When is Poland going to grow up!?

This ongoing farce regarding attendance of the upcoming EU summit meeting does nothing except make Poland look like a fool of a country in everyone else’s eyes. Whatever the disputes may be between Tusk and Kaczynski they should be settled here in Poland and not allowed to interfere with official business outside the country. It is embarrassing for Poland, for every Pole and for everyone attending the summit who will no doubt be avoiding the Polish delegation (unmissable as it will be 5 times the size of any other!) like the plague. The Poles will be about as welcome at the summit as Britney Spears having a bad hair day.

It undermines the international status of the prime minister, president and country. How is anyone supposed to take this country seriously when it behaves like this? Nobody outside Poland and most people in POland, don’t give a toss what the constitution says about who should be dealing with what. SEND THE SAME PEOPLE TO THE SUMMIT AS ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES. END OF STATEMENT. The articles linked to cover most of the detail but I was watching TVN24 this evening and now there’s even a row about whether there will be a plane available to take Kaczynski to Brussels or not!

If you want my opinion, this is all about a feud between Kaczynski and Sarkozy. I’d be willing to bet that Sarkozy gave Kaczynski a healthy dose of snotty French abuse (no doubt including something like “And my wife’s way better looking than yours, little fat man!”) when Kaczynski refused to sign that, whatever it was paper, a few months back. Kaczynski is just itching to get back in the ring and a summit that might even possibly touch on the Georgia issue is a great place to start. Can anyone tell me the root of Kaczynski’s hard-on about the Georgian situation? Is this just him trying to pee-off the Russians?

So to sum up my fifteen minute expert review of international politics – Kaczynski is looking for a fight with the French, the Russians and his own prime minister and has decided to go to Brussels just so everyone can see what a nasty little man he really is and how much Poland likes messing its own underpants and then dragging them around for everyone to have good sniff. Or did I miss something?

To make matters even worse for Poland. Was I the only one watching the footage of Tusk arriving in Brussels and thinking “This guy just doesn’t look the part!”. I don’t need all the excuses about how poor Poland is and how it’s only been five minutes since the commies left and all that blah blah but with the possible exception of Kwasniewski, not a single Polish politician has ever looked “comfortable” when mixing it with the ‘big dicks’ in the rest of the world. They just look clumsy, nervous, embarrassed…….like they have stumbled into a party of important people. Surely there’s enough money in the kitty to pay for a few lessons in “How to look like you’re important and in charge of a big EU country”?

At least Poland can sit at the table and boast about how many banks it DOESN’T own! Thank God for small mercies.

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31 thoughts on “When is Poland going to grow up!?

  1. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    And all this keeps happening as if my job wasn’t giving me enough headaches. Must be a conspiracy of aspirin producers.

    Maybe I’ll catch up with 2010 sooner if I keep running very fast.

  2. guest says:

    I think the “western” recession danger and financial crisis is much more embarrassing for the (non Polish) politicians than the pretty harmless dispute between Kaczynski and Tusk.

    Poland is an oasis of political and financial stability now if you compare it to other countries and politicians like Silvio Berlusconi, Bush and co.

    If things get worse and Poland will really “look like a fool of a country” then you can still say that you are from the UK and have nothing to do with these Polish fools ;)

  3. scatts says:

    Well it’s never going to improve if the rest of the country think it is “harmless”.

  4. guest says:

    Yes it is harmless if you compare it to other things and other politicians in europe. And it will not improve because the Polish constitution is not 100% clear about the rights of the president and prime minister.

  5. Bob says:

    Reminds me of the song: “send in the clowns’

    Good photo of Brittany, looking at it without my specs on I thought her left shoulder had sprouted hair until I got closer and saw the kid’s head LOL

  6. Ania says:

    I aggree that Tusk is completely disgraceful. Even Condi Rice, much smarter than W will ever be, knows not to pull too much of a genious.
    “I will not give him the plane” whatever that was? I am very happy not to have voted on him.

    But hey – at least in Poland the powers that be do not “loose” the personal data of a new citizen group every six weeks.

