Viktor Orbán in the wake of Brexit

As I’m following commentaries on “life after Brexit,” I’m struck by the huge divergence of opinions. There are those who are certain that one Euroskeptic country after the other will hold a referendum on membership and that the entire European edifice that has been built slowly and methodically since the 1950s will simply collapse. One Hungarian commentator, former SZDSZ chairman Mátyás Eörsi, thinks a European war is almost inevitable. At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that the British exit is actually a blessing in disguise. At last the countries of the Continent will be free to deepen integration which, in their opinion, will strengthen the European Union and ensure its political and economic importance in world affairs.

Opinions on the effect of Brexit on the political fortunes of Viktor Orbán also differ widely. A few think the event will be a useful tool in the Hungarian prime minister’s hand, which he can use to force the powerful core states to make concessions to the Visegrád 4 countries and a couple of other Euroskeptic nations in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The reasoning is that without concessions, the contagion may spread through other member states at a time of right radical ascendancy. After all, these commentators point out, several right-wing groups have already announced plans to force through similar referendums.

I don’t believe in this scenario. The result of the British referendum is having such devastating consequences in both political and economic terms that I doubt too many countries would willingly sign up for such a suicidal undertaking. After all, it seems that the pro-exit Conservatives themselves were not quite prepared for a pro-leave majority and have no idea of what to do next. There are signs that they wouldn’t mind undoing the awful mess they created. Moreover, the first attempt at holding a similar referendum, the Dutch Geert Wilders’ Nexit initiative, has already failed. Yesterday, out of the 75 MPs present Nexit received only 14 votes.

Since the spread of anti-EU referendums is unlikely, Brexit didn’t strengthen Orbán’s position in Brussels. On the contrary. He lost a powerful ally in David Cameron, on whom he relied time and again in resisting every move that, as he saw it, trampled on the sovereignty of the nation states. Now he can only hope that the Visegrád 4 countries, if they remain united, will be strong enough to stand up against likely pressure in the direction of integration. There is a good possibility that Orbán and his fellow prime ministers of the former Soviet bloc countries will have to choose between cooperation and some kind of inferior status that would place them outside “an ever closer union.” That second-tier status would mean turning off the spigot from which billions of euros have flowed to these countries.

Until now one had the impression that Orbán was the leader of the Visegrád 4 group, but this impression might be misleading because news about V4 meetings arrives through the filter of Hungarian government propaganda. A couple of days ago the Polish government announced that it wants to hold “an alternative meeting of EU foreign ministers,” those who weren’t invited to the meeting of the six founding members of the European Union on Saturday. Yesterday, according to the Polish public television, eight foreign ministers–from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovenia–had accepted the invitation. The United Kingdom will be represented by an undersecretary.

Poland is taking the lead among countries that have issues with the European Union. The Polish initiative is perfectly understandable. Poland is a large country with almost 40 million inhabitants, and therefore its government feels that it should spearhead the movement of those who resist EU “encroachment.” How Orbán feels about this Polish initiative one can only guess. In any case, if this Polish invitation to 22 countries yielded such a small gathering, the prospect of the Poles forging a strong counterweight to the pro-integration forces looks slim to me.

Nonetheless, in Budapest there is hope that with the departure of the United Kingdom the Visegrád countries “will gain much more influence within the European Union.” At least this is what Gergely Prőhle, former Hungarian ambassador to Berlin, believes. He expressed his hope to Boris Kálnoky, Budapest correspondent of Die Welt, that Austria and the Netherlands may also support the program of a Visegrád 4 coalition. But Prőhle is far too optimistic and, as Kálnoky points out, the Hungarian government is nervous about the prospect of a more integrated Europe and “a sharper attack on the Euroskeptic and nationalist governments.”

David Cameron arrives today in Brussels / Reuters / Photo: Francois Lenoir

David Cameron arrives in Brussels / Reuters / Photo: Francois Lenoir

Of course, Viktor Orbán would never acknowledge that Great Britain’s likely exit from the European Union may decrease his effectiveness in Brussels. But László Kövér, president of the Hungarian parliament, freely admitted that with Great Britain inside the European Union Hungary would have had an easier time of it in Brussels. Moreover, he acknowledged that “the political strength of those who oppose the formation of some kind of united states of Europe has diminished.”

