|The 2nd anniversary of the Smoleńsk disaster was marked by angry protests. The Donald Duck head is a reference to PM Donald Tusk, whilst the placard underneath reads 'Murderers'.|
At the graveside silence should reign. Always. There can therefore be no excuses for those who wish to exploit the dead for their own political ambitions. What type of principles can people have if they decide to mark the deaths of the Smoleńsk victims by demonstrating, brandishing pictures of nooses and denouncing thier opponents as traitors and criminals? The anniversary could have been marked in many different ways but the way in which PiS chose to do so, by confusing mourning with rabble-rousing, is worthy of the fiercest criticism and words which I would rather avoid writing. Perhaps I omit these words out of a sense of shame for those who have earned them. Unfortunately, the more one bites one's tongue, the more aggression and vitriol spew from the other side.
" Solidarity in Mourning"-- that was the headline which we put on the front cover of 'Przegłąd' on 10th April 2010, just a few hours after the catastrophe. That was what we thought at the time, in spite of the deep divisions between us and those on the right. Could we have maintained that mood of unity, the feeling of solidarity? We could have done. I thought we could, because it never occured to me that it would be killed by those who should have cared for it the most. They should have preserved it for political gain alone, even if they lacked the humanity to do so for more noble reasons. The solidarity of mourning elevated their leaders to a status infinitely higher than their achievements merited. Sadly, barely two years later it seems as if the leader of PiS is trying to turn the coffins into trampolines, trampolines from which to jump back into power. It is the first time in our history that someone has tried to attain power in this way. An election campaign with coffins as the central argument can only be successful if a large enough portion of society accept PiS's aspirations.
Those who support the government regard such a scenario as absurd. They might be right today but if one listens to the wider social mood instead of just the hysterical screams then it becomes clear that many of those falling under the sway of the Smoleńsk campaign have every reason to feel bad in today's Poland. People fear for the future. They are unemployed, or they could lose thier jobs at any moment. Low slaries do not allow people to make ends meet. People feel alienated in their own country, they are disappointed and angry. They are overwhelmed by their powerlessness to overcome thier problems. From these fears comes a readiness to seek scapegoats, and from there it is a small step to being manipulated. Looking for a place to stand, they gravitate towards those who claim to understand their problems. Now they have jumped from the frying pan into the fire because they have become a mere stepping-stone in a bid for power. PiS wants to gather all the disillusioned and disappointed and build an alternative state. In the person of Jarosław Kaczyński we have an alternative president and premier in one, the real president-premier.
The paranoia of one side does not justify hushing up the negligence of the other side in the organisation of the Smoleńsk flight and earlier.
Mistakes were made, a lot of them. We know this from the Miller report. If there were mistakes then those who made them must take the responsibility for them. Continually postponing this process will only lead to even more absurd conspiracy theories which in turn only increase the likelihood of political conflict spilling onto the streets.
Taken from 'Przegłąd' magazine