Simon Cox Profile picture
Sep 13, 2018 17 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Why did UK Tories oppose EU broad-based action to defend #Hungary’s democracy? Thread 1/
#Orbán’s popular - but corrupt & racist - regime was charged before Europe’s directly elected Parliament with undermining Hungary’s democracy… 2/
Conservatives across Europe joined a broad spectrum of the overwhelming majority of MEPs to demand action. (The first time these new powers have been invoked by Parliament) 3/
Except Britain’s Tories. With a handful of exceptions they voted in defence of Orbán.

Why? 4/
It can’t be for domestic votes. There’s no UK MP concerned about losing because Hungarian authoritarians stay at home. So why? 5/
It can’t be to put distance from Labour with voters. There’s an anti-Semitic stink on Orbán that doesn’t wash off. 6/
Orbán’s Gov spend millions on a country wide poster campaign to link George Soros to irregular migration. Budapest Metro passengers had to walk on his face.…

Soros is a Jew, and aged 14 he narrowly escaped the Holocaust hiding in Budapest 7/
This Summer, Orbán’s Party youth put “Migration Supporting Organisation” stickers on front doors of Hungary’s human rights NGOs.

In 1944, Hungarian fascist youth put official Yellow Star stickers on the doors of Jewish homes. Then they were massacred. 7/
So is it any suprise that British Jews protested Tory MEPs vote on Hungary?…

Just as Theresa May was pointing up anti-Semitism in Labour.

Why would May sacrifice that advantage? 8/
What explanations are there for siding with Orbán?

Brexit. (Of course).

Short-term. And - scarily - long term. 9/
Short-term, UK Tories are crazy maaad at the conservatives across the Channel. Those German carmakers never came. So this could be TRASH everything 10/
If Britain’s oldest & most powerful party just stuck two angry fingers to the rest of EU - for the hell of it - that’s bad. 11/
It’s much worse if this is strategic. Did May’s clique authorise this with the aim of future rewards by Orban. And who else? Poland’s PiS? Putin? 12/
Do they think Orbán will be an effective voice in EU Council for Chequers?

Let’s credit them with more smarts than that. 13/
What’s left as coherent is a long-term strategy. British Tory mainstream now follow Putin/Bannon/Farage/Banks & want EU to break up? 13/
My guess is it’s just the latest scream of pain of arrogant British nationalism. They still think EU has disrespected UK. And that if they respond with disrespect then - somehow- EU will give UK what it wants. 14/
But whatever the motivation, it tells Europe’s right nationalists that wounded Tories may become their good friends. Alongside attacks on assassins, May just let Putin have a treat. 15/15

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More from @SimonFRCox

Oct 4, 2018
Areopagitica was Milton’s call for rational, evidence-based debate - to ensure Parliament acts wisely. My kinsman abuses it for nationalist rhetoric…
Areopagitica was Milton’s argument against Government censorship, at height of English civil war. It’s themes are Liberty & Truth.… >
For Milton, democracy meant an engaged public, informed & debating.… >
Read 5 tweets
Sep 18, 2018
No-deal Brexit threatens pensions & benefits of 100s of 1000s of UK & EU27 citz who aren't citizens of where they live. Thread 1/
EU law guarantees EU citz equal treatment & portability of old age pensions, child benefits & many disability benefits. UK cant discriminate against UK pension holders who live elsewhere in EU. Nor can EU27 stop pensions for their citizens in UK . 2/
EU social security "co-ordination" is one of the oldest - & greatest - legal rights in the EU. Since 1957 EU citz have known they can move around, change job and they will not be treated the worse for it. 3/
Read 14 tweets
Sep 18, 2018
UK media can’t deal with a news story where what British voters want doesn’t matter much for what they get. >
Good eg of liberal media denialism @guardian @jessicaelgot “UK can just decide to cancel A50 - but does it want to??”

No - real news is “EU probably wont even let UK do that...” >
News presentation can’t be explained by general journo reluctance to say “UK can’t decide this alone”. Guardian’s does that for climate change & more >
Read 5 tweets
Sep 13, 2018
Europe’s strong line against Orbán is a historic moment for democratic unity. Especially for conservatives. #Hungary

A celebratory thread. 1/
Orbán’s Party - Fidesz - is a long-standing member of @EPP , Europe’s main alliance of conservative parties. So is Angela Merkel’s CDU. 2/
As Orbán helmed Hungary towards menacing autocracy, the EPP just kept on paying out more rope. Emboldened, Fidesz became more outrageous. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Sep 13, 2018
Fascinating info from field study on #migrantworkers in #Italy ‘s farms.

In Ragusa, Romanians (new to sector) get worse wages than Tunisians (long connections, unionized)! >
Farmwork is increasingly women’s work in Italy. Asylum-seeking mothers with humanitarian permits work on farms - because having children mean employers won’t take them for domestic work.
Those fresh oranges from #Italy? The farmer got 35 cents for a kilo. Picked by Africans, Albanians, Romanians for low low wages with shitty accommodation.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 4, 2018

- British nationalists feel let down by EU: that it didn’t advance their economic interests against those of RotW. They didn’t believe UK can lead EU.

- EU27’s nationalists don’t believe their own state would do better against RotW, as long as they lead EU.
Autocratic-populism is, in UK, primarily a *localised* threat

In EU, it’s a *global* threat to the international legal order that’s promoted peaceful resolution of disputes since WWII.
That international order *also* serves/d West’s aims of global dominance. But it’s no surprise that as South gains power to use it more effectively, forces in West push to destroy it.
Read 4 tweets

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