Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who is a rank outsider in Sunday’s presidential poll has stated that pornography created without child abuse should be legal Photo: Demotix
A Polish Presidential candidate whose party has allied with Ukip in the European Parliament has called for child pornography to be legalised.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who is a rank outsider in Sunday’s presidential poll, said that child abusers should be “very severely punished” but said that pornography created without child abuse should be legal. He also claimed that Margaret Thatcher once told him that it would be better for women if they did not have the vote.
“I can buy pornography at home, I can look at it, I can even have child pornography on my computer – why not, it’s my computer, my home, and I can look,” he said.
“I very strongly object to abuse of children, but that has nothing to do with child pornography. If you create child pornography absolutely in the computer without any child being abused, is it OK or not? It should not be punished. Looking at that is not punishable, it is punishable to abuse children. The founding fathers of the United States would be shocked that somebody can be punished for keeping and looking at something in his own home, it is absolutely against the American constitution.”
The Poles vote on Sunday for president in nationwide balloting that is expected to see incumbent, Bronislaw Komorowski, re-elected - but not in the first round of balloting.
Ten other candidates are running in the election, but none are likely to receive the more than 50 per cent of the vote needed to avoid a May 24 runoff.
Some 40 per cent of Poles support Mr Komorowski, a center-right candidate, according to recent surveys that indicate he will most probably face Andrzej Duda, of the nationalist opposition Law and Justice party in a second round.
Mr Korwin-Mikke, a 72-year-old political veteran, styles himself as a “conservative libertarian” and a rare “anti-regime candidate” in the election. Others see him as at best eccentric and at worst a demagogue.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke of KORWiN party votes at a polling station during Poland's presidential elections in Jozefow, near Warsaw, Poland on Sunday (EPA)
Last year, the party he then led, the Congress of the New Right, sent one of its MEPs to join Ukip’s European Parliament grouping, EFDD (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy). The deal was done to ensure that the EFDD had a minimum seven countries represented in its group, guaranteeing its formal recognition – and, as The Telegraph’s Iain Martin noted at the time, Ukip’s access to parliamentary funding.
The MEP, Robert Iwaszkiewicz, has moved with Mr Korwin-Mikke to his newly-founded party, the Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic – Freedom and Hope (going by its acronym KORWiN), and remains in the EFDD. Mr Korwin-Mikke himself is a “non-inscrit”, not sitting in any of the recognised parliamentary groups. At the time, Ukip leader Nigel Farage defended Mr Iwaszkiewicz, saying that he was not an “extremist” – despite a controversy about comments the Polish politician made about hitting women.
Sitting in his small and plain central Warsaw office in his customary bow tie and crisp white shirt, Mr Korwin-Mikke said that relations with Ukip were strained as Mr Farage’s party is “very egotistical,” and by pushing for the UK to leave the EU, risks “leaving [Poland] at the mercy of the Germans and French”.
“In Europe unfortunately it’s the fascists who are triumphing all the time. I sit in the European Parliament, and it looks like Adolf Hitler is still alive, the only difference is that it isn’t anti-Semitic. The idea of the government, state intervention, control of everything, even forbidding the smoking of cigarettes – it’s also the programme of Adolf Hitler. The EU is just a new edition of Adolf Hitler.”
Repeatedly referring to the state as a “slave owner”, Mr Korwin-Mikke argues that all social benefits should be scrapped, and argues that this would stop migrants risking drowning in the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
He is currently polling between four and six per cent, and has gained traction among younger voters disillusioned with Poland’s monochrome political elite.
But few in the mainstream take him seriously. Polish political scientist Aleksander Smolar said that he “has the language and style of Katie Hopkins,” referring to the controversial British columnist.
“I talked to Lady Thatcher several time and she said it is not good for women that women have the right to vote, because women vote for men,” he said, claiming that Thatcher had said that if more of the MPs voting in the Conservative leadership election in 1975 had been women, she would never have become Prime Minister.
Robin Harris, a former Thatcher aide who has written a biography of her, told The Telegraph that he didn’t believe that the former British Prime Minister would have said that she thought women should not have the vote, saying that “it sounds like garbage to me”.
Asked if he agreed that it would be better for women not to have the vote Mr Korwin-Mikke said: “Of course! Women don’t vote for women.”
Giggling, he added that his mainstream leftist rival Magdalena Ogorek – dubbed “Poland’s most beautiful Presidential candidate” by a Russia Today subsidiary – would be polling considerably higher if only men had the vote.