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Over to you, Foreign Secretary

Nick Robinson | 11:40 UK time, Friday, 30 October 2009

Bizarre though it may be, the words of the Polish chief rabbi about the attitudes of a Polish MEP have become crucial to the debate about the future of Britain, to its relationship with Europe and, perhaps, to the future of the foreign secretary.

Michalk Kaminski MEPDavid Miliband had passionately attacked the Tories' new European allies and, in particular, the leader of their new grouping in the European parliament, Michal Kaminski MEP - who Miliband described as "a man denounced by the chief rabbi of Poland for an anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi past" as a former member of the extremist Polish Revival Party (NOP) - and as an opponent to this day of a national apology for the massacre of Jews by Poles in 1941.

Miliband quoted Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich in the New Statesman:

"I do not comment on political decisions. However, it is clear that Mr Kaminski was a member of NOP, a group that is openly far right and neo-nazi. Anyone who would want to align himself with a person who was an active member of NOP and the Committee to Defend the Good Name of Jedwabne (which was established to deny historical facts of the massacre at Jedwabne) needs to understand with what and by whom he is being represented"

However, this morning the chief rabbi has made it clear on the Today programme that, though he will not forget or condone Mr Kaminski's past, he regards the MEP today as an opponent of anti-Semitism, a friend of Israel and a member of a mainstream political party.

This will fuel William Hague's demand for an apology from Mr Miliband.

It won't, I suspect, be forthcoming. The foreign secretary could argue that no-one disputes Mr Kaminski's past - something he feels particularly passionate about given his own family's Jewish roots.

What's more, David Miliband knows that this controversy has highlighted the Tories' European stance when all previous attempts to do so have failed. He also knows that his attacks have unnerved some in the Jewish community who were thinking of backing the Tories just as his attacks on the alleged homophobia of other Tory allies has been used to try to win back the gay vote for Labour.

However, for the first time in this controversy, the Tories feel they are on the front foot. They will argue that alleging extremism in the leader of a foreign political party even after the chief rabbi of that country has exonerated him is not fitting behaviour for a foreign secretary.

And with Tony Blair's presidential hopes fading, it may not help those who hope that Mr Miliband will switch from being Britain's foreign secretary to being what many will regard as Europe's - the new High Representative role which will come into being if and when the Lisbon Treaty becomes law.

PS: Labour MP Denis MacShane has indeed claimed that this morning's interview changes nothing and that the chief rabbi "does not clear Kaminski", adding: "until Mr Kaminski expresses full and unreserved regret over what he said and did in relation to the Jedwabne massacres I will continue to criticise the Tory alliance with him."

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Nick Robinson:

    Thanks for bringing this very important issue and the discussion
    of the Foreign Secretary and others to the table...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 2.

    That Milliband and Labour are at the level of criticising Cameron on the basis of a single Polish politician speaks volumes. That Milliband's really very strong and very aggressive critical statements are now proved wrong does mean he should immediately and unreservedly apologise.

    Of course there are loads of things the Conservatives are doing wrong, but there are also loads of things Labour are doing wrong, loads of things the LibDems are doing wrong, etc. This "inter party" squabbling at the level Milliband has taken it to is just out-of-order - presumably he is doing it on the basis of throwing enough dirt and some is bound to stick (and any apology he has to make will be less prominent than the critical comments anyway).

    Maybe now we can start looking into the early years of the Pope and start asking about the suitability of Blairs allegiance with such a person.

  • Comment number 3.

    No one takes Dennis MacShane seriously anymore and to be frank David Milliband lacks the character necessary to be secretary of our local bridge club.

  • Comment number 4.

    Messrs Milliband and McShane are desperately trying to attract the Jewish and gay vote, and will use any pretext whatsoever to attack the Conservatives' alliance with East European parties in Europe.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Macshane is just a Brown lacky so his words mean cannot be trusted. Milliband has tried to score cheap political points and failed miserably. I am afraid that Milliband showed early promise but does not have the guts to stand up for himself. Just ask James Purnell.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    So, are we any further forward?

    What does this say about the boy Millibland's stance?

    Are you trying to say that Millibland played the race card to suit himself and for political advantage?

    What organisations did the boy Millibland belong to before he passed through his education and became a member of the Labour Government?

  • Comment number 9.

    Nick

    Next time you see Messrs. Millband and McShane, I suggest you remind them about glass houses and stones...

  • Comment number 10.

    Yet more drivel.

    Once more the Labour party has been slinging mud and, when their errors are pointed out, they obfuscate and fail to issue a correction.

    Two things.

    One - they run the risk, the very great risk, of alienating possible support by their seeming intransigence, and inability to admit to mistakes.

    Two - their "holier than thou" approach would seem to rule out the possibility that St Paul could ever have been permitted to recant his previous behaviour, and become a significant christian.

    Hmmmm.

  • Comment number 11.

    Is Kaminski's past membership of the NOP any different from the way people like John Reid were members of the Communist Party in their youth?

    If they can admit that they were wrong to be Communists and if Tony Blair can jettison every political belief he ever had to found New Labour than why can't Kaminski not be allowed to change his mind as well?

    Of course hypocrisy is a major trait of New Labour!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Ah so Milliband is the latest to start smearing. Depressingly we can all look forward to a lot more of this in the coming months.