Many Hungarian commentators actually rejoice over Brexit for the very reason Kálnoky and others point out. The absence of Great Britain from the negotiating table will weaken Viktor Orbán. Moreover, these people are strong believers in a federated Europe and look upon Great Britain as an impediment to that ideal. These commentators argue that the United Kingdom from the very beginning was a reluctant member and that, being an island nation, it is a very different place from the countries of the Continent. The strongest Hungarian criticism I read appeared in Index. Its author, M.T., accused Britain of blackmailing the European Union for years.

Viktor Orbán, who is by now in Brussels, has been talking about “the lessons” to be learned from Brexit. Of course, for him the lessons are that the politicians of the EU must listen to the “voice of the people” who are fed up with Brussels’ handling of the “migrant crisis.” From the moment the results of the British referendum became known, Orbán has been trying to convince his voters that the reason for Brexit was the 1.5 million migrants who have arrived in Europe in the last year and a half. But I wonder how long this myth can be maintained once Hungarians learn that, since last Thursday, more than 100 incidents have taken place in the United Kingdom, mostly against Poles.

The defense of “the rights of Hungarians working and studying in the United Kingdom” is Orbán’s self-stated top priority during the negotiations over Brexit. Of course, these negotiations are still far away, but Orbán can show that he is concerned about the fate of his people. It’s too bad that when it came to allowing Hungarian citizens living in Western European countries to have the same voting rights as Hungarians living in the neighboring countries he was not such a staunch supporter of them.

In Brussels this afternoon Orbán gave a press conference in which he placed the “migrant crisis” at the epicenter of all the current ills of the European Union. If it isn’t solved along the lines he suggested, the crisis the EU is experiencing now will only deepen. He emphasized the necessity of holding a Hungarian referendum on the “compulsory quotas,” which we know don’t even exist. This referendum “is necessary in order to represent the Hungarian position clearly and forcefully.” Of course, the Hungarian referendum is totally off topic. The negotiations in Brussels are not about the refugees, but about Great Britain’s likely exit and the future of the European Union.

June 28, 2016
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Roderick Beck
Guest

Spot on essay. As I understand it, common market membership requires paying EU membership dues and adhering to EU migration rules. What a Pyrrhic British victory.

webber
Guest

The idea that there will be war in Europe because of a break-up of the EU is based on the widespread historical fallacy that the EU brought peace to Europe. It did not.
Peace was brought to Europe first by the Soviet and other allied armies. It was kept in Europe by the uneasy truce between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. It is kept in Western and Central Europe now by NATO.
The EU had nothing at all to do with the establishment or maintenance of peace since WWII.

Anyway, Western European nations have nothing they are willing to fight for.

Member

NATO is 75% US financed and supported. It has minimal military capabilities outside of the host countries in Western Europe and none in Eastern Europe. It is unable to defend anything, without the full support and participation of the US Forces. NATO forces are only good for one thing. Military parades.

webber
Guest

Fine. I put it a bit more diplomatically, that is all.

Roderick Beck
Guest

Really, have you done any research? UK and France have enough nuclear weapons to annihilate any country. UK alone has 400 tanks and 6000 armored fighting vehicles. I certainly agree that NATO must beefed up, but just for miltary parades is hyperbole. Germany also has 400 tanks. But I also that the US is the core of NATO.

Istvan
Guest

Interesting that I had a similar discussion on a military blog about how the Baltic States were strategically un-defendable from a Russian invasion. But a strategy similar to that of Finland against a Russian invasion is a possibility from my perspective.

Finnish territorial defense doctrine traditionally has been to use mobile field Army units backed by mainly local reserve forces to counter, delay, repel and inflict heavy losses on the Russians attacking across Finland’s heavily forested, lake-rich frontier and inland terrains. Their ability to mobilize reserves rapidly is practiced and impressive.

If all of NATO’s front line nations took there own self defense as seriously as non-NATO Finland does our Russian friends arrogance about their ability to seize most of Central Europe rapidly would be greatly reduced. It’s not a good thing to have to play the atomic card against Russian aggression, they may think it’s a bluff and then the nightmare chain reaction starts. We all should live in fear of that.

