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Simon Cox @SimonFRCox
, 17 tweets, 4 min read 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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