Tag Archives: UK

BBC's shocking incompetence

I was surfing the internet to see how various media cover the story of the 70th anniversary of the breakout of the Second World War remembrance service, that Polandian metioned in previous post.

Naturally I went to the BBC. I wasn’t pleased what they wrote, in this article as I felt it didn’t explain anything to an average Western person, nor does it clarify what is a fact and what isn’t.

What struck me, was the map at the bottom of the page. This map: (now apparently erased by the BBC)

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According to the BBC it shows the German attack on Poland. Only Poland never existed in this shape at this time in history. Just to remind BBC journalists how it looked like:

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Find differences. And I don’t mean that BBC put Gdańsk where Elbląg is, I mean that they cut the whole Eastern part of Poland from their map, and signed it Soviet Union.

It shows coplete lack of basic knowledge on the part of BBC staff. Germany attacked Poland in the 1st September 1939. At this time Poland’s Eastern boarders were unchanged. Only on the 17th of September 1939 followed the attack of the Soviet Union. Showing this map like this is illogical and makes completely no sense.

Unless you are in favour of the USSR, and regard 1939 Eastern Poland as their territory. And you want to omit mentioning 17th September Soviet invasion. But I would doubt BBC supported Stalinist Soviet Union:)

It is a mistake, although I think that this is not just a mistake. It is a proof of ignorance. If they didn’t know THAT what else don’t they know? If they don’t udnerstand what USSR did, where it was on tha map, when it attacked whom how can they inform accurately on its role in the war? How can they understand Kaczynskis words? If they don’t understand that part in history, they can’t interpret it properly.

While many people around the world treat BBC as the most trusted source.

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I managed to make some screenshots – click for larger image

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September the 1st

On the 1st September 2009, 70 years after the breakout of the Second World War, world leaders will come to Westerplatte in Gdańsk, Poland, where it all began. They will pay tribute to the victims, line the paths of reconcilliation and vow to make sure similar things don’t happen again. But as delegations iron their shirts and pack bags, many people feel let down again.

Germany and Russia, the perpetrators of the 1939 attack on Poland they conducted in agreement and concord with each other, are sending the highest authorities: Angela Merkel, who is engaged in a longstanding genuine effort for German-Polish (and other) reconcilliation, and Vladimir Putin, who isn’t. Among those attending are many heads of states. The EU will be represented by the prime minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt, a country currently holding the presidency. Jerzy Buzek, the newly appointed speaker of the European Parliament, former Polish prime minister, will act as a symbol of a new era in Central Europe.

It is however the absentees, who are most talked about. It is a very important occasion for Polish politicians, and diplomatic world knows it. Absence, therefore, says a lot. French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown the prime minister of the UK and the American president Barack Obama decided they had more important things to do, are sending their representatives of lower rank. These decisions received very cold reception among many Poles. They feel France and Britain have betrayed Poland in 1939, by not providing military help to which they have commited themselves in treaties. And thay say, together with the USA they betrayed Poland once again after the war, leaving her for Soviet occupation. Therefore Poland, an ally that managed to defend longer than France, has become the only ally that didn’t actually win the war. And today, many feel, that these leaders can’t even manage to find three hours to appear on official celebrations. This is noted, and Poles have a good memory – as one of commentators put it on a Polish news channel.

This is a very important day. For many decades we weren’t allowed to talk freely about what happened during the Second World War. Communist dictatorship blanked out half of our war fate from official memory. Some Western countries were able to remember what happened and have moved on. We didn’t, we are remembering it now. It is the last big anniversary when witnesses are still alive. We need this – a Warsaw pedestrian told Polsat News.

Popular feelings are reflected in the press, which comments that relations with Poland have become the last priority for the United States. And that she is not getting anything in return for being America’s faithful ally. Polish effort in Iraq, and Afghanistan turn out not to be “lives and money well spent”. Oil contracts did not happen. Promised investment (off-set in return for aircraft deal) is not coming. USA are pulling off the missile shield. And on top of that Poles still need visas to travel to the US. Opinion polls on Poland’s participation in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are falling flat.

Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy are not coming either. Is it only because standing in Gdansk, they would have to refer to their countries performance as Poland’s allies? Or the opportunities their countries missed, after the war, to talk about Stalin’s atrocities? Or is it just relations with Poland are on the far end of important issues? After all Gordon Brown did bother to visit the shores of Normandy, when Nicolas Sarkozy invited him for remembrance ceremony.

Some point this could mean that the world is going back to making politics over the heads of smaller nations.

