Thursday, February 15, 2007

second article about Poland, from print edition

Poland's government

Turning the loose screw

Feb 15th 2007 | WARSAW
From The Economist print edition

The Polish government flails, creaks and sheds ministers

POLAND'S fractious, pig-headed government has survived for nearly 18 months, against the expectations of most commentators. Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the identical twins who are respectively president and prime minister, may be disastrous in foreign affairs, but at home life rumbles on fine. Poland took in a record $14.7 billion in foreign investment last year, and the economy is growing at almost 6% a year.

Money is flowing in from Brussels, thanks to Grazyna Gesicka, the diligent regional-affairs minister. The justice system, under a zealot named Zbigniew Ziobro, at least sounds serious about catching the biggest crooks. Communist-era secret-police files—long a source of suspicion and scandal in Poland—are to be opened. The old military intelligence service, the WSI, has been closed down, and a dossier will be published soon showing the reach of its sinister tentacles in business, media and officialdom. The upper reaches of the Kaczynskis' Law and Justice party exude a puritanical rectitude. Its two small coalition partners, once known for their outlandish populism, have been tamed by power.

In the past two weeks, however, the government has shown signs of self-destruction. First to go was Radek Sikorski, the defence minister. He resigned because his military counter-intelligence service was snooping on him, at the behest of its chief, Antoni Macierewicz, a Kaczynski ally. Mr Macierewicz was in charge of liquidating the WSI, but has created a private spy service for the Kaczynskis in its place. The loss of Mr Sikorski, the only minister able to talk sense in English, will merely highlight his ex-colleagues' failings.

Next came the departure of Ludwik Dorn, a deputy prime minister and head of the interior ministry. Known as the “third twin” for his closeness to the Kaczynskis, the brainy and hard-working Mr Dorn wrote a furious open letter to the prime minister, demanding indefinite leave (which was granted). The ostensible reason was a clash with Mr Ziobro.

Two senior foreign-policy advisers have also left. The chaos suggests that the Kaczynskis' grip may be failing. Anybody wanting to survive in the government must be passive, mediocre and loyal, say Poles. One Polish weekly has even compared Jaroslaw Kaczynski to Vladimir Putin, an insult that is both shocking and a shade absurd. Yet Mr Kaczynski's statist, top-down approach and his disregard for the separation of powers do ring some faintly alarming bells.

Even as their enemies become more hysterical, however, the Kaczynskis' supporters are untroubled. Law and Justice is polling a steady 28%, more than it scored in the election of September 2005. It would be rash to write the government off; Jaroslaw Kaczynski has often proved a masterly tactician. Some loyalists even suspect that Mr Dorn's half-resignation is part of a master-plan. Others think the government's troubles are a last-ditch diversion put up by the WSI in its death-throes.

The bigger problem is that, aside from the justice ministry, reform has stalled in Poland. Its public administration remains unwieldy, incompetent and backward. Having booted the old government's cronies out of top jobs in public institutions and state-owned companies, the Kaczynskis have installed their own chums, rather than liberalising and depoliticising. Privatisation has almost stopped. Public purchasing is still deeply corrupt. The Kaczynskis' obsession with the wrongs of the past seems to blind them to what is happening under their noses.

In foreign policy, farce is mixed with tragedy. The Kaczynskis have missed no opportunity to insult Germany—which under Angela Merkel has been trying to be friends. Their conduct of diplomacy is comically incompetent. Any advisers who know anything about abroad attract mistrust, and often dismissal. Hardly any officials are left who understand the European Union, for example, a grave matter with tricky negotiations over the EU constitution about to start again.

Economics attracts similar disdain. The sole goal of economic policy was to remove Leszek Balcerowicz, author of Polish free-market reforms in the 1990s, from the central bank. Poland's most urgent task is to use the boom to cut the budget deficit. Taxes on labour are too high, squeezing wages and increasing the incentive to emigrate. A million-plus Poles have done just that since Poland joined the EU, creating widespread labour shortages.

