Poland's number one problem is not Smolensk, in-vitro fertilisation or gay marriage - it is slimming down and reforming its bloated and inefficient public administration. Poland's public debt and deficit could be significantly reduced if the numbers employed at central and local government level matched those found in well-functioning EU member states - and if those working were as efficient as public servants in those countries.
It should be something that unites left and right, conservative and socialist, libertarian and collectivist - the desire to see a well-functioning public administration, one that serves the public rather than itself.
And yet, over the 23 years of democracy in Poland, no government has managed to get to grips with the rent-seekers, working at their bureaucratic travails at an exceedingly slow pace, acting as a handbrake on an otherwise vigorous economy.
It is, as Depeche Mode observed 30 years ago, a competitive world. Most governments around the globe are conducting reforms - some quicker, some slower; but with an eye on foreign direct investment, which generally means jobs, innovation, technology transfer and a move upward on the ladder of value-added.
The World Bank has over the years looked at how easy it is to do business around the world. Doing Business, which ranks 185 countries on ten criteria, has in its most recent report (published in October 2012), cited Poland as the world's fastest reforming country. Yes! (Read the following sentence out loud. It is from the World Bank.)
How can this be, you ponder?
Poland jumped 19 places up the rankings from 74th to 55th in terms of ease of doing business. OK, so the UK's number seven in the world and number two in the EU behind Denmark, but a 19-place jump is a great achievement. Keep reforming at this pace and Poland will have made it to 36th this year, 17th the year after and will be vying for the best place to do business anywhere on earth by 2015. But we all know that won't happen...
Let's look at why Poland did so well last year.
Is it because it's so easy to obtain planning permission? No. In this category, Poland is 161st (out of 185 countries remember) and slipped four places compared to the previous survey. Is it because it's so easy to hook up your business to mains electricity? Not here either (Poland is 137th, and down a shameful seven places).
No - the answer's here - again I cite the World Bank:
[Poland] enhanced the ease of doing business through four institutional or regulatory reforms, making it easier to register property [up 25 places], pay taxes [up 10 places], enforce contracts [up 28 places], and resolve insolvency [up 54 places].Step forward the ministers who are making it happen. Taxes - that's Jacek Rostowski. But the remaining three criteria - where Poland made the biggest progress - fell under the remit of Cambridge scholarship student Mr Gowin. The first justice minister in democratic Poland not to have been a lawyer, who said he'd take an axe, not a scalpel, to the court system. And now he's gone. The judges and court administrators can breathe a sigh of relief tonight - and return to the quiet life in the morning.
And why? Because of a tiff about in-vitro and gay weddings. Which in the Big Scheme of Things don't matter anywhere near as much as getting a decently functioning court system for the country.
Tusk's government, I fear, will drift, directionless, into the next elections (due autumn 2015). And it will win these elections, without any enthusiasm from the electorate. Tusk and co. will win because, to us lemmings who keep the economy going, the alternatives are unthinkable .
This time four years ago:
The cycle-to-work season starts