Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Andrzej Lepper – Poland’s Che Guevara?

In one of the worst articles I have read for some time about Poland, John Cornwell writes for the Times (London) that:

The Kaczynskis and their uncomfortable political bedfellows, the extreme right-wing Self-Defence party and the League of Polish Families party, backed by Radio Maryja, believe they have inherited the mantle of the late Pope, but they have their own version of what has led to the state of the nation he so deplored.

Check out the bit about Andrzej Lepper’s Self defense as being – ‘extreme rightwing…’ One mistake among many, sadly.

Lepper was a member of the Communist Party during the 1980s, and has since forged links with people like Lukashenko in Belarus. He has tried to style himself, a little, as the Polish version of Hugo Chavez.

Lepper has certainly been out to prove his populist leftist credentials in recent days.

The election lists for the October 21 election are now finalized and Self defense has bagged itself a couple of old lefties.

OK, ex-prime minister (2001 - 2003) Leszek Miller is no revolutionary, but he was a member of the post-communist SLD (the old Communist Party) until they told him they didn’t want him to stand for them in this election, as he was associated with corruption and…well, the past in general. SLD want to appear a new, cleansed party, so getting rid of baggage like Miller is essential.

Miller did a moody and joined up with Lepper.

And today Lepper unveiled his latest recruit: Piotr Ikonowicz of the New Left.

Ikonowicz is a veteran anti-communist socialist, regularly imprisoned in pre-1989 Poland for subversive activities.

The New Left are the type of party you see here on marches and demos against the war in Iraq, globalization, etc.

So Lepper, the old Stalinist, is positioning Self defense way to the left, trying to pick up any votes he can. He needs them. Opinion polls are so low for Self defense he might not make it back into parliament.

So what was that about ‘extreme right’ Mr Cornwell?

(Blimey. I think that John Cornwell is this John Cornwell!)


Anonymous said...

Of course he is. His expertise vis-a-vis Poland is at par with his knowledge about Vatican history.

Well, I do give him credit for eventually recognizing his book Hitler's Pope was a krock o' kaka:

"I would now argue, in the light of the debates and evidence following Hitler's Pope, that Pius XII had so little scope of action that it is impossible to judge the motives for his silence during the war, while Rome was under the heel of Mussolini and later occupied by the Germany."

I won't even mention his other books which I might consider useful for lining the bottom of a hamster cage.

varus said...

I think it would be even over genorous to describe Lepper as Left wing giving his rather oppurtunistic money making schemes of late. A 'do anything for a bite of the cake' rogue would be a more fitting description.

Brad Zimmerman said...

Can anyone name a half-dozen Polish politicians that have remained steadfast in their publically-stated beliefs and opinions?

My wife just quoted the latest poll results to me. PiS and PO have, very roughly, 25% each. LiS has 10. That means 40% of the voters haven't chosen a "major" politician party. I speculated as to why? How come Poles can't choose?

Then I realized... perhaps it's because they don't know anything about the political parties and people involved. But how can that be, I asked myself. PO and PiS are quite popular and have been around for ...oh wait. Well the people in the actual groups have been in them for ...err, well. Hmm.

I couldn't care less what Lepper says today because he'll be saying something else tomorrow. I think long-term political success in Poland lies in being in existence for longer than some of those only-in-a-lab atomic elements ...and politicians sticking to their beliefs, not because they think they'll bag a couple more voters but because they actually believe in what they're saying and want to do some good. Voters in Poland aren't stupid but for sure they're deeply disillusioned and pessimistic and I can't blame them.

beatroot said...

Then I realized... perhaps it's because they don't know anything about the political parties and people involved.

They also don;t know what they are voting for. Will PO enter into a coalition with LiD? We don;t know. So PO voters will vote withput knowing for sure what their party will do after the election.

That is quite simply f-ing stupid and dishonest.

Anonymous said...

f-ing stupid and dishonest

You are, after all, talking about politicians. Name one who is neither one or the other or both.

Shit stinks.

michael farris said...

Quite frankly, if they had a majority I'd most like to see a PO/LiD coalition maybe with political whores PSL if needed. That would be the best match of reasonable economic policy and competent management (and hopefully they'd be able to keep an eye on each other and keep the sticky fingers in check).

I think PiS is best suited to being noisy and troublesome opposition (where the duck's contrarian sensibilities will be useful).

The idea of PiS winning and more endless, petty, stupid quarreling is just too depressing for words.