Clash of the Titans

Ming the Merciless

A curious clash of personalities has been unfolding in the past few months in Poland. Sikorski oustedIt all came to a head today when the Minister of Defence (pictured right) Radosław Sikorski tendered his resignation. The reason? We haven’t yet been presented with all the facts (and we probably never will) but that hasn’t stopped the media coming to their own conclusions about the substance of the final few nails in Sikorski’s ministerial coffin.

Most so-called experts seem to think that this has been a resignation/dismissal in waiting ever since Antoni Macierewicz (pictured top left), a confidant of PM Jarosław Kaczyński, was appointed Deputy Minister of Defence and the man responsible for the dismantling of the Military Information Services (WSI). There are two important issues here that need clarification. Firstly, Macierewicz is notorious for his Enoch Powell-like nationalism and right-wing views and his appointment was immediately met with grave concern from a large part of the political elite – “how can a man with such extremist views,” they argued, “possible be held responsible for something as important as the future security of the army and therefore the country?”

Secondly, many people believe Macierewicz is not a master of military know-how nor is he well-skilled in the ins and outs of the intelligence services. He began his tenure ebulliently, promising to smash the allged secret network plaguing the Polish army and security forces. Many believe he is the man responsible for the on-going ‘leaks’ to the press of the names of alleged former double agents. This has given rise to an odd situation where Poland has become one of the only countries in the world that publishes the names of its ‘secret’ agents. Talk of security risk has been rife.

(Now former) Minister of Defence Sikorski was known to have been ‘extremely concerned’ when he was told by the PM that Macierewicz was to become Deputy Minister of Defence and the chief WSI ‘liquidator’. There were probably heated exchanges between the PM and the Minister of Defence regarding this new appointment. The writing was on the wall for Sikorski.

After months of tight-lipped fuming and word-swallowing Sikorski finally burst. Between the lines, all could see that he was unable to work with someone of Macierewicz’s ilk. Unofficial government sources are saying the resignation comes because the PM was unsatisfied with Sikorski’s work and in all probability would have dismissed him anyway. Sikorski, some believe, did the honourable thing. Whatever the reasons were, it seems the winner of this clash was most certainly Antoni Macierewicz.

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4 thoughts on “Clash of the Titans

  1. How’s this; Sikorski, Rokita, Marcinkiewicz (and possibly Kwasniewski, Olszsomething (bloke who founded PO) and even Plazynski) in a new ‘not the loonies or hysterics’ right-wing party? Wd that hang together for more than 30 minutes? If so, and they got their act together as a party, and as a voting bloc in the Sejm, then perhaps this madness would finally near its end.

    Meanwhile, of course, people go on with their daily lives, cheering MalyMysz and the handball players, working two or three jobs, tightening up their anoraks against the oncoming cold snap,… and still finding the money to stay alive. Lódz _is_ less poor than it used to be, the rich/poor gap, while not narrowing, is still far from being Russian in its depth. Question: how much do all these political shenanigans ultimately _mean_ for the general public? And does my proposed answer (not that much) indicate that Poland is ultimately a more ‘normal’ country than it might seem to those of us who live here? Discuss. 😉

  2. The likelihood that Sikorski, Rokita, Marcinkiewicz, Kwasniewski, Olszsomething and Plazynski get together is a big fat zero. Whilst Rokita and Marcinkiewicz are known to be on friendly terms, Rokita finds Kwasniewski repuslsive, Olszsomething was shunted out of PO by Rokita/Tusk. Plazynski on the other hand can’t stand those very same people (who he left when he departed PO). You’re building a bloc around Rokita.

    Who says that the Arch-slaphead would actually be a good person to build a bloc around?The people you’ve mentioned are ‘wishy-washy’ politicians in the eyes of most people in Poland. What we’re seeing now is exactly what the people want – a hard stance and a hardline. You speak to people outside of the big cities and there are not that many Poles actually against PiS and all that they stand for.

    Until the education system is fully developed and these young people can go out and vote there will not be any major political upheavals here in Polska.

  3. So it’s true then? ‘Slowianin potrzebuje wodza’? You really believe that this is the immutable political order for the next five to ten years? Those wd be depressing ideas…

    And what about my idea that all of this ultimately doesn’t concern ‘the Pole in the street’ that much? The economy isn’t tanking, people are keeping going’; there aren’t tanks in the streets or priests in reservoirs; Giertych’s loopy ideas for education don’t seem to advance beyond the initial stage of ‘divine inspiration’,… Am I clinging to straws? Hope not, cos I’m still trying to buy a damn flat in Wwa, throwing my lot in with Polska forever. 🙂

  4. I didn’t say that I feel “Slowianin/Polak potrzebuje wodza”. But I also believe that precisely because the average Pole doesn’t give a damn about politics in general that this will keep the mad coalition in power. The average Pole just wants somehow who will tell them what they want to hear – cue Giertych, Lepper – regardless of their policies.

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