Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lech Kaczynski, a far-right president

The controversial career of the Polish President, who died this morning in horrific circumstances.

Europe was shocked to learn that Polish President Lech Kaczynski died this morning in a plane crash.

Kaczynski, 60, was one of the most controversial European politicians. In charge since 2005, when he was voted in on a platform of law, order and nationalism, his views raised a few eyebrows across the political spectrum. Not least in Britain, given that Kaczynski's party Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) are the British Conservatives' current partners in the European Parliament.

Accusations of hypocrisy were thrown at David Cameron as Law and Justice place enormous emphasis on homophobic rhetoric as well as a firm return to traditional family values.

In 2009, Amnesty International released a statement about the "climate of intolerance in Poland against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community [...] openly homophobic language used by some highly placed politicians, and incitement of homophobic hatred by some right-wing groups".

Amnesty also condemned the Polish government's abolition of the Office for Equal Opportunities.

Lech Kaczynski and his brother Jaroslaw were some kind of Polish equivalent of Martin and Gary Kemp, except that they picked politics over a career in acting and music. Yet, that's exactly how it all started. The pair enjoyed fame in Poland since the age of 12 when they both appeared in a children's film called The Two Who Stole The Moon.

Lech, a fervent catholic, became heavily involved in anti-communist activism within the Solidarność (Solidarity) movement that brought the pro-Soviet regime to an end in 1989. His ultra-conservative credentials started making headlines during his time as Warsaw mayor, when he banned a gay pride event.

Allied to the far-right League of Polish Families (Poland's own BNP) Lech won the Presidency while his brother Jaroslaw became Prime Minister. Extreme hostility against the EU, support for a strong state as well as outright homophobia were the pillars of their political activity. It was Jaroslaw who uttered the most controversial statement: "the affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilization".

After Barack Obama's election in 2008, Artur Gorski, an MP from the Kaczynskis' party, warned that the victory of the "black messiah of the new left" would mean "an impending catastrophe, the end of the civilisation of the white man".

The tide appeared to be turning in recent months. Opinion polls in the run-up to the next Presidential elections, due in September, suggested that Poland's own far-right era may be finally on the wane, with Lech Kaczynski trailing his centrist opponent Bronislaw Komorowski.

This morning, Kaczynski was due to appear at the commemoration ceremony for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre in Russia. With him on the plane, there were a number of high rank Polish politicians and personalities.


Kitman Ho said...

Still, he didn't deserve to have his plane shot down by an FSB team (on its way to plant more strategy of tension bombs).

claude said...

Talk about bizarre conspiracy theories...
Why would Russia take such gargantuan risks? What possible benefits could come from assassinating a President that was four months away from stepping down?

Anonymous said...

its not russia that caused his plane to go down... sadly it was done from the inside... the leader that now took over the country for 2 months until a new presidet is picked - KOMOROWSKI, a presidential candidate was apparently involved... kaczynski was not stepping down at all... during his presidency he dug deep into the past of a lot of polish politicians from other parties in poland (involved wih the communist government... scams... murders...) it is not just him the president died. 88 other politicians that helped him were killed as well. kaczynski was very right winged but he believed that poland is being attacked by outside forces at all times... political pressures (it has been the history of poland since the beginnings of time) & it needs to stand strong against those forces... that was his MAIN philosophy... not homophobia!!!!!

Stan Moss said...

So basically he was a paranoid man and saw monsters everywhere, more or less like all far-right politicians.

Madam Miaow said...

Very interesting. A perspective that hasn't been given much of an airing elsewhere.