Member
I agree with most of what you wrote about the Finns. I respect them for what they have done in WWII. (Please see my notes at the bottom.) “History does not repeat itself, but is sure rhymes.” (Mark Twain) Europe cannot muster a well organized and successful defense against the mass of troops the Russians are able to dispatch through the Eastern countries, but Western Europe can become a tough nut to break and occupy. On the other hand, in Eastern Europe, no meaningful resistance would be mounted against them, except in Poland and even there in vain. Before Western Europe would wake up and mobilize, the Russians would be occupying their old territories plus Austria. The Baltic states would fall after that and a stalemate could ensue. The Russian aim is not to occupy Western Europe, but to regain the territories they lost after the Soviet Union broke up. If they remain patient, they will get Eastern Europe back without firing a shot. ============== Personally I don’t foresee a military conflict with the Russians in Europe, but there could be military conflicts with them in the Middle-East and on sea, mostly with proxies, but at the sea with Russian… Read more »
pappp
Guest

It wasn’t just the NATO but the fact that after 1945 there was continuous economic growth and people were also convinced that such growth was going to continue in perpetuity. That state kept people calm and happy but that is decidedly not the case now so people are less calm and less happy. That said, I think the idea of a European war (except for Russia’s potential invasion of the Baltics) is just lunatic.

Guest
Re: ‘If they remain patient, they will get Eastern Europe back without firing a shot’ And if they do then NATO , the US and the EU would have to be morally complicit in letting the situation go to that state of affairs. It would indeed show that the West’s concern for democratic tradition would be shown to be a falsehood and a sham. It would be a grave betrayal. Future Ukraines and Crimeas will be a much pressured challenge to the Western demicracies. And if conflict could erupt which is always a possibility I’d hope the EE countries would fire their shots for independence. And as the Finns have been brought up in war fighting here we can expect nothing different from their fighting in the ‘Winter War’ where they destroyed Russian armies with great fortitude and bravery against great odds. The Finns there had great will to defend themselves against Russian predation. It cannot be ruled out that they and Europe may have to reprise it again. And it should be said true democracies don’t go hunting for war. But they must prepare for for it. So it follows that right now ‘Brexit’ has unleashed security analyses by… Read more »
petofi
Guest

What makes you think that there is anything in the recent history of the Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria that Europe should go to war on their behalf?

Roderick Beck
Guest

If they are part of NATO, the political pressure will be great. And please don’t bring up irrelevant 56. There were no good options to help the Hungarians in 1956.

Member

I watched Sky News for hours today and also the David Cameron press conference. I am unable to form an educated opinion about the political consequences of Brexit, but I can deduct one financial result. Great Britain was a paying nation, from the dues it paid, other countries got moneys. With one less paying customer, all receiving countries will get less, including the viktor’s regime.
If the EU is smarter a bit after the Brexit, perhaps they raise the dues of every member, including Hungary’s.

Paul
Guest
I can’t see any other country opting to leave the EU after they’ve seen the chaos and confusion we’re going through in the UK (and it’s only just started!) The Leavers clearly didn’t expect to win and have no idea of what to do next or how to do it, Farage is making a fool of himself and bringing shame on the country, racist attacks are being reported daily (my wife asked yesterday if I thought she should stop talking to the kids in Hungarian in public), and the country is deeply divided by a vote that half of us feel we’ve lost unfairly. And all this is so unnecessary. Cameron never thought through what he was doing and allowed a referendum on a serious constitutional issue to be decided on a simple majority – just 37% of the electorate have decided that we should leave he EU! And anyway, this was an advisory referendum, the result was not binding. In the UK we have a representative democracy, the people’s involvement is limited to selecting an MP once every five years – after that the MPs make the decisions. So this government could simply ignore the result. After all, given… Read more »
Guest

You know when I see ‘Brexit’ i can see how the ‘democratic way’ can be a boon as well as bane in the history of countries. On the one hand Britain surely benefitted from all those who could move from other European states to seek a better and more productive life. That’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in action. But apparently now in Britain that success is too too good. So guys like Farage come out of the woodwork to rain on the parade and push for the insular and solipsistic within the country getting a Britain hunkered down. It remains to be seen where all that leads. And to a far bigger picture what does it bode for Britain’s relationship to democratic traditions.