  7. Ania says:

    here are some comments about this situation from a blog that I’ve found. They are not along the lines: the Duck should not have aggravated the Tusk, because Westerners like Tusk, and it was childlish. Rather: the PM should show due respect to the Representant of Poland.


  8. ge'ez says:

    Poland should grow up by recognizing how important it is to include a photo of Brittany Spears in a discussion of politrix!

    Personally, I would have preferred a photo of Doda.

  9. guest says:


  10. adthelad says:

    In my mind the way that politics is being played out at the moment in Poland is not really anyone’s fault, just a matter of circumstance.
    The Po/ PiS divide has one of it’s front lines in the standoff between the president and the Prime minister. When PiS held govenment foreign poicy was mutual. Since PO’s win the President obiously isn’t going to a) let the government take credit for work done earlier by PiS (e.g. Lisbon treaty), b) sit back while PO takes foreign policy in a direction he sees detrimental to Poland and c) allow the Presidency to be abused politically relegated to a ‘yes man’ role of ‘support’ to PO.
    No, I don’t think Kaczyński dislikes Sarkozy – on the contrary I think he see’s France’s president and the french constitutional system as allied to the Polish model. Both Chirac and Mitterand would appear toether as prime minister and president at the UN. So a precedent is set, so the French with everyone else will be not in the least surprised, and Kaczyński knows this. Kaczyński is not internationally undermining Poland’s status – he is just putting his oar in and it’s the Polish government which has to play politic with him. Scorn at our Constitution and LK for using his office within its remit is not going to win you much admiration – Poland has as much right to it’s sovereignty as every other country – it’s all politics after all. That sort of attitude does however mirror the approach some have had to the Constitutional choice by Ireland of rejecting of the Lisbon treaty by Ireland.

    By ignoring the government (who could have declared him as part of the delegation and got the appropriate passes) he is showing that he is doing his job as he sees fit and good for him. The main problem will be how he and Tusk will agree as to who speaks on what subject as each country has only one speaker permitted per point on the agenda.

    Kaczyński is up in arms about Georgia because Russia has violated international law by doing what it always does – whatever it thinks it can get away with. We all know about Russia rushing to the help of other countries and unless it is treated accordingly (and not bowed to by France and Germany) then other European member states are put at risk. I’ve always enjoyed a certain duality of vision from my Anglo/ Polish perspective. Russia behaves just as GB behaved in its Empire days and there’ is a great deal of similarity in the way the Brits and Russians regard their own sovereignty. Russia’s actions are always perceived from the UK as legitimate – a sort of ‘we may not agree with what you do (mass murder etc) but respect your right to carry on doing it (because secretly we admire you for being such uncompromising bastards).


  11. scatts says:

    guest – like it!

    ge’ez – we only include Doda pictures when we need to boost the page hits. The Britney picture is entirely in line with the text.

    adthelad – that’s all fine, but are you really trying to tell me that the way this whole summit has been handled by Poland has been in any way professional? What do you think the rest of the EU are thinking about a member who can’t decide who’s coming to an important summit because the prime minister and president can’t work out their petty squabbles? I don’t really care who’s to blame, Donald or Duck, but showing the world that your leadership is a divided mess is never a great plan.

    Ania – I don’t think that “showing due respect” means allowing him to go rampaging off to summits he was not invited to and will only be grudgingly welcome at. The president should have listened to the advice his government was giving him. Of course that would mean losing face personally, so he’d rather the country lose face instead.

    Clearly I’m in the minority here.

  12. Tomek says:

    Scatts, you are completely right, it’s childish and embarassing.

  13. yellerbelly says:

    I saw him arrive at the summit – I half expected him to go looking for a ‘ticket tout’ so he could get in :) Maybe his access is restricted to the viewing gallery only?

    Considering their quite open ‘differences’, is it in the best interests of the country if they both attend? Will they portray themselves as being in unison, or will it be embarrassing for everyone?

