Monday, August 03, 2009

MacShane & McMillan-Scott Are Wrong About Kaminski ... And Here's Why

I've always quite liked Denis MacShane. In private company he is charming, articulate and a delight to argue with. But put him on TV or radio, or get him to write an article on the subject of Europe and he turns into an ideological, partisan europhile zealot. He appears incapable of understanding the basic difference between being anti-european and being sceptical about the Brussels bureaucracy. He calls William Hague an "anti European obsessive". Hague, like me, hasn't got an anti European bone in his body. And he's so obsessive about Europe that most Conservatives complain he should be more vocal about it. But I digress.

MacShane's paranoia about the Tory position on Europe has been fuelled by the row about the supposed homophobic and anti-jewish stances of Michael Kaminski, the new leader of the new Tory supported European grouping in the European Parliament. In an article in the New Statesman, MacShane hurls around countless accusations as if they were fact. It's about time he was called to account for his baseless slurs, which seem entirely centred on the views of Edward McMillan Scott. MacShane should do himself a favour and read a blogpost by Charles Crawford. Crawford knows a thing or two about Poland, and the Law & Justice Party, since he was our ambassador there fairly recently. Here's how he counters MacShane's allegations over Kaminski wanting to cover up...

What about the very specific claim that Michal Kaminski tried to 'cover up one of the worst anti-Jewish atrocities in wartime Europe'?

Another Conservative MEP gives a rather different picture:

The second accusation, that Michał lined up with anti-Semites over the Jedwabne massacre, is a grotesque distortion.

In 2001, the President, a former Communist, proposed to offer a national apology for the crime. Michał argued that collective guilt diminished individual guilt. If crimes were said to have been a product of their place and time, then the responsibility of the criminals who had chosen to commit them was reduced.

The Jedwabne massacre, he said, was not an offence by “the Poles” against “the Jews”, but by some guilty people against some innocent people. The victims, too, had been Polish citizens, recognised as such by the government-in-exile, although declared stateless by the Nazis. Blame, in all such cases, should attach to the actual malefactors. If the Communists wanted to apologise for something for which they had in fact been responsible, he added, why not apologise for their anti-Semitic campaign of 1968?

What was the Jedwabne massacre?

The basics are here. In Jedwabne in 1941 a group of Poles rounded on Jewish Poles from their own community and murdered them. The town had been under Soviet control under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact but the Nazis a few weeks previously had overrun the area when Hitler attacked the USSR.

For a long time this massacre - one among countless others across this part of Europe - was said to have been done by the Nazis. But in 2000 new evidence emerged to link local Poles to the killings. A huge controversy broke out in Poland and beyond, in part because it remained unclear to what degree if any the Poles killing their neighbours had been egged on by the Nazis, with Soviet NKVD agents also lurking in the background.

In 2001 the then centre-left President and former communist Aleksander Kwasniewski gave a moving oration at a commemoration ceremony in Jedwabne:

Death, grief and suffering of the Jews from Jedwabne, from Radzilow and other localities, all these painful events which lay a gloomy shadow on Poland's history are the responsibility of the perpetrators and instigators.

We cannot speak of collective responsibility burdening with guilt the citizens of any other locality or the entire nation. Every man is responsible only for his own acts. The sons do not inherit the sins of the fathers. But can we say: that was long ago, they were different?

The nation is a community. Community of individuals, community of generations. And this is why we have to look the truth into the eyes. Any truth. And say: it was, it happened. Our conscience will be clear if the memories of those days will for ever evoke awe and moral indignation.

We are here to make a collective self examination. We are paying tribute to the victims and we are saying - never again...

Thanks to a great nation-wide debate regarding this crime committed in 1941, much has changed in our lives in 2001, the first year of the new millennium. Today's Poland has courage to look into the eyes of the truth about a nightmare which gloomed one of the chapters in its history...

For this crime we should beg the souls of the dead and their families for forgiveness. This is why today, the President of the Republic of Poland, I beg pardon. I beg pardon in my own name and in the name of those Poles whose conscience is shattered by that crime.

As you can see, President Kwasniewski tried - with success, I'd say - to pick his way through a moral and political minefield, denying any formal Polish national collective responsibility for this gruesome crime yet suggesting that as a nation with such a pronounced national identity Poles need to confront such episodes honestly.

As Dan Hannan accurately describes, Kaminiski did not try to 'cover up the atrocity'. On the contrary, he joined in President Kwasniewski's 'great nation-wide debate' on the issue.

Like plenty of other Poles did have reservations about the fact and form of a Presidential 'apology' as President Kwasniewski delivered it.

