No, really! The British PM, Bill Clinton, and the (maybe) Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, have got one thing in common: the ‘Third Way’ in political life.
What type of policies has leader of Selfdefense, Andrzej Lepper, being negotiating with in his talks with the ruling Law and Justice (PiS)?
Well, it’s something like this. And it’s enough to make your international finance-orientated gramdma, with shares in Polshareandbonds, cry into her hot rum.
This is from the Selfdefense web site.
* restoration of democratic control over the National Bank of Poland and making it co-responsible for the economic development and fighting the unemployment - for instance, the American Federal Reserve (?)
* Creation of a wide front of public works, through additional investments in infrastructure;
* Revision of the past privatization processes and state control over strategic branches of economy;
* Financial support of the state in the areas principal for economic growth, e.g. agriculture, building industry.
I bet FT readers love that lot. But what of the Selfdefense political philosophy?
‘The social teachings of the Catholic Church and particularly of Pope John Paul II are a deep inspiration for the ideas found in the program of Self Defense. It is...the Pope who stated decisively that "the point that capitalism is the only way after the collapse of communism cannot be accepted".’
Crikey! Sounding a bit like Castro. But wait. There’s more…
‘Considering this statement, Self Defense calls for implementation of the Third Way principles (!), that is to create a social-economic system that would effectively combine freedom of enterprise with social responsibilities of the state. At the roots of Self Defense economic concepts, one can also find the welfare-state doctrine of John Kenneth Galbraith, as well as thoughts of the most renowned contemporary economists, like Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics.’
I told you! It’s Tony Blair!