Vengeful, paranoid, addicted to crises, divided and mostly incompetent, the government survives mainly because the economy is strong and the opposition is feeble. Neither will last for ever.


Timothy Post said...


What's up with Poland? Does anyone really care about Poland?

I liked it better when you wrote about Russia.

Edward Lucas said...

Does anyone really care about Poland?

Well, anyone in the EU does, because Poland is the sixth-biggest country in the EU, and the largest ex-communist country.

For America, Poland is the only dependable big atlanticist ally in Europe apart from Britain.

Poland is the only ex-captive nation which is strong enough to lead resistance to Russian neo-imperialism (assuming you think that it is happening, and that it is undesirable).

Finally, I don't live in Moscow any more (and can't get a visa for Russia) and writing about the 22 countries of ex-communist Europe is now my job.



Jerzy said...

You are insinuating that whatever government of Poland does, it is always motivated by emotional disorders and evil: "vengeful, paranoid, addicted to crises, divided".

"Record $14.7 billion in foreign investment last year, and the economy is growing at almost 6%" is fantastic performance for as supposed paranoic.

Maybe you attribute paranoid tendencies to West European politicians, too - surely other economies will speed up?

Edward Lucas said...

Dear Jerzy

I agree that the Polish economy is doing very well. This is a unique chance to get going on structural reforms, particularly the tax system and public spending. It will be much harder in a few years time when the climate is colder. My biggest criticism of the PiS-led govt is that they are wasting precious time on this front.

The boom now is not the result of their policies, by the way, but the benign global environment and the tax cuts and modest reforms of the last govt.

I am strongly critical of west-european politicians too, as you can see from other articles on this website. Don't be so prickly


ziel said...

Dear Edward, have you seen what's up in Poland? You became the official enemy of one of the twins (both? gee, you know them better than I do)

And when I think that I was saying to some friends that I find you too nice with Kaczynski brothers...:-)

I will send you some oranges if they lock you up!,53600,3930678.html

Adam said...


Yet again you missed some facts influencing and in my opinion justifying polish policy. You wrote: "The Kaczynskis have missed no opportunity to insult Germany".

I don't want to discuss what is insulting and what is not. The most important though are the reasons for these political actions.
You did not mention anything to explain/justify polish tough policy towards Germany. So I will have to write it for you. The only difference is that my comments won't be published in The Economist and sadly image of Poland as the bad one in EU will remain.
But anyway the most important reason is the 'Nord Stream' - gasoline from Russia to Germany. It was agreed between Mr Shroeder and Mr Putin. The route of the gasoline is not econimically viable but it does fit to Russian anty-polish, lithuanian, lavian, estonian, etc. policy. It also provide added 'fuel security' for Germany. So Mr Shroeder very kindly ignored Poland among other countries (already a memebers of EU!) willing to access this business. (He also kindly accepted the position of the advisor to the Nord Stream once he finished his poor chancellorship) This behaviour of our western neighbour triggers equivalent answers from polish government.

Insulting or simply appropriate?

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Adam

I have written many times about the Nordstream pipeline and the disgusting behaviour of the past German government. What the Kaczynscy fail to notice is that the new German leader is not Mr Schroeder. She is probably the most polonophile German leader since Willy Brandt. But they consistently treat her as if she was the same as the other lot. This is a tragic missed opportunity.

All serious letters to the Economist are now published on our website and you will be most welcome to make your views known there


n0str0m0 said...

i'll charitably post a comment, despite the fact that i usually do not talk to people touched by the journalistic desease commonly observed among those who write their own wishes and claim them to be facts.

you lie and you suck.

that applies to both your style and to the misguided notion that you actually might be able to play a game of machiavellian ping-pong with polititians and events.

better luck next time, pal.
unlike sir Humphrey Appleby you don't have the brains nor humor to play that game. all you managed is to write such moronic sentences as "It is entirely defensible, then, to argue that Poland should be a country in..."

one thing you did well and you should be congratulated for - to convince your editor at the economist to actually publish that propaganda - twice. unless his agenda is even more perverted than yours (which does not predict him any bright future in the world that still craves information) now YOU owe him.

other than getting your miserable articles, all you managed to accomplish is to vent your own anger and flog your own agenda. which incidentally puts you on that very side of the fence where old crooks and commies reside. oh, and the neocon nazis. wipe that tear from radek's eye next time you share tea and matzo balls, please. he might not be a peer, but he is a crier.