  • Comment number 13.

    Having thought further about this, and the hypocritical approach of Labour spokesmen, how can they condone the presence of Shaun Woodward (previously a prominent member of the conservative party) in their own Government?

    The two faces of Labour, neither of them very atrractive.

  • Comment number 14.

    Pathetic desperate stuff from Labour. The rabbi's appearance on the Today programme has humiliated Miliband, who should apologise.

    Not that it really matters, this is such a non-issue, a storm in a teaspoon. It is hardly "crucial to the debate about the future or Britain" - an exaggeration of staggering proportions.

    Why is more being made of this issue-ette than of the disgraceful report in to the Nimrod crash? Why have ministers and senior army staff not resigned over that?

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm sorry but Rabbis are not, have never been, and never should be "crucial to the debate of the future of Britain".

    We are not a theocracy, and Jewish people are a small minority.

  • Comment number 16.

    Frankly the vast majority of our politicians have become a disgrace and embarassment to the nation. Aside from the cynical exploitation of the expenses rules,any issue, even one as sensitive as antisemitism is just degraded and exploited as a political custard pie.

    This weeks PMQ's was an even bigger and more pointless disgrace than usual with two parties competing to see who could be the most juvenile and displayed total contempt for the public who pay for it all.

    Recent performances, and not just Mr Griffins, on Question Time have been little more than pathetic name calling against anyone who doesn't agree with the speaker and very little about addressing the question actually asked.

    I really struggle to identify anyone in any party of any real stature and integrity in modern politics who I could vote for. A truly embarassing, disgraceful and dispiriting state for the nation to be in.

  • Comment number 17.

    "The foreign secretary could argue that no-one disputes Mr Kaminski's past - something he feels particularly passionate about given his own family's Jewish roots."

    Suddenly the Millibands become champions of their Jewish roots? The real religion in that family was Marxism.

  • Comment number 18.

    We used to have foreign secretaries who were fine examples of being diplomatic themselves. Even nulab gave us Robin Cook and Jack Straw Now, we seem to have a young politician on the make whose only thought appears to be to dish the dirt on the opposition, despite the rebuttal of the rabbi on whom he is relying for his comments. How can any foreign country take such a foreign secretary seriously?

  • Comment number 19.

    Sometimes one wonders - is there no sewer these politicians would not swim in to gain some political advantage?

    This blogger cannot quite see how this particular issue is relevant to the debate about the future of Britain.

    The future of Britain, by which I assume Nick means political future, is that it has no future, only a past.

    Political Britain is heading for oblivion and out of it will be reborn England, Scotland and Wales, all within the overarching political framework of the European Union.

    That is the the future of of the island of Britain.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Labour engaging in a smear campaign? Colour me shocked!

    Perhaps Labour should take a look at it's own allies in Europe - who include former terrorists, 9/11 conspiracy nuts, and one lovely chap called Andrzej Lepper who has previously been jailed for assault, indulged in sexual harassment and has a honorary degree from a Collegiate which includes David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, and famously defended by Nick Griffin last week.

    Maybe the Tories should start hanging out Labours dirty laundry, I'd really love to see Millipede have a go at defending Labours own friendly anti-semites in a tour de force of abject hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 22.

    We are going to be treated to the last throws of a failed mud slinging government,perhaps Mr Milliband should look within his own party and see who,amazingly denounced communism when they saw a profit in it.

    I think David should concentrate on aligning himself with Lord Mandelson and start briefing against gordon.....its his best chance of a job for next year.

    Any news on how much compensation downing street will be likely to pay to Nadine Dorres btw , i hope it wont be coming out of public funds.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    The Jedwabne massacre is a very, very messy part of European history and exactly who did what to whom and why will never be know with 100% certainty. It would generally appear that non-Jewish Poles murdered their neighbours with German assistance. How much German assistance and why is controversial. What isn't controversial is that Kaminski wasn't even born when it happened and isn't denying that it happened. Rather like me and Blairs apology for slavery I'm wondering what I, a 32 year old who has never owned a slave should be apologising for?

    The problem here is that British knowledge of the early part of WW2 is extremely muddled. Most Brits hopefully know that Germany's invasion of Poland prompted our declaration of war, but far fewer know that our 'ally' Russia invaded the eastern half of Poland two weeks later as part of a secret pact between Russia and Nazi Germany. The actions of Russian troops in Poland where every bit as bad as those of Nazi Germany (the Katyn massacre is the best known soviet mass murder in Poland but not the only one). In the Balkan states especially Hitler was seen as less of a threat than Stalin which is why many Balts joined the SS. Milliband is happy to make headlines calling these men 'Hitler supporters' but I've yet to hear a word of criticism about Stalin lovers from his lips. Presumably Milliband still thinks 'Uncle Joe' was our friend and not a close ally of Hitler until summer '41 (a year after the battle of Britain)

    Stephen Fry recently said "There has been a history, let's face it, in Poland of a right-wing Catholicism which has been deeply disturbing for those of us who know a little history, and remember which side of the border Auschwitz was on, and know the stories, and know much of the anti-Semitic, and homophobic and nationalistic elements in countries like Poland" which just shows what stupid comments people who only know A LITTLE history make. He appears to be infering that Poland, a country that lost 25% of its non-Jewish population in 6 years took an active part in the holocaust! How come this didn't get the same attention? Would it be that Fry is a well know liberal and that as he didn't make any 'Anti Semitic' remarks it wasn't as headline worthy?