Polish objections to the apology idea had various overlapping motivations, some more honourable than others:

  • why should the Polish President in 2001 apologise for a massacre committed by one group of Poles against other group of Poles under the extreme conditions of Nazi occupation, the more so when key facts remain unclear?
  • does not a Polish apology of this sort have the practical effect of 'relativising' responsibility for such horrors away from the Nazis and Soviets who together started WW2, and/or reinforce wider perceptions that the Poles as a whole were antisemitic (see also 'Polish concentration camps')?
  • and was there not a deeper communist plan to use such an apology to dig at the Polish Catholic Church?
  • how many Polish Jews cooperated with the Communists after WW2 to effect massacres of patriotic Poles - any apologies for that likely?


On the other hand, anyone who objects to apologies of this sort even for good and intellectually respectable motives risks being denounced by political opponents as at best heartless, at worst a crazed antisemite with fascist tendencies.

Just as those who join European alliances with such people have to take some hits too along similar lines.

As indeed is duly happening now. Politics and all that.

Plus the Catholic Church in Poland and more widely has had its fair share on nasty antisemitic elements who for their own dark reasons will have wanted to stir up trouble over Jedwabne and its significance.

Back to Edward McMillan-Scott MEP. His claim that Michal Kaminski tried to 'cover up the atrocity' and that this is a portent of the rise of 'respectable fascism' in Europe is, I think we can safely say, wrong.

There is a robust expression in Yorkshire which might be thought to apply in such cases: daft as a brush.

I don't normally quote at such length, but these slurs against Kaminski are gathering credence on the left. Even the normally sensible David Miliband has fallen for them. Kaminski is neither a homophobe nor an anti-semite, and those who persist in propagating these slurs do no one any favours. They do it for party political reasons. And what a pity Edward McMillan Scott is indeed playing the role of the left's useful idiot, as Tim Montgomerie so rightly said.


Anonymous said...

A very interesting scandal is brewing for a certain Lib Dem MP and his local party.

Keep a very close eye on in the next few days as the developments start to unfold.

DespairingLiberal said...

Charles Crawford appears to be well over to the nutty end of the right, at least judging from the links to miscellaneous Libertarian blogs on his blog.

On the issue though, the key point in the debate is that Kaminski said:

"The Jedwabne massacre was not an offence by “the Poles” against “the Jews”, but by some guilty people against some innocent people."

In the long and troubled history of Polska there have been many vicious crimes by many parties and as someone who has been in Poland many times and knows many Polish people, I am aware that there are always deep and burning disputes in that country about history.

That said, it is clear that during the war, a significant proportion (by no means all) of the population actively aided the Nazis in their anti-Jewish programmes of property confiscation, deportation, enslavement and murder.

To deny that the Polish people co-operated with that is unfortunately also fairly typical of a proportion of the population, who, said to say, fairly solidly maintain the same anti-Jewish feelings and views.

I am not saying that Kaminiski's statement above PROVES that he has those views or is motivated by the traditional Jew-loathing of many a traditional Polish right-winger, but that statement of his certainly SOUNDS LIKE just the sort of thing those same traditional Polish Jew-haters say.

I watched an interview with Kaminiski on BBC Parliament's European Record programme the other night and he comes across as a reasonable, democratic, modern type of chap. And it is true that he "entered the debate" that the Polish President called for. But the way he did that calls down suspicion and I for one have yet to be convinced that there isn't some truth in that Conservative MEP's views on the matter.

Hugh Jorgen said...

I seem to recall that Miliband's forbears fled Europe after the War, having been accused of unpleasantness to Jews and fearing retribution?

Mike Thomas said...


I couldn't agree more.

Kaminski's presumed guilt is one of very tenuous association.

Especially as Labour's group in the EU PES voted down a motion to include atrocities committed by the Communists with those of the Fascists for an EU day of remembrance.

Not to mention some of the utter nutjobs MEP in PES too.

peter_dtm said...

But NO one can apologise for anyone else; be it Blair's idiot 'appology' for slavery (every nation on every continent is guilty of slaving; the UK is 'guilty' of being the 1st nation state to try & stop the global trade).

I await the Russian apology for helping unleash the 2nd world war; but; like waiting for the EU to condemn the 'excesses' of the soviets in the same manner that they condemned the Nazis; I suspect we all have along wait.

When are the right wing going to start attacking the history of atrocities carried out by the communists ? After all; if our socialist friends think the evil of the nazis can be caught by sitting near them; aren't they as much at risk from sitting near the communists - whose atrocities make the nazis look like children ?

Anonymous said...

"I don't normally quote at such length..." But this is an issue which has the ability to do massive damage to the Tory Party and I'm bricking myself that it is suddenly getting legs and that the wider public is becoming aware of a debate we were hoping to sweep underneath the carpet...

The Remittance Man said...

I'm still waiting for an apology from the French for ruining great great .... great grandpa Distaff's holiday in Hastings back in 1066.

