World News

UKIP rescued by Polish extremist

Source: HOPE not hate | Tuesday, 21 October 2014 | Click here for original article

Nigel Farage’s Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in the European Parliament has narrowly escaped political extinction thanks to far right Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz joining the populist camp.

Iwaszkiewicz, who represents Congress of the New Right (KNP) in Strasbourg, threw in his lot with UKIP after Latvian MEP, Iveta Grigule, defected, leaving the EFDD with a member too few to form an official group and enabling it to get its hands on large amounts of cash from the European Union it fervently professes to hate.

Until yesterday, few outside of Poland, has ever heard of Iwaszkiewicz. Inside Poland, however, he has acquired a bad name for an outburst in which he told the press he is “convinced” that beating would “help bring many wives back down to earth” and praising Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s tax policies

The KNP’s leader, Jorun Korwin-Mikke, has established a formidable reputation for making unacceptable statements. As the distinguished Polish political analyst, Aleks Szczerbiak, has summarised:

Mr Korwin-Mikke is one of the most controversial figures in Polish politics. Right-wing conservative politicians, particularly those from the post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, have often fallen foul of the West European liberal cultural and political establishment, but Mr Korwin-Mikke goes way beyond this and is in a league of his own as far as political incorrectness is concerned. During the EP campaign, for example, he appeared to: agree with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Poland had trained ‘Ukrainian terrorists’ who took part in the demonstrations that led to the downfall of the country’s previous pro-Moscow government; claim that there was no proof that Adolf Hitler was aware of the Holocaust; and argue that the difference between rape and consensual sex was very subtle, implying that some apparent victims actually wanted to have intercourse.

Previously, he questioned whether women should vote in elections given that they were less interested in politics and supported higher welfare spending; although his supporters argued that, as a declared monarchist, Mr Korwin-Mikke was actually in favour of depriving every one of the right to vote! On another occasion, criticising the Paralympics, he argued that in order for humanity to flourish, people needed to watch ‘healthy, beautiful, strong, honest and intelligent people’ on TV rather than invalids.

With the addition of the KNP’s Iwaszkiewicz, Nigel Farage’s EFDD can revert to being an officially recognised motley crew of MEPS from UKIP, the rooted-in-fascism Sweden Democrats, the populist Party of Free Citizens of the Czech Republic and a French independent MEP, formerly of the far right National Front. Heading the EFDD cast alongside UKIP is the Italian Five Star Movement led, like UKIP, by a comedian.

How this restored but unstable alliances’s future will pan out is unpredictable, but pulling Iwaszkiewicz on board might be an MEP too far.

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