Istvan
Guest
Eva that is an amazing array of reactions to the UK vote within Hungary. The one I did not see and found interesting that it did not appear was the possibility that EU cohesion funds could rapidly dry up with loss of UK inputs into the EU. That could spell crisis for Fidesz which passes out these funds and contracts to those who are loyal crooks. I also don’t agree with you Eva that other nations will not opt-out of the EU given the UK fall out. Just 41 per cent of French based on polling data clearly want to stay in the EU over the long run, but also 52% of the French if they had to vote tomorrow would vote to stay in the EU. It’s very contradictory right now based on the polls for what they are worth and they weren’t worth much in the UK. I would also add that JC Juncker’s display of arrogance at the idiot Nigel Farage today at the European Parliment adds to the problems. Then after his public comment to a pro-exit member cheering on Farage that was “the last time he would be applauding here'” he says democracy is democracy… Read more »
petofi
Guest

One positive of Brexit is the maelstorm of confusion that has now beset the UK. It’s a fine warning sign to all other EU member states
about a similar move. If anything, Brexit has made Orban’s hopes of extracting Hungary from the EU all the more difficult…

petofi
Guest

Personal confusion about Brexit: if UK’s chief beef was against immigrants access to health care and unemployment insurance, why couldn’t they legislate more stringent terms for non-citizens? Shouldn’t the Brit healthcare/unemployment systerm have been protected by special conditions?

bimbi
Guest

I hate to admit it but I am old enough (just) to remember the introduction of the NHS and the Tories raised the same question then about welfare tourism. At that time, the government did its sums and said that it wasn’t worth the time, effort and money policing that problem and they didn’t. Good ol’ fashioned common sense. Yes, yes, the situation is probably different today but don’t forget all them furrin workers in GB do actually pay for themselves in terms of financial return to the country (or so ‘tis said).

Guest

Just one point:

It will be “interesting” to see what happens to all the Polish and Hungarian workers in England who gave up so much, worked so hard – and now?

Will they be sent “home”?

I wish them luck!

PS and not too much OT:

Over the last 60 years I’ve met a lot of “guest workers” from all over Europe in Germany, almost everybody was nice and happy to have found a job – couldn’t imagine to discriminate them or send them home again. Now what will the English do?

And will Poland still be friends with England then?

pappp
Guest

Very good essay indeed.

Henk Hirs
Guest

Good article. Just two corrections: the Netherlands Parliament has 150 seats. There was no vote about a Nexit referendum, but liberals and social democrats said that they will oppose such a referendum. Note that Wilder’s party today has about 15 seats in parliament but new elections due in a year might give him 40 or 50. However frightening that is, it is still far from a majority that would allow him to start a Nexit.

Joe Simon
Guest

As regarding your previous statement, according to The Guardian the scale of migration to the UK WAS the siginificat reason why voters turned against the EU. It was the uncontrolled influx of migrants that turned the voters against the EU.
So you were wrong to say it otherwise.

pappp
Guest

Re the immigration we need to distinguish between two things.

The UK has many immigrants who have absolutely nothing to do with the EU, people from Africa, Asia, the Middle-East. Also it is rather easy to receive UK citizenship which has nothing to do with any EU requirement).

It is arguable whether the Brexit voters had problems with white, EU immigrants or they had problems with Muslims, Africans (and Gipsies from the EU) etc.

Maybe both had a role, but we don’t know.

The EU is a very convenient bogeyman because if you hate it you are not called a racist, whereas if you express your dislike of foreign-looking Arabs or Blacks you are a racist so people tend blame the former.

Observer
Guest

@Joe Troll

Which article is that? Who’s wrong about what ?

From what I read it is rather the numbers of Polish and Hungarian skilled economic migrants that upset the Brits and contributed to the exit, as well as the nationalistic BS which is similar to the Orban nationalistic BS, but Hungary is not Great Britain.

Orban, the ignoramus he is, does not understand foreign relations and does not have a foreign policy. He tries his domestic approach of saying whatever suits him at the moment, but nobody buys this, hence his failures everywhere. On the international scene he’s becoming ridiculous in the role of a useful fool to do the routing for others who don’t want to expose themselves.

