Grigory Pasko: The Power and its Competence


The power and its competence

Grigory Pasko, journalist

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There’s a strange organization in Russia. It’s called the «Public chamber». In the image of this strange organization, the Putinite power has created for itself the likeness of representatives of civil society: the benefit from this likeness is nil, but then, should the occasion present itself, one can always tell Western leaders that in Russia too there is democracy.

And the members of this strange organization, at least the greater part of them, are rather strange as well – few people in the country have ever heard of them. But, apparently, they were able in some way to catch the eye of the curator of this «chamber from the Kremlin», advisor to Putin himself and «gray cardinal Vladislav Surkov».

It goes without saying that there are some people in there who arein full possession of their faculties and even famous. Somewhatcowardly, of course, but professionals in their respective fields. Forexample, the journalist Nikolai Svanidze. A good journalist. But, themain thing for the current power – thoroughly loyal. He was even thefirst to write a book about Medvedev. A thoroughly loyal book.

Like any other pro-Putin formation, the public chamber has got itsvery own publication. It’s called «The magazine «Civic dialogue» (upper image), onthe cover of which is indicated: «A magazine of civic self-rearing».The authors of the majority of the articles in the magazine – membersof the public chamber.

Generalist phrases, generalist discourses, zero criticism of thecurrent power – this is all understandable. The only thing notunderstandable is why the authors put their incompetence out there forall to see.

Here’s an example. The editorial staff of the magazine (№3, of the year2008) writes: «Not having found on a single official website ofstructures of state data for the years 2006-2007 on the quantity ofinvalids in Russia, the editorial staff of «CD» turned for informationto deputy of the State Duma of the RF, chairman of the All-Russiansociety of invalids Alexander Lomakin-Rumyantsev.

The fact that in Russia there are no official, as well as TRUTHFULdata with respect to the quantity of invalids, alcoholics, persons withAIDS, unemployed, persons with cancer, employees of the FSB and indeedof any of the siloviki structures, bureaucrats, prisoners, streetchildren, missing persons, the mentally ill and so on and so forth -this hasn’t surprised me for a long time already: the country is run byKGB men, and the country therefore is nearly all classified.

What does surprise me is the incompetence of the persons standing atthose posts that assume competence at least in one, narrow, question.

Here’s how Lomakin-Rumyantsev, the main defender of the rights ofinvalids in Russia, replied: «In Russia today there are 13-14 millioninvalids. Of them, according to official data, are approximately 600thousand children, although experts assert that there are nearly threetimes as many of them».

Did you understand that answer? I, for one, did not. So how manyinvalids are there in Russia: 13 million or 14 million? Is it reallythat hard to notice and count a million invalids – a million livingpeople!?? And who is supposed to count, if not Lomakin-Rumyantsevhimself, since by the long arm of coincidence he’s become the chairmanof the society of invalids?

And how can you not count at least the child-invalids? And how manyof them – 600 thousand, as state statistics brazenly lie, or threetimes as many after all, as those mysterious experts not named byLomakin-Rumyantsiev assert?

Further on, this chairman says: «With a deficit of labor power, from5 to 7 million invalids are found in working age and could work…» Thatis, once again we see the blatant incompetence not simply of anofficial, but of a deputy to the State Duma.

From that same issue of the magazine you can find out about how thePutinite conception of the development of Russia to the year 2020 wasdiscussed. In this conception, in part, is spoken about the creation ofa huge quantity of new sectors of the economy in the period to the year2020. One of the members of the public chamber, on the whole acceptingthe postulates of the conception, asks the question: «In our country inthe year 2007 there are 22 million persons in age from 18 to 27 years,while in the year 2020 of such will remain 14 million». The question ofthe member of the chamber – so who is going to work in the new sectorsof the economy? – remains hanging in the air. The member of the chamberdoes not find an answer.

I’ll try to answer for Lomakin-Rumyantsev and for the young memberof the chamber. The fact is that the current power isn’t interested oneiota in the real state of affairs in the country. The power couldn’tcare less how many of those invalids are out there: 13 or 14 million;how many of them there are capable of working… A million more, twomillion less – it makes no difference. So long as today, right now,this minute, they, all those faceless millions, are pumping oil and gasand aiding and abetting the sale thereof to the West, the East, and theSouth. So long as these millions aren’t demanding political rights andliberties, so long as they stupidly, when they’re ordered to do so, go,like lambs to slaughter, to the electoral urns and stupidly vote forthis incompetent-in-every-way power.

Really, the only reason the power surrounds itself with suchincompetent Lomakins is because they’re useful to it. The Lomakins,after all, don’t demand from the power that it re-count all theinvalids, and all the more so – provide them with all the conditionsfor a normal life. And those who wrote for Putin the conception «2020»also didn’t delve into the accuracy of their calculations with respectto the quantity of people in the country for the perspective. Theydon’t need this.

What the need – for there to be oil and gas in the bowels of theearth. At the very least, until it’s possible to provide oneself, one’sfriends, kin and close ones, children and grandchildren with incomesfrom the sales thereof. Now their quantity the power knows preciselyand won’t put to shame. All the more so given that this whole army ofthe privileged lives predominantly beyond the confines of Russia.Farther away from the invalids and members of the public chamber.


* Lomakin-Rumyantsev, Alexander Vadimovich, year of birth 1954.

By education – film camera operator-journalist.

In the year 1980 became an invalid of the 1 group in a wheelchair.Since November of the year 1991 until the present time heads theAll-Russian society of invalids.

During the time of work in the ARSI concurrently was a member of thecollegium of the Ministry of social provision of the RSFSR, deputychairman of the Council for the affairs of invalids attached to thePresident of the Russian Federation.

Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Awarded with the order of Distinction, the medal “In memory of the850th anniversary of the city of Moscow”, the Distinction certificateof the Government of the Russian Federation.

Is a member of the faction «A Just Russia» in the State Duma of the Vconvocation, member of the Committee of the SD for labor and socialpolicy.