Edward Lucas said...

Dear Nostromo

Thank you for that punchy and forcefully expressed posting. You are welcome to post it on the Economist website too ( although I would leave out the abuse as they only print politely-phrased letters (yeah, I know, we are limey scumbag wimps, but that's the rule)

If I understand you right, you are saying that I am friends with ex-commies, neo-con Nazis and Jews. That seems an odd combination. Have I missed something?

Edward Lucas

n0str0m0 said...

"Have I missed something?"

tsk tsk tsk... i've got better things to do than to wade into the bog of your fake ignorance.

still, in an unlikly event that you actually might want to make your work more palatable:
more facts - less venomous opinions. and before you ask me to heed my own advice - let me remind you WHO is a journalist and who is not. as a consumer i do have the right to voice my opinion in ways not printable in the economist.

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Nostromo, please don't feel under any obligation to post--I only mentioned leaving out the abuse because it would be a pity if you went to the effort of posting a comment on the Economist site (where it will be read by many more people than ever come to this quiet little corner of the blogosphere) and then it didn't get posted because our letters editor thought your language was too intemperate.

On this blog you can be as rude as you like about me, but not about other people, partly because of good manners, and partly because of the peculiarities of British libel law which mean that, for example, Radek Sikorski could sue me for carrying your post saying that he is a nazi.

I hope that clarifies things

n0str0m0 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edward Lucas said...

Hi Nostromo, I have had to delete your most recent comment, as it is indeed libellous. However you are welcome to contact me off line or to post a substantive message either here or at the main economist site.


sygne said...

What do you mean by private spy service organised by Macierewicz for Kaczynskis? Where did you find that information?
As for Ms. Merkel her polonophile attitude consists more in gestures than in actions. I'd prefer her to be less nice and to renounce the pipeline instead. What's more the deterioration of the polish -german relations is rooted deeper than in the relations between politicians. In the commentaries of the German press I feel the nTIt doesn;t ote of superiority, even of contempt.I'm afraid that sort of prejudices is present in the thinking of average Germans too.
P.S I think you have something in common with President Kaczynski - both if you use too many negative and offensive adjectives. You say "vengeful", he responds with "shameful", etc. That doesn't help to discuss rationally. No offence.
With regards

sygne said...

Sorry, it meant to be "I feel the note of superiority"

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Sygne
Sorry if the tone of the article didn't please you. The Economist sounds superior when it talks about other countries too--it's just our house style. The final para was sharply worded, but I do make the point in both that article and the other one that some of the things the Kaczynscy are trying to do are commendable--I just don't think their methods are working. My impression is that Macierewicz is both nuts and incompetent.

I can't discuss my sources, but if you think about his definition of a threat to national security (almost anyone opposed to the Kcy) and his position now and the resources available to him, and the lack of constitutional control, then my contention doesn't look implausible.


sygne said...

I'm not sure I do catch your meaning.Do you want to say that under Macierewicz the military counter - intelligence has become private spy service of Kaczynskis ? If you mean that it is now less constitutionally controlled than it was before Kaczynskis' era, why can't you reveal your sources? That sort of things is regulated by the law. And if you mean that this agency of state is now illegally used for the private purposes of the governing twins, then ... wow, you have just discovered Polish Watergate.I don' t ask you to announce who your "Deep Throat" is, but if your source comes from Poland (and I suppose it must) I don't understand why she/he doesn't publish this sort of accusations in Poland. That's the charge which, if proved, could lead to the impeachement of the President or to the fall of the government and it wouldn't be very difficult to find in Poland the newspaper or the television or the political party who would gladly use it for this purpose. If only your source had any proof ... . As I don't know about such publication and you don't cite any, I must say that your source doesn't seem to me very believable. The Kaczynski brothers can be annoying and there are many things they can be criticized for, but with "private spy servive" you have gone too far.
With regards

Jelon said...

