Leszek Miller's primary concern has always been Leszek Miller.
Whilst Minister of Labour and Social Policy in the early 1990s his image was of the principled left-wing member of the government, opposing such things as the privatisation of pensions. Yet, by the time he had become Prime Minister in 2001, he was competing with President Kwaśniewski to be Poland's answer to Tony Blair. He espoused the benefits of a flat-income tax, obediently sent Polish troops to Iraq and (allegedly) allowed the CIA to carry out torture in secret prisons in Poland. At the next elections the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) lost 3/4 of its vote and has remained on the political margins ever since. After a period in the political wilderness he returned to lead the party and then led it through a series of disastrous election campaigns, with the party failing to enter parliament and dwindling into a political irrelevance.
After resigning as leader of the party after the recent elections, Leszek Miller has begun adjusting himself to the new right wing conditions in the country. He has spent the past few weeks touring various right-wing media outlets convincing all who will listen that he is the most radically anti-refugee politician in Poland (a title for which he faces stiff opposition). So for example speaking about the events in Cologne on New Year's Eve, Miller managed to combine hostility to refugees with patriarchy and xenophobia by stating:
I am surprised by the reaction of German men. After all the women were not alone, where were their partners, why did they allow this. I cannot imagine that Poles would look on at this without wishing to intervene.
However, his latest comments on refugees have perhaps gone even further than his right-wing colleagues, after claiming:
Refugees who do not want to integrate are flooding Europe. They want Europe to adapt to them and not the other way round (...) There may come a time when we will have to fight with weapons on the streets of Europe to defend our identity. We are seeing the building of a Trojan horse, to the surprise of the Trojans and with their own money.
One wonders whether Miller's political degeneration has reached its lowest point, or whether there are even deeper levels of reaction he can reach.