Final Word from Thursday, June 25, 2015

Andrej Babiš's version of autocracy is so blatant because he goes around trying to drive a square peg into a round hole. He isn't subtle at all about his efforts to change things, which pleases his supporters but riles his detractors. Bohuslav Sobotka's version is entirely different. He spies a hole that needs to be filled, measures it carefully, dances around it looking for booby-traps, and then pours an insipid liquid into it. The entire hole is filled, without offending much of anyone or fully pleasing many people either. He did it with the ČSSD internal party referendum, which even Jiří Dienstbier said made a mockery of the idea of primary elections. And now Sobotka has done it again with the question of African refugees. After rejecting "mandatory" quotas for weeks, he has proposed a "voluntary" system that amounts to nearly the same thing. He is changing immigration policy forever, without bothering to ask a single voter. [Czech Republic migrants asylum autocratic]

Glossary of difficult words

blatant - very obvious; completely lacking in subtlety;

to rile someone - to make someone annoyed or irritated;

to spy something - to notice, observe or catch sight of something;

booby-trap - a thing designed to catch the unwary;

insipid - lacking flavor;

to make a mockery of - to make something seem foolish or absurd.


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