Covid-19 infection and mortality numbers in Slovenia are at a high not seen since the worst of the second wave. The 7-day average is the highest it has even been. If this goes on, one in every 400 Slovenians will have died of Covid-19 in a matter of weeks. Such is life in Muddy Hollows these days, where the government of Janez Janša bet the house on vaccines and then proceeded to fuck up the vaccination campaign.
Then again, rule by decree, liberal use of tear gas and general incompetence don’t help either. As a result, prime minister Janez Janša is now forced to contemplate the one thing he explicitly said he would not do. Reimposing the lockdown. But to do that and survive politically, he is resorting to the only three things he is really good at. Diversion, denial, and deflection.
Reintroducing the lockdown is, of course, just one step shy of the government admitting defeat. It is as if no-one has learned a fucking thing in the twelve months since shit really hit the fan in Muddy Hollows. Apart from having slightly more than half of the population vaccinated against Covid-19, this sorry little excuse for a country is literally where it was exactly a year ago.
What was being done, however, was a wide-ranging attempt at state capture. Media outlets and journalists that don’t follow the government line are subject to daily abuse. Independent institutions are undermined, staffed with loyalists or outright smeared in public. The judiciary as a whole is cast as corrupt and biased. NGOs are painted as some sort of fifth columns, undermining the state. The opposition is described as unpatriotic. And all of the above together are being accused by PM Janša and his jansheviks of somehow being directly responsible for disastrous pandemic statistics.
And make no mistake, the situation really is disastrous. The anti-mask/anti-vaxx idiots are rampant. Legitimate protests are ongoing. Almost no one trusts anyone else in the country. But the government would rather beat the shit out its own people than, you know, get them vaccinated and start making things better.
This, of course, is the crux of the problem. Having somehow survived one of the longest and least coordinated lockdowns in Europe, and spending untold treasure to do so, the government of Janez Janša bet the farm on a quick and wide-ranging vaccine rollout.
Things gone tits-up
The problem was – or rather, is – that not everyone is getting vaccinated. In fact, the vaccination rate in Slovenia is among the lowest in the EU. Which is not at all surprising given that the government failed to mount a serious vaccination campaign.
What little effort was made, it was literally outsourced to a life coach who used to peddle anti-vaxx bullshit and whose idea of a vaccination campaign is attacking the media for pointing out government fuck-ups.
And when this same guy tweets a tacit approval of an hydroxychloroquine and invermectine “treatment” of Covid-19 infection in almost two years into the pandemic you know things have gone tits-up long ago.
And in case you’re wondering, other than occasional pleas and threats by various government officials, absolutely fuck all is being done to get people to take the jab.
Rule by decree
The other pandemic-related failure was – or rather, is – the Covid-check system. In lieu of passing a proper law, the Janša administration passed a simple executive order. These are much easier to adopt, as they don’t entail negotiating with that pesky opposition. But they’re much harder to enact and are prone to carve-outs and push-backs. As a result, Covid-pass checks are implemented unevenly, often mocked openly and as such much less effective.
So, on one hand, a feeble supply of half-arsed anti-pandemic measures. On the other, a massive waste of resources and energy executing a full-blown state-capture. No wonder things are going to hell in a hand-cart. Again.
But as authoritarian as Janša’s approaches are (and they are authoritarian), the results are meagre at best.
Stepping into the same pile of shit twice
The judicial system still works. The Slovenian Press Agency (STA) has endured 300 days of defunding and refuses to fold. What little legislative successes the government can muster it is due to the opposition dropping the ball rather than some sort of political prowess by the Glorious Leader.
And, staying true to form, PM Janša simply cannot resist stepping onto the same bag of flaming dogshit twice. He also cannot resist poking the Dutch government in the eye twice. Or, in this case, doing both. Because of course he did.
Both readers will remember the falling out Janša had with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte over the antisemitic misogynistic twexcrement aimed at Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.
After that shitstorm had passed, most people thought the worst was over. Certainly Janša did his damnest to point out there was nary a mention of the incident during the latest European Council meeting in Brussels.
But, of course, the worst was not over. Janša went right back into the fray only days later, saying that criticising George Soros does not constitute antisemitism. Which of course it does.
Once more unto the Dutch
And because that wasn’t enough, days ago he saw it fit to tweet out a thinly veiled homophobic slur against the Dutch in general, and PM Mark Rutte the royal family in particular.
As suicidal as these meltdowns are, there is some method to madness here. Having publicly gone down the George Soros rabbit hole, Janša was read the riot act by everybody who is anybody. Even European Council president Charles Michel, who technically serves at Janša’s (and 26 other leaders’) pleasure, saw it fit to tell him off.
