By: Davorin Kopše
As children, we played and imagined many professions throughout the game. I remember an idea from a peer to play an inn. As far as I know, we did not do this because there were many other interests that prevailed. If the game were to be realised, we would probably determine the space that would represent the inn, and place the inscription inn in a suitable place. Would that be an inn? Of course, this would not be an inn, it would be children’s fiction expressed through play.
In recent days, we have experienced the fiction of part of politics and the media that a business meeting is a catering business. We live in a time of lockdown, when inns are closed because catering is prohibited. A meeting between the Minister of the Economy and the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Prlekija was organised in the building, where in normal times catering business really takes place. Is this catering business? Of course it is not. To imagine that this is catering business and even to talk about it publicly is childish fiction or fiction at the level of a young child’s development.
Television medium POP TV, which considers itself serious, invited its house analyst Alen Maksuti, who with his southern accent always guesses wrong, a marketing expert Aljoša Bagola, and another political analyst Marko Balažic to the studio. Now they have done it, one would say, when one sees this serious approach to a completely unimportant matter. Both Maksuti and Bagola condemned the meeting in the inn in their own way, which was not the case at the time of the meeting, whereas Balažic made a more realistic statement and did not get involved in the admissibility or inadmissibility of the meeting at this place. They also commented on the private arrival of Minister Aleš Hojs at the Croatian border crossing, where he decided not to cross the border and returned to Slovenia. Since the case of Hojs is even more bizarre, I will not deal with it in this post. Perhaps it is only necessary to say that he was informed of the measures of entering the country at the border. Since he did not agree with them, he just turned around. Quite normal, but the treatment of events in Slovenia is not normal.
In fact, it does not even matter what the individual commenters said. The main misfortune is that they were invited on these two topics at all, and that the media deal in such a pompous way with events that basically mean nothing to the media.
The virus is limited if the hosts do not come into close contact
The meeting held by Minister Zdravko Počivalšek with representatives of the local Chamber of Commerce was intended to exchange views on improving the business conditions of companies and creating conditions for the most successful operation even in post-crisis conditions, when the strategy of operation of each company will be very important in the competition for market shares. The assessment was that, given the epidemic, such a meeting could most safely take place in an otherwise closed catering facility. When the public learned of this meeting, an avalanche of accusations erupted that the minister and his team had not complied with the measure of temporary cessation of catering activities.
Given the event itself, the whole thing is not worth mentioning, and the absurdity arose at the shouting and screaming of almost all important and irrelevant media that are anti-government. Suddenly, no one was interested in the content and significance of the meeting. Some of the entertainment programmes (Kaj dogaja on TV Slo) on television were even involved in the events, and they found it exquisite to expose their alleged intellect to comment on the event and the minister’s statement that he only drank water. They have proven that we are at a point where yellow content is invading all areas, all genres, and all categories of media content.
It is clear to any normal homo sapiens that work and business meetings happen all the time. Of course, all the standards ordered during epidemiological conditions must be met, and the life must move on. Only those activities and industries that are not of an existential nature, but are by their nature risky for the spread of the virus, have been stopped.
The meeting took place in exactly the same way as it would if it were somewhere in a room with a different purpose. For example, in the premises of the Chamber of Commerce, perhaps the municipality, or something similar, which some have mentioned as more appropriate. After one year of monitoring what is happening, even non-experts can say that this is simply not true. In the offices, participants from the attacked meeting would be significantly more at risk. Namely, people who carry out business processes gather daily in these premises, and yes, they also have meetings. In the building of an inn that has been closed to the public for weeks or even months, this exposure is practically zero compared to the previously mentioned rooms. Just for a reflection: What if a chimney sweep came to clean the chimney? Even in this case, an activity that is not prohibited would take place in the catering facility. In this case, would you also say that the chimney sweep was an exception and an inn only opened for him?
The story of Počivalšek (also Hojs), the inn, the meeting, and the water is not important in itself, but it is interesting because of the infantile and extremely funny attack on the low level of media professionalism and the completely untalented part of politics. Of course, this is not just about political talent. It does not matter for which job you use a useless tool. You cannot achieve some enviable results with it.
An apology for an act that did not happen
With their shameless promotion of stupid platitudes, they managed to get Minister Počivalšek to apologise. Just what was the minister thinking when he wrote a tweet with the following content: “I apologise to the entire Slovenian public, especially to the caterers, for visiting the Taverna inn. Although the meeting was legal, justified, and very useful, it was also a reckless move in these difficult times”.
Maybe he just took a step back in terms of folk wisdom to be the bigger man. When I guess, I also think of the possibility that he simply did not think about how low the Slovenian media have already fallen, and is dragging down a part of the public with them.
It really hurts to slip to such a low level. Perhaps this blind chase after Monday’s collapse of the no confidence motion filed by the KUL coalition will end. The euphoric blind cheering (read pounding) for this formation has clouded the brains of many. In doing so, some media are not innocent. Maybe they too will now see the light and will be at least moderate and without major slips beyond common sense until the regular elections. KUL has finally collapsed, and the dead are not given artificial respiration.
Davorin Kopše is a conservative politician and former candidate on the joint list of the Slovenian Democratic Party and the Slovenian People’s Party for a member of the European Parliament.