The scandals seem to keep coming. On the heels of news that an assistant to the former presidential candidate from the League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin, LPR) party took part in a neo-Nazi festival in the summer of 2005, come reports that parliamentarians from the Self-Defense (Samoobrona, SO) party made sex a condition of employment for some women.
For the LPR, the report from two summers ago follows photos of LPR parliamentarians giving the Hitler salute, photos of an LPR minister among soccer hooligans from the skinhead scene and photos of an LPR deputy leader at a skinhead rock concert. All of these were reported by the FAZ on December 1, and the article referred to more reports in the Polish press, but my reading knowledge of Polish isn’t what it used to be.
Hating Germans is a standard part of the radical right in Poland (along with anti-Semitism, extreme clericalism and other noxious beliefs), so mixing in swastikas and Hitler salutes is bizarre, even by the standards of neo-fascism. (Poland had a home-grown radical right between the wars, too, but that’s another story.) LPR seems to draw most of its votes from older, rural women who approve of its obsequiousness to conservative clergy, and the mix of old ladies and skinheads seems unstable. With luck, the LPR will fall back below 5 percent at the next election and fade from the scene.
Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper, from SO, is under investigation for requiring sex as a quid pro quo for employment, the BBC reports. Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s leading daily, reported that several women had lodged similar complaints about SO deputies.
Poland’s right-of-center government came to power last year promising a “moral revolution.”