Labour’s curious fixation on Kaminski

I want to make something quite clear at the start of this post; I think the Conservative Parties choice of new European allies is deplorable.  Despite lame efforts to defend them I think that alot of what is said against them and the likes of Michal Kaminski is absolutely true; I want this to be clear because I don’t want what I am about to say as in any way soft-soaping them or letting them off the hook. Indeed, I have made many of the points currently being made on this blog and no doubt will have occasion too again sometime in the future, frankly, the Conservative policy on Europe (like many things, for example, the economy) is kindly called dangerous and could be called alot of other unkind things. David Miliband is probably right about the damage it will do Britain internationally.

Having said that what puzzles me and causes me some wonderment is the Labour Party imagining that this issue will get them traction with voters or contribute to some miraculous turning of the tide back in their favour. My central assumption is that this is shocking and horrible for left-wingers, for people who don’t like the Conservatives in the first place but when it comes to the average voter I tend to also think it would fly right over their head.  Is the Labour Party and blogs like Next Left actually engaged with a micro-dialogue with the editorial board of the Guardian in a desperate bid to keep it onside?

I am tempted to see it otherwise as some kind of pathological reversion to a pre-1997 mentality when Europe really did tear the Conservatives apart. It was not, however, what lost them the support of the wider electorate nor was it more than a symptom of a government in its death throes.  Labour Party strategists would actually be well advised to remember this; Europe nor Cameron’s dubious associations within it won’t make even a dint in the electorates disdain for Labour nor its grudging willingness to accept the Conservatives back into government. It just isn’t totemic enough to convince people the Conservative’s haven’t changed and besides at this point in time the electorate is hardly enamoured of Europe.  This side of an election it also won’t tear the party apart; later on, when the Conservative right feels settled back into power it may well do but not now.

If this is all Labour have got then they really are in very deep trouble….


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9 responses to “Labour’s curious fixation on Kaminski”

  1. Lee Griffin says :

    Labour’s intention here isn’t anything to do with voters, it’s to do with the media. If they can cause enough of a fuss about this…and as you say there is enough to be worthy of making a fuss, then the papers may get an appetite for running with it and digging.

    The end game? Tories either are forced to start hacking up their alliance to save face (in which case a political victory is scored) or the Tories try and weather the PR going their way which will only take airtime away from what they want to have talked about them.

    It’s not all together the brightest or most effective thing for Labour to do, but in their position I can imagine it looks like a gleaming thread of hope going in to the next 6 months.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Interesting point but I dont see how that this will effect them awfully much; the Euroskeptic press won’t be that bothered and the extreme Europhile press like the Independent and Guardian (in the case of the former at least) are not Conservative supporting in any case nor or their readership likely to be. Maybe from what you say it is a micro-dialogue with the Guardian lol.

    True point about the airtime but I think that is only purposeful if Labour are filling it with a critique that actually resonates with voters. Maybe but that says more about the dire nature of Labour’s position than the merits of the strategy.


  3. Nigel Ashton says :

    It’s probably personal with Milliband, given his family history.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I guess this is a possibility but that doesnt explain how much blogs like Next Left push it. I know they are to a degree ‘in-house’ but still….I think there is a degree of focus here to the point which Iain Dale said Kaminski was ‘the new hate figure of the British left’….


  5. Richard T says :

    I understand your point, but I’m assuming Labour are pushing this to show up the Tory dogmatism on Europe and just where it gets them.


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :


    The problem with that I would have is that the electorate in it’s current frame of mind is more likely to be happy with the results of ‘Tory dogmatism’ than support Labour.


  7. raincoatoptimism says :

    Nigel Ashton,

    that is a deplorable thing to say, Kaminski has tried to rewrite his history and his affiliations with anti-Semites in order not to ruin his chances in Europe. If this were not true, then why did he modify his wikipedia page, omitting details of his NOP membership, just days after an ECR round-robin mentioned concern of NOP membership? I can’t be arsed to insert a link, but a few days ago I wrote a blog entry detailing the above.

    David Miliband’s family lineage, I’m sure, is not the only thing that informs his anti-anti-Semitism.


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I have no doubt that the allegations against Kaminiski are substantively true. Also, I am sure as you rightly say it is not the only thing that informs Miliband’s stance.


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