Your backing the wrong side on this one Didymus, I’m afraid
Lech Walesa, the famous Catholic leader of the Solidarity Trade Union that did so much to bring down Soviet rule in Eastern Europe, has also flagrantly opposed the new PiS Polish government’s attempts to curtail press freedom and the independence of the judiciary:
Relations between Poland and the European Union’s leaders hit a new low Wednesday, as the bloc’s executives met to investigate Poland’s recent limitations on democracy.
**The move followed protests last weekend in Warsaw, where tens of thousands of Polish supporters of democracy braved the bitter cold to decry a new law empowering the government to muzzle state radio and television.
The law, rushed through the Sejm (Parliament) by the governing Law and Justice Party (known by its Polish acronym as PiS), gives the government complete control of state radio and television**. Key managers have been sacked and replaced with PiS political appointees. The European Union has condemned this action.
**Many moderate Poles who thought PiS would be an alternative to its corrupt predecessor, the Civic Platform, were soon disappointed. Just one month after the PiS landslide victory, 56 percent of Poles said that democracy was threatened, according to a national poll conducted last November.
Lech Walesa, who led the Solidarity movement against Communist oppression, has joined in the denunciation of the government. “This government acts against freedom and democracy,” he said. “Not to mention that it makes us look ridiculous to the rest of the world.” Walesa was president of Poland from 1990 to 1995.**
“The state media will no longer serve as the public’s watchdog,” said Dorota Glowacka, an attorney at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, in a phone interview with Fox News from the foundation’s Warsaw branch.
PiS introduced another bill that gives law enforcement access to the Internet activity of citizens without requiring court consent. Opposition lawmaker Krzysztof Brejza warned such legislation turns Poland into an Orwellian state where surveillance is everywhere.
Glowacka echoed this fear. “It’s a step toward uncontrolled mass surveillance,” she said. “That’s my biggest worry.”
**These lightening-swift changes since the October 25 election have crippled the nation’s top court, fundamentally changed the professional civil service, and now threaten to make the public media an arm of government policy.
“It reminds me of the Communist takeover of the country in the 1940’s,” said Andrzej Zoll, a former ombudsman for the constitutional court.**
The EU is defending the democratic press freedom that is so central to Western values, whether in Europe or America.
PiS are eroding liberal democracy and constitutionalism in Poland.
It isn’t the EU that are in the wrong here but rather PiS.
If PiS are deemed by the EU Commission to be infringing on press freedom and judicial independence (separation of powers) then Poland has acted illegally under its treaty commitments and the EU is at full liberty to take action against Poland by suspending its voting rights or initiating other sanctions until the country desists from breaking the constitutional law of the Union to which it has acceded and is legally obligated to obey.
And mark my words: the Polish government will bluster and talk tough if the Commission finds it has acted illegally but it knows where the “bread is buttered” so to speak.
Poland has received £56bn in development funds from the EU budget between 2007 and 2013, money that was used to construct highways, roads, sports facilities, modern sewerage systems, kindergartens, pre-schools and much else in terms of infrastructure. A further £60bn was designated for Poland in the EU’s 2014-20 budget, meaning that it will have been lavished with a subsidy equivalent to double that of the post-war US Marshall Plan, if calculated in today’s dollars.
Watch this space…