Thursday, May 28, 2009

LPR alliance makes UK Libertas candidate quit


A candidate for Libertas in the UK has resigned from the party because of Declan Ganley’s alliances with ultra nationalists like the League of Polish Families (LPR). (hat tip: Bueys Own)

Candidate for the North West England European election constituency, and UK policy director, Ben Tallis (pictured above), has had enough of Libertas’s contentment to ally themselves with some strange far right parties in countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. Informing of his decision this week to stand down from Libertas‘s election list, Tallis said:

"As the campaign has progressed I have come to realise that while I am committed to Libertas’ goals of reforming the EU from a pro-European perspective and admire the Libertas team in the UK, I cannot agree with certain aspects of the wider European party, notably in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Specifically, the problem seems to have been Libertas’s acceptance of candidates from the League of Polish Families, All Polish Youth and supported by presidents of public television channels on their list in Poland.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Donald Tusk told the Irish Times today that Lech Walesa had told him that when he is at the Libertas Dublin rally this weekend he will tell the anti-Lisbon Treaty party to...well, support ratification of the Lisbon Treaty! This came as a “great relief” to the pro Lisbon Polish prime minister, apparently. Which is...nice.

But as Libertas lose more and more credibility as polling day approaches for the European parliamentary elections, Lech Walesa’s little Libertas odyssey (see previous post) will have done his credibility no good at all. Which is a shame. As the UK goes to the polls on June 4, Walesa will be trying to be taken seriously and bathing in the lime light of the celebrations in Poland of 20 years since the fall of communism - back in the days when people did take Walesa seriously.

Latest opinion polls put Libertas support in Poland at a measly two percent.

37 comments:

jannowak57 said...

Libertas and guys like Declan Ganley are part of the time-honoured tradition in western culture best illustrated by Don Quixote. History is and will progress to a point where the EU will be a federalist state with power centred in Brussels. This won’t happen in some dramatic moment in history but by a slow evolutionary process over a long period of time, why because it is the logical progression of things. This is understood by the overwhelming majority of Europe’s political elites and they will not allow nationalists, populists and lunatic fringe types to derail it’s progress. So forget the voting.

The Irish who not only chose to vote on the last round of reforms but also voted badly obviously did not understand the concept of gratitude for it was only the EU that pulled them into a position of prosperity. With the current economic down turn Ireland may need to ask for some help from Brussels, the Irish would be wise to practice grovelling prior to attending the meeting.

The European parliamentary elections will not be very significant to people until there is a more sustentative shift of power away from nation states.

The EU has been and will continue to a good idea benefiting most Europeans, that idea of going back to a free for all with 27 squabbling tribes just is going to sell to anyone except an uneducated fringe. The EU is currently not a perfect mechanism but we know it can develop, reform and evolve.

Libertas is not about making a better EU it’s a futile attempt to stop it.

Mr. Walesa at present is getting his state funeral and a few nice statues here and there, he just doesn’t know when to sit down and shut-up. He is just no relevant in today’s debate.

beatroot said...

Libertas and guys like Declan Ganley are part of the time-honoured tradition in western culture best illustrated by Don Quixote...Tilting at (renewable energy) windmills?

The irony about Libertas is that it could pick up a lot of votes by people who want more democratic contact with Brussels...Ganley is genuinly proEU but not in its current form. I would agree with that.

But...establishment political parties all over the EU need the EU for many reasons and it is basically the only game in town - especially economically. So the only place Ganley is going to get any support is from the bearded ladies of Polish politics like LPR etc. Libertas is a freak show.

varus said...

Jan, i totaly agree with the inevitability of the process, and i for one am all for it.

The power shift will come as sooner or later, China and India and the like will be too strong for individual european countries to deal with and so the EU will have to act as one, either militarily, politicaly or economicly.

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said: “bearded ladies of Polish politics like LPR etc. Libertas is a freak show.”

