Simon Cox Profile picture
Sep 13, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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/
For a solid 2 years now, German conservatives refused to act against Orbán. He was too important to their EU politics.

Until yesterday’s vote. 4/
At the 11th hour @ManfredWeber signalled EPP would vote to use Parliament’s most powerful tool - which could lead to Hungary stripped of its EU voting rights - verging on expulsion. 5/
Fidesz will now quit EPP & far right parties will realign in Brussels. Poland’s PiS has promised to defend Fidesz (though Europe’s populist-nationalists have rarely proved loyal to each other...) 6/
So their vote on Hungary costs the EPP in Brussels. And as 2019 elections approach, they fear losing votes to far right & populists. 7/
Europe’s democratic Conservatives complain that *left* parties leaning towards corrupt autocracy, like politicians in Romania, haven’t faced the same resistance as Orbán.

They have a point. (Though these parties may not be as dangerous as Orbán’s) 8/
But 20th C taught that defending democracy is more important than keeping right - or left - alliances together. Nazis depended on German Cons to come to power - and Stalinists across the world depended on left toleration. 9/
US Conservative leaders aren’t heeding the lesson Hitler taught us. They’re pander to an autocrat.

But this week, Europe’s Conservatives* showed they get it. Our human rights, our societies, depend on right-left unity in defence of democracy.

*except UK’s.

Salut! 10/10

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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
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/
Read 17 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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