Clearly Edward you must have a hidden agenda, be a Jew, be a member of the masonic order. Why don't you just admit it so Nostromo can hunt other Enemies of the Government (TM). It reminds me of a classic Monty Python scene.

Well, we did do the nose.
The nose?
And the hat, but she is a witch!

n0str0m0 said...

"you must have a hidden agenda"
"admit it so Nostromo can hunt other Enemies of the Government"

nice try putting a hat and a nose on _me_. and who knows, maybe i am a witch.

and maybe not.

hypothesizing about me, although flattering to no end, is only slightly more productive than watching the paint dry. however, since you got me wondering about your comprehension skills, let me point you in the right direction. for the hints of EL's agenda read the following quotes:

"For America, Poland is the only dependable big atlanticist ally in Europe apart from Britain."

"strong enough to lead resistance to Russian neo-imperialism"

any more Monty Python wisdom?

n0str0m0 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Lucas said...

The Economist is an atlanticist paper and we are worried about Russian neo-imperialism. That's our worldview. It's not secret. So naturally it's a frame of reference to interpret Poland's actions.

To Sygne. I do hope Polish media follow up the question of constitutional oversight of the intelligence services. The Wasserman-Macierewicz axis is particularly interesting. Sadly, politicisation of intelligence and security services it not at all unusual in the post-communist world, as I have written before hand, so I fear that this is not as startling as it should be. But under the last govt, the ABW and AW (two main Polish intelligence services) were fairly apolitical (at least by the standards of the region) and under this one, there is a lot more political control (and direction). It is astonishing by west European standards to have a party political figure as the director of an intelligence service at all. Couple that with the Ks' distate for constitutional nicety and you can see the problem. I am not saying that everything that the new WSI does is political, only that it is snooping on the govts political opponents (not since the 1980s have I had people say to me "don't lets talk about this on the phone")


sygne said...

Now I know your source. You have been talking with Manuela Gretkowska. And seriously, the fact that somebody thinks himself being overheard by the secret service doesn't prove he really is.
With regards

Edward Lucas said...

I never discuss my sources. But I can certainly say in this case you are mistaken, not least because they are multiple.


Pawel Dobrowolski said...

Anyone care to tell me why the Kaczynski brother's decided to publicize Edward's article by criticizing it in such unpleasant form?

The number of people that read The Economist in Poland seems to be tiny. But the Kaczynski brothers hava maneged to stir comment on the article that is continuing in the local media for a third day now...

viilo said...

Ed, you don't know much about Poland.
When you speak about Poland you sound exactly like the concrete wing of any communist party.
Does The Economist know about it?

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Viilo

I was a student in Poland in '86 and have been going back ever since. I have family there. I speak and read Polish pretty fluently. I spent a lot of the first half of my life trying to undermine Communism and free the captive nations.

Did we meet outside the Polish embassy in London in 1982 in one of those Solidarity with Solidarity demonstrations, perhaps? Or was it outside the Soviet embassy campaigning for political prisoners. Or were you there at the fundraiser for Charter 77? Do remind me--it would be nice to renew our acquaintance, even if our views differ. Regards
Edward Lucas

viilo said...

I'm afraid we have never met before.
Speaking about exotic events, have you ever followed where the monies collected at such events ended up?
Many different people were trying to undermine Communism. Some of them were fighting for a better communism from the extreme left edge of political spectrum.
I’m surprised to find this unmistakable bias of the concrete communist in a person born and grown in UK.
My guess is you met and spoke to a specific group of people in Poland.
Do you know Adam Michnik in person?

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Viilo, I don't recall much money being collected at these events at all. There was a collecting tin at my favourite Polish cafe though, which read

Legitmacja skarbu narodowego jest paszportem wolnego Polaku

It was a quote from General Anders, and the money went to the govt in exile.

