Recently, the only Polish born member of the British parliament was attacked for attending a National Conservatism conference in Rome that, amongst other agenda items, paid tribute to Polish Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan for their role in bringing down Communism in Eastern Europe.
One of the critics of Kawczynski stated that “It’s disgraceful that just one week after Holocaust Memorial Day Daniel Kawczynski has shared a platform with anti-Semites, Islamophobes and homophobes.” Did he really? He did not. But even if he did share a platform with anti-Semites, Islamophobes and homophobes, why would that be disgraceful? Does one automatically assume the same opinions of others who share a particular platform? Does just sharing a platform legitimise the opinions of others who spoke at the same platform? Does just sharing a platform indicate support for all the actions and thoughts of others who stood on that platform? This is ridiculous. If the answers would be yes then anyone who spoke at the United Nations should be condemned for having shared a platform with quite a few unsavory persons. Everyone who recently shared the platform with Vladimir Putin at the World Holocaust Forum in Israel should also be condemned. Just curious, have any of those who attacked the British-Polish MP ever attack politicians or dignitaries who attended the United Nations or the World Holocaust Forum because of the presence of others at the same venue? I don’t think so.
An important question is, were all the attendants anti-Semites, Islamophobes or homophobes? If not, how many of those others were attacked by those that attacked Kawczynski? It turns out the main organiser was an Orthodox Jew, a distinguished academic named Yoram Hazony. Is he anti-Semitic? Was he condemned for inviting the speakers who were considered anti-Semitic, Islamophobes or homophobes? Why not? Does the fact that Kawczynski MP shared a platform with an Orthodox Jew make up for sharing the same platform with alleged anti-Semites, Islamophobes and homophobes? The conferences were attended by a number of world leaders, ambassadors and important diplomats, such as John Bolton, to name just one. Additionally, Kawczynski from a certain point in his life has a same sex partner. Does sharing a platform with a homophobe really make Kawczynski a homophobe? Are we to believe that the bisexual MP in any way would legitimise or support homophobic tendencies simply because he shared a platform with an accused homophobe?
The accusations against Kawczynski are nonsensical. In the absence of any rational reasons to support the attacks against him, one should consider as the root cause of these accusations irrational anti-Polish bigotry by those that levelled those accusations, by those who failed to support him from his own party, and the commentators who tendentiously wrote about the issue. He has been a vocal supporter of the Polish-Jewish heritage, he has taken many parliamentary delegations to honour those murdered in the Holocaust and he has co-organised a number of events with plethora of Jewish organisations. It is clear that the attack on MP Kawczynski was purely a disgusting exercise to humiliate the only Polish-born member of the British parliament, because he is proud of his heritage, has challenged unfair and unsupported claims against Poland, and dared to speak at an event that paid tribute to the only Polish Pope in history. While the Polish Pope fell victim to an attempted physical assassination and survived, Kawczynski has fallen victim to character assassination and will also survive this with the help of the Polish community, and those who have enough brains, common sense and the decency to see this attack for what it was. Looking at the comments under the seemingly coordinated articles about this fictitious issue, and about the Chamberlain-like behaviour of a few members of the British Conservative party, not many agree with or have fallen for the findings and depictions of the affair by Buzzfeed, The Guardian, The Independent etc., who have discredited themselves with their reporting on this situation. When will politicians in England learn that the media have lost their influence, and their knee jerk reactions to media attacks are no longer valid? Are they not familiar with the term “Fake News,” and the ratings of the person who made this term a household one?
The whole affair against Kawczynski is a disgrace, and the MP, as well as Poles in Britain and around the world deserve an apology from the following persons and institutions: The UK Jewish Board of Deputies, and specifically President of the Board, Marie van der Zyl; Conservative peer Lord Eric Pickles who is also special envoy on post-Holocaust issues; UK Labour Party MPs Andrew Gwynne, Margaret Hodge and Alex Sobel and especially journalists Alex Wickham and Rivkah Brown, who started the storm in a teacup. Naturally, we can expect no apologies until those involved come to terms with their anti-Polish bigotry and biases.
For well-written criticisms of the British Conservative Party and of those that levelled the ridiculous accusations against Kawczynski MP, please read the below linked articles which, by their thoughtfulness, facts and convincing arguments, put to shame the articles on the same topic by above listed media outlets.
Polish Media Issues
The opinions expressed in this article are the authors’ own and may not reflect the views of the British Poles Portal.