WHAT KIND OF POLAND AFTER TUSK?
Wiesława Lewandowska talks with Jan Dziedziczak about the need of balanced development, necessity of counterrevolution in the educational, historical and cultural policies
WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: - Are there going to be any big changes?
JAN DZIEDZICZAK: - Everything suggests so. When the biggest opposition party exceeds a survey Rubicon it means that people want changes, want to improve the present state of things.
– This kind of changes into better is also announced by the current government…
– It has been announcing them for seven years.
– And it has been being criticized by the opposition for seven years. Today this criticism is extremely increased and concerns the fundaments of the policy and the system of the country. So, can we really expect fundamental changes after a possible taking over the authority by the Law and Justice party?
– Yes, indeed, we are planning changes. In spite of what liberal media and Poles disoriented by them say, we are a political group which significantly and principally differs from the present governing formation. Today mass media incite Poles’ tiredness with politics, affirming their conviction that politics is dirty that ‘all politicians are the same’ and they only care about ‘an access to authority’, so, ‘nothing will change regardless of who will be governing’. This is just the mechanism of media manipulation which caused blurring the political responsibility for the current state of the country. Whereas, it is more difficult to conceal the fact that Poland is in the multidimensional crisis – from the moral crisis to structural, economic crisis and even a catastrophe of social security, health care, education. It goes without doubts that this is a collapse caused by the governments of the Civil Platform and the Polish People Party, for whose incompetence and negligence we are going to pay for many years.
– The government of Donald Tusk does not feel guilty but rather boasts with successes…
– An undoubted success of this government is that in comfortable conditions – among the others in a friendly media environment – really not doing much, with self-complacency it has been governing for seven years. Indeed the prime minister was announcing ‘new openings’ all the time, as well as new ideas, changes, but the balance of its achievements is poor, vague. Being hard-pressed, it is defending that none of the governments after the year 1989 was able to do more. Here, a quite obscene manipulation is comparing 7-year-old governments of the coalition of the Civil Platform and the Polish People Republic with the government of Jarosław Kaczyński, who was governing for only 16 months and did not have the majority of MPs in the Sejm, nor any gigantic sums of money from EU (which the government of the Law and Justice party had negotiated for Poland for the years 2007-2013). For example, the ministers Grabarczyk and Nowak had a dozen times (!) more money for building roads than the minister Jerzy Polaczek!
– The Law and Justice party is diagnosing a multi-aspect crisis of the country today. What are the most dangerous symptoms of this crisis in your opinion?
– First of all those which will leave a mark on the quality of Poles’ life, like inaccessibility of health service, growing poverty (I recommend the data of the Main Statistics Office) and unemployment, decreasing birth-rate. In my opinion, at the base of today’s crisis there is – approved particularly by the government of Donald Tusk – lack of care for the national identity.
– But we are Europeans!
– Yes, but other Europeans are caring about their national identity, are pursuing their own historical policy (for example the Germans)! Whereas in Poland we are dealing with a trend of making some things look disgusting which should be valuable for us, Poles … We are deprived of the national pride which has even been ridiculed as unjustified. We are even transformed from victims of the German crime into crime accomplices….The Polish government participates in legitimacy of various kinds of operations. Here in the Polish public television a German film is presented, entitled ‘Our mothers, our fathers’. Our taxes were intended to finance the film ‘Aftermath’, which shows Poles as co-responsible for the Holocaust. In addition, there are marginalized lessons of history at Polish schools, set books traditionally forming the cultural code of Poles are removed, and, as a result, we are humiliated and we lose our national identity! This is just the work of the government of Donald Tusk; today’s Polish 15-year-olds are going to be the Europeans who are thoughtlessly consuming chips with ketchup.
– This phenomenon of transforming us into thoughtless consumers is probably taking longer than 7 years…
– Yes, it is but – I say it with complete persistence – such a devastation of history lesson, such a devastation of the canon of set books has not been introduced by any government after the year 1989. Such a devastation has not even taken place during the Polish People’s Republic, when the whole truth was not taught, but a young man, in contrary to the education way of the minister Hall-Szumilas-Kluzik, knew at least something about Poland of the Piasts, Poland of the Jagiellons, uprisings in the XIX century, he used to read ‘Pan Tadeusz’…
– However, today the world of the Polish culture is not protesting, but is rather widely supporting the actions of the current government unlike any other before…
– It is astonishing but, indeed, it is so. Here we are probably dealing with a specifically understood modernity and nostalgia for the worldly recognition, resulting from ‘salon’ complexes. Therefore the Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage finances very controversial exhibitions in the Modern Art Centre (for example, a naked pervert is doing sexual acts towards the crucifix), in the respectable Zachęta there is pornography and in the National Museum the exhibition ‘Ars Homo Erotica’ promotes homosexuality (according to creators it shows ‘the beauty of homosexual love’). I have got a question: what is the interest of the Polish country, the national interest in supporting and advertising homosexuality? Today in Poland this question is rhetorical….
– However, not for the Law and Justice party?
