Last Updated on February 4, 2020
Daniel Kawczynski, a Conservative MP, has been attacked for speaking at the “far-right” National Conservatism conference in Rome this week.
Kawczynski, a Polish-born MP, was attacked by figures on both the left and globalist right for daring to attend the “far-right” National Conservatism conference.
It was organised by the Edmund Burke Foundation, a “public affairs institute founded with the aim of strengthening the principles of national conservatism in Western and other democratic countries.” Their chairman is Yoram Hazony, the author of The Virtue of Nationalism, in which he “contends that a world of sovereign nations is the only option for those who care about personal and collective freedom.”
On the conference website, they declare that “National Conservatism” is a movement of people who “understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing,” something that sounds to the left like “far-right propaganda.”
Despite offering an “intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism [and] stand in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race,” they invited people who the leftist media have declared as evil and racist, such as Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, former Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, and Marion Marechal, the niece of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National in France.
Kawczysnki’s attendance was first reported by the left-wing “newspaper” The Guardian, who heavily criticised him for daring to attend such a “far-right” conference. They ran quotes from various leftist individuals attacking his decision to go.
Prof Rafał Pankowski, the co-founder of an anti-fascist organisation, said his attendance “legitimises xenophobia.” Margaret Hodge MP, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said it would be “intolerable” for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to not “stamp out the attendance of one his senior MPs at a conference that will promote racist views.”
Andrew Gwynne MP, the shadow communities secretary, described his attendance at the “far-right” conference as “disgraceful”:
It’s disgraceful that just days after Holocaust Memorial Day Daniel Kawczynski is planning to share a platform with antisemites, Islamophobes and homophobes. He should be immediately suspended from the Conservative party and the whip. However, given Boris Johnson’s own racist comments and continued pandering to the extreme far right, I won’t hold my breath for the Tories to take action against one of their MPs standing shoulder to shoulder with fascists.
Writing in The Spectator, Kawczynski fiercely defended his decision to attend the conference. Orbán and Salvini “represent serious ideas and concerns,” he wrote, “some of which are shared by people in Britain:
They have every right to speak at a conference on the subject of national sovereignty, which they have pledged to defend and which accounts for their popularity with voters… It is only common sense to talk with parties and politicians that are either leading their respective countries, or will perhaps take power in the next few years. It would be foolish not to do so. Perhaps those criticising the event should take a more inquisitive approach rather than simply attacking its existence and maligning elected politicians from other countries who are due to speak. If so, they might discover why the vast majority of Europeans feel more loyalty to their own countries than the abstract idea of a federal European super-state.
After Kawczynski returned from the Rome, the globalists only clamoured louder to have him punished. Andrew Percy MP, the Conservative co-chair of Parliament’s all party group on anti-semitism said his involvement at the conference was inappropriate. “I wrote to Daniel last week asking him not to attend given the presence of the far right … I shall be raising this with the party,” Percy told the BBC.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews demanded Kawczysnki be disciplined in a statement:
Mr Kawczynski’s defence… is a specious one, for the simple reason that the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham is not any sort of government representative. If the Conservative party fails to discipline Mr Kawczynski, it runs the serious risk of the public assuming that they share his views on association with such people.
Hodge went even further, and demanded he should have the whip removed from him. “No member of parliament should be attending a conference packed full of racists, homophobes and Islamophobes,” she said.
The Conservative Party did not respond to requests for comment.