The Prince of Poland – Political Ambition and Challenging Nigel Farage to a Duel

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The Prince of Poland – Political Ambition and Challenging Nigel Farage to a Duel

On Wednesday 27 April, I found myself at the home of the Prince of Poland, John Zylinski, for a Young Adults Forum event put together to give young people the opportunity to hear from Zylinksi regarding his campaign for London Mayor. I say home, but in reality it’s a palace and cheekily named ‘The White House’. The palace is quite spectacular and is regularly used as a backdrop for photoshoots and you can view some images of the palace here.

Zylinski certainly has an interesting life story. Descended from polish aristocracy, his grandmother owned a palace in Poland, but during World War 2 it was confiscated by the Nazi’s when they invaded and she spent time in a concentration camp before arriving in London. As a small boy, Zylinski heard this story and vowed that he would one day rebuild her palace.

Fast forward a few decades, and Zylinksi is a self-made man having amassed a fortune as a successful property developer. In a Guardian interview he declined to provide a figure, but did give this quote, “I made millions and millions of pounds. I won’t tell you how many but last year, when I divorced my wife, I gave her 35 flats.” It is the fortune he built up, that allowed him to fulfil his vow to his grandmother and build a replica of her palace – in an otherwise quiet West London suburb. Seriously, the road is just like any other suburban road, with the usual pleasant suburban houses. Except this road also features a palace!

Zalinski has turned his attention to politics and running for London Mayor because he feels he is now ’bored of business’. However, it seems that his interest in politics has grown in parallel with his frustration at the stereo typical criticism of ‘newcomers’ – he hates the word immigrant, which he feels has been tainted with negative connotations. His frustration culminated in him making headlines in 2015 when he challenged Nigel Farage to a duel in Hyde park. He posted the challenge on youtube and it shows him brandishing a replica of the sword his cavalry officer father used in a victorious charge against the Nazis near Warsaw. Farage declined the duel.

To be honest, prior to hearing about the Young Adults Forum event, I had not heard of Zylinsky or that he was a candidate for Mayor. Frankly, with the Mayoral election only days away, his chances of winning are very slim and he knows that. But he is cleverly using his campaign as a way to gain attention and represent the views of the thousands of Eastern European newcomers in London who he feels have been widely misrepresented by UKIP and some of the media.

Zylinsky is smart, passionate, charming, eccentric and wields a sword. But I wander how he would do in political office? I often think that the skills required for running a business are quite different to holding political office, which requires consensus building and compromise. Success in one does not guarantee success in the other. Zylinksy has some interesting policy ideas and I hope he continues on his political adventure. I for one will be watching with great interest.

By Grant Fisher, Director of Model Westminster

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