And this is why this will end in a lot frustration and without anything being achieved. We are in a messy transitional period where nation states are reluctantly giving up power to an EU that has not fully produced a road map indicating where the journey is likely to end and how long it will take. Lisbon Treaty ratification is only a small step in that direction which was to addresses the issues of governance with 27 members.

The concern about democratic processes is a bit of an over reaction when you consider that real power still rests with nation states and their democratically elected leaders. I believe we should never have referendums concerning such issues as the Lisbon Treaty because they are far to complex for the public to handle. We have elected leaders work out treaties between nations on a regular basis without a need for referendum. If there is strong sentiment that national leaders are not handling the administration of EU matters correctly than voting at the national level is at present the way to go.

In future broadly based European parties should start to take shape in preparation for a future where real legislative power will reside with the EU.

beatroot said...

but maybe national political elites are not so reluctant to give up parts of their autonomy. It gets them off the hook in many ways - passing the buck on so many issues up to a faceless Euro-elite which can take the blame hen things go wrong.

But that just makes things worse. The feeling that people are not really in control of their own destiny politically is adding to what the elites call "apathy" of ordinary people.

Anonymous said...

The loser who owns this blog can't hide his jealousy towards the irish millionaire.

jannowak57 said...

beatroot said “It gets them off the hook in many ways - passing the buck on so many issues up to a faceless Euro-elite which can take the blame”

Unfortunately this happens all too often.

Maybe we should get radical and consider a bit of direct democracy, what if we only allow MEP to put forward legislation but not vote on it. Every EU citizen would be entitled to vote on the legislation via the Internet and a simple majority carry the day?

jannowak57 said...

Anonymous said...”The loser who owns this blog can't hide his jealousy towards the irish millionaire.”

You contribution to meaningful discussion and debate undoubtedly reflect your education. You should support the Lisbon Treaty I understand it has an obscure clause enshrining the right of free speech to village idiots. However as it is unlikely you or your buddy the Irish Millionaire (who likely got rich because of the EU) have ever read the Lisbon Treaty you’ll never know.

Anonymous said...

jannowak:
Shut your gob wanker.

beatroot said...

Charming..he is not the usual fool that comes on and insults people as the use of the word "wanker" suggests some sado from the UK.

ge'ez said...

I'm familiar with "wanker" ... seems to me "gob" is the better national identifier since I have no clue what it means. What is a *gob* wanker?

Otherwise, the whole centralized power thing re. the EU reminds me of Rosa Luxemborg's insistence of Russia being the predominant leader of the international socialist movement. It justs strikes me that there is too much juice centered in Germany and France. Why can't Poland start thinking in terms of pulling together a voting bloc -- aside from the tepidity or dingbatness of the leaders it keeps electing)

jannowak57 said...

Hi Anonymous can you send us your mother’s address, it seems unjust that she should go unpunished for bringing you into the world. Trying to determine your parentage should keep you occupied for a while. I bet father’s day has you scratching your head.

jannowak57 said...

Speaking of Rosa Luxemburg, apparently they found her body in a German hospital just recently, which was missing its head, hands, and feet. This hospital stored a mystery corpse for 90 years; what ever happened to just colleting stamps?

As I always say a good communist is a dead communist!

beatroot said...

the body has no head, apparently, or feet.

Geez - What is a gob wanker?

I think you are mssing a comma there. It should be "gob, wanker..."

Gob is British slang for mouth. So gob wanker without the comma is...um...interesting!

ge'ez said...

Isn't there any room at all for personal redemption in your outlook, 57?

jannowak57 said...

Ge’ez said: “Isn't there any room at all for personal redemption in your outlook, 57?”

Yes in many circumstances personal redemption is certainly possible, but all cases of redemption consist of two elements, the recognition of the transgression or the debt and the repayment of the same in some form. Whether you transgress against god’s law (religious doctrine) or man’s laws, in western society redemption is considered and not totally discounted.