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    #15

    hello, which part of this are you not following? It's always nice to read disjointed ramblings, but

  • Comment number 28.

    When will MacShane and Milliband, those graduates of the McBride school of smear, be publicly appologising to the Polish MEP Kaminski after their attempts to smear him as an antisemitic have been exposed as utterly false by the Chief Rabbi of Poland?

    This was an attack by deception and smear over many months by both individuals, and for a British Foreign Secretary to make unprovoked attacks on a fellow member of the EU for petty party political gain should surely be grounds for his resignation if not dismissal.

  • Comment number 29.

    That's right, Nick. Keep holding the opposition to account & let the government get on with running the country.

  • Comment number 30.

    Milliband's attempt to embarrass the Tories has certainly backfired. It would be hard to deny that. But it is run-of-the-mill political intercourse. It will be soon forgotten. I don't think it says much about our politicians that we didn't already know.

    The 'our politicians are all a disgrace' line is wearing a bit thin now and is an easy way of sounding superior. But like most generalizations, it isn't true.

    People keep saying that there's nobody with integrity left in politics; it could become a self-fulfilling prophesy, that's the danger. And you don't miss your water (even if it isn't the purest imaginable) till the well runs dry.



  • Comment number 31.

    The first thing that has to be considered is the obvious dignity of Rabbi Schudrich who has set us all a good example.

    This contrasts sharply with Milliband who comes across as a posturing opportunist. Anti-semitism has to be rigorously opposed, along with all forms of racist discrimination, but the need to stand up against such vile attitudes should not be used to smear anyone with whom you happen to disagree. This just serves to trivialise anti-semitism and undermine those who fight against it. As such we all deserve an apology from Milliband.

    We all understand that there has to be a road back into wider society for the reformed anti-semite or racist. In such cases true and sincere repentance is far better than a casting out into outer darkness.

    Anyway Nick, however entertaining this might be for all concerned, the real political issue is the economy, the continuing recession and the failure of any in the political class to come up with constructive suggestions has to how we can get the economy moving forward again. Racism is the product of economic failure and we are having an awful lot of the latter lately.

  • Comment number 32.

    "It won't, I suspect, be forthcoming."

    Quite. It's a pretty reliable feature of the present government, that even if they are caught out in the most monstrous of lies, they never apologise.

    I heard the Rabbi's interview this morning, and it was absolutely clear that Miliband had totally misrepresented his views. A man of honour would apologise for that. Miliband won't.

  • Comment number 33.

    5. At 12:10pm on 30 Oct 2009, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:

    Homophobia has been used to defend some gay rights activites of late then they are found out to be part of a very large peodo ring, often this homophobia attached has been used to prevent debate as on many other issues.

    -----------

    I really hope you can justyify that.

    I am aware of one case in the UK where a former gay rights activist has been convicted of paedophilia, are you suggesting that this person used 'gay rights' as a cover, because it certainly wasn't reported in the media.

    You make it sound like homosexuals routinely abuse their 'gay rights' to access children, which, given the apalling beating of that young police trainee and the recent announcement that homophobic attacks are on the increase in the UK, i find deeply disturbing to say the least.

  • Comment number 34.

    Just had a quick skim through a few of the recent blogs.
    Not much being said here that hasn't already been noted already.
    The Rabbi's statement about Kaminski has been reported a number of times as has others reaction to it.
    This blog is about a week behind the comments.
    Try and keep up Nick.

  • Comment number 35.

    24
    Actually, Fry did get a lot of stick for his comments about Poland and issued an apology.

    Your own comments about Poland in WW2 fail to mention the Kielce pogrom. In 1946, the small number of Jews who had managed to survive the initial ghetto clearance and the gas chambers at Treblinka returned home to Kielce. Many of them were killed by non-Jewish (and non-German) residents of the town in anti-Semitic attacks. It's a particularly dark chapter in Poland's history and one they are rightly ashamed of.

  • Comment number 36.

    #17 and yeah look what they did to there own jews in russia.

    speaking of which Jack Straws Dad would not even fight to save his own
    people.

    More face than a town hall clock that NU-liebour for you then.

    Did not harold Wilson make many visits to the USSR and then Cancel TSR2 ? and was his friend the coats bloke have close links to the KGB etc

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Since no-one believes anything that Denis McShane says, I can't see what is the relevance of his utterings.

  • Comment number 40.

    12 calmandhope

    Depressingly we can all look forward to a lot more of this in the coming months.

    -----------------------

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Comment number 41.

    Why does anyone think this is a big issue? So Kaminski had misguided ideas when he was young. So did a lot of British politicians. In fact, some of them have misguided ideas even now!

  • Comment number 42.

    Typical of the communist inspired Labour party to uccuse others of extremism; the party which regards Stalin as a hero ( responsible for some 15 million murders ) and Mao who was responsible for at least 20 million deaths. The same party which advocates including Serbia in the great EU brotherhood, a country which in tne last 30 years was guilty of the most henious crimes. Pot calling kettle black springs to mind.

