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Commentary by Marksová-Tominová: Klaus's political correctness

Prague, 28.2.2011 17:34, (ROMEA)

Václav Klaus has commented for news server Novinky.cz on the cause of Ladislav Bátora, an adviser to the Czech Education Minister who is meant to join the ministry as first deputy. The news server has also reported that it was Klaus who recommended Bátora for the ministry in the first place.

In his commentary, Václav Klaus takes umbrage at the allegedly excessive "political correctness" through which some journalists and - the horror of it! - even some politicians from the right wing of the political spectrum have "set off the Bátora scandal". The president even attempts to prove that this media criticism of Bátora shows that our society is lacking in the elements of a democracy. Klaus is convinced that "... political correctness in our country is dictated by a self-elected group of people who sovereignly and authoritatively tell us what is and is not permitted. Anyone who dares to defy it is overtaken by an avalanche of attacks that lead to their restriction in society - often the loss of employment and even personal ostracization. That is exactly what is happening in this country today with Ladislav Bátora.“

Poor Ladislav Bátora, innocent as a lily. If I were to read Klaus's arguments only, I would doubtless be ashamed to have ever held a dark thought against Bátora. After all, the arguments of a president carry real weight. He cites Bátora's own autobiography in his support, a work in which the author describes his attitude toward various phenomena. We learned from the media last week that Bátora does not like the European Union and has participated in demonstrations against the Lisbon Treaty. Besides his other opinions, which are not very surprising ("... tradition is better than progress... And no in general to Europeanism, human rights-ism, genderism, multiculturalism, feminism, anti-discriminationism, political correctness, ..., positive discrimination, homosexualism…") I found it remarkable to discover, for example, that Bátora "prefers Šuláková to Pavlica“, and to learn that this is yet another opinion he shares with Mr President ("I also prefer to listen to Jarmila Šuláková on the radio than to that destroyer of folk music, Pavlica“). My life would have truly been impoverished had I never learned this.

Mr Bátora naturally has a paramount right to hold opinions about the EU and all the other topics listed above. It's just that since he is supposed to advise the Education Minister and was supposed to have become the first deputy of a ministry which is supposed to be actively doing away with the discrimination that is committed against some pupils in the Czech schools, his opinions strike me as diametrically opposed to what he would be dealing with in such a position. It is also hard to say what position such an anti-EU person would take, for example, on the necessity to draw on EU funding....

However, this is all nothing compared to the most important information, information on which the President somehow tactically remained silent while defending Ladislav Bátora. Mr Bátora ran for election as the leader (!) of one of the National Party's candidate lists. Even if he was never a party member, this fact classifies him as an extremist in my view. For Václav Klaus, of course, this fact is so insignificant as to not even be worth mentioning in his piece.

At the end of his text, Václav Klaus thanks Mr Bátora for expressing his opinions so sharply and so openly. Here at the end of my text, I thank Prime Minister Nečas for unambiguously and publicly opposing the appointment of this extremist to the post of deputy minister.

Gwendolyn Albert, Michaela Marksová-Tominová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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