Now lets look at communism, those who had adhered to this philosophy believed in a political structure in the same fashion as one would believe in a religious ideal. In Poland there were very few of this category most were opportunists who joined the party for personal material gain and the exercise of power. These people had decided to actively work for an occupying power contrary to their obligations as citizens of the Polish republic.

When this system came to an end very few recanted their views and proceed to do “good works” as atonement for their actions in order to have society recognize their redemption and allow their legitimate return to the Polish family. Instead they have acted to conceal their past and vigorously opposed lustration policies. They have in effect chosen to remain as a diseased organism concealed in an otherwise healthy body. So we wait for time to act on our behalf as sort of a cleansing agent to rid us of this foreign organism.

In Catholic religious views I believe redemption is considered the restoration of man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God through the satisfactions and merits of Christ. The alternative being damnation, did I get that right?

ge'ez said...

Most of the Polish communinists I've actually met struck me as banal opportunists who only cared about serving themselves - very much akin to most politicial operatives of both major parties in the US. My guess is that most of them would have been Republicans if they had been born in the US.

I've met a few Polish communists who were very sincere in their internationalist beliefs, and were capable of incredible personal kindnesses and genuine humanitarian concerns, even as they could not see the forest through the trees.

I'm sure that some of the latter have been publically repentent but in doing so my guess is that most have just gone through the motions.

The latter are not repetent (but are very despondent) but sometimes I betcha they are still better and less previously culpable people than their opportunist ocunterparts.

And there are those who have had changes of heart -- even before the fall of communism who were active and risked their very lives for the cause of Solidarity.

And yet, many of these folks seem to get raked over the coals and condemned far too frequently and intensely for my sensibilities.

ge-ez said...

Ooops. I meant the former as to the opportunist commies just going through the motions of being repentent.

jannowak57 said...

Ge’ez said “Most of the Polish communinists I've actually met struck me as banal opportunists who only cared about serving themselves - very much akin to most politicial operatives of both major parties in the US. My guess is that most of them would have been Republicans if they had been born in the US.”

Even the dumbest malcontent in the political circles of a western democracy has no equivalence to those who championed and administered a totalitarian state. I would be surprised to hear any history lecturer suggest moral equivalence of a Nazis party member to say a democrat or a republican. We are talking a different plane and magnitude of wrongdoing.

Ge’ez said “I've met a few Polish communists who were very sincere in their internationalist beliefs, and were capable of incredible personal kindnesses”

Nobody actually believed or if they did it wasn’t for very long; the reality and the myth collided on a daily basis so unless a person was subject to being delusional belief was quickly discarded for conformance and the resulting material rewards.

There was also a class of communist who I would call self-preservationalists; they faked belief in the system as sort of a security blanket for themselves and their career aspirations. Their only view was to parrot what the official party line of that moment was and hoped they would never have to get the hands dirty in the process. This group received a severe shook during the last purge of Polish Jews in 1967/68 when many had to personally get involved.

It was fundamentally inconceivable for people to have joined the communist party and not understood that they were part of Stalin’s murder machine and its later successor or modified versions of the party. There were also people who were coerced into the party based on crimes they committed such as former members of fascist organizations, Nazis collaborators and people who benefited from persecuting Jews and taking their property. Joining the party would get you off the hook and the party would rest easy as it owned you.

ge'ez said...

Of course it's true that serving Stalin was pretty much as evil as it gets, but I still say it was largely an accident of birth as to whom to serve with opportunists on both sides of the Atlantic.

And, yea, the very few Polish communists capable of genuine non-self serving kindness I met were probably delusional in that they could not see the forest through the trees as I noted. And they were very low level functionaries.

And similarly there are certain communists in the US who I find it very difficult to hate, and who I continue to feel a great affinity towards with certain reservations regarding their parroting side -- for example --Pete Seeger.

Does that mark me for target practice or designate a streetlamp with my name on it, 57?

varus said...

