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Speaking in Pruszkow, Jaroslaw Kaczynski decided channel his inner Donald Trump and publicly audition for the role of Bloodthirsty Despot; "we have to create an election protection corps because the other side has already announced that it will want to make a big scene during the elections, that if there are unfavourable results it will not recognise them. We must have such an army and I am asking you to get involved".
And with that, Election '23 went off-road and we are now in the jungle, careful you don't step on the tiger's tail. This of course, is dog whistle politics, heard by those whose ears are attuned to the peculiar frequency of Might is Right. It evokes historical accounts of the Munich Beer Hall putsch or Trump's failed assault on Capitol Hill where a man dressed as a giant squirrel tried to convince the world that the Democrats had stolen the 2020 US election by...dressing as a furry creature.
Uncle Jaro, petrified of the current polling stats, is prepping his supporters for an election victory by non-democratic means and just as he did in October 2020, attempting to goad the country into civil war. Talk to journalists who covered the Belarussian election over two years ago and they will tell you about the presence of Lukashenko's "corps", his "army" who ensured that Europe's longest sitting ruler maintained his grip on power despite only having 25 proc. support of the Belarussian population. For those of you who've had the pleasure of attending a PiS rally, you'll appreciate that those large, muscled men in paramilitary outfits are not there for decoration. They are vital cogs in the machinery of power, equally as important as the bed-hopping capos at Ordu Iuris.
Poland has a sovereign army already and Jaro's call for a quasi-military force to do his bidding makes me think how readily Putin relies on paid mercenaries such as the Wagner Group. More, it reinforces the notion that a bloody, savage internal rupture is his final fantasy, the only monument he wants to leave as a testimony to a life untouched by glamour or inspiration. Uncle Jaro's rush towards violence feels like a massive compensation, after all he was the one who famously slept late when the true Street-fighting men, Michnik, Walesa et al, went out to oppose Martial Law. Ah, if only alarm clocks had been invented back in 1981. If only Jaro didn't require eighteen hours of sleep a day in order to function like something resembling a human being.
Frankly though, what did we expect from a man whose big brothers in Budapest and Moscow have been enthroned for 12 and 23 years respectively? Not for Jaro and PiS to go gently into the night, not when they have so much catching up to do, and yet in his scramble to retain power, he has shown his hand a little too early. As with Poland's contentious Presidential election in 2020, the opposition must expect and plan to counter the dark arts employed by PiS's not least their inherent talent for massaging the numbers, what is generally considered to be Phase 1 of Jaro's double-lock system.
The New York Times reported that "some of the most troubling reports came from overseas, where a record 520,000 people had registered to vote before the Presidential election but only 415,951 ballots were counted. Complaints filed with the court charge that the Polish Foreign Ministry worked to suppress the number of voters." Phase 2, signposted by The Chairman on his current conscription tour of the Polish heartlands as he call for an army "who will watch the whole time and have the determination to defy," If we take such political-speak and put it in Google-translate, what emerges is "from my cold, dead hands". Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
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