The Party faithful rallied around their leader after that incident. But they could not help but notice that their man was quite alone in his antisemitism. Even his Hungarian Lord Protectór and Saviour kept quiet.
Despite tweets in English, Janša’s casual antisemitism and homophobia were primarily for local consumption. To showcase that the Glorious Leader was still, well, leading. Even if it only meant that he was leading his followers and his country further into the political dumbfuckery.
And while we’re on the subject of local consumption, pengovsky should note that euro-bashing doesn’t draw nearly as much attention as those tried-and-tested Slovenian tropes, misogyny and WWII.
Namely, Janša’s tweet on Soros and antisemitism came with a telling twist: he compared critising George Soros to criticising Tanja Fajon.
Misogyny meets antisemitism meets WWII
Tanja Fajon MEP, for those who have better things to do in life, is the recently minted leader of the Social Democrats. She also makes no secret of aiming to replace Janša as prime minister next year.
So, by tweeting that “criticising Soros is antisemitism only as much as criticising Tanja Fajon is anti-Slovenian“, Janša rejected the antisemitic label but also implied that criticising Tanja Fajon is inherently Slovenian. Almost an act of patriotic duty.
Given that peddling of Soros conspiracy theories is just shorthand for antisemitism, the conclusion here is as obvious as it is disturbing.
To calm the base and divert their attention from the fact that they just saw Janša’s ass handed to him on the international stage, Marshal Twito is happy to employ both antisemitism and misogyny. Cute.
The list, of course, goes on. The other day, the Party faithful had a fit over a church in Primorska region holding a concert of waritme antifascist partisan songs.
The story is quite innocent. During the second world war, not all members of the wartime guerilla partisan fighters were godless communists. What is more, some communists still went to church. Especially in Primorska region, where national identity and antifascist convictions often trump political affiliation.
To commemorate this, one particular parish is putting together the post-war polar opposites: partisans and their songs and the Catholic church and their place of worship.
This obviously against the radicalising narrative of Marshal Twito. Hence, outrage must be had. By now, the base neither notices nor cares just how, well, baseless these tweet-rages are. They just swallow them whole.
Diverting attention on a daily basis
And so on, ad nauseam. Janez Janša and his ilk will do and say just about anything to turn the attention away from their failures and transgressions. And when reality does catch up with them, they usually claim some sort of a vast conspiracy.
To wit: recently, the
Party propaganda network government-friendly websites reported that PM Janša and defence minsiter Tonin received death threats. The envelopes even contained live ammunition, among other things. Which, you know, is not nice, although wasting ammo like that seems a bit too on the nose.
But it turned out days later that envelopes never made it to their destinations. Instead, they were flagged by security scanners way back in the postal distribution centers. The security protocols worked as fucking intended. Neither parcel saw the inside of Janša’s or Tonin’s mailbox. Naturally, this detail was omitted from the initial reports, making the whole incident seem much more serious that it actually was.
And while we’re on it, inferior minister Aleš Hojs also claimed to have received the ammo-containing package. But the stupid git then went and posted a photo of the envelope with his home address visible. Which is why he later deleted the tweet.
Such incidents are intolerable in general and should be investigated in full. But the initial exaggeration of the incident begs the question whether the whole thing was staged in the first place. You know, to divert attention.
Because attention needs diverting on a daily basis.
Getting their asses handed to them
But it is not just Slovenians dying of what is now a mostly preventable medical outcome, that needs distracting from. It is also the Glorious Leader and the Party having their asses handed to them. Which lately is happening with alarming regularity.
Case in point being the ten thousand euro defamation lawsuit Social Democrats just won against Janša. He claimed, contrary to the evidence, that the SD headquarters are located in a house stolen from a Jewish family after World War Two.
The infallible and invincible leader once more had to explain his failure to the believers. Which he did by proclaiming that the said court is infested with SD sympathisers. Because of course the Glorious Leader only loses if there is a giant conspiracy against him. And not because he, say, does not even respond to the lawsuit.
Speaking of asses being handed to their owners. Days ago former PM and current SAB leader Alenka Bratušek opened a particularly large can of whoop-ass on PM Janša and the animate objects in his orbit.
The SDS wanted badly to talk about a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on the wipeout of Sloveinan bond-holders in 2013. The idea was to paint the SAB leader as the one who swindled Slovenians out of their money back when she pulled the country from the brink of economic ruin.
Ghosts of crises past
However, the former PM kept the receipts. She started naming people directly responsible for the 2013 financial clusterfuck which she inherited, and ultimately solved. And since some of those people were in that very committee hearing, the whole thing descended into chaos and the Party ended up fucking up one more thing.
Which, of course, means that the cycle of deflection, denial and diversion will be repeated once more.
And then it will be repeated again, when the Covid-19 death toll will hit 5000 in the next couple of weeks.