  • Comment number 43.

    Peter_Sym @ 24

    As you probably know, our involvement with WWII was triggered by our Pact with Poland.

    The Polish people provide us with pilots, some of whom fought in the Battle of Britain, priceless intelligence i.e. the very first Enigma machine, which the Poles 'obtained' in the very first days of the war and spirited to England, along with, almost unbelieveably later on the War, all the parts of a V2 rocket plus an analysis by Polish chemists of its rocket fuel.

    The extermination camp Auschwitz was chosen primarily because it was at the centre of the European rail network and thus a focal point for the transports.

    A secondary reason for the location of many extermination camps outside of Germany was that the German legal system valiantly struggled throughout the war to exercise some control over the Fascists running the Government and German Law did not allow people to simply 'disappear'.

    Others on this blog have mentioned the Katyn Woods massacre, which eventually was concluded to have been a deliberate attempt by the Communists to eliminate the entire Polish intelligensia, many of whom served in the Polish Military.

    Communists and Fascists - historically have turned out to be pretty much the same monsterous thing in practise, despite all the grand political theories positing the benefits of those political systems for humankind.

  • Comment number 44.

    What IS this fixation with some bloke who once played a blue violin for the Electric Light Orcestra?

  • Comment number 45.

    Nick, the better blog would be to ask if the boy Milliband has lost his big chance to be the EU Foreign Secretary, or if, alternatively, he should go back to school and learn to grow up first!

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.


    Whith everything thats going on, like Blair and his failed bid, another MP who in any other walk of life would be getting his collar felt but instead has to just say sorry and pay back a fraction of what he obtained (remember that one if you get caught out, just say sorry) you'd think Nick is obsessed whith the EU???

  • Comment number 48.

    When the Board of Deputies here got involved and expressed their concern about Kaminski the Tories said they'd come under political pressure.

    That being the case, I can only think that Poland's chief rabbi has done too so his opinion is meaningless although before any of this he did say back in the summer...

    "I do not comment on political decisions. However, it is clear that Mr Kaminski was a member of NOP, a group that is openly far right and neo-Nazi. Anyone who would want to align himself with a person who was an active member of NOP and the Committee to Defend the Good Name of Jedwabne (which was established to deny historical facts of the massacre at Jedwabne) needs to understand with what and by whom he is being represented."

    As for Kaminski himself, well, he's been on the record before all this too.

  • Comment number 49.

    Being charitable for a moment, it is always possible that our trainee foreign secretary misspoke.

    In keeping with government policy, thsi was the right thing to do, and he will continue to keep on doing the right thing for the country. Until we stop him, and his horible little mates, dead in their tracks in June, or earlier, please, if it could possibly be arranged.

  • Comment number 50.

    I just wonder what the comments on here would have been had it been the shadow Foreign minister had made these remarks if labour were cosying up to Kaminski, and whats their reaction to Hague travelling around Europe with the sole intention of denigrating Tony Blair, try putting that one on the other foot also.

  • Comment number 51.

    #41:

    It's not a big issue that Kaminski used to belong to an anti-semitic group. That was a long time ago, and even the Pope used to belong to the Hitler Youth.

    What is a big issue is that Miliband used Kaminski's past to make out, dishonestly, that Kaminski is currently a rabid anti-semite, which he clearly is not. Foreign Secretaries really shouldn't spread smears about foreign politicians.

  • Comment number 52.

    And let us not forget Millipede's blatant smearing of the Tories and David Cameron in particular to the White House!

    This wormtongue is a high profile representative of this country for goodness sake.

    why then is he acting like a petulant child?

    Statesman or state of shame. His antics are making us look even more small minded as a nation with this ridiculous behaviour.

    'I don't like Blair!' Says Cameron

    'Yeah, well you kiss nazi's' Counters Milliband

    Grow up and get out!

  • Comment number 53.

    IR35_SURVIVOR @ 38

    Although your post has been referred, I note that you ask whether Harold Wilson make many visits to the USSR and then cancelled TSR2 ...

    As Trade Secretary in the Labour Government of the early 1950's, Harold Wilson - I'm afriad you will simply not believe what follows - did a trade deal with the Soviets whereby lumber was exchanged for a state-of-the-art Rolls Royce jet engine (at that time, the Soviets had no jet technology).

    The first time anybody realised the implications of this was when the first Soviet Mig jet fighters turned up over Korea during that war.

    I suspect that British Secret Services decided around that time that they would have to keep a very close eye on Harold Wilson, which he eventually became aware of and certainly fuelled his paranoia towards the end of his political career.

    I think Dennis Healey cancelled TSR2 and bought an American fighter/bomber instead.

    Co-incidentally, I was just entering the aircraft industry around that time, and worked with some ex-TSR2 engineers. It is fair to say that they were utterly disillusioned by this because as TSR2 test pilot Roland Beaumont reported the plane was working very well on its initial test flights. Some of these engineers eventually emigrated to the USA to continue their work.

    Why did the Labour Government cancel TSR2 and furthermore, unusually take steps to ensure that the project could not be restarted by a future Government?

    I think that there must have been some very obnoxious senior figures within the aircraft industry who had made plain their loathing for Labour and possibly had also gave money to the Conservative Party.

