Even right-wing media outlets like the Spectator have denounced the Tory MEPs who recently voted against or abstained on the European Parliament initiating Article 7 proceedings against Hungary.
That procedure allows MEPs to refer a member-state to the Europe Council to determine if it does not respect human rights, democracy, rule of law and so on.
But this is hardly news! Since being elected in 2010 the Fidesz government of Viktor Orbán has:
• Rewritten the constitution so that key checks and balances (including judicial ones) on executive powers were removed.
• Bought up the media. This media now pumps out propaganda demonising Muslims and refugees.
• Curtailed freedom of speech in others ways, for example, by banning oppositional journalists from parliament.
Orbán will be delighted by this move in the European Parliament — bolstering his stance as the defender of Hungary against foreign interference. Gove seemed to be defending Orbán’s stance when he justified the Tory failure to condemn Hungary, saying that Tories do not believe in interfering in the democracy of another country.
Hungary’s democracy is increasingly a facade. Fidesz even puts up bogus opposition parties to split the anti-Fidesz vote.
Fidesz is of course part of a constellation of right-wing governments across the world — in the richer countries those of Trump, Netanyahu, Putin and Silvani. That is one other reason to take a stand. Another is the vile racism of Fidesz.
In 2016 the government called a referendum to stop the acceptance of an EU quota of 1,294 refugees, stirring up anti-migrant feeling. It then built a huge barbed wire fence at its Serbian border to keep out refugees.
Orbán has described Miklós Horthy, Hungary’s wartime leader, as an “exceptional statesman”. Horthy was a vicious anti-semite even before the Nazis came to power and collaborated with the mass deportation of Jews.
The Tories have shown themselves willing to accommodate to soft fascism. This is a dangerous road.