– No, it isn’t. We think that promotion of homosexuality, similarly as the recent promoting the gender ideology means not only the devastation of the family but also the devastation of all examples and Polish traditions passed to others by the family. Whereas the current government is officially supporting this kind of ideology and is also pursuing an intensive policy of liquidation of the national identity. Even hoping that this government will go away soon, today we know that loss will be irreparable, because a few vintages of today’s young generation will go into the world with a big identity wound. This wound will be incurable.
– So, the Law and Justice party is going to reactivate the national identity for the future generations. But how?
– Through the return to bringing up young people. In our opinion schools should not only give a good knowledge but also bring up sensitive people who are ready to devote themselves for superior values. Schools should also arouse and form patriotic attitudes, like other countries are doing it.
– So, a revolution in school curriculums?
– Definitely! We think that a big counterrevolution is needed. Similarly as in the whole historical and cultural policy. Finally, it is necessary to promote culture aiming at beauty, truth and good, show the historic truth and beauty of Poland. And if somebody wants to show ‘ugliness of Poland’, let him do it for his own money, not for our common money.
– Today the Law and Justice party is blamed that when in 2005 it had a program aimed at social solidarity and market development, now it rejects rules of the free market… What is in fact this economic idea for ‘Poland after Tusk’?
– Our program is not based on liberalism or – for what we are blamed today – on socialism, but on the Catholic social teaching – which is, unfortunately rejected and forgotten today. The purpose of this project is, certainly, the free market but with keeping full respect towards the man. Hence, there is our definite opposition to solutions applies by the government of Donald Tusk.
– For example, in the issue of raising the retirement age?
– Yes. We think that raising the retirement age does not give any benefit, but brings much disadvantage. Not only to those who are forced to work longer, but also to young people who are unemployed today. It is not consistent to justify the fact of raising the retirement age with demographic reasons, that there are less and less of us, so everybody must work longer. The truth is that young people have less and less children, they do not want to set up their families because they do not have permanent work. And they will not have it if the older generation is forced to work till the complete loss of health, and also occupying vacancies of young people. It is craziness!
– ‘Nationalization’ of health service may become revolutionary.
– We support the fact that the health service should be financed from the state budget, because the mechanism of the National Health Fund simply turned to be ineffective. We say clearly: the health service should not be aimed at bringing profits but care about the man, so, it is necessary to finance it. Whereas the current government is enforcing ruthless market mechanisms in this sphere. For example, in a tender for medical services, companies offering cheaper but worse conditions win….The private ones, that is, the ones which want to gain profit. We have much evidence that this kind of savings are the most expensive because they are often costly for the human life. In this sphere , unlike any other, there should be the man in the first place, his life, dignity. The current government is aiming at privatization of the health service – while we – the other way round.
– Is the Law and Justice party going to stop the privatization process in Poland?
– We have been having a discussion on this issue in Poland since the year 1989. It was mainly due to Polish fanatic liberals (at that time concentrated on Janusz Lewandowski, and today on the Civic Platform) that various institutions and enterprises were sold out at symbolic sums (for example, at the annual profits of these companies). It can be said that many golden geese were sold out. As a result of this process, many foreign companies appeared in Poland which transfer most of their profits to their countries and at a moment of crisis, they go out of business and leave cheap Polish workers unemployed… Therefore we think that it is necessary to stop the privatization process, because reversing its consequences is difficult.
– Astonishment is caused by the announcement of changes in the structure of the state administration. Why are the necessary according to the Law and Justice party?
– In our opinion, nearly whole state administration requires quite a thorough reform so that it would be more effective and friendly to people. We take a critical attitude towards the polarization and diffusion policy of the Civic Platform party which prefers the biggest cities for investment, for which the others are to be bedrooms. The government of the Civic Platform party and the Polish Peasant Party has already marginalized the country outside large metropolis; in smaller centres even many offices of the state administration were liquidated (for example, district courts and district Prosecutor’s Offices, and in even smaller ones – institutions of the Polish Post Office and police stations). We want to invest equally in whole Poland within the policy of the balanced development. We intend to bring back small police stations, reactivate this recently liquidated communication infrastructure as well as schools and village libraries which are often a mainstay of culture in small towns, etc.
– All of the suggested changes entail high costs. What will the financing sources be like if tax decrease is expected?
– In my opinion the decrease of the VAT tax is necessary – the government of Tusk raised this tax – its purpose is to arouse consumption and develop the economic situation, so we can rather rely on the increase of income to the state budget. Moreover, the solutions suggested by us will rather restrict than increase expenditures (for example the liquidation of the National Health Fund will give enormous sums of money which is taken by the extended bureaucracy of the Fund). Today most big foreign supermarkets are exempt from taxes. It is similar with foreign banks which have gigantic profits in Poland (some presidents of these banks earn a few hundred thousand zlotys a month!). We think that it will be possible to find some funds in Poland so that we would have a better life.
– Is it possible that Poland after Tusk might be happy?
– I will give quite a serious answer. Poland can be an effective country, fulfilling its duties, taking care of the national community, family and every citizen.