I have not met Michnik since the mid 1990s and I regard the Gazeta crowd as highly partisan. I have a wide range of friends in Poland whose politics cover most parties and none. As I point out at numerous places on this site, this is by far not the worst govt Poland has had since 1991. But it is going downhill fast and the foreign policy is catastrophic.


viilo said...

On the other hand Gazeta loves you for the article above. They selected pieces of it amplifying a bias I mentioned before. If you like it this way just do nothing.
You know Polish as you said, so I’d like to ask you a particular question.
How would you translate to Polish your own phrase: “Vengeful, paranoid, addicted to crises”?
Is “"Mściwy, pogrążony w paranoi, narkotycznie uzależniony od kryzysów,"” what you have in mind?

La Russophobe said...

This is priceless! Timothy Post begins the comments by saying nobody cares about Poland, whereupon the post then promptly generates one of the largest group of comments the blog has seen. I guess we know see who knows what as as between Tim and Edward!

viilo said...

Look Ed, you spent lot of time on this blog to assure people you have all it takes to work as a professional commentator to Poland. You wrote many general statements, you know language, you know right people, you have studies, knowledge and so on.
However when it came to a simple but not general question you are quiet, you did not produce any answer.
Contrary to your own image your insight in polish matters is really shallow and no better than one of the average Joe from the polish suburbs.
Does The Economist know what is paying for?

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Viilo

Sorry for the delay in answering. I was busy with my day job. I certainly thought the Gazeta translation was overly harsh, partly from the choice of words and partly because they left out the nice things I wrote about the govt.

I am always willing to improve my coverage, so perhaps you could let me have a few examples of articles by foreigners (preferably in English, French, German, or Russian) about Poland which you think are fair and well-informed. Then I will be glad to compare them with my own writings and see what I should emulate.



viilo said...

No, no deal. It’s your job to become a pro.
I understand your message. Good foreign articles about Poland are rare.
I don’t want to leave you with impression of a guy speaking in general about everything,
so here you go, an example of a decent insight:
and the second link to the same article:

You can also test your understending of the topic by browsing my webpage:


La Russophobe said...


If you are holding yourself out as someone offering "professional" analsyis, you need to raise your standards a bit. You claim to have problems with Edward's analysis BUT YOU DON'T MENTION ONE SINGLE SPECIFIC FAULT in the post you are commenting on. You don't name ONE SINGLE FACT Edward got wrong nor do you name ONE SINGLE POINT with which you disagree based on supposedly superior facts or insights.

Frankly, your comment seems sightly unhinged and certainly not deserving of serious respect. The fact that you like other analysis on general terms is not a basis for concluding that Edward's analysis is somehow innferior, unless you have a Stalin complex and an ego the size of all outdoors.

viilo said...

La Russophobe:

Sufficient to say I do not make a living as a journalist, and I do not offer "professional" analysis. I suppose you didn’t get my sarcasm in one place or another.
I came here to ask Edward a few questions and express my opinion. I did so, Edward answered, I read other posts and now I know what I wanted.
It’s so simple. As a hobbyist, not a pro I’m choosing a way I talk.
I ask questions I want to ask, not questions you think are correct.
Who do you think you are to give me such advises?

Can’t you see you set a trap for yourself? Your own post is the best answer for itself.

Free your mind.
So long ……

Kuba said...

