There was time, briefly, when I looked on PiS, Poland’s far right political party, with a humorous, detached indifference as if they were some antiquated 1930’s Hollywood musical. You know, those old song and dance movies populated by a cast where everyone seemed slightly deranged and there’s no realistic narrative or plot, but lots of energy and the main characters keep regurgitating populist slogans to the audience at five minute intervals. I’m thinking of films like The Wizard of Oz and you have to admit there’s lot of interesting parallels between the 1939 classic and Poland’s new government.
Party leader, Kaczynski is of course the titular Wizard, the wily old filibuster who in reality is all smoke and mirrors and concentrated horseshit. Like the Wizard, he has a touch of badness about him. His comments regarding refugees carrying diseases was straight out of a Mein Kampf seminar. What does this tell you? As with Hitler’s 12 million best-seller, people will believe anything, the only difference is the German people didn’t have the benefit of hindsight to determine whether the charismatic Austrian vegetarian, dog-lover, artist, was actually evil. And don’t get me wrong; I’m not for one second, saying Kaczynski is evil, god no, but I did see him once with a dog and I hear he dabbles in watercolours. If anyone knows about his diet, please let me know.
You don’t have to stretch your imagination to cast Beata Szydlo as Dorothy, the academically challenged farmgirl who crushes the Wicked Witch of the East (Kopacz) and gets told to do things by the Wizard she doesn’t know how to do. Whether she defeats the Wicked Witch of the West (Merkel) could be a bridge too far for Poland’s Dorothy, but right now she’s the one wearing the ruby slippers of leadership, even if there are those who think Kaczynski will push her aside and try and squeeze himself into the much coveted bejewelled footwear. And if there’s one image I want you take away, it’s a batshit crazy Polish man mincing around in the gayest shoes ever.
President Duda has to be the Scarecrow. Because he hangs around all day doing nothing? Because of that oh so vacant, gormless expression that slips over his face whenever an interviewer poses a difficult question? Because he stands up for Polish farmers and scares away those pesky Jews? Or is it that he just resembles a patchwork man made up of pieces of crap you’d find lying around on a shed floor? I let you decide that one. Minister Macierewicz has a lot the Cowardly Lion about him, not least the strong schizophrenic tendencies of that character and his desire to feast on anyone weaker. His ramblings about ‘Agent Bolek’ and ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ show a very disturbed mind. And that crazy way he looks at people as if he’s trying to imagine how best he can fit them into his freezer. Can’t we get this man some psychiatric help? My PRACTICAL SILESIAN WIFE knows a few doctors who could help, but we’ve got to move fast.
That just leaves the Tin Man, who didn’t have a heart and so the role seems a natural fit for the new foreign minister Waszczykowski who has yet to produce definitive proof that he actually has one. Of course if you want to take this already, over-stretched analogy further, you’d have to equate the Polish people with the Munchins, those terrible, repressed midgets, living in tyranny under the evil witch. They didn’t do much, except sing and dance and shout ‘follow, follow, follow’ and you kind of get the feeling that the Polish people, as long as the price of beer and cigarettes remains the same, will follow any snake-eyed salesman who offers the right amount of magic beans. But having said all that and probably having bought myself 20 years in a Polish gulag for seditious rhetoric, I have to admit being a fan, in principle, of PiS’s economic policy. And behind all the hate and batshit craziness, they might actually be nice people. A Kaczynski supporter told me once that the great man has ‘the heart of a little boy…’
I don’t doubt it, I told her. I bet he keeps it in a jar beside his bed.