Observer
Guest

Re the consequences of Brexit I’m with the mildly optimistic side because probably:

• The UK, or whatever is left of it, will suffer politically and economically, serving as discouraging example to would be followers.
• The core EU countries, free of skeptic and odd fellow UK, worried by eventual US distancing, will pursue more integration, incl beefing up of NATO capabilities.
• For the same reasons the core countries may get tougher on further undermining and open dissent in the EU, as well e.g. introduce majority voting or financial punitive measures. Alternatively those may practically create a two speed EU.
• The core countries and EU will get tougher on the immigration issue and in national politics. They will have to modify the budgets and hopefully reform some aspects of the EU, like voting procedures, subsidies and corruption. All these will take the wind out of the populists’ sails.
• Poland/V4, the Baltics and other peripheral countries threatened by or experiencing economic difficulties and Russian advances will turn around and seek EU economic opportunities and NATO security, accepting tougher conditions and more integration.

There are signs of these and I hope the core countries/EU will carry these out thoroughly.

petofi
Guest

–good points

Paul
Guest

A pretty good summary.

Tyrker
Guest

Brexit might not even be happening, after all. The referendum was advisory and its outcome is not legally binding. Westminster needs to have a vote on it and pro-EU MPs are in the majority (although some of them might risk being lynched by their very own bread-and-butter constituents if they voted Remain). And even if Westminster gave Brexit the green light, Holyrood might still have a word or two about it.

bimbi
Guest
The imminent departure of Britain from the EU poses very serious questions for the organization as well as for Britain. There are voices within Europe that now feel that there is a real opportunity for the strengthening of the political ties between EU countries, i.e., the formation of “a closer union”. That ideal, if such it be, has not been discussed much in recent years because of the 2008 financial crisis, its effect still continuing, the Greek situation and the influx of refugees in large numbers from the south. However, the UK vote has offered opportunity for a re-assessment of what the EU means and where it is going. Many feel that closer union is the way forward, a view I share (for what that is worth). It is clear however that work towards that goal requires countries with shared goodwill and purpose, a shared vision. We know that Hungary or at least Viktor Orban vehemently opposes such a vision. Now he attempts to wrap himself in a cloak named ‘Visegrad Four’ in an attempt to fend off any such discussions, after all, he has been very happy with his razor wire and the regular receipt of massive numbers of… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

I was stunned when I read this story today http://nol.hu/belfold/mexikoi-munkasokkal-vannak-tele-a-szugyi-gyarak-1621543 The article indicates that foreign non-Hungarian workers are being used by international companies producing auto parts in Balassagyarmat on the border with Slovakia. Really this takes globalization to a new level when guest workers are appearing to be used by companies that have already moved operations to avoid higher wages in advanced western nations to low wage Hungary.

pappp
Guest

Almost as if Fidesz or Jobbik made this up.

I’m sure Fidesz will immediately jump on the story – at least locally – blaming the EU on “forcing these gipsy-looking people on Hungary who then steal our jobs. But these are jobs Hungarians will not do, that’s why they had to be imported. Hey, I know a lot of jobless and do-nothing gipsies, why don’t they do these jobs? Because the education system sucks. No, they just get more money from the welfare. We need no welfare, I always told you there are jobs for those who want to work, but the gipsies just don’t want to work” and so on and so on and on.

Just as some people suspected Fidesz government engineered the migrant-flow bottleneck in Hungary last year, the government will encourage these practicies so that it can then blame the EU, the multinational corporations, the gipsies etc.

Roderick Beck
Guest

Well guess what. Even if Hungarians can do the unskilled work, they do not make great white collar workers. Their skills are weak and initiative near zero. Hungary does not have a strong tradition of business excellence or if it did exist, it was wiped out along with the Jews.

Paul
Guest
The whole question of immigration into the UK is fraught with misunderstanding and political manipulation. For a start, at least half the immigration is from non-EU countries. Then there’s the fact that many things the Brits rely on (e.g. the NHS) simply wouldn’t function without immigrants. If the idiots who want to leave do actually manage to reduce immigration, life is going to get very difficult in the UK. I recently had major surgery in one of the UK’s leading hospitals (the RNOH in Stanmore) and just about everyone who looked after me was non-UK born. The only exception was my consultant – who was second generation Polish (and married to an Australian!). Then there’s the old political myth about ‘benefit tourism’ – immigrants living off benefits. The facts don’t support this at all, as there are fewer EU immigrant benefit claimants per head than there are in the indigenous population. Overall, the EU immigrants put much more into the economy than they take out (again, a superior ratio when compared to the indigenous Brits). There are, of course, problems – the influx of new people (many young couples with young children) puts considerable strains on the local schools, hospitals,… Read more »
Guest
Completely O/T The political fallout continues here – with the opposition party engaging in a bloody internecine warfare. The opposition Labour party are tearing themselves apart. On 23 June in my disappointed anger I wrote: “It wasn’t Johnson – “It Was Corbyn What Won It” His half-hearted endorsement of the EU (“7½ out if 10”) and his failure to motivate all those new young idealistic voters he attracted – and his sheer lack of competence in leadership are, for me, the single factor that could have produced a different result. There is civil war in the Tory party now. But nothing like what will happen in the Labour party.” My post was spot on – the shadow cabinet are resigning before they can be replaced, for these very reasons. Cameron joked to a newly sworn-in MP to keep her mobile on in case she’s needed for the cabinet! This was contradicted by a poster who I only read if directly challenged – otherwise the posts are ‘persona non reada’. This: “Are you completely mad? The Tories created this situation (assisted by the Liberals), Labour and Corbyn had nothing to do with it. And yet you blame Corbyn? He has actually… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

