Expelled Tory MEP reveals fascist links of Tories’ new Euro leader

Lib Dem Voice has covered before the growing embarrassment to the Tories of David Cameron’s decision to withdraw his party from the centre-right grouping in the European Parliament, the EPP, and to establish a new right-wing grouping with an eccentric, ragbag group of Euro MPs.

This came to a head last month, when Edward McMillan-Scott, a former leader of the Tory party in the European Parliament, was expelled for standing against a Polish MEP, Michal Kaminski, for the post of Vice-President of the European Parliament – Mr Kaminski was subsequently elected leader of the Tories’ new Euro grouping. And now Mr McMillan-Scott has gone on the record in the Yorskshire Post to reveal precisely why he decided to make a stand against the Tory party’s latest descent into Euro lunacy:

Although Kaminski was nominated by the new Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) created by David Cameron, I decided to take the issue head on, even at the discomfiture of my own party. I did this at great personal and political risk – I could have lost everything and have now lost the whip – but I did it on principle.

It was not my principle – it was a higher one. To oppose a menacing political movement at a key moment in Europe’s politics. … my Yorkshire colleague, Timothy Kirkhope – leader of the Conservative MEPs – who that day had been elected leader of the ECR, was simply replaced by Kaminski. …

It has now been disclosed, as Kaminski should have done to the Conservative Party when nominated for Vice-President, that he has had fascist links – he was a member of Poland’s notorious fascist National Revival (NOP) – and he tried, as its MP, to cover up one of the worst anti-Jewish atrocities in wartime Europe.

On July 10, 1941, Poles rounded up hundreds of Jews and put them in a barn on the outskirts of the village of Jedwabne. Egged on by the SS, the barn was set on fire. In 2001, the then president of Poland organised a national apology, but Kaminski opposed it.

Kaminski was pictured on Polish TV in 2000 using a homophobic term which even the interviewer says is offensive: Kaminski repeats it. He caused a storm at that time by using the pre-war anti-semitic slogan, “Poland for the Poles”. He denies it.

Last week, Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s quality daily, said: “Kaminski isn’t officially and completely anti-Semitic or homophobic, but at some point he recognised that these things could help him politically.”

Ambivalence about totalitarianism, like Judge Frankfurter’s, has no place in today’s Europe.

Mr McMillan-Scott then compares the treatment he has received from the Tory party with the treatment meted out to those MPs in the shadow cabinet and on the backbenches who were exposed abusing their expenses:

When I was elected leader of the Conservative MEPs in 1997, The Times described me as “a moderate pro-European, with a general loyalty to the party line”. I am to this day, and I have asked for the Conservative whip to be restored. Is it not telling that, after a three-month onslaught on MPs’ expenses, the whip was removed from no Conservative MP except Derek Conway?

He concludes by calling on the Tories to expel Michal Kaminski from their ranks:

I have always been a Conservative internationalist, believing that Britain should be leading in Europe – not leaving it. The EPP is the party of Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy and Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish conservative who currently chairs all EU meetings. … The rise of “respectable fascism” must be stopped. The people who advised Cameron have been used by those who seek respectability through links with the Conservative Party. It is not me who should be expelled –it is Kaminski.

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11 Comments

  • Alix Mortimer Fanboi 31st Jul '09 - 1:20pm

    Honestly these articles trying to flame the Tories’ new Euro grouping are pointless!

    The fact of the matter is you can almost certainly find in every European political bloc some MEPs who are distasteful in one way or another. It’s also true that the major Euro political parties are basically pro-EU. Personally I think it’s good that there is a party who opposes giving the EU more power since this should give the EP more legitimacy.

    Let me finish by saying that I am a pro-European and I’m not trying to deny that Kaminski is a shady character. I just don’t think there is anything beneficial in trying to bash the Tories for allying themselves with some dubious MEPs when you can say that about pretty much every Euro political grouping.

  • Alix Mortimer Fanboi 31st Jul '09 - 3:04pm

    “Lib Dem Voice has covered before the growing embarrassment to the Tories of David Cameron’s decision to withdraw his party from the centre-right grouping in the European Parliament, the EPP, and to establish a new right-wing grouping with an eccentric, ragbag group of Euro MPs.”

    So you’re honestly trying to tell me Stephen that all this time you’ve been merely reporting on newsworthy stories involving the Tories’ new Euro political grouping and in no way has this been an attempt to gain party political advantage?

  • Daniel Russell 31st Jul '09 - 10:08pm

    As a Lib Dem currently living in Poland it is certainly a newsworthy story. We should be highlighting the behaviour of these kinds of characters whenever and wherever possible. Also, as a member of the gay community I want all potential Conservative voters to know just how opportunistic Cameron is and how being ‘gay friendly’ is only a ploy to attract potential voters. If he really cared about equality he wouldn’t touch the Polish PiS party with a barge pole. Believe me, life for homosexuals in Poland is tough and people like Kaminski should be shown up for the shamefully homophobic (and anti-semetic) people that they are. In turn the Conservatives should be shown up for their complicity in supporting him.
    Also, I know that this kind of story has some affect on voters as one of my friends who was a life long Tory voted Lib Dem at the Euro elections for the first time. When I asked him what had made him see the light he indicated that the Tory position on Europe and particularly its links with these less than savoury characters was the main reason. For many people who are Conservative/Lib Dem this is just the kind of issue which tips the balance and confirms their liberal credentials.

  • Jackie Houston 14th Aug '09 - 10:06am

    Excellent post by Daniel Russell – we must expose these far right groups, and those who associate and affiliate with them, the rise of fascism in Europe (and UK) may be unsurprising given the economic climate, but it is not to be ignored or underestimated and the only answer is to call them what they are, and deal with them harshly.

    Moseley had many ‘respectable’ supporters including prominent members of the Labour and Conservative parties and Lord Rothermere of the Daily Mail – which gave him an air of respectablity. This confused people, and led to the rise in membership.

    Luckily the mass protests against him stopped him in his tracks – and exposed his BUF as thugs and bullies.
    If it looks like a Nazi and smells like a Nazi, it is a Nazi.

    These articles are of great importance – keep it up!

  • Stephen, this is very clearly an attempt to score party political points, and you have not even disguised it as anything else.
    The main issue here is that the Lib Dems do not inspire confidence in any voter that they aspire to be in government. Lib Dems best hope is to aim to be the main opposition, but as usual they just attack the Tories regardless of who is in power at the time. Maybe if the Lib Dems spent more time telling us how the serving government have got things wrong, and more importantly what they would do to change it, the the party as a whole would actually have some credibility. At this time, I am afraid that they have none, and your ramblings are to be taken notice of as much as most articles printed in the Guardian!

  • Rob , you are obviously not a regular reader of LDV if you think we only attack the Tories !

    We frequently attack New labour their spin and mendacity.

    As well as putting forward our vision for a better, more honest politics.

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