What happened 70 years ago changed the world and shaped today’s reality, we should make sure that it is accurately remembered. It involved two wicked ideologies, that co-operated until 1941. One executing a racist plan of cleansing the Europe of Jews, Slavs and other peoples, and their cultures, treasures and sights, to make room in the East for the German ‘race’. The other intended to expand its model of murderous dictatorship and dominane worldwide on the basis of changing the social relations. Hundreds thousands were enslaved and maked forced-labourers, millions of men, women and children were killed in concentration camps and gulags. Shot in łapankas, bombings, killed in battle. It all happed in the cultured Europe, among the statues of great philosophers and musicians.
We failed to remember what happened. Most people until this day are not fully aware of the atocities of Stalin. Being among the “winners” of the war, he and his people never got their Nurenberg Trial. We failed to make sure similar things don’t happen again.

As Mrs. Angela Merkel said in her video address, it is right and it is important to be in Gdansk for the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War. Maybe we can stop failing?

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English patients dying for treatment in Poland

This might come as a shock to most people in Poland, but apparently Poland has a BETTER healthcare system than Britain.

Poles do complain a lot, and healthcare is one of their favourite subjects to moan about. Quite rightly so, as there is a need for massive improvements and updates. Healthcare financing badly needs to be reformed too. I don’t know whether this makes Poles feel better – but there are places in this world where healthcare is actually worse. One of those places is wealthy Britain. Believe it or not but the British Health Minister visited Poland recently to study and learn from the healthcare system management in this country.

Britain sports a system where general practitioners (Polish: internista) are responsible for the majority of diagnosis and treatment. Extreme cases qualify for hospital. And there is nothing in between. British GPs have to deal with a multitude of conditions, although they cannot possibly have advanced knowledge in all fields of medicine. Many people, therefore, reach specialist treatment only when their condition worsens.

The Polish system is opposite to the British. GPs are often referred to as ‘doctors of first contact’, and wont treat anything more serious than flu on their own. Their main task is to refer their patient to specialists (such as: cardiologists, opthalmologists, neurologists, rheumatologisst, endocrinologists, alergologists, pulmunologists etc.) who work at one of thousands of “Poradnia specjalistyczna” and to gather a patient’s whole medical history. These are the middle link between a GP and the hospital. They diagnose and treat conditions that do not require hospitalisation, and support the further treatment of patients who have left hospital.

What is more, in Britain, patients have to wait up to three days for an appointment with a GP, while in Poland they will be received the same day, or on the spot. Queing for appointments to specialist doctors and for operations in Britain could take years. Although there are some waiting times in Poland, it’s never been that drastic.

Another issue with which the British healthcare has been struggling for years is a problem with staff commitment and discipline. Hygene is poor, which results in severe hospital infections, such as MRSA superbug epidemic. Carers frequently neglect their duties regarding washing and taking care of immobile patients. Inspection bodies have reportedly been ineffective at identifying the wards and staff that have failed. Polish nurses working in the UK have told horror stories. (Disregard for hygene (and other) standards, cases of head lice and scabies left right and centre, staff ignoring patients diet requirements – sometimes with serious consequences, state inspections saying everything is fine, management getting rid of the Polish troublemakers.)

Problems with staff in Poland concentrate around the issues of bribery – either by patients, in order to skip the waiting list, or by pharmaceutical companies and their “incentives” to use particular medications. Doctors and nurses are however usually regarded as well trained, and resourceful – not least becasue they often have to work without the newest equipment available to their Western colleagues.

No wonder Polish people who have relocated to the British Isles are opening clinics for themselves (and for the autochtones). “To provide the level of service that we were accustomed to in our country” – as Jarosław Leszczyszyn, Professor of Medicine at EMC Medical Centre Dublin, puts it.

Not everything is perfect with the Polish healthcare system of course. NFZ, a state agency that signs contracts with hospitals and provides state-funded services to the general public, is being criticised for various policies. In many cases cheaper and older procedures are preferred to be covered, by the NFZ, over more advanced and expensive treatment. For many hospitals the NFZ funding is not enough, and they are deep in debt. But they say no healthcare system in the world is perfect.

Do you agree? Have you been diagnosed/treated in Poland, Britain, Ireland or elsewhere? What are your experiences?

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Tesco joins papist plot?

Today’s newspapers bring an unexpected news: British hypermarket chain, operating hundreds of stores in Poland, teamed up with Catholic Church to recruit workers.

Tesco is looking to open its new outlet in Gdańsk’s Chełm district at the end of August. The company, seeking to employ 400 workers by then, will open its recruitment office at the premises of a local Catholic parish. “We hope employees will integrate around the values represented by The Church” , Adam Kalina, the parish priest, told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Three months rent will cost Tesco several thousand złotys. The future hypermarket will be open on Sundays – something the Polish Roman Catholic Church strongly opposes. “This sin will be borne by those who decide to have shops open on Sundays” – commented Tomasz Biedrzycki, spokesperson for the Archbishop of Gdańsk Leszek Sławoj-Głódź.

Church Gdańsk

Picture: artistic vision of Church-Tesco co-operation

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John Cleese in a Polish bank commercial

Interesting to see how Western stars denominate in Poland. There was Cindy Crawford and Polish mineral water, there was Madonna and… something, and now John Cleese and bank loans…

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