The British opposition Conservative party aims to team up with the Polish Law and Justice (PiS) in the European parliament. I suggest that this will not fit in with the party’s new ‘trendy’ image.
In a desperate attempt to get back in government after nine long, cold years on the opposition benches in the House of Commons, David Cameron (pictured) the new leader of the Conservatives, has gone to some lengths to distance himself from the old Thatcherite past by making environmentally friendly noises, and trying to appear ‘right on’ whenever he gets the opportunity.
So he risks confusing his new liberal constituency by indicated that he wants his party to leave the current, center/right EPP-ED grouping in Strasburg (which includes Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats) and join up with more Eurosecptic parties such as Law and Justice.
Unfortunately, this move will not fit in with the Tories’ drive to be seen as a modern conservative-liberal party, as Law and Justice - under the leadership of the ‘Terrible Twins’ of Polish politics, and well-known homophobes, Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski – are not exactly what you would call ‘liberal-conservatives’.
British Labour MEP, and gay activist, Michael Cashmore, said yesterday: "The omens are deeply worrying. Cosying up to the Law and Justice party indicates to me proof positive that David Cameron is using the tactics of George Bush's compassionate Conservatism in order to achieve power, at which point he will reveal his true colours,"
There are currently seven political groups in the Euro Parliament:
·European People's Party and European Democrats (EPP-ED) with 268 members,
·Group of Socialists in the European Parliament (PES)with 200 members,
·the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) with 88 members,
·the Greens and European Free Alliance group (Greens/EFA) with 42 members,
·European United Left and Nordic Green Left (EUL/NGL)with 41 members,
·the Independence and Democracy group (IND/DEM) with 32 members
·the Union for Europe of the Nations group (UEN)with 27 members
·34 remaining members will sit as non-attached MEPs
Law and Justice are in the 27-member Euroscpetic grouping, UEN.
Homosexuality has become one of the centerpieces in the culture wars currently going on in Brussels and Strasburg since the expansion of the EU last year. As one Christian web site puts it:
Conflict between the newer Eastern European member states of the European Union is increasing. Poland, Latvia and Estonia have refused to permit homosexual unions. Italy also voted against homosexual unions, while Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Spain have legalized them. Poland's prime minister, Kazimeierz Marcinkiewicz, a founding member of the Christian-National Union Party [a very rightwing outfit formed during the 1980's, though now he is with PiS, of course], called for state protection against homosexual "contamination" of Polish culture. And Polish President Lech Kaczynski refused permission for "gay pride" demonstrations when he served as mayor of Warsaw. Lativa also disallowed homosexual-themed parades.
So David Cameron, the new British Conservative leader, had better decide which side of the EU cultural divide his party belongs to.
Just one word of warning: if he really wants to get back into Downing Street then he had better pick his Euro-friends carefully. Just about the only thing that there is a moral consensus about in the UK these days is the view that ‘homophobia is a very bad thing’.