A Purley-based UKIP member, who was backed by Winston McKenzie to stand for election to Croydon Council last May, has refused to deny that he shares the bigoted views of a far-right Polish politician after he was pictured with the notorious Janusz Korwin-Mikke.
Przemek Skwirczynski, who lives on Lower Barn Road, was a UKIP candidate in Norbury ward in the local elections earlier this year. Skwirczynski is a City banker who arrived in Britain from Poland 15 years ago.
He had previously backed the Conservative Party, encouraging his fellow Polish immigrants to vote for Boris Johnson at the 2012 London Mayoral elections.
Apparently unaware of the contradictions in his own status within this country and UKIP’s position on immigration, he has since joined Nigel Farage’s party. He has also collaborated with McKenzie in a badly written article which was published by the far-right Commentator website. Skwirczynski’s selection for the local elections would have been backed by McKenzie, who until recently was the chairman of the Lambeth and Croydon North branch of UKIP.
In May, Skwirczynski polled a grand total of 356 votes in the local election in Norbury. He has now been chosen as UKIP’s parliamentary candidate in Tooting, where Sadiq Khan is the MP.
Tooting and Balham have a long-established Polish community, with some of south London’s older Polskie sklepy, as well as a well-attended Catholic church and even better used bar across the road at the White Eagle Club. Many in the deeply conservative (small “C”) community, are from families who moved to London after fighting in the Second World War to join with the anti-Communist Polish government-in-exile.
Some will have seen a photograph of Skwirczynski grinning out at them alongside Korwin-Mikke from the pages of their Polish language daily, the Dziennik Polski.
Korwin-Mikke is an old-school central European bigot, who states that Hitler probably knew nothing of the Holocaust, that women are too stupid to vote, and that anyone who makes a donation to the unemployed deserves to have their hand cut off.
As the head of Poland’s Congress of the New Right, Korwin-Mikke is also Nigel Farage’s newest best mate in the European Parliament, having agreed a deal that secured £1 million public funding for UKIP.
Korwin-Mikke recently agreed that one of his MEPs, Robert Iwaszkiewicz, should join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, the loose alliance in Strasbourg which helped push Farage’s group over the threshold to achieve official status, and receive public funding. To qualify, an alliance must have 25 MEPs from seven countries. Farage needed Iwaskiewicz to give him a seventh nationality.
Farage insists that he has never met his fellow MEP Korwin-Mikke and has described him as “utterly reprehensible”. Perhaps someone else within UKIP has been negotiating with the Poles?
Skwirczynski was pictured with Korwin-Mikke in October. The money-spinning European deal between UKIP and the Congress of the New Right was announced in November.
Skwirczynski usually has plenty to say for himself, but when asked about the meeting with Korwin-Mikke by the Daily Mirror, the Croydon resident declined to comment beyond saying that he had merely posed for the picture with Poland’s most notorious Hitler apologist.
The newspaper was only able to quote “a source close to” Skwirczynski as explaining that they were both attending a meeting of “politicians of Polish origin”. Inside Croydon has searched the interweb, but cannot find any pictures of Skwirczynski posing with other politicians of Polish origin, such as, say, Lech Walesa, or the new Polish prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, who happens to be a woman with a vote.
According to Skwirczynski’s “source”, “Przemek insists he had no idea of this man’s views until he read them in British newspapers.” Yet the article linked to here appeared in the New Statesman in October, the month before Skwirczynski posed with the “utterly reprehensible” Korwin-Mikke.
And this article about Holocaust-denier Korwin-Mikke was published in The Guardian six months earlier. Korwin-Mikke’s views have been publicised widely in the Polish press for much longer. Perhaps Skwirczynski is just not that well-read?
“He says that anyone with more than two brain cells would disagree with the views attributed to Korwin-Mikke,” the apologist for Skwirczynski told the Mirror, although the UKIP candidate himself lacked the moral fortitude to say so himself.
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema, The Beat Beneath My Feet, Dec 30
- David Lean Cinema, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Jan 3
- David Lean Cinema, Mr Turner, Jan 8
- David Lean Cinema, Leviathan, Jan 13
- Norwood Society talk: Penge, the making of a suburb, Jan 15
- David Lean Cinema, The 78 Project Movie, Jan 15
- David Lean Cinema, Hannah Arendt, Jan 20
- David Lean Cinema, The Imitation Game, Jan 22
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- David Lean Cinema, Night Will Fall, Jan 27 (Holocaust Memorial Day)
- David Lean Cinema, Kon-Tiki, Jan 29
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
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