Party during the Plague

Party during the Plague

On the last day of September, the Reform Party council received coverage in the press through dozens of photos, which captured the arriving leaders of the state's leading political force at the autumn gathering, all with wide smiles. Of course, it's understandable to be joyful when you are with those who allocate political positions, decide who and how much can rely on state support, and who have the first and last say in other important matters that can improve your life standard, it’s indeed laughable, especially seeing the decline in living standards affecting Estonian families but bypassing those on the state payroll because the Reform Party has never forgotten to take care of its own. And why not smile, when you can look down from divine heights at other political forces, because let's be honest, currently there is no alternative to Kaja Kallas's sole rule – internal opposition within the party is silenced, Eesti200 is marginalized, social democrats are restrained, and the Centre Party is divided. EKRE and Isamaa remain, but as long as the former continues under father-son nervous leadership, and the adept compromiser Ratas, who could unify the opposition if he wanted to, is also out of the game, they don't pose much trouble despite their growing ratings. Perhaps only some discomfort in some parliamentary committees, but even there it's easy to make a farce, as who doesn't know Helme's weakness to get upset from the smallest provocation. Ah yes – Isamaa. Well, the rating is growing and Reinsalu is ranting, but they currently aren’t unifiers of the opposition, because although broadly sharing the same views with EKRE, personality conflicts prevent them from joining forces, thus leaving the opposition divided. Every good reformist knows that despite two-thirds of citizens' disdain for the arrogant and word-eating prime minister, nobody can unseat Kaja Kallas unless she leaves out of embarrassment. Fortunately, the current prime minister's empathy has not developed to that extent.

Looking at the happy faces of Reform Party council members, Albert Camus's work The Plague comes to mind, where it’s described how during a deadly disease, most people locked themselves in homes to avoid contact with the infection, but a small part continued unrestrained partying and extravagance. And oh, the twist of life and death – those in strict isolation suddenly felt sick, plague bumps appeared on their bodies, and they died in terrible pain. Unrestrained drunkards, libertines, and other citizens deaf to prescriptions remained untouched by the plague. Our country's decline also resembles plague times, where law-abiding taxpayers and citizens working for Estonia lose to life and sink into depression, but those who have connected themselves with the right political force don't lack anything. Even our justice system seems to have accepted the rule that bigger crooks need to be helped instead of hanged.

In a democratic state, the justice system must not only seem but also be free from political preferences. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Estonia, as how can a court, which has been fussing over a nine euro haircut formulated as a bribe, or stealing a coffee machine from the Ministry of Education, be left unquestioned in political bias, but in the case of Tallinn Harbor's lemons, there is hopelessness, as one of the defendants has already found heavenly peace and usually so aggressive prosecutors don't bother doing their jobs and rather seek new challenges to escape responsibility. Or what credibility can we talk about when with a storming Isamaa's major supporter Parvel Pruunsild's home is taken, even the many-children family's bed bottoms are searched, but no interest is felt against Johanna-Maria Lehtme, who probably cratted money from Slava Ukarin, and the scandalous lady is allowed to simply disappear. Or what kind of a free society can we talk about when, unlike all other businessmen, whose business towards Russia is abominable and reprehensible, the prime minister's husband Mr. Arvo Hallik's trucks can inject across the eastern border as much as they want and when Valdar Parve criticizes Hallik's activities in the newspaper, he is threatened with a lawsuit and assessing the situation, the one who has fallen under Hallik's displeasure finds that it is pointless to fuss with the prime minister's family, because you will be guilty anyway, whether your claims are right or not, and to avoid more trouble and torments, the dissident decides for an out-of-court settlement, paying the protected businessman 1500 euros.

We live in times when political dialogue is taboo, the truth belongs only to the chosen ones, and new taxes bring happiness to the yard.

Vsevolod Jürgenson