For Fatherland and Freedom

The Guardianista agitprop machine, with the Labour Press Office in tow, is in full cry after our European allies in the European Conservatives Group.  Much of their fire has been directed at our leader Michal Tomas Kaminski and his Polish Law & Justice Party, and I have written about my good friend Michal several times.  But they also like to snipe at our Latvian allies, the Freedom & Fatherland party.  This party has one representative in our Group, Roberts (sic) Zile MEP, who is a very helpful and reasonable man.

Let’s be honest.  The word “Fatherland”, especially in the context of politics, has a rather ominous ring in English ears — just as the word “Conservative” has unfortunate right-wing connotations for some Europeans.  There is a whiff of blood-and-soil nationalism about it.  And according to the Guardian, the Fatherland and Freedom Party holds ceremonies to celebrate the Waffen-SS and the Nazis.  The truth is more prosaic.  On Latvia’s National Day there is a celebration to pay respect to fallen Latvian soldiers, and this is attended by representatives of most Latvian political Parties, including Fatherland and Freedom.  The event is entirely comparable to our own Remembrance Day celebrations.

It is merely a fact of history that in the Second World War, Latvia was caught in an epic struggle between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.  From a Latvian point of view, the great threat to national independence had always been represented by the Russian Bear.  So while the Latvians were indeed fighting alongside the Germans, they were fighting not for Nazism but for their country, and they were doing it in the only way they could in those circumstances.  That is why the National Day commemorates Latvian soldiers who fell fighting for their country’s independence.  It does not celebrate their temporary alliance of convenience with the Germans.

I was in Riga, Latvia, earlier this week, on a mission to support two of my constituents ensnared in the Latvian legal system (but that’s another story — see below).  In this context I should record my gratitude to Roberts Zile for facilitating my meeting with the Latvian Ministry of Justice.  But I had a number of conversations on other subjects, and I was pleased to hear, from an impeccable source, that the Freedom & Fatherland Party is (as I thought) regarded in Latvia as a reasonable, moderate, mainstream, centre-right Party, with no hint of far-right attitudes or activity.

So Guardianistas please take note: not so much blood-and-soil.  More basic-and-sensible.

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8 Responses to For Fatherland and Freedom

  1. ChrisP says:

    hi Roger
    Latvia not far removed geographically and culturally from Lithuania perhaps? Which gets mention in this report…
    How do you feel about this issue, as an MEP? The Nene Park in Peterborough, having had a special part to play in my own life. I am deeply concerned, if this report be correct. My own concerns seem well voiced in the posts below the report. What part, if any, does an MEP play in this drama? Please view this post as a letter of concern to my MEP.

  2. Dear Chris,

    I am shocked and horrified by this report. It demonstrates both the problems of uncontrolled immigration, and the enormous cultural gulf which exists between different EU member states. Perhaps the worst of it is that as long as we remain in the EU, there is no way we can control immigration from other EU countries. Yet another reason why we should be Better Off Out.

    That said — it’s a fairly obscure link from the Latvian legal system to Lithuanian immigrants in Peterborough.

  3. Jonathan says:

    All I can say is, why not ask some of your other Latvian MEP colleagues like Tatjana Ždanoka, Alexander Mirsky and Alfreds Rubiks for how the Latvian authorities (in particular Zile’s LNNK Party)treat the Russian-minority!

    Secondly, I can’t believe you take a Daily Mail story about migrants eating swans seriously Chris??

    • You say “my Latvian Colleagues”. But we have only one Latvian MEP in the European Conservatives group.

      • Jonathan says:

        When I say “colleagues” I refer of course to your wider MEP colleagues from other groups, including those from Lativa. You should ask some of them – not just Kongs Zīle.

  4. ChrisP says:

    I do not take the Daily Mail Story seriously, on its own merits (you are right in your belief). I have heard of it, though, before this report and as I live in the region, I am checking it out. Which is why I use the term …’If correct’.
    …You can offer me proof, then, mr March, this has not happened?

    • Timothy says:

      Mr. Helmer,

      Thank you for remaining steadfast.

      As for Jonathan, Mr. Rubiks was the head of the Communist Party of LatviaSSR and actively opposed Latvian independence from the occupying forces of the USSR.

      Ms Ždanoka, as a member of Interfront, supported an attempted coup against the honestly elected Latvian government in 1991 (unlike the Soviet “gift” in 1940).

      As for the “Russian minority,” do you even know whem most of these ethnic Russians came to Latvia? Let me give a hint, it was after Russia “liberated” Latvia in 1944! Liberation did not equal freedom.


      • Jonathan says:

        And your point being Tim?

        Just because the ethnic-Russians came to Latvia after the Nazi occupation had ended, that doesn’t mean they should now be discriminated against and abused by the right-wing ultra nationalist parties.

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