To paraphrase my colleague Gideon Rachman, gay rights and green values are the motherhood and apple pie of the European Union. Yet this, along with many other things, may be changing after the influx of eight former communist countries in 2004.
Poland has led the charge against these cosy "European values". Its current populist government has talked of bringing back the death penalty and launched an all-out assault on perceived communist collaborators. Other officials have the corrupting influence of western children’s TV in their sights.
Ewa Sowinska, a children’s rights watchdog, said last week she would have psychologists investigate whether Tinky Winky, the handbag-carrying Teletubby, was gay. “I noticed [he] has a lady’s purse but I didn’t realised he’s a boy…later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone,” she told a news magazine.