I would like to kow what is it that you think entitles you say Mr. Macierewicz is “nuts” (because you think so).
Do you consider yourself to be in the position to insult a man of truth who never winked when it came to pay for it with years in prison, because you made acquiantance during those stormy days of the first half of your life when you were freeing nations of Central Europe(and parts of Asia)?Or maybe you met at MacDonald’s in the lunch break during demonstrations outside soviet embassy in London? Mhm?.
I was smiling when I came across nostromo’s “you lie and you suck” I told you the same a year ago and then I was talking about a case of libelous malevolence that exceeded all standards and (you must have known that, too) was almost certain to bring harm to Poland as a whole; by writing as you did to the whole wide world that JKaczynski is setting up a “powerful body” to review Balcerowicz’s files, because he just “loves to pick fights” you single-handedly waved off potential billion dollar investment, as the name Balcerowicz exerts undeniable piper-like charm over the world of business. But you wrote a lie! And now again, you lie – if less costly, much more hideously! How many times you think you can pull that trick? Having been through this I see through your spit-and-retreat tactics; first you throw mud, distort and manipulate and then you retreat, admitting to minor spelling-scale mistakes, claiming you've been misunderstood and finaly you resort to the ultimate argument:"That's what I think. You don't like it f*#@k you!" You're so utterly repetitive and predictable – but the worst of it all is that you are a cynical two-faced creep. Its disgusting!
I would like to ask you one more question: could you consider re-focusing onto some other country, perhaps Guatemala or Belize whose int'l standing is tied closely to the price of bananas where your friendly writing could do no harm? Or maybe you should start writing about Russia…Timothy, for one, liked it better…?

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Kuba, nice to have you and your robust views back on the site. I did not say that Mr Macierewicz was nuts (though many in Poland would say exactly that). I admire all ex-dissidents for their bravery. However they mostly make lousy politicians and often discredit, by their incompetence, the noble causes for which they stand.

As I understand it, the weakening of central bank powers has attracted considerable critical comment from the outside world including the ECB, so I don't think I was wrong on that one. Many people in Poland, not just me, are worried about the habit of appointing political allies to positions in what should be independent institutions.

I do write about Russia, and around 20 other countries, and also a lot of things that have nothing to do with eastern Europe. It's all here on the website.

Can I put a question to you? Please give examples of foreign news media that in your view cover Poland with the right depth, angle and tone. I will be glad to look at it. That would help dispel the doubtless absurd suspicion that you just dislike the idea of any outsiders writing anything about your country.



Kuba said...

Have you been doing drugs? You need to go check your head, as you are obviously loosing it, but first go check a few posts above: :My impression is that Macierewicz is both nuts and incompetent."
As to the rest...I am not going through your silly games...Just consider this; you may not see it yet, intoxicated (by your stunt) as you are, but if I were you, I'd call it a day with clowning and teasing before even your masters see that you are too exposed to be useful and look for some warm spot in say Montenegro if you don't like Belize oh, and don't get too cosy with that kindergarten-minded acolytes of yours - for your own good - is it flattering to be worshipped by fools? - it sure is dangerous...

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Kuba

Thanks for pointing out my mistake--sorry. I checked my articles for this phrase but not the rather more informal comments posted above.

I am sorry you won't answer my question. It seems to me (and forgive me if I have misunderstood you) that you are saying that my coverage of Poland is uniquely bad among the western media. So far, what you have done is to show that you disagree with it, which is not the same thing. So please, for example, compare my articles with those of Cienski/Wagstyl in the FT, and Dempsey in the IHT. If you think they are all bad, then you can say that "all English-language international media writing about Poland are wrong", and we can at least discuss that. If they are better than me, then you can point out what they do right and I do wrong. But I can't see how the discussion will go further if it is confined to you abusing me in such general terms.


Kuba said...

