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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

We do not want to talk about individual integrity here!

By: Prim Janez Remškar, dr med

While watching Tarča show on March 21st, 2024, I was appalled, disappointed, and concerned. The guests on the show included Dr Robert Šumi, Stojan Zdolšek, Aleš Hojs, Mirko Bandelj, Drago Kos, and via link Prof. Dr Rajko Pirnat and Aleš Rezar.

It is not that I did not expect ambiguous statements from our lawyers and representatives of former and current heads of important state organs, which clearly characterised the vagueness of our legislation and the space for all kinds of manipulations, but given the topic of Tarča, I expected more personal honesty and integrity from people who now operate in the judicial system or have in the past made many decisions affecting our lives.

The fundamental question was: What does it mean for the functioning of the state if the Prime Minister accuses official bodies of conspiring against him? The essential question related to the integrity of the Prime Minister, which the respondents avoided in their answers, showing that it is unimportant to them!

Based on my own long-standing experience working in the public sector of the state, which I helped create 33 years ago under fortunate circumstances (in the Assembly on the side of the Demos and with mobilisation during the intervention of the YPA), I have long been aware that my country, which is also my homeland, is inefficient and falling apart.

Our entire public sector is falling apart!

In education, teachers are held hostage by aggressive, sometimes “important” parents. Dr Leonida Zalokar often talks about this. The emphasis is only on learning, not on education, let alone patriotic education. I should mention that the latter is included in the curricula of schools in neighbouring countries. I point out that even when enrolling in medical school, we only focus on success and knowledge in high school and nothing on the personal qualities of candidates. Abroad, they pay a lot of attention to this. Among the qualities, they pay attention to the personal integrity of candidates, future doctors, which is of utmost importance in demanding, responsible work, with the possibility of errors and facing responsibility. But what about us?

In healthcare, we resort to the ideology of egalitarianism and thus refuse to acknowledge that we cannot cover all needs with public funds alone. Why should someone who can afford it not pay an additional fee alongside mandatory payments? With this additional money from a special insurance policy, their treatment would be separate from the mandatory insurance policy, making room for someone who does not have such insurance. All of this under careful supervision. In addition, the harmful influence of local politics in healthcare should be mentioned, which should not exist in the urgent establishment of more rational hospital work.

In the judiciary, we stumble on procedural matters, lawyers have the opportunity to delay proceedings, and cases become statute barred. This procrastination, delay, benefits neither the plaintiff nor the defendant because the cases drag on, remain unresolved in the end, and doubts persist. The judiciary is inefficient. The reason is said to be the consideration of human rights. I argue that most people feel discomfort, powerlessness in all of this. Politicians are undoubtedly responsible for this first, as they create legislation that enables such procedures, followed closely by the media, which never fully investigate any issue and do not support it with documents despite the glorification of so-called investigative journalists.

Unfortunately, I must emphasise that the beginnings of my country were based on lies!

We still witness this constantly today, without consequences for the authors. There is no integrity here! As an example of deceit, I serve as a model of how some former long-standing and ideologically vetted members, supporters of the one-party system, immediately became democrats. Among other things, so-called independent delegates appeared in the Assembly of United Labour, without party affiliation, and among them was the first colonel Milan Aksentijević!? Does this tell us anything? I will not mention others who quickly changed their ideals of the one-party system, but they are listed in the book by the president of the Association of United Labour, Mr. Zupančič.

The participants in Tarča on March 21st, 2024, all, except Mr. Hojs, avoided the issue of politicians’ integrity. The fundamental question was precisely the integrity of the current Prime Minister. The host of Tarča repeated several times the fact that we have a statement from the Prime Minister from before the elections, that if the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC) found violations, he would immediately resign. At the same time, when the CPC initiated proceedings due to his possible interference in the work of the police, he stated that he would immediately clarify everything, present the facts, and support everything with witnesses.

Now we are witnessing the opposite. We witness the search for procedural errors, delays, appeals to individual human rights for fair, consistent treatment. Lawyer Zdolšek tried to attribute everything to settling scores between networks that have an interest in politics. Zdolšek also accused the police of bias. In this regard, the same Zdolšek nonchalantly stated that many people say things before elections or express themselves more casually. Many opinions were expressed, which are, of course, only individual opinions and not necessarily correct positions according to the legislation.

The essence of Tarča was to show us, unfortunately without clear conclusions, that personal integrity is superfluous or non-existent for our current Prime Minister and lawyers! It is perfectly clear that the attitude towards personal integrity of an average citizen cannot be compared to that of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s attitude towards integrity is extremely important because it can and should be a guiding principle for all citizens. But that is not the case here. Professor Dr Alojz Ihan has already written about this. He wrote: “The legacy of the system that ingrained irresponsible obedience to authorities in our heads is culturally difficult to outgrow. New patterns need to be imported from somewhere, but a frightened society itself finds it difficult to be open to this. That is why sometimes it is necessary to be lucky to find someone like Václav Havel, for example. However, if we want to identify the reasons for the Slovenian society’s flight into bureaucratisation, we cannot ignore the mutual connection between the people and the authorities. The proverb says that the fish rots from the head down, but the truth lies somewhere in between. On one hand, the people (often blindly) choose the authorities, and the authorities efficiently transfer the examples of their behaviour to the entire society. This is like the relationship between parents and children – children do not behave as their parents dictate, but rather as the parents behave among themselves. Similarly, the people do not listen to what the authorities explain and desire, but rather meticulously copy the behaviour they recognise in the authorities.”

The conduct, behaviour of the Prime Minister, and the involvement of lawyers in Tarča is merely a reflection of the pushing away, denial of the need for personal integrity. The flight of our society into bureaucratisation, as Professor Ihan points out, is the worst legacy for the development of our society, especially for the young!

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