    Political spite is an unfortunate feature which should never be underestimated and is possibly the root cause of the demise of TSR2 - the sole survivor is at Duxford - and one can clearly see the influence it had on the Concorde design - so all was not lost.

  • Comment number 54.

    @41

    I read it that most people are saying that this isn't the big issue. Most peoples reaction seems to be despair at the fact that Milliband has zero morals as if he did he would apoligize for this. And this is from someone who is supposedly meant to be one of the best our government has to offer.

  • Comment number 55.

    #48 extreme
    Are you, or have you ever been, or do you know a fellow traveller?

    To read your rantings makes me aware of, strangely enough, what it must have been like to go though the McCarthy era in the US. It seems that everybody on the "opposing" side is considered as a recidivist, and what you once were is always what you will be. No room for redemption or change of heart.

    Bigoted?

  • Comment number 56.

    20 pdavies 65
    #Milliband's attempt to embarrass the Tories has certainly backfired. It would be hard to deny that. But it is run-of-the-mill political intercourse. ================

    They don't need labour to embarrass them they are doing a pretty good job of that them selves,with the feigned anger at David Millibands remarks about Kaminski, they'll be back on here next week condemning Griffin for his anti sematic attitude which is the same as Kaminski.
    Double Standards.

  • Comment number 57.

    #33 tried to respond with the details at #38 but cannot get past the stazzi

  • Comment number 58.

    #50 grandanti

    I tried to read your post, and can only presume you're more at home texting, or perhaps even tweeting.

    To give us older, rectionary, bods a chance, could you find out how to add puntuation please? We'll ignore grammar, syntax, and the use of non-sequiturs for another day.

    Don't give up the day job of speech writing for the less intelligent

  • Comment number 59.

    Milliband as a holder of high office should be more careful in his injudicious use of quotations. Having heard both Milliband and Hague and then the chilef Rabbi this morning, he should not only apologise but should resign.

    How can someone with the Right Honourable as a title be so dishonourable and keep his position. Even if he continues to hold the opinion that this man is anti-semite he should not invoke the name of a senior Jewish leader who does not agree with him.

    A travesty. He must go, undiplomatic, untrue and unnecessary.

  • Comment number 60.

    Peter_Sym @24

    You seem very willing to talk about other people’s ‘little’ knowledge of history, while at the same time cherry-picking facts to suit your own agenda and ignoring the whole picture.

    Since you started the whole point about the start of the WWII, may I draw your attention at the following facts:

    Curzon line

    Polish-Soviet War 1920

    Munich Agreement

    Those three facts and the policies followed by the Western governments will help you understand all there is about the start of WW2 and the German-Soviet alliance. And why the Soviet ‘invasion of Poland’ should in fact be called the Soviet 'liberation of Belorussia and Western Ukraine from Polish rule'.

  • Comment number 61.

    As far as I know Michael Howard was the first Jewish leader of a mainstream political party in the UK. Shocking that Labour is now trying to brand the Conservatives as anti-Semitic - I fear this only devalues the more legitimate accusations against bodies like the BNP.


    This blog has not posted any comment on Govt policy since 5th October. Instead Nick is focusing a non-stop attack on the Tories in Europe. Could I suggest that we spend some time on any one of the following:

    - The fact that we are still in recession when most other major economies have returned to growth (including the US)
    - The recent evidence of govt cheating on official figures, both prison stats and violent crime numbers
    - The claim that mass immigration was deliberately created by Labour as a political ploy and kept secret
    - Government's two recent U-turns on defence policy
    - Damian Mcbride's out of court settlement for the smeargate incident

    I pointed this out in your last blog - but it has been moderated, so I doubt I shall be seeing this comment appear either.

  • Comment number 62.

    #43. I did know that. I used to know a survivor of Katyn who escaped from a Russian POW camp a few days before and ended up fighting with us at Arnhem. We owe the Poles a lot.

    #35 my post didn't mention a fraction of the massacres carried out by all sides in WW2. I didn't even mention our own contribution in the form of Mosleys marches through the east end and his vocal support for Hitler either. My point is that the current people of Poland should no more be guilt tripped into apologising for what individual poles did than I should feel obliged to apologise for Mosley. Kaminski has never to be understanding tried to deny the massacre happened, nor excuse those who carried it out which is why he has the support of the Chief Rabbi. Millibands 'anti-semite' claims like those accusing the Latvians of being 'supporters of the SS' are both offensive and based on misunderstanding of history.

  • Comment number 63.

    The last hope of any failing politician is to play either the race or homophobic card. This depressingly low level of political "debate" is the result of too many "career" politicians. We need reform in the rules and regulations of who can enter parliament alongside how they claim expenses.
    Miliband is an exceptional example....of the type of schoolboy thinking that passes for modern political intelligence. Balls is another, as is Liam Byrne and Yvette Cooper. This is not just restricted to the Labour party as anyone who witnessed the hapless Lebit whathisname on Question Time last night.The time has come for us to expect some experience of real life as a pre-requisite for anyone standing for parliament. Experience has to be better than theory always.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Nick are you not now ashamed that you just swallowed the government spin on this issue earlier rather than doing proper research on the matter?

  • Comment number 66.