  14. scatts says:

    Tomek – I feel better now! :)

    yellerbelly – well I’d like to be a fly on wall watching the Polish contingent decide who’s going represent the country at each stage of the summit. “Would you mind if we pop outside for a while, we can’t really decide who’s going to talk on this subject.” – or perhaps “I’m going to!” “No you’re not, I’m going to!” etc. My point is this – presidents and prime ministers can very easily have different opinions but a country cannot. What if there is some kind of vote during this summit and Donald votes one way while Duck the other – what therefore is Poland’s vote on this topic? Does Poland even get two votes? If they only get one, who gets it? You can’t expect the rest of the EU to go read up on the Polish constitution just so they can establish who they are supposed to be listening to.

  15. yellerbelly says:

    Maybe it’s whoever gets their hand up first?

    “me! me! ooh, please pick me!!”

  16. adthelad says:

    we’ll wait and see – evidently the President doesn’t see it that way. On the rampage – yes, very good. Using his political remit to do politics is politics, just ‘cos some peope have a low embarrasement threshold shouldn’t stop him surely. He can only go by his own conscience and we can judge the results.

  17. yellerbelly says:

    Just found this in the press this morning:

    “President Lech Kaczynski, who is involved in an unseemly power struggle with Prime Minister Donald Tusk over foreign policy, chartered a jet from LOT Polish Airlines in order to attend the EU summit in Brussels.

    After Tusk banned the President from using a government jet, Kaczynski spent approximately PLN 140,000 to charter a LOT 737.

    The President and PM were awkwardly seated next to each other at the Summit table at the start of official talks. President Kaczynski left after about 10 minutes.”

    Money well spent then! How does this guy expect to receive any respect from his peers and the people of Poland!

  18. scatts says:

    Poland presumably believes in the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity! ;)

  19. Anonymous says:

    Poland presumably believes there is nothing like a lot of hot air over nothing. For the President to have to go to such lengths due to lack of government cooperation and propaganda is a crying shame. As it turns out, the heralded political embarassement was short lived if non existant.

    PO have gone from bad cop to good cop and condescended to allow the President to return on the government plane. Amazing – I suppose we should be lobbying for a national hoilday to mark the occassion for generations to come.After all if we can’t have pride and joy in in the magnanimity of Tusk and his entourage what can we have pride in?

  20. adthelad says:

    You presumably believe there is nothing like a lot of hot air over nothing. For the President to have to go to such lengths due to lack of government cooperation is a crying shame. As it turns out, the heralded political embarassement was short lived if non existant, and his attendence did not herald the end of Poland, the EU, or the world as we know it.

    PO have gone from bad cop to good cop and condescended to allow the President to return on the government plane. Amazing – I suppose we should be lobbying for a national hoilday to mark the occassion for generations to come. After all if we can’t have pride and joy in in the magnanimity of Tusk and his entourage what can we have pride in?

  21. Ania says:

    You are getting this wrong. It’s not about letting the President anything. This function is the highest representative office for all of us. That includes me. Therefore, your apparent urge to be on the side of “letters”, permitters, is just revealing your true attitude. This is the same attitude that declared “Poland has joined Europe” – while that is simply where she is. This is racist, but we are not skilled in using your own PC against you – yet.

  22. Ania says:

    oh – that was @scatts

  23. scatts says:

    Ania, I’m sorry but I’m not sure I understand your point. Unless your point is that Mr Kaczynski, as the president of Poland, should be allowed to do whatever he likes?

    Is that you getting in twice up there, adthelad?

    Is this debate is split down party lines? Those who like Donald versus those who like the Duck?

    What I need to look up is:

    1/ Was Kaczynski invited to this summit by the people who organised it?
    2/ If not, why not?
    3/ If not, why did he go?

  24. Tomek says:

    Not to keep on backing you up, Scatts, but I’m also perplexed by the attitudes expressed in Ania’s and Adthelad’s posts. We are talking about a president, not a monarch. Also, ‘racist’???
    On a side note, what’s with the capitalization of the word ‘president’?