The note from the Norwegians apologising for their trashing of great great .... grandpa Remittance's croft just outside Aberdeen also seems to have been delayed in the post.

Anonymous said...

Go on, admit it - if this Kaminski guy was a Labour ally, you'd be digging for dirt like a terrier going after a bone..

It isn't like you to be boning up on your history like this. Maybe this rather prosaic issue has the ability to hurt the Tories because you didn't look this gift horse in the mouth too closely, when he could deliver the goods in terms of that manifesto promise..

Okay, the jury is out on him for the moment, but don't you risk looking a bit stupid if 'further damaging revelations' creep out of the woodwork in the next few weeks?

DespairingLiberal said...

Those things are all true and well said Peter, although I think ordinary liberals and left-leaning people no more have to apologise for Stalinism than Conservatives do for Hitlerism.

That doesn't get away from the fact that Kaminiski's statement appears to be an attempt to whitewash history about Polish involvement in the onslaught against the Jews. For this to happen is a distortion of a key part of history, which is understanding that in many occupied countries (not just Eastern Europe!) there were many people who actively aided and assisted Nazi oppression of Jewish people, Gay people, Romany people and Left-wing people.

To deny this is a routine part of the Polish extreme-Right's distorted view of history and it would appear that Kaminiski was repeating typical assertions and "qualifications" they make.

Jabba the Cat said...

Good posting Mrs Dale.

Boo said...

The attack by the European establishment has been disturbing to say the least.

Like the handle of the lisbon treaty I am concerned about about the way they do business.

Rob said...

I Mr Kaminski familiar with British libel law. I', sure he could have a field day with Mcmillan-Scott and McShane.

Likewise the smears about the Latvian MEP in the tory grouping attending the SS memorial service. The fact that EVERY POLITICAL PARTY IN LATVIA (excluding the russian minority's representation) attend this ceremony as it celebrates Latvian war-dead who fough to protect their land from Rusisian invasion seems to have passed the agitators on the left by. It is not about them supporting the nazis at all but all about honouring their dead just as we do on Remembrance Sunday.

And also, as Dan Hannan has pointed out, there are some very susupect people in Labour's grouping but they seem happy to sweep that under the carpet.

simon said...

Piece on the BBC site here

which takes the view that there is no evidence of racism (beyond a teenage flirtation with a fascist party) but the case for him being homophobic seems stronger.

Bird said...

I'm sick of politicians apologising on my behalf for something our ancestors did. (Took part in world wide slavery trade and did more than most to end it).
A couple of thoughts:
Will the jews ever apologise for grabbing land off arabs?
Slavery is alive and well in the rag trade and bootleg dvd trade.

Not a sheep said...

The agreed Labour/BBC narrative is that the nasty Tories have allied themselves with even nastier people in the EU parliament. Inconvenient things such as facts will not be allowed to get in the way of spreading this untruth.

Anonymous said...

Russians slaughtering Poles or waiting outside Warsaw while the Nazis did. This is OK according to PES (not allowed to have a day of mourning for those slaughter by communists, oh no they're liebors allies in the EU).

Denying individual culpability, well that has always been a socialist ideal. It's all societies fault.

The EU is rotten at its core.

Oh, as he was elected on a party list can't the former conservative MEP be replaced by the next person in the list. No one actually elected him.


Anonymous said...

A logical post from Dale which has provoked the usual frothing ignorance from DespairingLiberal.

Anonymous said...

I am not saying that Kaminiski's statement above PROVES that he has those views or is motivated by the traditional Jew-loathing of many a traditional Polish right-winger,

DespairingLiberal, are you familiar with the concept of "Weasel Words"? If not, I think you should look it up. You revolting little turd.

Anonymous said...

Go on, admit it - if this Kaminski guy was a Labour ally, you'd be digging for dirt like a terrier going after a bone..

We don't need to dig for dirt. Look at the people who sit in Labour's grouping. Look at the unreconstructed Stalinists, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, the homophobes, the ex-terrorists....

You, of course, have no idea what I'm talking about because you have never had an opinion that wasn't fed to you by the Labour Party.

BushBaby said...

McShane is to me a very unattractive person spouting like a maniac about anti-EU scepticism always accusing sceptics of being neo-nazi in their views whilst using the language of the mad mullah Taliban loving fundamentalists.
Recently I watched on the Daily Politics telling a fellow non Labour MP to shut up talking about the anti-EU vote in Dublin last year as he was not Irish unlike Dennis McShane who he stated was of Irish parentage and as an Irishman did not take kindly to a Brit. Tory MP's interference.
Hello he was born DENIS MATYJASZEK in 1948 the son of a Polish immigrant and Irish mother but has always played the Irish Nationalist card.
No wonder I really despise this slimy person who uses verbal bullying, obfuscation and mendacity as his tools of argument not discussion.
Then again he is an MP at Westminster.

