Grażyna Plebanek

    is a Polish writer and journalist. A graduate of Warsaw University, she has worked as a reporter for Reuters News Agency and the biggest Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza. She lived in Stockholm for five years and since 2005 has been based in Brussels. She is a columnist for the weekly Polityka, Wysokie Obcasy Extra (High Heels Extra) and Trends magazine, and blogs on www.naTemat.pl. Plebanek is the author of several novels, including Illegal Liaisons, which was published in English in 2012, and a collection of literary essays, Córki Rozbójniczki (The Robbermaid’s Daughters). She has won the Złote Sowy (Golden Owls) award for promoting Poland abroad. Her latest novel, Pani Furia (Miss Fury) was published in August 2016. “People say that Brexit has shown the extent to which the reality of our lives is being manipulated. Thanks to the Internet words spoken by the likes of Farage and Trump trundle from Subcarpathia to Dnepropetrovsk, reverberating as far as Milwaukee. For politicians this is a gift from heaven, especially coupled with the media and their increasingly obvious chasing of sensations. The only one who can compete with headlines about the Kardashians is the clown Trump. Hardly anyone dares to introduce a person with balanced views and critical thinking, for fear of being exposed to a barrage of curses, starting with the most horrific of them all: of political correctness (the career of this elastic word is a separate story – it unites hot-headed nationalists with people who ‘work with words’ – both categories use it as an insult; the first to make a mark and the others to appear cool and non-bourgeois). But what if not elections? Make citizens attend training courses before elections where they will be told that they are being manipulated? But what if they are offended at being treated like idiots? Eliminate elections and replace them with something else? What then? Drawing our leaders by lot and letting them run the country for, say, a year? They could rely on the help of experts. In one swell swoop we would get rid of politicians (the term politician is used here in the sense of someone who exploits his or her ability to appeal to the electorate to rise on the career ladder, i.e., to gain power and hold on to it with all their might).”