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Saturday, December 3, 2022

This is also why I will circle AGAINST three times on Sunday

By: Gašper Blažič

Less than twenty years ago, a kind of urban myth circulated in Slovenian public space that Slovenia only had capable personnel to govern for one and a half governments. Which was also a message to the voters between the lines: do not take the risk of changing the currently ruling option in the elections. At that time, it was the LDS, whose leadership was taken over by Anton Rop after Drnovšek’s jump from Prime Minister to the position of President, who at the same time took over the leadership of the government. And stepped into rather oversized shoes.

After two decades, FDV’s political scientist Dr Tomaž Deželan, in an interview for Delo in June this year, further narrowed down the selection of good personnel: Slovenia only has personnel capable of governing for one government team. And somehow it is the one that rules us at the moment.

Of course, I only mention such myths in passing. Namely, they can be an excellent instrument for directing public opinion or a so-called soul engineering according to Orwell. They are based on the prejudice that in our country we do not have a lot of personnel resources suitable for governing, but those that do exist, the vast majority belong to the transitional left. In other words: there are no capable cadres outside the transitional left. Which was also a strong message to voters: if you want a secure future and experts in power, do not vote for right-wing parties.

But this is, of course, only part of the wider perspective of the old regime, which, in the style of the well-known pattern “…if it was not us, it would mean that it was someone else…”, spreads the mantra that in our country, the appropriate personnel resources are not equally distributed among all political options. And that the “profession” belongs to only one of these – the successor to the one that ruled us between 1945 and 1990. In other words: the phrase political option should not actually exist in this mentality, because there are actually only two options: are you “our” and thus a supporter of the correct values, the correct solutions, and the correct people, or you collaborate with them, i.e., with the class enemy. Under the conditions of the current constitutional arrangement and due to the appearance of Potemkin villages to the Euro-Atlantic institutions, the existence of a class enemy is at most tolerated – and that is basically all.

And it is clear that such a mental pattern – a seal on the brain, Svetlana Makarovič would probably say – is also present at RTV Slovenia. Not in the leadership, but in those who, before Sunday’s referendum, impose on the Slovenian public the virtual reality that the public institution RTVS is being politicised, of course by the class enemy, whatever name it has. Ergo: we who are resisting this are professionals, we are just professionals who would like to work normally, without political commissars looking under our fingers. And at the same time, we are also a civil society that resists attempts by politics to finally hijack a public institution that should serve all citizens as nobody’s public service. Which means, in other words, that those who came to the RTVS public institution under their leadership cannot be equal to us, because we are professionals, and they are not capable of that, but they primarily came to RTV because of political interests of those who rule on RTV.

And if I am a bit cynical, I will add to this the thought pattern of the soldiers of the revolution: it is a good thing that we professionals are supported by a government that is finally normal and will save us from them (i.e., the opposition).

Nothing new for the situation in Slovenia, but a repeated and already seen hundreds of times pattern of failed transition and fake democracy, as it is called in new-Slovenian. In the background of this vicious circle, of course, is the system of negative selection both in the training of journalists and in their employment in institutions such as RTVS. The consequences are in the palm of your hand: the completely grotesque and extremely contemptuous attitude of RTV’s political activists among journalists towards everyone who is not ours. In all this, they turn reality around and present themselves as victims, saying look what they are doing to us, just because we are not theirs, because we just want to work professionally. And, of course, they announce that neither Luka Svetina nor Martin Nahtigal can under any circumstances be professionals – because they are not from our circles, unfortunately. And in such mental poverty, the only thing missing is a proposal to allow journalistic work only to those to whom the Ministry of Culture would issue a license at the proposal of the Association of Journalists of Slovenia.

And of course: there are more of us professionals than you politicians on RTV…

Now do you understand why this group of socio-political workers is so strongly advocating the return of the delegate system to RTVS? Namely, in independent Slovenia, such a system once existed at RTVS. And it took care of two big anomalies in particular: First, that the editors at RTV were not actually accountable to anyone for their work. Second, under the pretext of complying with legal provisions, the RTV Council dismissed the general director for political reasons in a nice “apolitical” way – for example, the RTV Council in its new composition did not (re)confirm the mandate of the general director and thus dismissed him. In this way, they got rid of Žarko Petan in 1994, which was then prevented by the Constitutional Court – but two years later, the same providers of such personnel solutions simply retired Petan, saying that your retirement years have been completed, so leave. In short, once again, the “non-politicians” from the RTV Council gave not only the country, but also its constitution empty promises.

