All entries for Monday 19 July 2010

July 19, 2010


Follow-up to Pyrrhus victory for a colourless president in Poland (and Germany) from Around Europe 2010-12

The 'decency' stemming from the Smolensk tragedy had a clear expire date: the elections themselves. Once over, the knives have come out, with both sides addressing each other with delicate words such as "killers" and "criminals". Kaczynski says his brother died because of the government's refusal to buy new planes, and the liberals say it was because of his own's pressure on the pilote to land despite the fog. The issue won't disappear, even physically: at the gate of the presidential palace there's still a big cross remembering Kaczynski, there since that tragic 10th of April, and now a pilgrmage point for the fundamentalist Right: should Komorowski remove it (and cause a religious war) or accept to live under its shadow? This cross may prove as troublesome as the pope's one in Auschwitz/Oswiecim I reported in 1998 for il Manifesto.

But I'd stand by my qualified defence of Kaczynskis. Even on gender. After all, with Joanna Kuzik-Rostkowska in charge of them, the Law and Justice's government of 2005-07 started more equal opportunities programs than the previous "socialdemocratic", or the subsequent liberal governments. And if it is true that Lech Kaczynski had banned the gay pride in 2005, the liberals have only just tolerated the Europride that took place in Warsaw last Saturday: the differences in this regard are, again, more visible in caricatures than in reality.

July 2010

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