Jan57 said: "Nobody actually believed or if they did it wasn’t for very long; the reality and the myth collided on a daily basis so unless a person was subject to being delusional belief was quickly discarded for conformance and the resulting material rewards."

In the later stages I am sure you are right. However, i think that many in the post-war period felt that communism offered the best chance of rebuilding the country. Afterall, the centralised control was in many ways similar to the war-time economies of western democracies such as the UK. It is only once this rebirth had been achived in the 60s that the need for such a tight rein was questionable. Communism was good at getting the economy up to a certain level, but then its potantcy pittered out. Soon the western capitalist economies were rapidly overtaking the east and this provoked unrest.

jannowak57 said...

I will agree with you that there was certainly a segment of the population that believed reconstruction could only be achieved through a centrally controlled state apparatus. Thus these people hitched their wagon to the communists in order to reconstruct the country.

But what was touted, as reconstruction was actually something quite different, it was simultaneously the industrialization, urbanization and Sovietization of Polish society. I should mention here that reconstruction efforts in the west yielded dramatic and long lasting results, which provide a standard of living that hugely out paced anything that was achieved in the east.

This period from 1944 to 1956 was a period of brutality and terror that did not begin to ease up until after Stalin’s death. This was also the period when forced collectivization was being fiercely resisted in the countryside. It was during this period that Soviet officers in Polish uniform comprised a significant portion of the officer corps of the army and security services.

In the end people saw little benefit from this command economy, which emphasized heavy industry and massive military expenditures. At no point in the PRL did people find themselves in an adequate material condition, it was a grind just to get the very basics.

The Polish nation from the very start of the PRL was part of a great deception which tried to mask the fact that Poland was now a part of the Soviet empire with a complete loss of its national sovereignty or even control of it own economy. It was to exist only to provide addition resources for the Soviet war machine in terms of manpower and industrial capacity. Polish foreign, economic and security policies were controlled from Moscow through complaint Polish communists. This did not change until after 1989.

jannowak57 said...

The period of history from 1944 to 1989 in Poland is still misrepresented, in the same way as when Der Spiegel uses the term “Polish concentration camp”. This misrepresentation suggests that a Polish state existed during this period, which by all the evidence there was no Polish state but rather an occupation authority controlled by Moscow and kept in power by occupation troops, which did not leave until the early 90’s. To view the PRL as a Polish organism of any sort is just not supportable by the facts.

It is an important aspect of dealing with the past to expose the myth of a Polish state between 1944 and 1989.

varus said...

What perhaps is most misrepresented in the west is the communisation of Poland in the period you speak of (1944-1956). Few people realise that the AK continued to fight long after armistice. In the west that period was immediately hushed up. It is only more recently that people are becoming aware of what was happening. It is perhaps one of the ironies of the Cold War; that people in the west actually knew less of the east, than vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Anybody wise after the event who was not wise before the event should be shot!

jannowak57 said...

Varus said: “What perhaps is most misrepresented in the west is the communisation of Poland in the period you speak of (1944-1956).”

This is very true and it is a point in history were the west and communist propagandists had the same interests. For different reasons both parties needed to cover up what had actually happened in Poland. The west had betrayed and abandoned Poland after giving it security guarantees. For that matter the entire fate of eastern and central Europe was part of the deception.

The British government fully participated in hiding the Soviet war crime at Katyna. It demanded that the Polish government in exile effectively submit itself to Stalin’s agents of the Lublin Committee.

Today the British government is still concealing wartime files on Poland and General Sikorski.

The US government went so far as to tell the Soviets that they had no interest in the outcome of events in Poland.

The extent of Poland’s betrayal by the west is a subject that is only glossed over in Polish schools; it needs a lot more prominence.

The last armed partisan to be killed by the communist security forces was Józef Franczak in 1963. Confronted by nearly forty armed men he died standing up with gun in hand.

varus said...

