with the rest of Planet Earth - wanted to turn up to the party congress and say a few soothing, almost presidential words a la Obama… “Now is the time when all Poles should come together...etc,” to the PiS party faithful. But Kaczynski refused to invite him to the congress, only to a side meeting after it was all over. “Civic Platform never asked me to one of their congresses,” grumbled Kaczynski today, slipping back into the old bruiser routine he does so well. “If the government wants cooperation then they have to get rid of all their propagandists…”, he spat, referring to Civic Platform’s much talked about PR machine and maybe even alluding to Janusz Palikot, who anoounced, yet again via his blog, that he was at the congress “in cognito” - although how anyone with his hair style can be “undercover” anywhere except at a blind old people’s home, is anyone’s guess.
But perhaps Jaroslaw has changed? Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks and old leopards can change their spots? Maybe his conversion to the ways of peace - a kind of Polish Dalai Lama - happened when he disappeared from the political limelight and media for more than a couple of months last year. But where did he go? Maybe to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury to hang out with what is left of the Grateful Dead and the rest of the flower power children generation, to toke on a few spliffs and wind daisy chains around the toes of Vladimir Putin…
Monday, February 02, 2009
Posted by beatroot at 2/02/2009