New Tories? MEP Roger Helmer: Friend of Kaminski and climate denier

David Cameron's attempts to detoxify the Tories took another step backwards this week when one his leading MEPs launched a full on defence of Michal Kaminski.

David Cameron’s attempts to detoxify the Tories took another step backwards this week when one his leading MEPs not only stood by his remarks about “climate hysteria” and the “Great Carbon Myth” but launched a full on defence of his friend Michal Kaminski, attacking former Tory MEP Edward McMillan Scott for speaking out against the extremist.

In language reminiscent of Nick Griffin’s pathetic attack on Jack Straw on Question Time last year, Helmer wrote:

“Michal Tomasz Kaminski? Anti-Semitic? … Linked to far-right organisations? No. Kaminski is proud to recall that during the Second World War, his two grandfathers were fighting the Nazis.

“At the same time, in England, Edward McMillan Scott’s grandparents were interned as a potential security risk. They were prominent members of the British Union of Fascists.”

For the record, here are the facts about Kaminski, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group of which David Cameron’s MEPs are members:

• From 1989-1991 Kaminski was a member of the neo-fascist organisation National Revival of Poland (NOP). This movement is anti-Semitic, homophobic and xenophobic. NOP’s manifesto states that “Jews will be removed from Poland, and their possessions will be confiscated” – a statement taken directly from Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The official greeting is the Nazi salute. NOP is part of Roberto Fiore’s European National Front. The NOP poster states “Fascism?!? We’re worse!!!”

Kaminski claims that he was in NOP ‘as a schoolboy’ before the fall of communism in 1989, but an NOP spokesman told the Daily Telegraph he was in it from 17 – 20 years of age, his formative political years: “He was in the party from about 1989 to 1991” said Marek Wojciechowski . McMillan-Scott has confirmed this statement.

• In 1993 Kaminski was the spokesman of the right-wing Catholic Electoral Committee “Fatherland”. He handed out pamphlets at Warsaw’s main train station denouncing immigrants from the east bringing “typhus, malaria and other diseases” to Poland.

• In 1999 Kaminski travelled to London with other Polish right-wingers to visit General Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator who was being detained in the British capital. “This was the most important meeting of my whole life,” he told the BBC at the time.

• In 2000 Kaminski gave a TV interview in which he refers to homosexuals as “pedaly”, literally pedals which is the near equivalent of “faggots” but also implies paedophilia. When the interviewer said it was an offensive term he repeats it: ‘What should I say – they are pedaly’

• In July 2000, Kaminski caused a scandal after his public declaration of support for the infamous pre-war slogan “Poland for Poles,” which was traditionally directed against Jews and invokes memories of the anti-Semitic violence of the 1920’s and 1930’s in Poland. “I want us to have the courage to say, ‘We want Poland for the Poles'”.

• In 2001 Kaminski organised opposition to a national apology by then Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski for the infamous Jedwabne massacre in 1941 in which several hundred Polish Jews were herded by their neighbours into a barn and burnt to death. Footage of a television news bulletin from 5 March 2001 shows Kaminski, then Jedwabne’s MP, reacting to news about the apology: “I think that Mr President can apologise but for other things. He should withhold apologies for Jedwabne.” Kaminski then gave an interview to the right-wing journal Nasza Polska in which he said:

“Maybe it is an attempt to quieten the consciences of those Jews who did terrible harm to Poland during the Soviet occupation?”

• Also in 2001 Kaminski created a new political formation known as the Right Alliance, which merged with the Kaczyński brothers’ Law and Justice Party (PiS). Before the 2009 European Elections, the PiS absorbed two ultra-extreme groups, the Self-Defence League and the League of Polish Families, one of whose MPs, Ryszard Bender has said “Auschwitz was not a death camp, it was a labour camp,” [nearly one million Jews perished at Auschwitz]

• In 2009 Kaminski denies wearing the Chrobry Sword, the symbol of the NOP and originally the emblem of the pre-war extreme right wing National Democracy. In 2000 Kaminski said:

“I’m not ashamed of National Democracy. It’s my tradition. In my lapel I wear the Chrobry Sword … I feel myself a Pole and a Catholic, and I’m proud of that.”

There is more on Kaminski and Tory extremism in Europe here, here and here and on Left Foot Forward here.

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17 Responses to “New Tories? MEP Roger Helmer: Friend of Kaminski and climate denier”

  1. Liz McShane

    With friends like these who needs enemies?

  2. Tom Callow

    RT @leftfootfwd New Tories? MEP Roger Helmer: Kaminski friend and climate denier < appalling, objectionable human being!

  3. Evidence based? Really?

    You claim to be evidence based; Roger Helmer resigned from the Tory front bench in the EU about 5 months ago, that hardly makes him a leading MEP or in anyway significant to the Conservative party brand or policy process. I’m happy for you to disagree with his sentiments but trying to dress up this partisan sniping as ‘evidence based’ is clearly wrong.

    Will you amend this??

  4. Liz McShane

    Evidence based? Really? – I suppose you will also say that Edward McMillan-Scot is also insignificant…?

    Ex-Tory MEP Edward McMillan-Scott joins Lib Dems
    Mr McMillan-Scott fell out with the Conservative leadership
    An ex-senior Tory MEP, expelled in a row over the party’s new allies in Europe, has joined the Lib Dems.
    Edward McMillan-Scott, who once headed the Tory grouping in Brussels, was unhappy with David Cameron’s decision to re-align the party in Europe.
    Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he was “delighted” to welcome an MEP who was “respected… across Europe”.
    Mr McMillan-Scott said he was “pleased” to join the party.

  5. Mr. Sensible

    The only thing the Tories have changed is their posters…

  6. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] foreign affairs spokesman joining the charge. Why? Just one look at Kaminski-phile climate denier Roger Helmer will tell you […]

  7. Eamon

    Good work on unearthing the leader of the Conservative Party’s faction in the European parliament; Michal Kaminsky’s fascist background. Cameron’s attempts to detoxify the Conservative Party is an empty Public Relation exercise and Kaminski’s unsavoury opinions on the Jedwabne massacre and his opinions on gay people prove it.

  8. Roger Helmer MEP

    Your use of the term “climate denier” can only be a deliberate lie. I have repeatedly stated that climate change happens, and has always happened, and always will happen. I have publicly stated that anyone who denies the plain fact of climate change is either a fool or a liar. What more do you want?

  9. Evidence based? Really?

    Considering what both i and roger have said on this issue- will you amend so that evidence can be included in your blogging?

    @liz macshane, no i don’t think its particularly significant. If the Conservatives were in the slightest bit bothered by Ed Mcmillan- scott’s party allegiance they wouldn’t have sacked him.

  10. Yes, evidence based.

    “Global warming is a politicians’ scam designed to centralise power and increase taxes.”

    And don’t even get me started on Helmer’s first Climate Change Conference in the European Parliament where he claimed that no one really cared if the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe got hotter! You may not care about the ordinary people of those countries who are the ones that will suffer, but I do!

  11. Henry

    What a splendidly shifty posting from Roger Helmer MEP.

  12. David Galea

    Kaminski a far right extremist? Please, these are bare faced lies. How dare you. Left Foot Forward, evidence-based political lies and distortion.

  13. Tory PPC forced to delete homophobic remarks from website | Left Foot Forward

    […] allies in Europe are even more homophobic than his own MPs. In 2000, Michal Kaminski, leader of Cameron’s MEPs, gave a TV interview in which he refers to homosexuals as […]

  14. Caroline Bryant

    Public Relations is all about pleasing the common people..-“

  15. Sweetie Bracelet :

    we should always keep a very good public relations no matter what, `'”

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