Poland – A European Province

JKIt’s now becoming not only embarrassing, but painful listening to and watching Jarosław Kaczyński. It seems like an age and a half since he was Prime Minister of Poland. In fact, his time as Polish Premier seems like a fast-fading, suureal bad dream. Was this sad little man once the Prime Minister of Poland?

Provincial Guff

Kaczyński hit the headlines most recently by making the ridiculous statement that if Poland ratifies the Treaty of Lisbon it will become no more than a province (county) of a future United Europe. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right… Nice one, Jarek. Very intelligent. Very open-minded of you. The statement not only shocked most people in government but also startled a large number of Kaczyński supporters, largely due to the fact that it was Kaczyński himself (when he was Prime Minister of Poland) who had negotiated the Treaty on behalf of Poland. In fact, Kaczyński had lauded his own skills in typical arrogant, ‘in-yer-face’ fashion after concluding the negotiations, maintaining that no one else could have got a better deal for Poland. Hmm….

The Hand Behind the Curtain

Many PiS supporters were not able to fathom why Jarosław, so gung-ho about the conditions of the Reform Treaty negotiated by himself, had suddenly defied logic and had begun slating something he had fought tooth and nail over. Cometh the hour, cometh the Rydzyk! It quickly became evident that Poland’s modern-day Cardinal Richelieu, in the guise of Tadeusz Rydzyk, had put pressure on little Kaczyński to block the passing of the Treaty in Poland. Cue little Jarek’s “Poland will become a province of a United Europe” speech. Rydzyk is said to have given Jarek an ultimatum – either the Treaty is rejected or Radio Maryja pulls its support of PiS. Oops.

Fratricidal Struggle

Lech Kaczyński, ever the weaker of the two twins, has come out of the whole situation with some dignity. He convened a meeting where members of the government and opposition could sit down and discuss the impasse. In fact, credit to Lech, he maintained that everything should be done so that the Treaty is ratified by as many votes as possible. Lech know full well that he simply cannot be seen to be taking sides. Jarek, therefore, is in a bit of a pickle. He needs to decide where his allegiances lie. The past few months have seen support for PiS dwindle and wither away. Jarosław’s statements have become increasingly illogical, more emotionally-charged and simply odd. Perhaps, the time is right for a new leader to emerge? Would it be possible while President Lech is in office?

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