Sunday, October 11, 2009

Craig Murray on Michal Kaminski

The debate over the Conservative Party's allies in its new European Fruitcake Alliance has generated more heat than light. But Craig Murray has a notably fair and informative post on the background of Michal Kaminski and Polish society in general.

Writing of his four years based in Poland, he says:

It would be a lie to say that I encountered casual anti-semitism every day. But I did so often enough to be severely worried - and often from very nice people who did not otherwise have weird opinions.

Anti-semitism was absolutely endemic in the Polish Catholic Church, and still is. There has been no serious attempt to eradicate it, despite the odd rap on the knuckles for Walesa's priest Father Jankowski or the rabid crowd at Radio Marija - Kaminski's most important media support. It is worth noting that whilst within the Polish Catholic Church, the conservative Polish Pope John Paul II had always been considered a far liberal.

I should add that a young black British businessmen reported to me that being spat at was an almost daily occurence.

The strange thing is that I adore Poland, and Poles, and Polish culture. I was ever so happy in my time there. There are reasons for the development of this deep-seated racist strain which are historic. There is a limit to how far you can blame individuals for adopting attitudes which are widespread in their culture; and without understanding you cannot change attitudes.

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