Poland's Independence Day in November - the 99th of the current incarnation of the nation - was dry but cold. Patriotic Poles were out en masse waving a field of red and white national flags in a demonstration of real pride and love of their nation. Poland's elected politicians stood in the front row of the VIP stand, and another Pole, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, was also there, back in the third row with other unelected officials.
But there was another mass gathering there on that day - radical nationalist Poles carrying not flags but slogans and placards, chanting not the words of the national hymn but words of anger and protest. I don't read or speak Polish so must rely on newspaper reports for what the slogans said. They called for the protection of Polish 'blood', opposed spreading Islamic immigration to Europe, and support of defence of the Homeland.
Poland's democratically elected PiS government - fairly described as 'hardline conservative' by the Telegraph - consistently enjoys clear popular support and the sort of opinion poll ratings that western European political parties can only dream about, the latest giving them 50% approval against 17% for their closest rivals. They are irrevocably opposed to every single EU policy in respect of opening Europe's borders to 5m non-European migrants to compensate for low European birth rates.
They are also in the process of dismantling the mechanisms left by the old communist regime to ensure a continuity of control over many of the levers of State. The communists of course have disappeared, but their successors - some of whom in the EP are members of Verhofstadt's ALDE group - still sit on many judicial posts. In Napoleonic European systems with no real judicial independence and where justice is political, from Paris to Berlin, from Warsaw to Rome, this is a real obstacle.
Verhofstadt is of course furious about his chums losing power. He is seeking to declare Poland a European Pariah. He will fail, but will have made a lot of noise.
The point about all this is that I've tried as far as possible to write this post in a way to which neither a native Pole or a professional UK journalist could reasonably object, eschewing terms such 'far right' or 'enemies of the EU'. The Poles are as European as anyone; unelected officials in Brussels are neither more European nor endowed with greater moral purity than elected politicians in Poland. Both have a legitimate viewpoint. But the difference is this; Poland's rulers were elected. The EU's rulers are not. As long as this yawning democratic deficit exists in the EU, the support of freedom loving democrats must always be to those actually voted into power.