My second comment on The Times’ article Polish law under siege by ministers, warns judge by Oliver Moody, 28 April 2020.
I was a PiS party member for two years betwen 2008 and 2010 and participated in several local party meetings. This was in Zielona Góra in western Poland. I have also witnessed (s)election of candidates to a regional conference.
At first I had to wait quite long for my membership confirmation. I was notified about a local party meeting three or four months after submitting my application. There was one couple among participants, whose presence seemed surprising to me. She was a former member of the Polish-Soviet Friendship Association and a former member of the city council from before 1990, which is exactly the opposite you would expect based on the official party line. Her husband said openly he had friends among former functionaries of the Communist secret police.
The party meetings were intellectually completely dead. No discussion, no information exchange, no activity, no program, no action. Sterile and scripted. The roles were clearly assigned. The usual suspects said the usual things. This was more typical of a party being in power for a long time, rather than in opposition, as PiS was supposed to be at the time.
This was kind of a ‘Truman Show’, only much more boring. If you know the film, you can get an idea.
There was one interesting moment at one of the several meetings I attended. It was before a regional party conference. The meeting leader said that those ‘known and trusted’ should be accepted as delegates in a simplified way, as a whole package. No need to engage in the nitty-gritty of vote counting and all that. I expressed an opposing view and said that everyone should be able to be a candidate. Let them speak, let them express their views and beliefs, let us ask questions, let them answer, and then we would vote and see who wins. I argued that as a democratic party PiS should follow democratic principles.
My words were unexpected. It resulted in a consternation.
The reaction was a very interesting one. Out of nothing, a row erupted between two women, a young one and an older one, in which they traded insults. The meeting was suspended, people were asked to wait outside, myself included. When the meeting resumed, things were back under control. There was no discussion. We voted. The results were announced, which were essentially those expected earlier, with one or two exceptions.
I understood that I have just witnessed a fake row. Disruption was created on purpose to regain control and agree on a new scenario.
At yet another meeting the local MP said that PiS should be joining forces in a coalition with SLD, which is a direct descendant of the pre-1990 Communist party. Yet another surprise.
At about that time I stopped paying my dues and attending the meetings. I already knew enough.
The row around the Supreme Court and related issues is completely fake. This is exactly the same kind of artificial row, as that between the two women at the local party meeting. Since the controversy is centered around an institution which in other countries plays a very important role, journalists and other observers naturally pay attention. However, this controversy is only a tool of controlling the narrative.
At about the same time as the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court was created, in December 2015, my wife and I sent a letter to the Prosecutor General of Poland, naming the first batch of persons involved in organised criminal activity leading to fabricating a fake medical statement and the subsequent firing of my wife from her job. Among those named are several physicians from Zielona Góra. One of them, who knowingly signed a blatantly false statement is a court expert for the regional court in Zielona Góra. We followed with further letters and more evidence. We also have sound recordings of two conversations with a psychologist my wife Małgorzata Głuchowska was forced to attend under the threat of losing her job. The reaction of the prosecuting office can be best summarized as lies, falsehoods and forgery. In exactly the same way, as would have been done before 1990.
So, the decorations in the criminal state have changed, but not its modus operandi.
Mr. Jarosław Kaczyński, the PiS leader, also received our letters, as did hundreds of MPs and many media. He has got a PhD in law. His father was a Communist party member. His mother had a job in an Institute of Literary Studies, one of strategic Communist institutions. Another member of PiS leadership is a son of a high-ranking Communist secret police functionary.
In Poland, the concept of law has fundamentally no meaning since WWII.