DespairingLiberal said...

This isn't to do with apologising for things our ancestors did. It's to do with telling the truth about historical events. The sad truth is that many Poles did aid the Nazis, but this is denied by many Poles and (apparently) Mr Kaminiski. Worse, he denies the fact that the Nazis specifically targeted Jews and other groups. This is part of the "they were all Poles" lie - eg, that all Poles were equally hated and oppressed by the Nazis. This isn't true and it is a common line of anti-semites.

DespairingLiberal said...

Excellent article by Tim Garton-Ash on Kaminski, detailing his more recent flirtations with the far-Right and the wierder end of Cameron's new ragbag army of ultra-right loonies and fellow travellers. William Hague should feel at home in it!

Anonymous said...

What we also have is the smear of guilt by association. That Kaminski was a member of an extremist party. Hannan has effectively dealt with that. Kaminski joined the party when 14 and left it when 18.

The labour effort is totally pathetic. But as ever it is just a fig leaf. Another lie like Browns 10% - just a phrase to cling to like some shipwrecked passenger clinging to a Titanic deckchair.

Its laughable. An an age when Kaminski was leaving an extremist party, Labours next leader was joining one! peter Mandelson left the Labour Party Young Socialists in 1971 to join the Young Communist League, then the youth wing of the Communist Party. This move was partly a result of disagreement it seems with the Trotskyist Militant Tendency who were not left wing enough for Mandelson.

If MacShane reads this I hope he realises what a pr!ck he is. And you Mr Dale are far too kind about the likes of MacShane and Milliband.

I am glad other hold the same view as me of Mr DL.

Corporal Jones said...

This link puts Mr Kaminski's conduct in 2001 about the Jedwabne massacre in context:

He accepted that the Jews of Jedwabne had been killed and that some non-Jewish Poles had been involved in their massacre. He was against an apology on behalf of the Polish nation. In that he was far from isolated.v The BBC reported in March 2001 that "the Polish media of all political shades" were questioning the then president's apology.

This seems to be a bit of muck-raking. However, Mr Kaminski does seem to have joined a rather nasty political party in his teens.

It might be said that Alastair Darling was a communist in his youth and that Speaker Bercow was a member of the Monday Club. The question whether Mr Kaminski's youthful indiscretion shows (or suggests) racism either then or now is somethign I do not feel qualified to answer.

Jabba the Cat said...

"Excellent article by Tim Garton-Ash on Kaminski, detailing his more recent flirtations with the far-Right and the wierder end of Cameron's new ragbag army of ultra-right loonies and fellow travellers."

Yawn, more leftie drivel from TGA. Most Poles find his twitterings on Poland laughable.

Anonymous said...

"Those things are all true and well said Peter, although I think ordinary liberals and left-leaning people no more have to apologise for Stalinism than Conservatives do for Hitlerism."

Why exactly would Conservatives need to apologise for the former conduct of the leader of a Socialist party?

DespairingLiberal said...

Anon 7:07 - because it was Conservatives, the wealthy and big businesses that put Hitler in power in Germany. Fully supported by Tories in Britain and their media colleagues in the Mail, Times, Express, etc, all of whom volubly supported Der Fuhrer until the eve of war.

Anonymous said...

Why fall in with the ContinuityIDS line on this, Iain? Every sensible person knows the Conservative Party shouldn't be messing around with Warsaw Bloc quasi-fascists just because the pebble-dashed Poujadists who've paid £25 to join mutter that we shouldn't be part of the mainstream European centre right.

The party is too big and too central to the course of European history (especially if it forms the Government next year) to be outside of it and to be listening to poxy Little Englander party members.


The Purpleline said...

DespairingLiberal so let us play a numbers game. If you are, correct the right of centre Tory party, newspapers and big business supported Hitler's Nazi party.

Hitler, who I would remind you was a socialist, killed approximately six million Jews and was let us be reasonable here, responsible for a further 10 million worldwide.

Now let us start with the left.

Hmmm Old Mr Joe Stalin for example, lets say on a good day we can count up to25 million Russians + another 7 million Eastern Europeans. Then let us go to the Chinese communists and then on to Pol Pot, perhaps we could throw in a couple of others as well, we are now beyond 100 million and rising fast.

The left have some terrible blood on their collective hands and the Liberal democrats probably have more Paedophiles as natural supporters than any other party does.

I do hope facts start to come out in this debate.

I have a lamppost ready for all Liberals and Gordon bruin

Rob said...

