So, this little gem from Muddy Hollows has gotten plenty of international attention.
Darij Krajčič, a LMŠ MP resigned because he stole a goddamn sandwich. Which was probably about most fun editors of the “also in the news” sections in the international media have had for a while. Incidentally this was the most media attention Muddy Hollows have had for a while, too.
But while the good folk of such world-renowned outlets as The Kampala Daily Online were chuckling along and going from awe at the zero-tolerance for criminal activity by politicos to disbelief that something like this could actually merit a resignation and back, the real story here is not the sandwich, but everything around it.
Long story short, Krajčič ran out to a nearby supermarket to grab a sandwich the other day and when he wanted to pay, he was made to wait a bit as the clerks were apparently chit-chatting amongst themselves.
The MP, irritatted by the fact that he waited for three whole minutes, decided to leave without paying and later claimed that it was all a “social experiment” and “a test of the store’s security protocols”. The supposed experiment came to a premature end, however, as Krajčič insists that he returned to the store and paid for the hoagie.
Which is bad as it is. I mean, for all the “social experiment stuff”, the store in question has security cameras and if someone were to recognise Krajčič later on and provide select media with still images or videos of him not paying and walking out, the shitstorm would have been fantastic.
But that’s the problem here, you see. Nobody recognised Krajčič. He was made to wait for three whole minutes. Ain’t no MP got time for that. Don’t they know who he is and that he is a busy man?
And then, for some unfathomable reason, the freshman MP told all about his little escapade to his colleagues. During a committee session. Into a live mic. On the record. I mean, what the actual fuck?
How fucking dense must you be to do something like that? In what world does bragging about (attempted) petty theft count as a legitimate argument in a procedural debate?
But there’s more. Apparently, Krajčič was trying to impress on colleagues that they were wasting time with pointless debates just like those clerks wasted his which resulted in him shoplifting.
You can see where this is going, right? While he didn’t spell it out, he clearly felt that he should not have been made to wait and that it was actually the clerks who made him leave without paying.
Nevermind the fact that those same clerks saw MPs come and go in droves over the years. Nevermind the fact often store employees have to cover theft costs out of their own pocket. Nevermind the fact that he could have alerted them to his presence and asked where and how he could pay for the bloody sandwich.
(also, nevermind the fact that the parliament runs a very decent catering service and that he could we’ll get everything he wanted just three stories down, at a competitive price)
What we have here is, it seems, a serious case of a person overwhelmed by the bells and whistles of an MP seat without realising the perks are there not because he personally deserves them for whatever reason, but because they make his job easier.
Being an MP is a bit of a shitty job. At least in Muddy Hollows. Sure, you get paid substantial coin. But the combination of being in direct line of fire of public discontent, the huge personal responsibility that comes with the mandate *and yet* still a relatively low position in the political pecking order, where you are expected to vote as you’re told by either the government or the party, can take it out on a person.
Some MPs never lose sight of the fact that theirs is just a temp job. Others get way too comfortable way too soon. And when, in addition, they cannot get rid of their pub-banter debating style (how could they, they’ve just been elected to office for the first time), the banal venality (or is that venal banality) of such characters is exposed.
LMŠ said publicly they are sad to see Krajčič go. Officially he quit of his own volition, but rest assured he was made to see the light
This whole thing was not about corruption or the fight against it. It has even less to do with PM Šarec’s supposedly tough stance on corruption and political malpractice.
While they may be true, fact of the matter is that Krajčič was let go because he turned out to be a liability.
After PM Šarec Geot unceremoniously rid of both Marko Bandelli and Dejan Prešiček, pengovsky noted that coalition partners will be on the lookout for the slightest of fuck-ups. This moment came very soon indeed and LMŠ had no choice but come down on Krajčič hard.
This was necessary all the more as Krajčič was the chairperson of the parliamentary EU affairs committee and with the election to the European parliament looming, LMŠ can afford nary a screw-up on the EU front.
Especially after they rejected a joint ticket with SMC and SAB and will be playing a solo game in the EU vote.
Thus getting rid of Darij Krajčič was as much a matter of political expediency as it was of LMŠ’s “high ethical standards”. If not more.
Be that as it may, for a fleeting moment, the MP and his sandwich went viral.