Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. Europe
5 July 2010

Defeat for Kaczynski leaves Cameron isolated in Europe

So says Denis MacShane of Poland’s presidential election.

By Daniel Trilling

Bronislaw Komorowski has been declared the winner of Sunday’s presidential election in Poland. The centre-right candidate narrowly beat Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of the former president Lech Kaczynski, who died in the Smolensk plane crash three months ago.

Over at Progress magazine, the former Europe minister Denis MacShane argues that this marks an end for the Kaczynskis’ right-wing nationalist Law and Justice party, which is currently the Tories’ major partner in the European Parliament. (My colleague James Macintyre raised concerns about the politics of a Law and Justice MEP, Michal Kaminski, last year.)

The death and now defeat of the Kaczynskis gives the Tories a chance to rethink their alliance, something which is extremely damaging to UK national interests in Europe.

Under the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Parliament is more powerful in terms of agreeing EU rules and policy. The auto-marginalisation of Tory MEPs does Cameron no favours. As British PM, he is received with courtesy and Britain remains, under any government, an important EU player and power. But Europe is about politics and political networking and influence.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

The Kaczynski twins had their brief moment of power but blew it with an incompetent government and then, tragically, a hastily arranged flight to the Katyn memorial site which ended in disaster. Now the Kaczynski era is over. But Cameron and Hague show no sign of being able to move on.