You mean Tories like Churchill, despairing liberal? A man who was warning about the threat growing in Germany years before hostilities began? I think you'll find that the tory party has done more for the freedom of man from tyranny and opression than any other political institution in this country. The fact is Kaminski has been smeared even though the facts are on his side. The least people like you could do is apologise for defaming him. But I doubt you'd have the class to do that and admit you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Sorry old bean, but what has the esteemed actor who played Lovejoy got to do with politics ?

DespairingLiberal said...

After the next election.
The new Tory cabinet in full.

Prime Minister and Chancellor von dem Reich Herr Cameron

Deputy Fuhrer and Overlord of Europe Wilhelm von Hague-Zeleswki

Head of the Army Wilhelm von Cash, especially the latter

Minister of Truth Herr Coulson von Gobbles

First Plenipotentiary Minister of the Air Reichsminister Hermann Pickles
(and Minister for the Very Large)

Head of the Supreme Production Bureau Herr Kenneth von Clarke-Speer
(also Commander of Cigar production)

Leader of the Faithful and Master of Mirth Herr Duncan

Reichsminister for Economic Miracles Von Hammond
(we're going to need them)

Chief of the Press, Reich spokesman for Conservative Purity Mr von Murdoch (Togo Islands for tax purposes)

Reichsminister for Justice and Fuhrer von dem Geheim Statspolizei Herr von Grievious

Standartenfuhrer fur military re-armament Herr Rommel the Liam Fox

Reichsprotector of the Secret Policies of the Party Herr Letwin
(do not reveal until after ze elections)

Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia Herr von Kaminiski (oh gosh, what a modern liberal gentleman)

Reichsminister von der Rundfunk und die Interveb Thingy Herr Minister Von Dale

Bomb Plots Herr Adams

High tea in Buckingham Palace (we vill be there by Christmas!) Edvard und Mrs Simpson-Hitler

DespairingLiberal said...

Churchill and his circle were the honorable exceptions Uncle Bob - and of course he was once a Liberal! But most Tories opposed him and were in favour of appeasement and accomodation of Herr Hitler's little game.

Anonymous said...


"Conservatives, the wealthy and big businesses that put Hitler in power in Germany. "

Normal bollocks from a half educated lefty.

It was 11,737,000 voters(vast majority = working class socialists) under a list based proportional voting system that put the National Socialists into power.

Incidentally in the late thirties the last UK Liberal Primeminister wrote in the Express about "the greatest living German" and "the George Washington of Germany".

Wonder who he could have been referring to?

Apparently it, and other messages of arselicking syncophancy from prominent leftists, were regularly published in, dare it be said, the Guardian.

You really are a worthless little piece of snot, aren't you?

Unknown said...

Kaminski: "the closest thing to a British Tory outside the Carlton Club" - Dan Hannan

If you say so.

roman said...

DL: when do we get to the bit when you tell us that WW2 was all Mrs T's fault?

Or perhaps we could hark back to those old lefties, Bernard Shaw and the Webbs for instance, who were fully in tune with the Nazi eugenic policies? Except that I wouldn't blame the current Labour Party for things that some of their supporters did/said 80 years ago.

Anonymous said...

We must try our best to disregard left/right,fascist/communist. For they are in essence the SAME THING. They are both establishment constructs, designed to divide and rule the ordinary people from each other. Likewise our present governments beloved, and highly divisive Identity nonsense.

Fascism and Communism are BLOOD BROTHERS, conceived, financed and perpetuated by the EXACTLY SAME PEOPLE.

What matters is not left or right, but right or wrong.

If we stooped listening to politicians of all colours we would be infinitely more capable of constructively differentiating between GOOD and EVIL. This because deep inside we all know the difference between good and evil. We certainly do not need politicians, or the establishments media and education system, to confuse the situation.

We have been participating in murderous WARS, since the beginning of recorded history. Wars and all that ALWAYS go's with them, are neither good, nor right, it really is THAT SIMPLE.

Atlas shrugged

Martin S said...

Yes, come on McShane! Answer the charges!

No. Really. You have been charged as a disseminator of untrue statements. Come on. We are waiting.

wv = strop. Very good.

Martin S said...

DL 9:05 PM

That was satire, was it?

More drool than droll...

Unknown said...

What untrue statements? As I understand it Nasza Polska quoted Kaminski as saying that Poles shouls not apologise to the Jews until the Jews apologised to Poland for collaborating with the Soviets. when confronted, Kaminski claimed never to have given the interview at all. Since then the magaizine has called him a liar and Kaminski has stopped answering questions about it. Of course one can't assume that he is not telling the truth (although others have attributed similar sentiments to him), but if he has been traduced then presumably he can take action against the publication. Blaming McMillan and Mcshane seems rather to miss the point.

Meanwhile that Hannam quote is a gift that will keep on giving.

Tappestry said...

Iain, correct in every detail except one.

This is not Party Politics in the sense of Labour versus Conseravives. This is Urophile versus Urosceptic politics.

