Yet again, Tories fawn over the far right

Left Foot Forward’s Alex Hern reports on Finnish fascist Timo Soini’s presence at the Conservative party fringe in Manchester this week.

On Tuesday, Guido Fawkes approvingly posted:

Timo Soini, leader of the True Finns party told the packed European Conservatives and Reformists Group fringe event earlier: “the Euro is our currency, but your problem”. The nail on the head.

Yet again, we find the Conservatives fawning over members of the European far-right. This site has previously covered the True Finns party, and why they are such bad company for any UK politician, but in case you need reminding, this is what Jan Sundberg, Professor of Political Science at Helsinki University, has to say about them:

“The True Finns saw political potential among the neglected people in society. Their political message is two-fold: social-democratic welfare combined with nationalism and xenophobia…

“They believe that a low birth rate is not solved by immigration, as that results in problems and foreigners do not fit into Finnish culture. Instead, young women should study less and spend more time giving birth to pure Finnish children.

That is like a faint echo of Nazi ideology.”

This is not the first time the Conservatives have hosted a European ally of questionable morals at their conference. In 2009, Polish MEP Michal Kaminski attended the same event Soini was at yesterday.

The Guardian diplomatically referred to his presence as “almost as much of a talking point as London mayor Boris Johnson”, but the talk was hardly idle chatter:

“As a local MP, Kaminski played a key role in the campaign questioning the Polish responsibility for the Jedwabne massacre. The campaign had strongly antisemitic overtones,” said Dr Rafal Pankowski, a member of the Never Again Association and author of The Populist Radical Right in Poland.

In a clear message to Cameron, [the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael] Schudrich said: “It is clear that Mr Kaminski was a member of NOP, a group that is openly far right and neo-Nazi. Anyone who would want to align himself with a person who was an active member of NOP and the Committee to Defend the Good Name of Jedwabne [which opposed the apology] needs to understand with what and by whom he is being represented.”

To be charitable, it may simply be that Tory Eurosceptics are so monomaniacal they will ally with anyone of any ideology who will advance their cause. Indeed, one must hope so. The alternative is that these Tories know the views of Soini and Kaminski and don’t care – or even agree.

See also:

The truth about the “True Finns”Dominic Browne, April 18th 2011

The homophobe, the climate denier or the moderate – what next for the ECR?Ben Fox, February 21st 2011

Cameron’s ECR farce continuesBen Fox, January 27th 2011

Kaminski’s resignation leaves Cameron’s EU group on verge of collapseBen Fox, November 25th 2010

End of the road for Cameron’s homophobic alliance?Will Straw, April 12th 2010

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