What Some Tories Would Rather We Didn’t Know
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 18th October, 2009
Today’s ‘Observer’ has details of an attempted cover-up by someone who would prefer that the world doesn’t know the far-right past of Michal Kaminski, leader of the European Conservative and Reformist group (ECR) in the European Parliament, to which the British Conservatives belong. Mr Kaminski was formerly a member of the neo-fascist National Revival of Poland Party, before leaving to join the more mainstream but nonetheless ultra-conservative (and some say anti-Semitic and homophobic) Law and Justice party (PiS). But this fact was recently removed from his Wikipedia entry by persons unknown, whom The Observer has traced to the House of Commons. What makes the affair even more remarkable is that someone else (this time operating out of Strasbourg, the main seat of the European Parliament) has doctored the Wikipedia entry of Edward McMillan-Scott, MEP,as well. Mr McMillan-Scott, regular readers of this blog will recall, was expelled from the Tory Party after he stood against Michal Kaminski to become a Vice-President of the Parliament, and won. Mr Kaminski was given the chairmanship of th ECR as a sort of consolation prize for this rebuff.
So what does Mr McMillan-Scott think of what is going on? He told The Observer, ”My record was … changed to paint me as a Euro-fanatic. More seriously, there is a systematic cover-up by the Conservative Party of Kaminski’s unpleasant political past.’ That ‘unpleasant political past’ didn’t stop the Conservatives inviting Mr Kaminski as a guest of honour at their recent party conference in Manchester. By their friends shall they be known. Nick Clegg’s take on all this is, ‘The Conservative Party should come clean. If this is the Tory party trying to airbrush the embarrassing past of their new friend in Europe from the record, they should have the courage to say so.’ That is the crux of the matter. Was this tampering with Wikipedia sanctioned by the party hierarchy, or was it some young researcher acting on his or her own initiative? We need to be told. Either way, this childish attempt to conceal the truth has spectacularly backfired.