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Stop Fake News! Poland's new law does not threaten our democracy

In the recent weeks, Poland has gotten under a storm of criticism for passing a bill that gives its parliament a bigger say on the appointment of judges. Many journalists around the world fell deep into hysteria in describing the changes as a major threat to Polish democracy. It is extremely unfair on many levels. And unfortunately, these comments contribute to the destruction of the Poland’s standing in the world. Let's see where the truth is...

British television station, Channel 4, published on Twitter a two minute video that allegedly describes the current situation in Poland, after passing new bills that change Polish judiciary. Let's have a look at these lies.

 

"Poland's passed a law that threatens its democracy" - Really? How on earth these changes possibly threatens our democracy? Ruling party won the last election fair and square. One of the main reasons of this win was promise to change corrupted Polish judiciary. Law and Justice, the ruling party, has exactly the same level of support as on the election day in October 2015. Poles want these changes. That is pure democracy! So Channel 4, stop manipulating.

 

"Polish politicians now have control of the nation's top court." So? When it comes to judiciary similar solutions exist in many other countries. Did any of Channel 4 journalists check how politicians in Germany, Spain, Holland or Denmark, to name a few countries, contribute in appointing judges? If no, the only thing I've got to say is "ignorance is bliss". And if yes, you should not be calling yourselves journalists. Stay away from Poland and don’t be alarmed. Polish democracy is well and healthy. 

 

"They passed a law which will see all supreme court justices removed and replaced with new judges". No. There is possibility to remove a judge. It doesn't mean necessary all the judges will be removed, if any. But it is impossible to understand this proposal without historical context. Let me quote... myself: "There is no room here to list all the examples of why these changes need to be implemented, but equally I don’t want my statement to remain unfounded. So let’s have a look at judge Janusz Godyń from the Supreme Court, who was recently honoured by KRS and awarded a medal for his merit. But during Martial Law in Poland he was involved in the sentencing of many members of Solidarity. And he is no exception. (...) The Polish judiciary is a communist fossil. And it’s time to change it once and for all." The long-overdue changes in Polish judiciary - Adrian Wachowiak reports . Majority of Poles want these changes. And that's how democracy works...

 

In the Channel 4 video, Ania (one of the protesters) says: "I guess we will have little to say about our lives. Our EU membership is at risk, diversity is at risk, growth is at risk, freedom of thinking, media freedom." Ania obviously doesn't understand that until now she had no control over the judges who called themselves a "caste". With the new bill Ania can vote for whoever she wants, and that person will be able to control judges. It's a bonus. It is extremely hard to explain obvious things. Our membership in EU is not at risk. As I stated above, the similar solutions can be found in many other European countries. And when it comes to growth and economics, well, Ania should know that current situation is literally fantastic. But I wonder if Channel 4 journalists know about it?

 

"Tens of thousands protesters lined the street of Warsaw and other Polish cities". And again: so? Isn't it just the perfect proof of democracy? There is no intention to stop people from protesting. Former PM, Ewa Kopacz, one of the opposition’s leaders, said when she was in power: "You cannot take over the power in the street. You have to do this by the use of ballot box". Law and Justice won the election and implements the changes they promised to its voters.

 

"This is the biggest fraud in the history of the Polish parliament", says BorysBudka, former Minister of Justice. Really? Fraud? How passing of a new law in the parliament elected in democratic elections is fraud? It is not only a lie. It is a disgusting manipulation. And yet Channel 4 has no problem whit it. Budka adds that "Poles have been stripped of their freedom". It is very difficult to argue with a such stupid statement, but even if this was true, this is want Poles want. This is what they voted for. This is democracy. Does Channel 4 know the latest polls and what Poles think about Budka's party?

 

"The government recently increased its control over the Polish media." It is a lie. The parliament passed a new bill concerning the national media group, TVP. It is not true what Channel 4 suggests in its video that the Polish government controls or want to control private media. They are free. Well, not exactly since two main private television stations were founded by communists' secret police collaborators. But this is completely different story... I think you need to hire new researchers...

 

"European Council criticised the new law, saying it goes against European values." No. Donald Tusk did. Tusk is a former Polish PM who is in opposition to Polish government. And quite frankly who cares what Tusk says? Besides, if we are talking about European values I understand that Tusk will criticise the way German politicians appoint judges. I also hope that Channel 4 knows that European Council can say whatever they want about Polish judiciary. More or less applies to their comments regarding the Brexit... 

 

To sum up. It is not only about Channel 4. It is about #FakeNews. This short video is a prime example of manipulation. Why Channel 4 didn't actually ask about these changes in Polish judiciary anyone from the ruling party? This is a very much one-sided report, diplomatically speaking. Unfortunately, many people in the UK and across the world will rely on it. And this is not a true picture of the current situation in Poland. So please help to fight it and send this text to news@channel4.com.

 

https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/888721884136787969

 


16:59 22 lipca 2017