After the revelations about the government’s plans to privatise higher education there was a storm of debate on the pages of Gazeta Wyborcza – no, not about education, about something called the Hausner plan. Unless I miss my guess this is the second plan to be named after this Hausner person. This one concerns public funding of the arts, or to be more precise, cutting public funding of the arts. Surprisingly enough, the government wants to hand over arts funding to the private sector. Corporations are to be allowed write off 1% of blah blah blah. GW has had articles on it every day and every day they printed a summary of the plan’s main points, as if you couldn’t guess to within 99.9% accuracy what a plan dreamed up under the auspices of a right wing neoliberal government consisted of.
Now I think puppet theatres and poetry and what-have-you are important but I am amazed at the complete lack of interest in Kazimierz Stępień’s expressed desire to remove the constitutional guarantee of free study. Propose getting rid of the requirement to do a post-doctoral degree and there is an uproar. Propose cutting poor people out of third level education and nothing.
The other thing that has been occupying the mainstream media of late is who gets to be called boss of the European Parliament – Jerzy Buzek or some Italian guy. We’re all supposed to be glued to our seats with our fingers crossed for Buzek even though we’re constantly told that the EU is about partnership and putting the interests of the community above the interests of individual nations. That’s all very well, it seems, but wouldn’t it be nice if Our Lads got some nice (“prestigious”) jobs out of it? At the risk of being drawn into the pointlessness of it all, here is some background information on Jerzy Buzek: he was not a very good prime minister of Poland for a few years, during which time one Marian Krzaklewski, trade union leader, was the power behind the throne. Krzaklewski also ran for the European Parliament but didn’t get in. Well it looks like he may soon get his old back seat back.