    Despite the importance of what may lay behind this issue - it is, I think, an aside from more pressing matters - the UK economy, law and order, education, climate change, reform of the financial services industry, clean-up of Parliment etc, etc, which I suspect are of more interest to the broad mass of the electorate.

  • Comment number 67.

    57. At 2:02pm on 30 Oct 2009, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #33 tried to respond with the details at #38 but cannot get past the stazzi

    ----
    fair enough - it seems you don't have to stray far from the topic these days.

  • Comment number 68.

    Blair, Miliband - both up for top jobs with no mandate from any electorate or taxpayer.

    Mr Milibands marxist / stalinist father would be so proud of his multi millionaire offspring.

  • Comment number 69.

    #61

    "As far as I know Michael Howard was the first Jewish leader of a mainstream political party in the UK."

    History, history - Benjamin Disraeli!

  • Comment number 70.

    w122 @ 63

    "to play either the race or homophobic card"

    hi Winnie!

    so it's that again, is it?

    can I offer a variation please? something along the lines of the following:

    people who are always complaining about other people "playing" the race or homophobia "card" are very likely to believe that the extent to which racism and homophobia exist and are a problem in our society is wildly exaggarated

    would I be right?

  • Comment number 71.

    Message 61

    Benjamin Disraeli was the first Tory leader who was of Jewish origin. He was a very remarkable and astute politician who, when Prime Minister extended the manhood franchise into the working classes. I believe it was his father who converted the family to the rule of the Church of England.

    I am unclear as to Michael Howard's precise religious arrangements but I doubt if he subscribes to an orthodox synagogue.

  • Comment number 72.

    #53 I too share the same history as you along with my father and am a keen researcher on the TSR2 and the ramification of menbers of governemnts having dealing with communist regimes etc.

    Given that NR is blogging about this type of issues it fair to raise this
    and Mr Healey still will not give a full explaination of what happened.

    so just shows it runs in the ranks of liebour over many generations

    We could talk red robbo of BL fame.

    Ah yeah the heros of MilBrand and co

  • Comment number 73.

    I am surprised hat David Miliband has become so directly involved in the attack on Kaminsky. As Foreign Scretary, I'd have hoped for a more high-level diplomatic approach, leaving some junior to do the attack-dog routines on another country's MEPs.

    I heard the Radio 4 exchanges between Miliband and Hague. In my opinion, Hague sometimes allow his "humourous" side to get in the way of a good brain. But he seemed more diplomatic and measured than Miliband.

    Also heard Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, this morning. He was vbery measured in his comments. Obviously he wasn't happy with Kamiski's past background and rather odd approach to the Jedwabne massacres. I have read that Kaminski believes that the perpetrators of the massacre should be hunted down as criminals.

    (I'm still trying to work out who should say sorry, on whose behalf, when one part of a population kills another part. It can't be the nation itself, can it? The nation should represent all the people, including the population whose members were killed - but you can't apologies in their name, can you?

    I know Poland has been a big territory stuck between more powerful neighbours for centuries. And were invaded from the West by Hitler and from the East by Stalin. Then left to rot under the heavy hand of the Soviets for decades.

    How long did it take the French to even accept that a large part of their population created the Vicky regime which was tolerant or cooperative with the Nazi invaders? Including shipping Jewish people to concentration camps...)

    I thought the Rabbi made a fairly straight comment that Kaminski appeared to be against anti-Semitic groups and was considered a friend by Israel.

    It just seems to demean the post of Foreign Secretary to be focuing on individual, relatively low level members of another nation. There may be some MEPs who have genuine political clout in their home countries.
    (Brown famously brought back Glenys Kinnock to be Minister for Europe. She made a big difference, what?...)
    Maybe Kaminski does have clout. In which case, it wasn't very clever of Miliband to attack Polish politicians.

    BTW: I thought Cameron made a mistake by re-aligning with the EU Parliament. I don't like any of them much, but change from within normally works better than splintering...

  • Comment number 74.

    badger
    Disraeli, although of jewish descent, was an anglican.

  • Comment number 75.

    #67 particulary if you stray into an area where the superhero's have been campainging then you will be shot down by the stazzi

    its called sensorship.

    another form of censorship to limit the subjects for debate as mentioned
    by other bloggers on here.

  • Comment number 76.

    Miliband, the man who was 'mistaken' over rendition... who still has questions to answer over torture. Not really in a position to take the moral high ground.

  • Comment number 77.

    Well, here we are again. At the end of a week where news that matters is everywhere (McNulty, Nimrod, US out of recession but not UK etc.) Nick decides to blog on a Polish MEP that nobody has heard of, then tries a tenuous link about his past tying him to the beliefs of the Consrvative Party !! As usual Nicks radar is firmly off course. I doubt there are many who will give this story more than a passing glimpse, and yet this weeks bigger topics are not even discussed by a man who is the supposed BBC's political editor.

  • Comment number 78.

    Methinks the labour shills sense that they're backing a loser here. Eager young man, doesn't engage brain before starting tongue (in fact, normally doesn't engage brain), offers his comments up to the world, and publicly finds them batted back at him, by his attributed source. Doesn't have the grace or the wit to admit his mistake, thus enabling us to move on.

    So, what can Nick find to drop on that nice Mr johnson, I wonder?

