Libdems condemn Tory alliance with bigoted MEP


5:45 pm - October 1st 2009

by Sunny Hundal    


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I’ve just had a statement from Libdem Shadow Foreign Secretary Edward Davey condemning the Tory MEP alliance with Lithunian MEP Valdemar Tomaševski. He said:

This is yet more evidence of the shameful way that Cameron has taken the Tories out of the centre-right mainstream of European politics, and allied them with a lunatic fringe of extreme right wingers and homophobes.

Cameron has been at pains to portray his party as one of modern, ‘liberal Conservatives’. It is hard to see where this fits in with an alliance with parties which support homophobic laws such as this.

Soho Politico has been doing the digging on this saga and we’ll bring you the next installment soon.

I’m just trying to coordinate a few things. More statements and dirt yet to come.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


I do not know the details of the particular MEP you refer to, and if he is guilty of the accusations made the he deserves to be called to account for them.

However, I would suggest that Davey, and others be careful about who they allege are either homophobic or racist. Much of these allegations seem to be directed at Michal Kaminsky of the Law & Justice party. It has already been proven that the allegations of racism and being an antisemite made against him were baseless, and today’s tirade by David Miliband has already got him in hot water. The editor of the Jewish Chronicle has called such behaviour contemptible: http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/david-milibands-insult-michal-kaminski-contemptible

Another issue seems to be the raising of Edward McMillan-Scott, who made similar allegations after he was removed from the Conservative group in the EP. He has been trumpeted as an ‘insider’ making the allegations and as being right. What is perhaps worth noting is that EMcS was thrown out because he refused to honour the pledge he and other Tories had signed to leave the EPP-ED. He also wanted to keep a plum job given to him by the EPP, agan contributing to his ejection. The fact he made the allegations after being turfed out by the Tories seems to wreak of sour grapes.

I’m all in favour of weeding out the kind of foul beliefs when the exist, but some need to be careful about making allegations without solid evidence. Miliband didn’t like the Brown ‘Drugs’ question, so he should be wary of doing something similar and equally wrong.

I do wish people would stop characterising Stephen Pollard as some kind of voice of British Judaism, just because he happens to be editing the Jewish Chronicle these days.

Pollard is a right wing free marketeer who is rather fond of Cameron’s Conservatives and thus tends to instinctively defend them when attacked. His view of Michal Kaminski is not shared by, for example, Rabbi Barry Marcus of the London Central Synagogue, who said he “watched in horror” at Kaminski’s elevation to leadership of the ECR.

Needless to say, Marcus doesn’t represent British Judaism either. No one individual does, and Pollard’s utterances shouldn’t be given extra credibility in this way solely because of his day job.

3. Wentfargotnowhere

AdamR’s comment sounds all very sinister.

What exactly is he, or are others, threatening for bringing Dave et al’s European allies to our attention?

Will Boris (Johnson)-like thugs come crashing through the door and give you a damn good roughing-up.

Perhaps AdamR could clarify Dave’s opportunistic visit to stand side by side with a war criminal in Georgia. Hang on, nope, that was a mistake and he won’t want to talk about it just like the tax-payer funded mortgage and the pre-politics ‘partying’.

Is this the new Tory style, threaten people into not dissenting…. perhaps Dave and the Tory sycophants learnt something from Mikhail Saakhashvili.

AdamR – perhaps you should read this, where Pollard got sufficiently pwned

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/aug/10/kaminski-cameron-eu

The Lib Dems Lithuanian allies “Lietuvos Respublikos Liberal? s?j?dis” are part of the same governing coalition that is passing the anti-gay legislation that Ed Davey finds so terrible.

Serious Pwnage Sunny

This is something I posted on a similar thread over at Left Foot Forward:

Something we often forget on the left is that many of those in Eastern Europe were victims of an oppressive authoritarian communist regime. Thus their history of the left, particularly the Marxist-Leninist left, is not a pleasant one.

Equally, capitalism and the free market have been just as brutal and democracy has proven to be a corruptable system in the ‘new’ democracies of Eastern Europe. It is no surprise therefore that some sections of the population in places such as Lithuvania and other Eastern European countries see authoritarian right-wing populism (and at times fascism) as being an attractive alternative to the failures of both an oppressive communism and a corruptable capitalism.