The Philes are furious that Cameron has dared to leave the EPP and they want to inflict pain upon him for doing so. There are no arguments in favour of Urophilia, so they resort to name calling. Things like óbsessive' and 'little Englander'' were last season's fare. Now we are progressing to 'homophobe'' and ''jew-haters''.

As people dive into the details of who massacred who over 60 years ago and why, the simple truth that this is lost. This is about the Conservatives leaving the EPP and daring to stand tall against the Power of Brussels, just for once.

The Berlin Wall fell. The Brussels Ceiling is crumbling. EMS is a mere piece of plaster tumbling to the ground, crashing as it impacts.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Despairing Liberal @4:46 states that " is clear that during the war, a significant proportion (by no means all) of the population actively aided the Nazis in their anti-Jewish programmes of property confiscation, deportation, enslavement and murder."

Where is this clear Mr Liberal. Particularly where is it clear that a significant proportion of the Polish population aided the Nazis. That some, a few, may have taken the opportunity to briefly enrich themselves at the expense of some Jewish citizens is highly likely but it is also well known that the Poles had the lowest numbers of their citizens collaborating with the Nazis. Unlike the Ukranians, Lithuanias and maybe Latvians. So Mr Liberal produce some evidence before casting a slur on a significant number of the Polish nation.

No no this delving into the minutiae of Polish history by the likes of Macmillan-Scott should not divert us from the fact that the "Liberals" are seriously worried that the first serious opposition to the creation of their beloved super state has arisen. McShane and co. are there defending their European master plan and Dave and Hague should not be diverted from scuppering it.

binqu said...

"Fully supported by Tories in Britain and their media colleagues in the Mail...etc, all of whom volubly supported Der Fuhrer until the eve of war."

You are appallingly ignorant. So here's a history lesson for you.

The behaviour of the parliamentary Labour Party rendered it objectively pro-Nazi until the eve of WW2:

1. Massive British re-armament (the largest ever in peacetime history) began in 1935 but was stridently opposed by all sections of the Labour party. In 1934 the Labour conference had voted for the scrapping of all weapons of national defence and in March 1936, a week after Hitler’s entry into the Rhineland, 114 Labour M.P.s (from a total of 154) voted for the complete abolition of the RAF and Royal Naval Air Service.

2. Labour intellectuals such as George Bernard Shaw remained pro-Hitler well into the war. In February 1938, impressed by reports of Hitler's ethnic cleansing, he had written to Beatrice Webb asserting 'the right of states to make eugenic experiments by weeding out any strains that they think undesirable';

3. The prominent Labour politician Sir Stafford Cripps was calling on workers to sabotage re-armament as late as May 1938 (that is, even after the anschluss): ”The workers must now make it clear beyond all doubt that they will not support the Government or its armaments in its mad policy which it is now pursuing” (Hansard 23 May 1938); many other Labour MPs including Aneurin Bevan and David Kirkwood took the same line. The odious Bevan was to remain an opponent of the ‘unconditional surrender’ policy throughout the war;

3. No less than 136 Tory MPs served in the armed forces between 1939 and 1945, of whom 10 were killed in action. A total of 14 socialist MPs (both Labour and National Labour) served in the forces in the same period. None of these members lost their lives.

Gary Elsby said...


I will repeat again to remind you of the depths to which Dave, George and Hague have taken the Conservative Party to appease the anti EU psychopaths that have dominated your agenda.

This is the depths to which the Conservative Party has sunk.

You actually defend a person who sees no guilt in the burning to death of men, women and children.

This is not an attack upon you personally, it is an attack upon your party that has brought shame upon good and 'great'(?) Conservatives through the ages such as Macmillan, Heath,Thatcher and Major.

There is no honesty in this story and yes, we will hound senior Tories for a mismanagement of their own conscience and for recklessness with their own party history, but everyone knows that to defend a 'denier' is to be a denier themselves.

Michal Kaminski is in denial of his own people's willingness to commit an atrocity at the first hurdle.

The Conservative Party have looked to this man for a lead in Europe and clouded the long history of 'one Nation Conservatism' that made the Tories a great party of Democracy.

Shame on William Hague for sourcing this man for a coalition and shame on Dave for not doing the decent thing and distancing your party from him and his denials.

Wrong thing to do, for certain. in defending Kaminski's revisionist denial.

DespairingLiberal said...

Some anons here seem to think that Hitler was elected to supreme power in Germany. He was not. He never won more than a minority position in the Reichstag in the free elections, including the last free one in November 1932. He was appointed Chancellor by a desperate, intimidated Hindenburg and then won the rigged election of 1933 by a phoney landslide. Unless you are arguing that the 1933 election with it's storm-troopers at every polling station was free and fair? One of the hallmarks of modern Nazi apologism.

