The almost week-old news that the opposition quartet (SD, LMŠ, SAB, Levica), or, as I call it, a “goodbye trio with a trailer”, proposed a formateur – Jože P. Damijan, an economist, professor, blogger, commentator and one of the protagonists of the Second Track Railway project – reached me on vacation, thus I only respond to it now that the effect of surprise is over.
I admit, when I heard the information about the plans of the opposition, or “conquering yuppie” quartet, I first thought it was an April Fool’s joke. But when the red four-leaf clover appeared on the screen and proposed a kind of “coalition of the constitutional arch,” whatever this means, it became clear to me they were serious. Well, jokes are really written on its own, at least depending on the circumstances, but the matter is really deadly serious. Regardless, we can only laugh out loud at certain statements regarding the new proposal.
Jože P. Damijan is not unknown in Slovenia. He is not a “new face”. He became involved in politics fifteen years ago, interestingly, during the first Janša government, when he became a member of the Strategic Council, which was supposed to prepare the expert basis for the reforms, which were then carried out by the government. The group was at the time led by the linguistic Mićo Mrkaić, who was the loudest representative of the then rather strong current of liberal economists who resisted the “old guard” led by Jože Mencinger. Mencinger was also once actively involved in politics – remember: shortly before Slovenia’s independence, he resigned as Deputy Prime Minister of Demos responsible for economic affairs, after he found himself in a cross-cutting debate on privatization, with a visiting guest adviser for developing countries Jeffrey Sachs, otherwise a good acquaintance of the then member of the SFRY presidency Janez Drnovšek (the latter also introduced Sachs to the then Yugoslav Prime Minister Ante Marković). Well, after Mrkaić left, Damijan took over the leadership and even became the first Minister for Development without portfolio. This period did not last long either, as he soon resigned, and was succeeded by a hitherto unknown university professor who was not an economist, Žiga Turk, today a recognizable right-wing publicist, but with many “separate opinions”.
Both Mrkaić and Damijan back then made statements in the sense that the government was not serious about the reforms. Interestingly, even before Mrkaić’s resigned, J. P. D. announced his departure from the government’s Strategic Council because he had failed to propose a reform of the pension system. He was otherwise quite uncompromising in these matters and even suggested that people should not retire before the age of 70. Well, those were statements that made leftists lost their senses. As well as some parties of the Slovenian Spring who warned against the “cuckoo’s egg”. I borrowed the term from the now deceased university professor and sociologist Jan Makarovič, who at a press conference of the Assembly for the Republic in April 2005 strongly critiqued Mrkaić and the “neoliberal” deviations of the (first) Janša government saying this is a phenomenon that the philosopher Tina Hribar named “vulgoliberalism” at the first famous public tribune of the Assembly for the Republic about a year earlier.
That the case of Mrkaić’s successor, J. P. D., was indeed a “cuckoo’s egg” became clear only later. Namely, in the first years after Damijan’s departure, many of us believed that the first Minister of Development in the first Janša government was a serious member of a liberal direction that resists statism and socialism. Well, we could not be more wrong. Only two years after J. P. D.’s wedding (according to the biographical lexicon, the wedding took place in 2011), his wedding photos were made public, in which the infamous agent of the political underworld and Pop TV’s “political commissar” Drago Kos appeared. It did not take long and all of a sudden we experienced a Copernican turn, when the former “vulgoliberal” J. P. D. and his namesake from Jesenice, Mencinger, found themselves in agreement. Even the Necenzurirano portal has noticed this unusual turn, which is not an isolated phenomenon in Slovenian journalism, as there are quite a few similar converts who were once members of the parties of the Slovenian Spring. I do not know what exactly caused Damijan’s turnaround – maybe the fact that not so long ago he tried to run for the governor of the Bank of Slovenia? Probably not just that as it is illogical for someone to start sympathizing publicly with Syriza, the Greek version of the Kordiš-Mesec’s Left, out of his own whim, because he may not like Janez Janša as well as to start expressing views that have always been part of the arsenal of the political underworld when it comes to attacking the parties of the Slovenian Spring.
It is interesting to follow Damijan’s views expressed in the show Politično on TVS – there, for example, he spoke about how the current government is dismantling the constitutional order we have had for the last 30 years. Since it is known that the language of the transitional left is in fact highly codified and does not express exactly what it says, this position needs to be understood as follows: this government we have now is dismantling what we have been building after the “descent from power” for three decades. In short, J.P.D. sends very similar messages to the public as Milan Kučan. It is known that Kučan, as the former leader of the group for psychological and propaganda activities in ZKS, is an excellent master of rhetoric, and we should never take him literally, but read between lines, i.e. in codes. Of course, the majority of the public will accept the outer shell of the message as the truth. And partly in this lies the essence of the success of the political underworld. What the “technical prime minister” said in the show is nothing new at all – it is populism that we actually listen to and read (and absorb) through the mainstream media all the time.
Why JPD? Many people wonder why did the “uncles” choose the project of a new, third government in this term instead of the project of new early elections (the first opportunity after the resignation of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec escaped them due to the “arbitrariness” of DeSUS and SMC) and why did they choose a specific person to run the government? The reason probably lies in the fact that J.P.D. is “neutral” on the party side and could calm down any possible egocentrism in the parties. On the other hand, the collapse of a possible “new arch government” would politically relieve the parties behind it. Of course, it is not superfluous to mention that if such a government were to be formed and mostly unknown, “professional” names were called into it, it would not be an ordinary technical government, but another transparent cat in the sack. This would relieve the transitional left of its responsibility for failure, and it is also clear that its main goal is to protect old financial resources and the annuity system, which began to collapse, for example in the case of Aleksandra Pivec, who just a day before the public presentation of the “constitutional arc” project waved goodbye and abandoned the original plan to run for president of DeSUS again. It was Pivec, whom no one expected, who, for example, cut into the area of the forestry mafia network – and because of that she had to leave. And not because of the few hundred euros with which the hosts allegedly “bribed” her with. And if we add to this that even the leader of the TV show Tarča is involved in this story through family ties, then it is more than obvious why the transitional left has openly opted for a soft coup d’état. Supported, of course, by cycling protest rallies, which are actually a kind of psychological prevention system – they do not happen because the government would do something (bad), but as a warning not to accidentally dare to do something. As our southern brothers would say, “Don’t touch the lion while it is sleeping.”
Probably many people smirk at the left-wing “archers” and think that nothing will come of it, they only have 39 votes anyway. However, the political underworld must not be underestimated in any way. The DeSUS congress will take place shortly, where among the candidates is also Karl Erjavec, who is returning as a kind of terminator with that famous Schwarzenegger phrase “I’ll be back!”. And the political underworld is probably counting on him after the five deputies of this party dismissed their president (who, at least in my opinion, ended her political career) – also due to the fact that the new president of DeSUS, whoever he or she will be, become a member of the government. And as it is known, that seven years ago Erjavec stabbed Janez Janša in the back with a rather large knife. It will be a bit more difficult with SMC deputies, where Golobič’s couriers will have to conduct individual talks (read: pressures) in order to get them on their side for the government of the constitutional arc. And the new wannabe formateur is even so optimistic that he reckons that this problem will be solved within two months. Well, with the assistance of the media and fake public opinion polls, it would come as no surprise that a deep state, unable to come to terms with the cessation of its full rule, would take the country hostage and arrange a coup d’état in the middle of the epidemic.