The left needs to get a better grip of the cultural-political history of Eastern Europe to understand fascist and extreme right-wing tendencies with populist appeals.

” It is no surprise therefore that some sections of the population in places such as Lithuvania and other Eastern European countries see authoritarian right-wing populism (and at times fascism) as being an attractive alternative to the failures of both an oppressive communism and a corruptable capitalism. ”

It is ironic that the forcible imposition of Marxism on their country has today left Eastern Europeans much freer than the ‘citizens’ of western democracies. The Gramscian march through the institutions and intellectual life of western society, (so that all forms of anti-bourgeois thought; homosexual rights, feminism, hysterical anti-racism have been absorbed by servile populations) did not occur in communist societies. Most people living under soviet occupation totally rejected the Marxoid values of their political class because there was absolutely no mistaking their political system for democracy. On the other hand, what has been so successful about the Gramscian revolution of western institutions is that people have allowed themselves to be controlled by the liberal-left ruling class and by their media ajuncts and assume this is freedom.

“Most people living under soviet occupation totally rejected the Marxoid values of their political class because there was absolutely no mistaking their political system for democracy.”

But many former Communist parties of the old Eastern Bloc can still garner plenty of votes and still sit in respective parliaments either as part of a government, in coalitions or as an oppositionparty. I would not say that official ideology of the ‘old’ system has been ‘totally rejected’ as you claim, C. Wyremski.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation can still attract around 18% of the population to vote for their Presidential candidate in the 2008 elections.

In Lithuania the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania sit as the official opposition to the centre-right coalition government.

In Latvia the Harmony Centre coalition gained over 20% of the vote in the recent European Elections and was the second most voted for party in Latvia. It returned two MEPs to the European Parliament.

In Hungary the Socialist Party is the party of Government.

In the Czech Republic the Social Democratic Party is the official opposition with the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is the third party of Czech politics and gained 14% of the national vote in the European elections.

This is just to name a few of the countries and the state of the left (comprising of former Communists) in them. It is far from ‘total rejection’ of previous ideology, even if that previous ideology has been discredited.

10. C. Wyremski

Luke,

The communist left simply does not dominate east European societies as does the “liberal” Left in western societies. Moreover the communist parties of eastern Europe are still made of of labour union socialists who support the state control of socio-economic institutions, wheras in the West, leftist parties work for the control of cultural institutions. (In Italy for instance, the communist party have become yuppie, politically correct, multicultural party and so old line marxists cross over and now vote for the right) Across Western Europe cultural insititutions have been almost entirely captured by the the so called “Liberal” Left, which unlike the old Marxist left are opposed to bourgeois morality. They push feminism, gay rights, multiculturalism, political correctness and so forth on their societies as a way of controlling them. These controls have been imposed in the in the name of ‘sensitivity’ and ‘fighting prejudice’. In Russia today you might expect to get into trouble with the police for taking political action against the authoritarian government. However, in supposedly free Britian you can get be investigated by the police or can lose your job if you dare to express an insensitive opinion on homosexuality. This would never happen in Russia or in most East European countries. The Russians who can recognise that they do not live in a fully free country are in many ways much freer than the British who have begun to accept the idea of thought-crime as compatible with living a free society.

“AdamR – perhaps you should read this, where Pollard got sufficiently pwned

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2009/aug/10/kaminski-cameron-eu

I don’t see much pwning going on there, Sunny. It is true that many Jews collaborated with the Soviet Union (usually to their eventual cost, of course), and it is true that the vast majority of Poles were not involved in the Jewish massacres during the Nazi occupation, just a number of collaborators.

I must say, having been to Poland recently, a lot of them seem to have a bee in their bonnet about something a little silly. Some seem convinced that the West thinks that they setup the concentration camps, and that newspapers and schools discuss “Polish death camps”, which I had to correct them on. After all, I don’t know anyone who thinks many Polish nationals played an active role in the holocaust (certainly not anymore than the French). So it seems some local cultural issues are being lost in translation on both sides, to the detriment of the rather more important discussion of what sort of European Union we should have.


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Article:: Libdems condemn Tory alliance with Lithuanian MEP http://bit.ly/12NCnK

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  3. Liberal Conspiracy

    Article:: Libdems condemn Tory alliance with Lithuanian MEP http://bit.ly/12NCnK

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