DespairingLiberal said...

Binqu, your assertion that heavy re-armament began in 1935 is stretching the facts. An interesting quote:

"Rearmament programmes had been taking shape in 1934 and 1935, and the preliminary discussions of underlying political and strategic issues reached back as far as the turn of 1932 and 1933. Yet, until the very turn of 1939 and 1939 national efforts at rearmament remained on what may be described as a peacetime scale."

British War Production: Report of the British Government, Michael M Postan, 1952

binqu said...

Indeed, the Nazi vote was about the same as that of Labour in 2005. So there is not only an ideological kinship between Labourism and National Socialism (see my post above), but a psephological one too.

Well spotted DL.

DespairingLiberal said...

I think that last comment of yours shows pretty much where you stand Binqu, equating Hitler and the NSDAP with the Labour Party.

It never ceases to astonish me the extent to which a blog by a relatively moderate, intelligent and liberal-minded Tory is infested with neo-Nazis, anti-semites, extreme-right headbangers and miscellaneous apologists for Hitlerism as this one.

All very strange and one cannot help but try to get to the bottom of why. Is this to do with uncovering the real views of many Tories (closet fascism) or is it just that for some reason best known to themselves, extremists gather around Iain Dale?

I also can't help wondering what other leading Jewish and Gay people in the Tory Party think of their new official flirtation with anti-semites and homophobes in Europe? Are they also writing apologias like this one by Iain, or are they seriously worried? I suspect it's the latter.

Anonymous said...

He omits a comment Kaminski made around that controversy namely that the jews should apologise for the support they gave the communists. If that statement doesn't have alarm bells ringing I don't know what would. His statement of denials and his version of his role seem to be contradicted by a number of sources. Also if it is such a non-problem why would members of the Polish Jewish community (who would be in an equally if not better position to know about these issues than Chalres Crawford) be raising their voices in concern?

You also have been assidiously ignoring his individual anti-gay comments and his voting record
"Michal Kaminski has become a symbol of homophobia in Poland. As an MEP he consistently voted against resolutions that fight homophobia in Europe," Robert Biedron, a board member of Poland's Campaign Against Homophobia,"

Poor Iris Robinson if only she'd been Polish, anti-Jewish and had some MEPs she'd be Hague's and Dave's bestest bud right about now.

Anonymous said...


"Some anons here seem to think that Hitler was elected to supreme power in Germany. He was not. He never won more than a minority position in the Reichstag in the free elections, including the last free one in November 1932."

Its not just lack of education, you're actually thick.

Weimar reichstags were elected under list based proportional rep - NO single party had a majority. All majority governments were coalitions. Remember them? Sixty years of UK Liberal leaders have been wetting their knickers at the thought of being in one.

As the head of the largest minority party (incidentally, with a bigger %vote share than NuLab), your fellow socialist was asked to take charge of the government. Like any good liberal, he accepted.

BTW, the 11,737,000 voter figure was for November 1932. I see you didn't spot that.

Google too difficult for you?

Gary Elsby said...

Hindenburg was intimidated, yes, but didn't Hitler buy off his son, his chosen successor, in the following process to pave the way for power?

Incidentally, who was the MP jailed with Oswald Moseley under the emergency laws during the threat of invasion?

Who was the sole person kept in custody using that law, even after Moseley was released, and considered so dangerous that he was kept there until VE day?

binqu said...

"I think that last comment of yours shows pretty much where you stand Binqu, equating Hitler and the NSDAP with the Labour Party."

Disown Shaw and the other Hitler worshipping leftists (and Wells and the Webbs while you're about it) and apologise for your party's slander of "Tory warmongering" in the 1930s, and I might - just might - stop equating you with Nazis. Until then I'll continue to see all state socialists as brothers under the skin.

BushBaby said...

Gary Elsby !!
You have arisen
the comedy star of Bolton's blog on Sky News a few years ago.
We remember all his conspiracy theories aimed at the dastardly Tory manipulation of politics in his area and his comic slavish love of all things Labour.
This blogger is Labour activist who's articles left us all reeling in aisles with his surreal anti-Conservative theories.

Anonymous said...

"Even the normally sensible David Miliband"

You on drugs?

DespairingLiberal said...

Ah yes Gary, you refer to the infamous Archibald Maule Ramsay, Scottish Tory MP, old Etonian and lover of all things Adolf. Interned on Churchill's orders and the only MP to be so.

On the issue of Hitler's election or otherwise, yes, he won a majority in the March 1933 election but that was after he banned the Communists from standing (who previously gained 17% of the vote) and burned down the Reichstag, passed emergency enabling legislation and beat up people who voted for other parties. I don't think most sensible people would class that as a free and fair election, but to the neo-Nazi mind I suppose it's all fine, as with the various anons and non-anons who froth on this blog.

