Harold Wilson once observed that a week in politics is a long time. Slovenian PM and everyone’s new favourite whipping boy Janez Janša proved once more that the late British leader was right on the fucking money. In case you spent the last 72 hours under a rock or trying to evacuate Kabul, the story is that the Glorious Leader again buckled under the tiniest of pressures from European Parliament and had suffered Twitter meltdown.
However, in an apparent attempt to keep things interesting, Janša laced his latest temper tantrum with a healthy dose of antisemitic dog-whistles, misogyny and choice conspiracy theories. Moreover, to erase what little diplomatic standing he had generated for himself and for the country he unfortunately leads, Marshal Twito started a diplomatic kerfuffle with none other than The Netherlands. Cue eating popcorn gif.
In a reprehensible, yet entirely predictable escalation of a series of anti-covid-pass protests last Tuesday, Muddy Hollows’ capital Ljubljana was the scene of a demonstration-turned-riot that saw liberal use of tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets as well as mounted and K9 units. It was, in short, fun for the whole family.
This was in stark contrast to the week before when a similar but larger protest took place and the police more or less just stood by, dispersing the crowd only when it entered the Ljubljana bypass and briefly stopped traffic. This time around however, everyone was spoiling for a fight. The Covid-sceptic mob, the police and the government. And a fight was what everyone got.
In what can only be described as a landslide, voters in Muddy Hollows on Sunday rejected amendments to the Waters Act by an overwhelming margin. Voter turnout reached 45 percent, the highest in recent years. 86 percent voted against and only 13 voted in favour of the law. The voters effectively doused the government of Janez Janša in cold water.
The proposed changes to the legislation were fairly technical. But they were controversial enough to galvanise the opposition, a wide array of experts and – crucially – the civil society. The referendum was also the first chance for the electorate to show how they really felt about the Glorious Leader and his administration. And show they did. By flipping them a giant finger.
Janez Janša saw the 30th anniversary of Slovenian independence as something of a personal milestone. He is the only senior figure of the 1991 independence struggle who is still in public service. Everyone else is either retired, dead or in prison. It was to be a joyous occasion, crowned a few days later by Muddy Hollows taking over EU Council presidency.
Instead, the Glorious Leader spent the anniversary week doing some light LGBT-bashing on the EU stage. With this, he was paying fealty to his Lord Protectór and then denied all of it, only to be, well, outed by none other than Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel. Awkward.
If pengovsky’s calculations are correct the good people of Muddy Hollows will go to the poll in less than a year. The 2022 election season is upon us and Janez Janša-led coalition has less than 365 days left. Perhaps a lot less.
In fact, Slovenians will go to the polls in exactly a month. Not be to elect new people’s representatives but to vote in a referendum on a controversial Waters Act. Still, the political parties are already in full-on campaign mode.