Monday, January 16, 2006

Onward Christian soldiers

US religious advocacy groups think that Poland is ‘Europe’s Last Best Hope In The Battle For The Family’.

That’s the title of a press release issued last December by the US based Howard Centre for Family, Religion and Society (HCFRS), announcing that the World Congress of Families IV will be taking place in Warsaw, 2007.

But why Poland? Groups in America such as HCFRS and Focus on the Family consider Poland a place of faith in the middle of a secular, heathen Europe. The press release says:

“Europe is almost lost; to the demographic winter and to the secularists. If Europe goes, much of the world will go with it. Almost alone, Poland has maintained strong faith and strong families, though even Poland comes under severe pressure to change. Poland has saved Europe before. It is likely she will save Europe again. On family and population questions, Europe is the battleground in the early years of the 21st Century, and Poland is the pivot point. It makes abundant sense that The World Congress of Families IV meet among the brave people of Poland.”
The vast majority of organizations that make up the World Congress of Families are American, but one of the affiliated groups is the Polish Federation of Pro-Life Movements. On the administration board of PFLM are members from the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), like MEP Konrad Symanski.

According to World Congress of Families President Dr. Allan Carlson, Warsaw was chosen for its central location and potential to turn back the tide. “Western Europe is plagued by de-population,” Carlson said. “Western European governments (including the European Union) have adopted policies inimical to the natural family. We look to the new EU members in Eastern Europe – first and foremost Poland – to help turn the tide of family decline.”

But what can he mean? Poland has the 18th lowest birthrate in the world, so babies are not really filling up the cots in the maternity wards here, either.

The World Congress of Families will no doubt be talking in Warsaw about the new government’s initiative to beat the de-population. They are giving a massive 1000 zlotys (about 330 dollars!) to the mother for every baby born. That’s a one off payment, not a regular allowance.

Well, that’s going to solve everything, isn’t it? I can see it now: families turning themselves into cottage industry baby factories, churning out nappy-wearers. Perhaps they can get an entrepreneurial grant from the EU? Maybe if she took the right hormones, they can produce multiple births, and pocket the multiple cash orders?

To get rich that way, however, the poor woman is going to have to be constantly pregnant. To buy a small one bedroom flat in Warsaw she is going to have to produce about 120,000 of them.

And that’s a lot of diapers to wash.


michael farris said...

Another thing with the becikowe payments, by giving them to all women regardless of income, aren't they just guaranteeing an increase in the price of baby products?

I realize that reality-based economics aren't a strength of PiS (that's why they're so desperate not to form a coalition with PO) but this seems really cynical.

Henry Grodsk said...

1.) The becikowe is paid for having a baby.
2.) Having a baby, in the eyes of the pro-family politicians currently in power, may only result from sex. Sex for other purposes is wrong (contraceptives are off or are coming off the list of publicly funded medicines).
3.) Therefore, the becikowe is a payment made to people in return for sex.
4.) Ergo, this pro-family initiative is actually a form of prostitution.

I know, I know, I'm stretching it a bit, but as modern Poland goes, it's not such a stretch...

beatroot said...

There is, indeed, a kind of Polish Baby Clothes Masonic Lodge operating through innocent retail outlets in this country.

Revolution sponsered by Mothercare!

Greetings Mr Grodsk!

Is PiS turning Poland into a brothel?

You see, you heard it first, right here on the beatroot, folks!

DBN said...

What social groups are going to have a baby for 1000zl i.e. who need 1000zl?

Who will these kids vote for later on?

beatroot said...

So, now our latest theory is that this is a move to BRIBE the voters to vote PiS!!!

Any other offers...?

My view is that this is a tokenist attempt by the government to appear to be doing something about whuch only the religious are worried about. Economists say that immigration will solve the population/pensions 'problem'... and I agree with them. Handing out 1000 zloty is an expensive but useless solution to a problem that isn't a problem.

And that is very bad government.

StefanMichnik said...

Of course immigration will solve the population/pensions "problem". We got a foretaste of "solving" this problem in the suburbs of Paris some months ago!:)

gumish said...

beatroot - "and a lot of diapers to wash"??? - have you recently seen a mother with a baby? I know not why you insist on using exagerations. I've noticed you get high on them on multiple occasions. Tune down a little bit, please.

gumish said...

By the way beatroot - would you defend pro birth policy in Britain - mothers get paid every month for raising a child there and it is quite a sum as far as I can remember?
Micheal Farris - as far as I can remember you are American - is British pro birth policy not raising baby products there and would you openly criticize it there in Britain?

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beatroot said...

Welcome back Mr Gummish and Mr Michnik.

First of all, the 'lot of diapers' was maybe a bad joke, but a joke it was - hopefully pointing out that people do not have babies for money, they do it for love. So government policy in this direction is useless.

The child allowance in Britain is paid to every family - per baby. This has been the case since the second world war and is meant to be a type of benifit for poorer families, although the payment can, and is, claimed by risc too. It is NOT the same as the PiS payment as it is not designed to try and get more babies born, but to help stop poverty - a very different motive.

And Stefan...immigration did, and has never, caused riots. lack of assimulation and racism can and does cause riots...

gumish said...

Peter - I reckon really few mothers in Poland still wash any diapers - not to mention lots of them. :) as for jokes - silly or absurd jokes can be very funny but putting them in more serious context weakens the effect :)

btw - am I that sticky thing?heh :)
gumish comes from Polish name for Gummy Bear by Disney. I really do like the series - It is so much fun - especially Toady :) - and as in many cases Polish dialogues are just terrific :) (Oh just thought you might happen not to be familiar wiht Gummy Bears - let me know :)

beatroot said...

I thought you were that 'teddy bear terorist' (in Krakow?) who called himself Gummish! :-))

gumish said...

Back to more serious matters - ok about the intentions of Brittish lawmakers - but I wonder what the final effect is - I suspect that the thing actually ends up in some women havig more children to earn extra money and also there are some who just earn their living this way - correct me if I am wrong.

As for assimilation - I think members of some cultures or nations etc. are quite hostile to attempts at assimilation. Some tend to isolate even if just to keep their identity. (to many people national or cultural identity is very important)
Isolation is greatly faciliated by social programs - see the Morroccans in the Netherlands until a couple of years ago but there are many many more examples. The same goes to some asylum seekers in Britain - I have heard stories of Albanians for example who not only cost Britons money but also contribute to crime rates.

beatroot said...

I think we are on line at the same time...

In France they have 'assimulation' policy - which they have not been able to do properly because the meaning of being French has become unclear. In Britain they have 'multiculturalism' - the British identity means nothing at all anymore, so what we are meant to have is lots of cummunties living in harmony together. but it doesn't work - societies need something that unites everybody. But you wonlt find that in the UK.

So it is very hard to expect immigrants to assimulate into something that isn't really there. Blaming immigrants when the problem is acually with the host countries like France and Britain is what the politicians in those countries have been doing. But I think the British and the French should have a long hard look in the mirror. We should be looking for things we have in common.

gumish said...

The Gumish bomber was quite a while ago - had you already lived in Poland then? His nickname and mine are the same - but it's not that I go around and drop any explosives :)

beatroot said...

Apart froma couple of verbal ones!

Wasn't gummish terrorising Krakow in the early 1990's? I remember someone telling me about it.