  • Comment number 79.

    "virtualstangeorge wrote:

    That's right, Nick. Keep holding the opposition to account & let the government get on with running the country."

    I think you made a typo - you mean 'ruining the country', don't you ?

    The thought of Milliband as Foreign Minister (or whatever) of Europe is so laughable !

  • Comment number 80.

    For Petes sake Nick you have spent the last month blogging consistent attacks on the Tory attitudes to Europe.

    The last month!! absolutely no comment whatsoever about any of the obvious failings of the Government or any govt policy.

    Are you the BBCs political Editor or a NuLabour spokesman.

    Frankly it is now becoming a farce and you are demeaning both yourself, your profession and the BBC

  • Comment number 81.

    74. At 3:08pm on 30 Oct 2009, Poprishchin wrote:
    badger
    Disraeli, although of jewish descent, was an anglican.

    ===

    More accurately, he was a teenage convert to Anglicanism.

  • Comment number 82.

    How can the Foreign Secrtetary pontificate so much. If he is attempting to denigrate David Cameron by association, he should remember the old addage. "People who live in glass houses, should not throw stones".

    This particularly apt with the news that another Labour Minister has been let off. By saying let off, I mean no Police enquiry. This administration has 'form' for this behaviour.

    It really ill-behoves me to repeat this but it appears that some MPs., still do not get it. They do not realise how angry the public are I recall some MPs. (on all sides) stating that they will let their voters decide. I hope that they do not think that by May 2010, the expenses row will be forgotten. Remember the Court of Public Opinion?, it has had little chance to sit in judgement.

    We will have our day in Court, whether Crown or Public Opinion. We will not be denied our opportunity. Is this revenge for failure to support Tony Blair for President.?

  • Comment number 83.

    So what are the chances of labour losing the Glasgow by-election I wonder? Their candidate must be desperately hoping that El Gordo doesn't turn up to endorse him.

    Of course the longer he limps on the better off we'll all be in the long term, it's just that it will be longer term than we might have otherwise have envisaged, before he started making all the right, big decisions.

  • Comment number 84.

    74. At 3:08pm on 30 Oct 2009, Poprishchin wrote:

    badger, Disraeli, although of jewish descent, was an anglican.

    Thats true, but according to UK racial discrimination laws Jews are a race, not a religion. In the 3rd Reich Disraeli would have been forced to wear a yellow star.... and then 'sent east'

  • Comment number 85.

    So the tories are homophobic nazi jew-haters are they Nick?

    Did the BBC see that the "tories in crisis over europe rows" labour line that the BBC were spinning wasn't being believed and is now resorting to trying to spin that the tories are homophobic nazis?

    This is pretty low, even for the BBC.

    Maybe you could have commented on the BBC headline:
    "PM hails climate 'breakthrough'"
    (a deal whereby nobody's committed to anything whatsoever)

  • Comment number 86.

    I am getting rather tired of NuLabour resorting to religion, sexual orientation, ehtenticity etc to try and score one over their political opponents. I suppose its because they know they havent got a hells chances in winning any discususion on any of their policies from immigration to the economy to education to the public sector - they are now pinning everything on their fall back position - making it up as they go along in the hope some of it will damage their opponents in the process. Fortunately for us their motives are as transparent as usual and the electorate wised up long ago to this dishonest bunch of has beens. Supposed to be religious - only when it suits. Some of their acts don`t seem very christian to me, like going to war and killing people for no good reason whatsoever.

  • Comment number 87.

    58. At 2:03pm on 30 Oct 2009, U14147588 wrote:
    #50 grandanti
    Isn't it sad that you were unable to write my pseudonym correctly and without a capital
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    #I tried to read your post, and can only presume you're more at home texting, or perhaps even tweeting.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Never texted or tweetered in my life. old chap
    --------------------------------------------------------
    #To give us older, rectionary, bods a chance, could you find out how to add puntuation please? We'll ignore grammar, syntax, and the use of non-sequiturs for another day.
    --------------------------------------
    With regard to your claim to being older I guess I am probably older than you at 79, but no matter, whatever age you have obviously reached your second childhood sooner than I, to have wrote this drivel, I might have taken you more seriously had you have been able to write a post without already two mistakes pointed out and try spelling reactionary again see if you can get it right this time.
    Its no use you using big words if you can't spell which leads me to wonder if you even know what they mean.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    #Don't give up the day job of speech writing for the less intelligent

    Well if I do I will let you know right away,being as clever as you, would make the ideal applicant for the vacancy that is if you learn to spell.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    You know every so often we get some smart assed character like you, not that they usually use numbers for a pseudonym I suppose you get trouble with words judging by the way you spell so I guess numbers are easier for you.
    I suppose you had a university education and you were taught grammar, not that it seems to have helped you very much, now I was educated during the war by a bunch of well past it subsitute teachers,and was bundled out of school at fourteen, and never had a days education since. I've worked all my life with my hands and have probably achieved more than you have ever done probably sat behind a desk, I wont go into it here again as it has been well documented on this blog in the past but I will match you skill for skill any time you like old chap,so you can write a grammatically correct letter Whoopee Doo!!!are'nt you the clever boy.

  • Comment number 88.

