Update: Welcome co-conspirators. Guido is on the case.
* * * * *
The Labour Party are now officially making a total fool of themselves over Michal Kaminski.
Young British diplomats are taught that it is poor technique (and, worse, stupid) to quote someone’s words from a magazine without checking that that person really did say and mean those words in the sense they appeared in print.
Yet that is what David Miliband and Denis MacShane have boldly done, quoting Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich against Michal Kaminski.
And so they are left looking ridiculous, since the BBC came up with the novel idea of asking Rabbi Schudrich himself what he thought. And his carefully chosen words hit the empty bulk carrier of Labour hopes deep beneath the water-line.
Glug glug glug glug … silence.
Let me put this in simple words.
When the Law and Justice party won the 2005 general elections, there were a few progressive squeaks about the fact that European Civilisation had just ended since Poland had been kidnapped by wild anti-semitic homophobes.
Closer examination suggested that this was not in fact the case.
Which was why in successive high-level meetings between PM Tony Blair and Polish leaders there was not one word of concern expressed publicly or privately by the British side on these scores.
I know because I was in on all these meetings.
And, yes, in 2005 Michal Kaminski himself was there at the No 10 dining-table next to PM Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, scoffing prawn cocktail as Tony Blair’s guest.
If David Miliband will not apologise to Michal Kaminski and sticks to his guns that Kaminski is a disgrace, maybe he should then apologise to the British people for Labour using taxpayers’ money to host such a disgraceful person at this high level and then resign?
And while he is at it, he also might explain why not a single word of instructions issued to us in Warsaw from London to take up with the Polish side issues of anti-semitism, Jedwabne and all this other stuff.
What in fact happened was that the Labour leadership energetically supported by D Miliband instructed the Warsaw Embassy to get as close as we could to the Kaczynskis and their party, to help align them with us in successive big negotiations over the EU Budget (2005) and Lisbon Treaty (2007).
Which is what my team and I did, with excellent results – and much praise from the FCO and No 10.
A great comment on Denis MacShane’s tragic piece in the Guardian by LatimerAlder:
Surely surely in the past 12 years your totalitarian government must have passed a law against Flogging a Dead Horse?
After all you’ve made nearly every other human activity illegal.