Cameron meets anti-Gay Polish presidential candidate


David Cameron is today meeting Polish presidential candidate Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Downing Street. Kaczynski – whose twin brother Lech was killed in an air crash in April – faces Bronislaw Komorowski in the run-off on Sunday, with exit polls showing him trailing by up to 12.5 points. As well as meeting the prime minister, Kaczynski met with Polish immigrants in central London, many of whom are expected to vote in the presidential election.

Jaroslaw-KaczynskiKaczynski, along with many of Cameron’s far-Right European allies – described as “nutters, anti-Semites and homophobes” by Nick Clegg – has long been accused of extremism. When prime minister of Poland, Kaczyński supported a bill banning discussion or promotion of homosexuality in schools, including in sex education.

As worrying as Kaczyński’s anti-gay attitudes are those of his closest allies. Three years ago, The Times reported:

The twins’ own political bedfellows are hardly models of propriety. [Andrej] Lepper, the recently sacked deputy prime minister, was accused a year ago of swapping jobs for sexual favours (a charge he denies), while the other deputy, Roman Giertych, a member of Opus Dei, is bent on purging the school curriculum of books by authors suspected of homosexuality.

The twins’ nongovernmental media supporter (until the shenanigans of July 10) is the intemperate Father Rydzyk, whose Radio Maryja specialises in homophobic rants and stirring invocations to the Virgin Mary. At the same time a key government media role, the deputy chairmanship of Poland’s public TV network, has been awarded to one Piotr Farfal, former editor of the Polish skinhead magazine Front, which openly supports extremist violence.

Giertych is particularly concerned by what he terms “homo-agitation”, the encouragement of kids to become gay. As part of his campaign to eradicate homosexuality, a children’s watchdog has been appointed. Ewa Sowinska has been investigating the portrayal of the Teletubbies’ Tinky Winky, the one with the handbag, as a potential “homo-agitator”. The jury is still out on Tinky Winky, but teachers suspected of homosexuality can expect to be dismissed.

Former Europe minister Denis MacShane describes Kaczynski’s premiership as “notorious for its hard-line anti-gay politics” which “collapsed over scandals about corruption and attempts to control the media”.

MacShane adds:

“[Donald] Tusk’s Civic Platform ought to be the normal partner for Britain’s LibCon government but David Cameron is sticking by the last remnant of his pre-election pandering to Tory Euroscepticism, namely the alliance with what Nick Clegg calls ‘nutters, anti-semites and homophobes’ in parties like PiS (the Polish Law and Justice Party) and other nationalist parties in east Europe…

“After Prime Minister Cameron’s good start on the world at European stage at the world leaders’ meeting in Toronto as well as at the European Council two weeks ago it is back to shaking hands with the representative of the ‘nutters, anti-semites and homophobes’ to use the deputy PM’s language.

“Cameron’s natural Polish partners are the Civic Platform. The sooner Cameron wriggles out of his alliance with the populist, gay-bashing right in East Europe, the better.”

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  • Rich

    I am very concerned about the future of the LGBT Community and the general population in Poland if anti-gay Kaczynski becomes president of Poland.

  • Anon E Mouse

    I am very concerned that LFF seems to advocate not meeting people based on comments they made three years ago – especially people from another country.

    Challenge ideas with the person by all means but let’s not recommend a situation where debate is stifled in a Stalinist approach seemingly favoured by LFF.

    The reason the BNP were so resoundingly thrashed in Dagenham and other areas were concerted efforts to challenge their flawed ideology head on and win the argument. Well done for the efforts of those Labour MP’s (Cruddas etc)that did so well.

    It seems now though that Left Foot Forward wants to go back to the bad days of Labour in actions that every member of the Labour Leadership candidate has condemned. Can we please have a more grown up democratic approach to this matter not some knee jerk response that LFF seems to want.

    Never attempt to stifle debate I say…

  • Liz McShane

    Anon – I think the main point of the article is to highlight Cameron’s & The Tories’ position on gay rights & equality. The Tories have chosen to leave the EPP group in the EU in favour of a more right wing group that includes a wide range of extreme views which do not sit comfortably with their position on these at Westminster.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Liz – There is no coalition policy (they do not govern alone) position on gay rights and inequality and the sooner people in this country stop judging people on their sexuality the better but to suggest that the Tories do is not true. Why can’t Labour supporters start being honest with people? (I may vote Clegg next time you know!)

    They gave David Laws a cabinet position for goodness sake. As for the Tories aligning with the right well that’s hardly surprising news is it?

    Labour aligns itself in Europe with some pretty unsavoury characters themselves – pots and kettles Liz?

  • Liz McShane

    Anon – I was referring to the Tories’ position pre Con Dem Nation Government. Things they had signed up to domestically via vis equality legislation etc. and so aligning themselves with this lot of extremists it contradicts/undermines their position. Would you not agree?