  25. anglopole says:

    Well, what you are writing about, Scatts, is exactly what effectively erases any nostalgia I might ever feel for Poland…. :-(

    I don’t often read news from Poland and when I do… things are always the same, as one of our great writers put it: ‘rokosze i sejmiki’ = heated arguments, meaningless gatherings, empty words…. you name it. Sad!

  26. Mona says:

    Kaczynski and Tusk are wrangling over competencies since last October, when Tusk’s liberal Civic Platform won the parliamentary elections (Kaczynski didn’t even ask Tusk to form a new government then). The Polish constitution does not clearly delineate responsibilities when it comes to foreign policy so Tusk and Kaczynski are now each trying to claim this area for themselves.
    Nevertheless it is really embarrassing for Poland. Kaczynski’s demonstration of power (he leased a jet for himself in order to go to Brussels) looks like an absurd. It doesn’t really serve Poland’s image and interests…

  27. scatts says:

    Interesting – http://www.warsawvoice.pl/newsX.php/7080/p/1048622742

    Now it appears that Kaczynski didn’t even attend the discussion on Georgia that was, allegedly, the whole reason he attended in the first place!

    Is it me, or has the president just made an ass of himself?

  28. adthelad says:

    Dziennik reports that Sarkozy jumped a couple of points in the agenda and dealt with the Gorgia question briefly whilst Kaczynski had left the sitting(to deal with passes – a deliberate diversion?). It would be good to know if this is true. It doesn’t mean Sarkozy deliberately wanted to bypass Kaczyński but it doesn’t mean he didn’t want to either. France has a particular relationship with Russia. I read some time back in the Times the information that France has a long standing treaty with Russia where it cannot vote against Russia’s international interests – and does this frequently at the UN by abstaining where necessary. Germany, France and Russia are part of a tripartite pact which has them meet regularly to agree policy (wish I could quote you a reference but I can’t). I can well imagine Kaczyński much more hard line being somewhat troublesome to certain national interests.
    Whatever it looks like a bit of a cock up either way and a personal blow to Kaczyński as it means he was unable to try to influence the EU on its stance with regards to Russia.

  29. Sylwia says:

    After all the mess I think it wasn’t about Kaczyński’s wish to influence the summit in anyway, only about making a show in Poland. The thing is that the competencies of our president are very limited, which, in my personal opinion, is a very good thing, but Kaczyński dreams of making it something more like the American presidency. There’s no problem with the constitution, and it was always clear that our president can nearly nothing. It’s Kaczyński who wishes to interpret it differently to have a starting point for further negotiations. He made the fuss in order to awake such reactions like “it’s a president and he’s owed due respect”.

    I’m not sure whether Tusk should have behaved differently. After all it were the president’s people who informed the media. So there was a situation where the president said he wanted to go, and Tusk told him “no, thank you”, and Kaczyński took it to press instead of continuing to discuss it in private. It’s like a blackmail, isn’t it? If Tusk agreed at once Kaczyński would always use the same tactic. That’s not to say he won’t use it in the future. I think we can expect a repetition at the next summit.

    @ Ania: I understand that if you voted for Kaczyński you prefer him have his say, but the dilemma is about a rule, and not one’s favourite candidate. If we change the constitution it’ll mean we’ll allow just one man, no matter what kind of freak he is, to decide about our country without any possibility of opposition. I thank you, but I don’t want to end up like Russia or Belarus.

    As for now the president isn’t a king, and if anyone deserves due respect here those are the citizens of Poland. The president is supposed to represent all of them, and not just those who like him and his brother’s party. By not allowing the government, chosen by the majority of Polish citizens, to govern the country he doesn’t respect Polish people.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hey, thanks for the post! I was googling this because I wrote on the same topic (http://barnabasnagy.com/2009/03/01/eu-emergency-summit-over-economic-an-protectionism/) and then I found you. Keep up the good work!

  31. believer says:

    Since 2008, a lot of changes took place – Poland become ONE of the most successful European economies, while Russia is just drowning in its own excrements. That’s what happened when the Russians are trying to rebuild the 18-century barbaric, and murderous grotesque call Russia in the 21-century. IT WILL ONLY HEPPEN IN PUTIN’S WET DREAMS.

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