    It is interesting that Mr Kaminski's political views seem to have developed in a similar way to those of our own Mr Griffin. Both were once antisemitic, but now actually support Israel.

    This is in fact the way the political views of most people on the extreme right have changed. This presumably reflects the fact that they now see Moslems as the most serious enemies and recognise Israel as an ally.

  • Comment number 89.

    Well, you know what they say about people arguing... When someone starts making personal insults you know theyre losing the argument!
    ... or something to that effect. I guess thats why Labours been planning/performing smear campaigns for the last who knows how long!
    Does anyone have an opinion on the liklihood of Mr. Brown being ousted and Milliband inserted as leader of the Labour party after the Gen. Election?

  • Comment number 90.

    Nick, I trust that as a reporter dedicated to getting to the truth,you will quote the Chief Rabbi every time you interview Milliband, until Milliband retracts his lies.

  • Comment number 91.

    #80 this is going to present a problem come the election or will the blog be closed down.

  • Comment number 92.

    #60. What "agenda" do I have?

    From your comment "Those three facts and the policies followed by the Western governments will help you understand all there is about the start of WW2 and the German-Soviet alliance. And why the Soviet ‘invasion of Poland’ should in fact be called the Soviet 'liberation of Belorussia and Western Ukraine from Polish rule'.

    It would appear that you take great offence at any suggestion that the Soviet Union might not be Mr Nice Guy. I note you don't mention whether you think the Ukranians WANTED to be liberated from the Poles or not. As Stalin ensured 6 million starved to death in man mande famines during the 30's and their subsequent (and short lived) greeting of the Germans as Liberators I'd suggest most would have been happier being Polish subjects than Soviet Comrades.

  • Comment number 93.

    #70 sagamix wrote:
    "people who are always complaining about other people "playing" the race or homophobia "card" are very likely to believe that the extent to which racism and homophobia exist and are a problem in our society is wildly exaggarated"

    Well, that's a complicated sentence and I had to read it several times and already feel a little queasy. Still, no bad thing, to present a little complexity in the mid-afternoon.

    Until recently (at least in my dinosaur political time scale) either:
    a) the race card was played by the right and condemned by the left
    b) more accurately, the left feared the right would play the race card.

    So, returning to your sentence, the left complained about the right using, or threatening to use, the race card, and therefore, if your proposition is correct, the left believed that the extent to which racism exists in society is wildly exaggerated.

  • Comment number 94.

    #87 GRANDANTIDOTE (how's that for capital latters?)

    Cor, I'd have killed to be allowed to stay at skool till I was fourteen. I was shuvd up a chimly before I Knew wot wos appening to me.

    Now, I'm so confused I can't work my way round a keyboard. Still, at least it prompted you to have a closer look at the output of your feverish little fingers.

  • Comment number 95.

    88 stanblogger
    #It is interesting that Mr Kaminski's political views seem to have developed in a similar way to those of our own Mr Griffin. Both were once antisemitic, but now actually support Israel.

    And they say the leopard can't change its spots, its been expedient for both these characters to apparently change their minds but I am afraid more apparent than real,I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 96.

    "Maybe now we can start looking into the early years of the Pope and start asking about the suitability of Blairs allegiance with such a person."

    Quite...

  • Comment number 97.

    David Miliband is an opportunist of the first order, he would sell anyone or anything down the river for political gain. His track record proves this. Ed Miliband was a much more interesting prospect, however he has blotted his copy book lately as well.

    Miliband is using his Jewish origins to make political capital, there is no depth in his emotions towards this subject. I would support him if he were sincere and there was a case to answer, as I feel very strongely about this subject myself.

    As to the Conservatives, this grouping was a means to an end, to try to stop the Lisbon Treaty being ratified and prevent a federal EU. They also hoped they would be able to offer the much promised referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It has delayed ratification but not long enough. I would imagine there has been a lot of sweeteners offered to get ratification moving much more quickly.

    Personally I do not believe Blair or Miliband will be a force in the EU, Blair because his star is fading and Miliband because really he is not up to the job. Added to all this, Britain is know to be a eurosceptic nation, as such, there would be great confusion if any representative from Britain is put at the heart of the EU.

    The Conservatives now that ratification is on the cards, I believe will take another option open to them. A consultation of the people of Britain as to how far they would want to integrate into the EU. They will then use this to attempt to claw back certain powers.

    My personal hope is, with all the different factions and differing opinions within the EU the whole thing will implode because frankly a federal state such as this scares the heck out of me. History repeating itself but by more devious means. There is one thing for certain, it will be a really good gravy train for those working within the EU and there will be no limits on the power they will have.

  • Comment number 98.

    Nick my friend is Jewish and gay, and he loathes the Labour party

  • Comment number 99.

    Great news, the recession is over. Official!

    Gordon has promised £1bn a year of our money for third world countries to move to climate change policies.

    Isn't that bribery?

    I did not know that we were now that cash rich!

  • Comment number 100.

    Stan @ 88

    I think that's right; the lessening of anti semitism in extreme right wing parties has more to do with the relative newcomer on the block ... fear and hatred of Islam ... than it does to any enlightened reassessment of gentile jewish relations - I guess even with these guys there's a kind of Max Headroom in force as to just how many different groups they can seek to dehumanise

 

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