Maribor – Philosopher Lev Kreft’s remark about people being the target of politicians rather than vice versa has won the Spade of the Year title, given out by the newspaper Večer for the most apt statement capturing the spirit of 2021.
“Today, we are not in a position where representatives of the people should be protected from the people, but it’s the people who should be protected from its representatives,” reads the winning quote of the 23rd Spade of the Year.
Kreft, a 70-year-old former politician and author who according to Večer still considers himself a Marxist, was unable to attend in person the event at which the winner was declared at the SNG Theatre in Maribor Saturday night.
However, in an online address he said it meant a lot to him for his comment to be picked by the readers of Večer.
Commenting on his remark for the paper, he said it “has not been neglected that some of our politicians, almost all of them, that is, tried to show themselves as the targets of various attacks from the people”.
He referred to a “ridiculous law” with which they tried to outlaw the expressing of critical views. “In such a situation people will obviously realise what the leaders would in fact want. They’d like to be non-appealable, untouchable, irreplaceable.”
Conferring the Spade of the Year, Večer editor-in-chief Matija Stepišnik said the Covid-19 pandemic was a time for active approach, direct and unembellished statements, clear views and criticism when it was required.
“Silence is not an option if we want to be emerge better from the epidemic. It’s necessary to enter public space, to speak out […] It’s necessary to call a spade a spade,” said Stepišnik.