On Bernard Shaw, I don't think he is particularly representative of the left in the 30s - he was always seen as a somewhat eccentric figure. His Irish anti-Britishness featured in at least some of his support for the Nazis, as like many other Irish people, he hoped at first that Germany would destroy the British Empire and usher in some kind of new dawn - something that many Irish people later changed their minds on.

On the general issue, I agree that many Tory MPs fought valiantly in the second world war and I am certainly not accusing Tories of a lack of patriotism once the war got going. This is of course different to Tories, who frequently accuse the left of a lack of patriotism.

The key point is that during the 30s, both major parties and most politicians opposed a return to war and re-armament, for the obvious reason that they did not want a rerun of the first world war. Yes, the left was riddled with confusion and bad policies with regard to Hitler - it was only the Daily Worker that constantly opposed Hitler in the media, and that was probably motivated by a false belief in Stalin's Russia - but the fact remains that at least in Germany, it was Conservatives who bought Hitler to power and funded him. The Left in Germany fought against him constantly. The Left elsewhere fought against him intermittently. The Right in Britain tended to support him.

Anonymous said...

DL - the fact remains that Hitler was the leader of a SOCIALIST party. Any version of who might, or might not, have supported him cannot change this fact.

Sadly it took another socialist leader nearly 70 years later to truly bring our country to it's needs, after several near misses in intervening years, but hey, he could always blame everyone else and his dog for this as well, oh wait.. he did.

DespairingLiberal said...

Anon 8:00pm - I assume when you say the Nazis were socialist, you are referring to the fact they termed themselves "National Socialists"? During the early phase of the NSDAP, under Drexler, they had to combat mass support for the communists and so adopted at least some socialist-sounding policies. Hitler, when he took control, was of course fanatically opposed to all forms of "bolshevism" but it suited his new leadership to continue to portray themselves as a "workers party", even though their true agenda was of course profoundly racist and nationalist.

That said, there is of course much debate about the role on the left/right spectrum of fascists - some political theorists have called them "radical centrists" since they do not always oppose worker's rights, etc.

Hitler is best known by his actions.

* he abolished independent trade unions

* he promoted the interests of private capital, cut taxes on the wealthy and signed private deals with rich families and individuals

* he imprisoned socialists, attacked, tortured and murdered socialists and trade unionists and deported them to camps

* he did not specifically harass conservative forces, simply absorbing them into the party institutions

* on a personal level, many ex-communists successfully became Nazis but only by utterly renouncing their former views

The "Nazis were socialists" viewpoint is largely one of revisionist, holocaust-denying neo-Nazi people. It is very, very sad and disturbing that it is now seized on by the New Right and even British Jewish New Righters like Melanie Phillips who should know better.

Anonymous said...


"On the issue of Hitler's election or otherwise, yes, he won a majority in the March 1933 election but that was after he banned the Communists from standing (who previously gained 17% of the vote) and burned down the Reichstag, passed emergency enabling legislation and beat up people who voted for other parties. I don't think most sensible people would class that as a free and fair election.."

You've previously shown yourself half educated and thick.

Now you are just making it up.

Your fellow socialist was democratically elected in November 1932 and then duly sworn in as head of government in January 1933 by the reichpresident.

Of course, once legitimised he started executing people wholesale. But hey, that's what leftys do as they get more totalitarian.

Failed your SATS recently did you?

Anonymous said...

I think you might have been misinformed Hugh, they were Polish Jews who sided with the Soviets in the Polish-Soviet war in 1920, and when the Soviets lost and they bet on the loosing horse they decided to decamp.

DespairingLiberal said...

Anon 1:58 - I won't bother with a detailed reply, because you're just making it up as you go along, or else you have open in front of you the Fun Factbook for Nazi Lovers. Try reading a book or something, then come back and make an argument.

Anonymous said...


"I won't bother with a detailed reply.."

Pity you didn't think to say that 5 posts ago when I called you on your [factually incorrect] statement that "Hitler was elected to supreme power in Germany. He was not."

Since then you've been twisting on a spike of your own creation.

Gradually it's dawned that your fellow lefty was legitimately elected at a date earlier than you thought. Not only that, you yourself called the election "free&fair" And worse still[for you], he used the current holy grail of lefties, PR.

For the future you might want to remember: even socialist historians agree historical dates. They are the same in all the books of fact. If you then repetitively deny them in writing, you look half-educated, thick and in the end, just juvenile.

But then, you just have, haven't you.

To borrow a phrase from a greater man than you'll ever be:

DespairingLiberal, you are a twat.

Gary Elsby said...

I fear that there was one even more extreme than a Conservative but do you think that under these 'emergency laws', we could have George Osborne locked away just in case?

Worried from Stoke.