A small critique of Klaus' campaign booklet (Election 2002)   česky

The former premier and current speaker of the house of deputies has issued a book for the campaign season. The title explains itself: "Why I'm at it again." He answers the question immediately. "Because I must, because I want to take on the responsibility I feel I should, because I still haven't finished my work. The fate of our country for me was, is and will not be a matter of satisfying my personal ambition..." And now to the book. It's loaded with pictures of Klaus out and among ordinary people, far removed from the man who a few years ago couldn't stand the crush of the masses. He's lecturing in school, signing autographs of himself, roasting hot dogs around a campfire. No evidence of personal ambition there. The rest of the book is equally amateurish. Purport that you have received some letters from a few angry people, then answer them with the calm and reasoning you are famous for. Even when a letter supposedly "attacks" Klaus, it is devised to show that the "author" has simply been misinformed, say, by the media or by President Havel. But that's OK, Václav can take it. Most of the book is given over to the theme his campaign is relying on to win this election, that being the protection of Czech national interests. The letter writers insist they are afraid of the EU, of Germany, of immigrants. The only thing "Czech" they are afraid of is their habit of being envious (as if no other people in the world are). In short, they're just afraid and are looking to Klaus to ease their fears. Nice people to want to lead. Germany is his prime target and he goes so far as to suggest that Mlada Fronta, the leading Czech daily, declined to print one of his articles under orders from its German owners. His nationalism becomes both sinister and laughable in the case of England establishing airport controls in Prague last summer. The writer complains that the British have gotten off lightly for trying to stem the tide of Czech Romas who are fleeing there. Why doesn't the world call them racists, he wonders, before adding that the Roma are fleeing only because they don't want to work like ordinary Czechs. Klaus not only prints this vulgar letter, but reserves his outrage for the British. How dare they single out white Czechs for controls at the airport! His book offers nothing to the Roma by way of national interests, but then they don't vote for him anyway. Just ordinary Czechs do. The book ends with Klaus' salute to these ordinary people and his desire to go forward with them. No mention of the rock stars, media magnates and embezzlers he normally hangs out with.