This is really annoying...I realize you have been trained to twist everything that comes your way, playing victim as you do that - and I see you've been trained well. Nevertheless, for the sake of those that might wander off here and read it I will for the last time put things back into shape. Let it be clear, however, that I am not having any discussion here with you as 130-post exchange following your 'survey' is more than enough proof that it is impossible:
1. since FT and IHT belong to the same mental (and financial) chaingang as you, why on earth would I waste a second on comparing between you lot? I am not a referee in a bullshit spawning competition.
2. For that matter, The Times treats Poland seriously and overtly favourably relates to the current outfit see interview w L.K and partic. the editorial by none other than Mr Rees-Mogg on Poland from the same issue plus the choice of news as they come.
3. I am not exactly disagreeing with your opinions or views - you don't have views nor opinions! You have (at best) knee-jerk attitudes and impressions - those are hard to discuss anywhere else than shrink;s couch. As to my issue with you - there is only one that I have really: you (consciously and deliberately, I am now convinced) produce and proliferate malicious L I E S - not errors - let me just refer to your latest deed in this : That Macierewicz has turned the WSI into the private spying service to K. brothers. - as this is what you literally wrote - it has been pointed also by others on this blog.
4 to sum it up and refer to your being abused by me:
As you remember, I started (a year ago) nicely enough considering the reason you gave me to start at all was rather outrageous - but I sought to clarify things first and make sure that you knew what you were doing. In the process of clarifying the above (and it wasn't overnight) I concluded that you are a man with no honour whatsoever and here's succintly - why: you chose to use such low means pursuing your agenda: innuendo, simple lies; manipulation and distortion is your way with facts; since you are a two-faced backstabber and a leech and quite literally; you pose as friendly (to Poland) and act so that I can't think of any other single man (in time of peace)to be as busy bringing harm to this country and with as much success and at the same time carrying around his mask of a concerned friend (and no - it isn't about a foreigner writing bad things about my country! For one, you have a pretty bunch of Poles who also do this conciously or not). to top it off - you seem really and I mean really stupid and narrow minded with no sense of what where and why; read your reaction to being accused of communist party concrete wing reverberating in your posts - c'mon, can't u see how hilariously funny and pathetic u r? and this lack of creativity in your reactions; you aksed me this "other foreigner writin well on Poland" stuff TWICE plus I saw that you also said that at least 5 times to others. You have no honour and you are a fool but a rowdy fool and flamuoyant which makes most despicable mixture.- hence abuse. I called you a liar several times publically and I do it now, I have proof (unlike you when u abuse J.K or A.M - in a coward's manner you only yap)what does a man of honour do? regardless of your considering yoursel a on top of the world - to me you are a not a partner for discussion - you had your chance to set things strait - a dozen of' it is i am not writing o you but through you!

Edward Lucas said...

OK, now we are getting somewhere. In your view, it is not just me, but all the mainstream English-language press that gets Poland wrong. IHT, FT, Economist--all the same. The Times, incidentally, has no correspondent in Poland and wrote about the Kaczynscy when LK came to London a few months ago. You cite William Rees-Mogg as a fine commentator on Polish affairs. I shall study his work with renewed interest.

I look forward to the promised launch of your own blog, where you will be able to explain Poland properly, rather than just criticising the sensationalist and malevolent nonsense that you find in the mainstream press.

I think it might be better if we now declare this conversation closed, unless you have a new point that you want to make.


Kuba said...

[OK, now we are getting somewhere]
I don't know where you're getting - most certainly the right conclusion to what I wrote is not there:
[... not just me, but all the mainstream English-language press that gets Poland wrong...]I see you are relentlessly trying to disarm me by sticking a 'all-foreigners-get-poland-wrong' label on my back - alas - to no avail! First of all, Economist, FT, and IHT are NOT 'all' - not even close to being close! Apart from the same ownership, they also have in common one other thing - they are almost exclusively read by(and are meant for) the non-English and therefore are relatively isolated as a phenomenon and hardly representative of English-language press. Secondly, if they 'get P. wrong' (not exactly precise...) it is not because they are 'foreign' press which 'never gets P. right' - as you impute - but because they are instruments of the same financial group, by means of which it carries out its foreign policy. in this case its main objective is to prevent Poland from becoming strong as this would drastically deteriorate conditions for the eating frenzy the big business has enjoyed-as it always does in countries where the free market thrives and the state authority is weak - that is in general terms what causes this defect of 'getting P. wrong. [a pre-emptive disclaimer: I am not 'anti-investment' or 'anti-corporate', as you will most probably try to categorize me].
And finally - the Times...I did not say that W.R-M is 'fine commentator on P. affairs' as that would be an overstatement. He has shown, however, that it is possible to write a commentary on P. today that is not based on blinding stereotypes but on a real effort to lend a favourable ear to idiosyncrasies of a different point of view - if Times can without a correspondent in Warsaw,I guess, that puts you in a doubly bad light....
Studying his work is unnecesary - it would suffice to show as much honesty...