BBC: EU ready to fight Polish media law amid row over values
Polish MPs have approved a law giving the government direct control over top appointments in public broadcasting.This is part of the major rightward shift in politics that has only just begun. All of Eastern Europe is drifting away from the Washington-Brussels model of transnationlism towards nationalism.
It undermines free speech, critics say.
...The PiS says new managers are needed at the top of state institutions because the previous centre-right Civic Platform party allowed corruption to flourish.
The PiS is also Eurosceptic, firm on traditional Catholic values and committed to increasing social welfare spending.
Comparisons have been made with Hungary, whose conservative Fidesz government also clashed with the EU Commission over human rights.
The Economist: Poland’s new government dislikes critical media, vegetarians and cyclists
SINCE parliamentary elections in October, Poland’s far-right Law and Justice party (PiS) has controlled the country’s presidency and both chambers of parliament. It has spent its first two months in power tightening its grip over the security services, the constitutional tribunal and the civil service. Now it is purging the country’s public media. On December 31st parliament ignored a letter of concern from the European Union and passed an amendment to Poland’s media law that sacks the management of the public television and radio broadcasters, TVP1 and Polskie Radio, and empowers the treasury minister to appoint their successors. Meanwhile, as Poland moves closer to Hungarian-style illiberal democracy, the European Commission is warning that there may be consequences.The Economist is not happy:
The new law is just the start, according to its authors. The next step will be to turn the public media into “national media”, said Krzysztof Czabanski, the deputy minister responsible for media reform. Yet the problem runs deeper. Poland lacks a clear notion of the “public media”, says Jan Zielonka, a professor of European politics at Oxford University. Under communism, the state media simply gave a megaphone to the ruling party. Many politicians today would like a similar arrangement.A good argument were it not for the fact that the media is filled with communists.
This is the beginning of a major political realignment in the West. The foreign policy battles are not between nations, but civilizations. The progressive-transnationalists of Brussels and Washington have proven incapable of defending Western values. Domestically, the central issues are identity and core values. Liberty versus Equality, Christianity versus Secularism, homogeneous culture or multicultural.
The Economist isn't happy:
The Polish government’s efforts to defend the new law have only made things worse, creating an impression of amateurism. In a January 3rd interview with Bild, a German newspaper, Witold Waszczykowski, the foreign minister, condemned Poland’s previous centre-right government for pursuing a “left-wing” political agenda: “As if the world, in a Marxist fashion, were destined to evolve only in one direction—towards a new mix of cultures and races, a world of bicyclists and vegetarians.”Not amateurish at all. Though it contains a rhetorical jab at the end, the first part is a clear and concise rejection of the ruling ideology in the West. It shows that Poland understands the battle in the same way that Orban in Hungary understands it. Calling the centre-right party "left-wing" is what is happening in the United States with the internal fighting in the GOP, the rise of "cuckservative" and the ascendancy of Trump. The U.S. is far more liberal than Eastern Europe because of its Anglo-Saxon roots. Things will play out differently in the U.S., but what is happening in Poland, if it is as successful as Hungary, will makes its way West over time. The left has been all but eliminated as a political force in Hungary:
Backing for Fidesz increased to 31 percent in September from 30 percent in June and 27 percent in April, polling company Szazadveg said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. Support for the radical Jobbik party dropped 2 percentage points in the last five months to 15 percent. Support for the Socialists, the third most popular party, stayed steady at 8 percent.A more recent poll: