My father-in-law is an outstandingly decent man.
Humble beginnings, got an education, became the founding principal of a village school. By founding, I mean he actively oversaw and laboured on the building site too. And the land was originally his wife's.
For this he received a citizenship award from the Communist authorities - entitling him to a higher pension.
When all the hard work was over, the friend of someone important locally came along and said, "I'm the new head here - you're demoted to classroom duties only." My father-in-law had turned down offers to join the Party.
But he wasn't stripped of the award ... until Tadeusz Mazowiecki came along in 1989. "Awards like that were only given to Commies!" was the thrust of his argument. Mazowiecki's direct family set up the private "British School" in Piaseczno - which always operated on the fringes of the law, but connections seemed to guarantee immunity from problems with the educational establishment.
True Commies in the security apparatus prospered - and their pensions were gold-plated.
Recently, the school my FIL set up received an honorary name - im. JP II (how original). The current principal, who lacks principles, invited the village to attend the ceremony - with my infirm FIL to stand in the crowd. To which the local priest agreed. My MIL was asked in the street - the current principal wound down his car window. They live opposite the school.
The family land on which the school was built was never fully compensated. In 1989 my mother-in-law took court action - the judge told her she would normally be entitled to compensation, but if she got it everyone else would go for compensation too and the country would go bankrupt. Suit rejected.
However, his 3 kids graduated from local schools and top universities, built their own houses and have made comfortable middle-class lives for themselves just outside Warsaw. The future looks bright - but we should never forget the scum elite that rule over us and preach to us about how squeeky-clean they are.
* Shouldn't this be in Polish Politics & History rather than Off-Topic? *
The people who wield power are those who choose to wield power. When we have the ability to choose which greedy bastards should wield that power, we can't do it alone. Too many people are happy to let the same old people line their pockets. Too few people pay attention to stories like this or feel they can do anything about it. What's happened has happened, and you can't do anything alone. Such pessimistic happenings should spur people on to try to live more optimistically. Difficult, isn't it!