Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I don't like Mondays

As ex-Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski picked up the honorary pen given to all ministers and his replacement was sworn in, another minister moved into right into Prime Minister Donald Tusk's firing line with a bang. The controversial statements in question are pretty stunning. The justice minister -- let that sink in -- apparently said that "German scientists are carrying out experiments on Polish embryos" and that thousands might have been killed.

Lol. Fun times.

Needless to say, the mainstream voter of the Civic Platform (PO) from which Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin hails (nominally) are outraged. The comment is seen not only as expressing a deeply conservative contentious view, but also displaying a very anti-German strain that is far more reminiscent of the radical right Law and Justice (PiS).
Gowin has a history. This is not the first time he has tested PM Tusk's patience. Tusk has so far been reluctant to fire Gowin because the latter represents a conservative wing of the PO and the PM's afraid of creating a potential political rival if Gowin and his allies were to angrily storm off. One must remember that the governing coalition's majority in parliament is paper thin. 

But even Tusk has limits. The prime minister said Wednesday he was "irritated," there was a "problem" and that he was considering dismissing Gowin. Tusk said he will make a final decision on Monday after meeting the justice minister.

The last time Gowin pissed Tusk off, the pair also met on a Monday. Ahead of a decision that had been expected to see him fired, Gowin commented that "I don't like Mondays." In that case, he survived.

For this case, Gowin said his comments were taken out of context and then made a lot out of by the Polish media. O-kay. I wonder what context made Gowin indicate that 'German scientists were experimenting on Polish embryos.' Perhaps they were chatting about World War II?

At any rate, surely the justice minister has gone too far this time. Surely he should be fired and sent back to the dark ages. Failing that, he could just join PiS. But I imagine he's trying to avoid that fate since it is much better, and more politically propitious, to be the single conservative crank than to be lost in a sea of them.

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