When Roosevelt and Churchill realised the costs of Stalin's participation in the destruction of Germany, I am not sure if they had any options left. If they had not agreed to the border changes and the ensuing occupation, and Stalin had halted his advance on Germany, could the USA and UK have won alone? We unfortunately will never truly know. They did not decide to go the long route, as by that stage a victory at any cost was the priority. Alas that cost was Poland.

I am still somewhat taken aback by the ferocity with which that 'betray' is felt by even Poles in their twenties and thirties today.

In Britain, the national conscious is clear, Britain entered the 2WW to save Poland and then fought for six years culminating in Germany's defeat. Case closed.

Perhaps i have to agree with Anonymous who said...

"Yes! Anybody wise after the event who was not wise before the event should be shot!"

jannowak57 said...

varus said: “When Roosevelt and Churchill realised the costs of Stalin's participation in the destruction of Germany, I am not sure if they had any options left. If they had not agreed to the border changes and the ensuing occupation, and Stalin had halted his advance on Germany”

No he would not have halted his advance on Germany and it didn’t matter what Roosevelt and Churchill did because they weren’t going to do anything in the first place and Stalin knew it. This is because of the following:

Stalin would not have risked a split with the western Allies because he did want to give Germany an opportunity to sign a separate peace with the Western Allies as unlikely a scenario as that was.

Churchill and the British Empire were not in a position of strength to try to get physical with the Soviets.

The British public would not have support any additional military actions to sort out central and eastern Europe.

The US did not support Churchill’s concerns regarding the Soviets and the configuration of the post war Europe.

The US was desperate to get Soviet help to defeat Japan and all else was an after though.

varus said: “could the USA and UK have won alone? We unfortunately will never truly know.”

No they couldn’t, the war was won in the east and the Americans and British played a secondary role as far as combat goes. Having said that they played a more important role in the big picture when it came to their industrial capacity. Without American and British material aid the Soviets were likely going to loose. This should be noted for those who may feel the west had absolutely no position of influence in discussions with the Soviets.

varus said: “I am still somewhat taken aback by the ferocity with which that 'betray' is felt by even Poles in their twenties and thirties today. “

It remains fair to say that Poland was betrayed because that is simply the case, the reasoning for the actions taken by “our allies” do not mitigate the crime or Polish outrage. To understand the Polish prospective, we put forward a huge effort and suffered enormous casualties. During World War II 400,000 Poles fought under the Soviet command, and 200,000 went into combat on western fronts in units loyal to the Polish government in exile. During World War II over half a million fighting men and women and 6 million civilians (22% of the total population) died. When it ended our soldiers and airman were forbidden from participating in the victory parade by the British government. Some people in Britain openly demanded to know when the Poles would stop eating British bread and be sent packing.

jannowak57 said...

varus said: “In Britain, the national conscious is clear; Britain entered the 2WW to save Poland and then fought for six years culminating in Germany's defeat. Case closed. “

Hardly! Britain did not enter WWII to save Poland it knew full well that after the sell out of Czechoslovakia (think we’re the only ones pissed off) failed to appease Hitler, he would have to be stopped or Germany would dominate Europe which was not an acceptable option for British long term security interests. They just didn’t calculate on Hitler and Stalin getting into bed to change the balance of power.

varus said: “In Britain, the national conscious is clear”

On March 31, 1945, Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt concluded the final form of their plans in a secret codicil to the agreement. Outlining the plan to forcibly return the refugees to the Soviet Union, this codicil was kept secret from the American and British people for over fifty years. From 1943 until early 1947 Western countries, led by Britain and the United States, returned nearly two and a half million refugees to the Soviet Union, regardless of their individual wishes. Additional thousands of old emigres (people who had fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War) were also forcibly sent to the USSR, along with other people of Russian descent who had never lived within the borders of Russia. The good news is that they shoot some of them immediately; the bad news is the rest got to die miserably in the Gulag.

