“We are only demanding one thing, that we get back what was taken from us. If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66m.”
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Polish Prime Minister, 19 June, 2007, in www.ft.com.
In the time that they have been in office the Kaczynski twins, Lech and Jaroslaw, have succeeded, as if on purpose to consistently subvert, even a modicum of intelligent governance and wisdom. From their mean spirited, attempts to 'root out' (at this late date), communist moles or informers, to their consistent maneuvers to destroy any institution which shows the least sign of political independence: the Central Bank, the Foreign Ministry, Public Television, the remaining Nationalized Industries, et cetera. Like clockwork, our twins seem to be unable to understand any point of view, but their own. And, that goes for as well, for international politics, even within the relatively banal and boring world of EU internal politics. Where log rolling this amount of cash subsidies for 2008's wine subsidies for French farmers, in exchange for that amount of subsidies for 2009 for Greek olive oil production is standard fare. Of course, our twins, forever regurgitating their cinematic origins, cannot fail but bring some melodrama to such boring fare. Hence their campaign (seconded in the appropriate Schwekian fashion by the Cech Republic to essentially freeze the voting powers of the various nations in the EU's Council of Ministers. AT present, Poland has twenty-seven (27) votes to Deutschland's twenty-nine (29), notwithstanding the fact that the former has a population of less than half of the latter. Consequently, with an eye to banging the patriotic drum, for electoral purposes, the only activity, diplomatic, and otherwise, the current Polskii government feel adept at doing, the Kaczynski twins, have in the last two weeks or so, pledged to fight to the last, to preserve in one fashion or other Poland's current voting strength in the Council of Ministers. Indeed, as per Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Warsaw is prepared to fight for its revised formula 'to the death'. Hence the popularization in the form of parody: 'the square root or death'!
One is unsure, quite what to make of this almost farcical situation. Perhaps, Europhile though I am, one should applaud the Polskii twins, for exposing with their surrealist antics, the reductio ad absurdum of the current EU, as an institution. Nothing so well demonstrates the meaninglessness of the current European Union, as this eternal horse trading over money, and haggling for votes in the Ministerial Council, as the upcoming European Union Summit. In that sense perhaps (as someone reminded me today) the Poles with their wonderful historical memories, no doubt feel right at home, inasmuch as the EU in its current state, reminds one of nothing so much as the Polskii Sejm circa the late 17th century, early 18th century. An institution which became infamous due to the fact that any motion or proposal, could become blocked by one member, exercising his liberum veto . It would appear that the Kaczynski twins, aim to repeat this history in the upcoming EU Summit unless they get their way on the voting procedure in the Council of Ministers. The sad thing is, that in actual fact, either the Polish proposal or the German one, bear little or no true importance for the average European. It is all a political conjuring trick. An exercise in mystification, in which this increasingly ineffectual institution, this twenty first century version of the Holy Roman Empire in the Voltairian sense, seems to increasingly revolve around. The idea that the EU, could be, could have been, a harbinger of a positive, European idea, of a European identity, based upon Europe's Christian origins, as well as those of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the heritage of the Enlightenment, the Middle Ages, the great epoch of the 18th and 19th century, even the catastrophic years of 1914-1945. Ideally, an institution able to re-establish EUROPEas a grossmachte, to balance off, and indeed on occasion oppose diplomatically, if not necessarily militarily, the United States, and in the future of course, the 'yellow peril' powers of China & India.
Instead what do we have: Polish romanticism (one of the most beautiful and sublime things in the history of Europe) being expended on idiotic ministerial voting powers'the square root or death' indeed. Heaven help us all!