Only a few years later, the former president of SD Janez Kocijančič came to the leadership position in the aforementioned “non-political” Council of RTV. Of course, not as a politician, but as an official of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia. Because the RTV Council, which Golob’s law is trying to bring back, was formally a non-political body. If you believe that.

But the essence of this arrangement was that due to this apparent apoliticalness, the bubble of socio-political workers, according to Kučan’s diction of the soldiers of the revolution, remained untouched and uncontrolled. And what is most elegant: any political responsibility is hidden here. Even if the government in Slovenia changes, ours will always be in power at RTV.

This is also the reason why this bubble of socio-political workers so enthusiastically supports the new law, despite the fact that the aforementioned legal solutions were once already recognised as unconstitutional. For the same reason, the same activist bubble convulsively resisted the adoption of a new law a decade and a half ago, which introduced the current arrangement with the programming and supervisory board of RTV. At that time, it was against, today it is for. Which is the reason that the rest of us, according to them the stupid rest, are firmly AGAINST the principles of common sense.

As well as the expansion of the bureaucracy with new ministries. Back in May of this year, one of Mladina’s writers almost cursed Janez Janša on Twitter, asking what is the point of this opposition, if the independence government had, let’s face it, as many as 27 ministries – but Golob cannot have 20 of them?

But anyone who has at least an approximate knowledge of the history of the Slovenian constitutional system knows very well that the Demos government was elected under the terms of the slightly modified old Kardeljan republic constitution from 1974, which was amended in 1989 at least enough so that the first multi-party elections were possible to be implemented in 1990. The composition of the then official Executive Council (tricameral) of the (no longer Socialist) Republic of Slovenia, which was succeeded by the current National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (and also the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia) only a year after the adoption of the constitution (it was adopted on December 23rd, 1991), was such that there were 27 departments plus three vice presidents. There was only so much time that the republican committees could be legally transformed into secretariats, and the latter into ministries shortly before independence. Only the second Drnovšek’s government, which took office at the beginning of 1993, thus had a smaller number of ministries.

Many people will also remember that in the second Janša’s government, a single minister was in charge of the education and culture department (it was Dr Žiga Turk), which was so blasphemous for political activists from cultural circles, that they badly insulted the minister and staged a performance in front of the parliament by burning a contrabass on a Slovenian cultural holiday. Culture?

With all this, one really has to ask whether we need a special ministry for a solidary future – maybe we could introduce a ministry of truth after Orwell? But joking aside, the expansion of the number of ministries is part of the doctrine of the leftists, who gain new jobs by expanding the state administration. During the time of the previous government, the law on de-bureaucratisation was passed as the first serious attempt to transition to the so-called lean country. Obviously, we will soon be without this law, while we can boast of new ministries. And on top of some unpleasant budget rebalancing. But it will be a headache for those who the government does not like anyway.

And long-term care? The government convinces us how much our older generations will gain by confirming the government amendment adopted in July this year. However, it is worth remembering that we waited twenty years for the law that systematically regulates long-term care, and it was adopted on December 9th last year, i.e., under the previous coalition. Well, then the new coalition found out that the law cannot be implemented in practice, and therefore adopted an amendment that delays the start of implementation by one year.

Do you believe the government that the law will really start to be implemented then and that our seniors will gain something from it?

If your answer is YES, then you probably did not check that at least one of the supporters of Golob’s long-term care regulation supports the passage of the euthanasia bill. Which will effectively mean that doctors are turning into a kind of executioners. And that one of your relatives might be taken to another world “by mistake”.

Various circles of non-governmental organisations from the ideological bubble of the transitional left have never hidden their preference for the legalisation of euthanasia. The latter gets a place where long-term care is unorganised. And the one-year moratorium on the implementation of the long-term care law is long enough to bring the euthanasia law through the parliamentary process and pass it. And if the government and its supporters demagoguely convince us that we have not lost anything with the amendment from this July, but at most have gained a lot, with euthanasia we may be listening to emotionally charged stories about how important it is to enable humane death. In short, similar emotional manipulations as in 2001, when before the referendum on the fertilisation of single women we listened to similar stories that played on an emotional note. They were told by those who wanted the then new law on artificial insemination to be approved in a referendum. Fortunately, they did not succeed.

In short, enough reasons for the wise to vote AGAINST three times on Sunday.

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