How’s your national conscious doing, a little icing for Stalin’s cake?

varus said: “Perhaps i have to agree with Anonymous who said...

"Yes! Anybody wise after the event who was not wise before the event should be shot!"

The people who sat around the table at Yalta new full well what they were doing and the consequences of their actions. The Anglo-Americans sold out Poland to pursue their own interests.

jannowak57 said...

Varus

On the issue of repatriating Soviet citizens at the end of the war, years ago I was in the position to discuss this with a former British soldier who took part in one such operation. If you wish I could give you some rather graphic details of how this was accomplished.

By the way the official line was they were all Nazis collaborators, even the grannies and little children.

varus said...

Jan,

Perhaps you misunderstood me. I was not saying that in my view there was no guilt. More that the re-writing of history we nentioned earler was so efficient that the British public do not feel the guilt, as they were fed a different story.

I agree with most of what you said and how you have described the events.

In relation to your description of the huge effort on behalf of Poland and the attitude of Britain and British people: you are ofcourse right. This was a terrible attitude and I am not proud of my countymen. However, If Poles are right to feel betrayed, and yet you agree that the UK was knackered beyond belief; then what other course was open to Britain? If the US was not interested, could the UK have done anything?

jannowak57 said...

Varus said: “the re-writing of history we mentioned earlier was so efficient that the British public do not feel the guilt, as they were fed a different story.”

This is very true and the careful omission of this history resulted in a very successful deception.

I have to agree with the idea that Great Britain did all it could under the circumstances; once American support was not forthcoming it was over for Poland. However from the Polish prospective this is of little consolation. Understanding of these events is very important for Poland.

For the future Poland needs to watch it’s potential enemies closely, but also watch even more closely it’s so-called allies and have a realistic idea of the limits of foreign support.

An interesting sideline to this area of interest is what was the role of American Polonia, which during those years carried some political clout in American politics.

varus said...

Riving home earlier today, I heard on the radio an article of news about a claim posted on the Russian Ministry of Defence's website that Poland caused WW2. I just googled this story and came up with this: http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2264529/posts
http://www.javno.com/en-world/russia-ww2-article-triggers-polish-anger_263123

Any thoughts?

ge'ez said...

After 4-6 years of war, both the US and UK were essentially fought out in terms of public opinion and leadership. No doubt the Russian military was as and probably more tired of war than the US and UK, but of course they would have had no choice but to battle on if commanded by Stalin.

The betrayal charge is kind of tough to swallow in such a context. Let's not forget that the US forces crossed an ocean to do battle with the enemy and that many sacrificed their lives. Same, too, with the UK.

Did Poland get sacrificed to the ends of practical expediency on the part of the US and UK? Of course, and a great tragedy that was and remains, but I think claims of betrayal go way too far.

And while I think it's important to try to understand history, it seems that trying to refight WWII isn't going to attain much in terms of what's going on in the world now.

ge'ez said...

The Russian stuff is indeed nuts and mighty disturbing especially in the broader context of:

In May, the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, created the Committee for the Counteraction against Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia. The committee consists of Russian politicians, historians, officials and secret service agents and its goal is to investigate ‘distortions of the historical record’ caused by Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian and Estonian historians.

jannowak57 said...

ge'ez said... “but I think claims of betrayal go way too far.”

The motivations for betrayal do not negate the act of betrayal.

Anonymous said...

"Libertas and guys like Declan Ganley are part of the time-honoured tradition in western culture best illustrated by Don Quixote. History is and will progress to a point where the EU will be a federalist state with power centred in Brussels. This won’t happen in some dramatic moment in history but by a slow evolutionary process over a long period of time, why because it is the logical progression of things. This is understood by the overwhelming majority of Europe’s political elites and they will not allow nationalists, populists and lunatic fringe types to derail it’s progress. So forget the voting."

Which only goes to prove Ganley's point that the EU is a dictatorship in disguise.