Hard to believe but we had all this yesterday from Charlie – maybe he thinks I was the only one to read it and so had to try again! Blaming the “Leave” victory on Mr. Corbyn was idiotic yesterday and still is today – and will be tomorrow, Charlie.

Actually, which “Charlie” are you? Maybe you think you are Charlie the Prince of Wails, you know the author of the black spider memos. F’ goodness sakes man, change the needle on your record player will ya?

Paul
Guest

Charlie is an unstoppable force, I’m afraid.

Although someone once did manage to upset him so much he vowed to leave HS and never come back.

Unfortunately, he changed his mind. But it was lovely and quiet while it lasted.

Guest

Not true.

But you don’t do subtle or nuanced.

And Eva put your hat on straight too.

Your absence has not been missed either – nor your vile, unfaithful deprecating bleats about your wife and family – got found out eh?

I’ll let you have the last word too. Just don’t address me and I won’t address you – back to PNR.

Paul
Guest

“Labour are practically 100% united”!!!!”

I can’t decide if you simply didn’t read my post and therefore didn’t understand I meant solely where Remain was concerned, or if you’ve deliberately twisted my meaning to make some sort of point.

Either way it doesn’t do you much credit.

Guest

And I’ll let others judge that.

Guest

OT…

Watching Novak the Serbian at Wimbledon. Always a picture of striving for excellence. Now with Brexit it can be said all those Viktor- Davy private chats must have got out…….Wimbledon going to Budapest was the last straw in Euro give and take..;-)…

petofi
Guest

“…the contagion may spread…”

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Who needs the Visegradi 1/4? The whole bunch don’t add up to one good state.

No, the result of Brexit is to serve notice: ‘we’re setting up a superstate and if you want to be in, you’ll dance to our tune’. State-sponsored orruption is out. Hungary, under the aegis of Russia, will try
to get the Visegrad others to desist. But, eventually, they’ll decline to drink of Orban/Putin hemlock.

Those left out–and Hungary is prime candidate #1–will have borders,
and the reactionary reality of pre-EU. Good for them, and the Hungarico morons who support Orban…

petofi
Guest
Trump, Brexit, British folly, and the confusion of the average man. The popularity of Trump, and the success of Brexit, is ample proof that the modern, average joe is easily taken in and confused. In a sense, this is the triumph of the television-age which has seduced watchers to accepting zombies: what you see is what you get. I find it ridiculous that the ‘leave’ leaders where allowed to lie on many fronts without being countered, or even, legally challenged, to tell the truth. Somehow, I feel that free speech does not mean the malicious mis-leading of the populace. There will have to be a counter to this in Britain. Perhaps, statements that go out over tv, radio and the press will have to be vetted for malicious, wrongful, intent. Something has to be done. The US is now coming upon the same problem. Never has there been a candidate for presidency so ill-suited for office. Yet, by leveraging Hillary’s unpopularity, he might just win the contest. Most Republicans are lining up behind Trump. Anywin is better than a loss, I guess; and then there’s all the power and gelt that does with the presidency. Only one person–George Will, a… Read more »
Paul
Guest

Talking of Trump (or should that be Chump?) – he ate a truly wonderful foot sandwich during his visit to Scotland, endorsing their brave decision to leave the EU.

Unfortunately he’d got Scotland mixed up with England (Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain). That doesn’t tend to go down too well north of the border…

petofi
Guest

While re-reading my words (of course, too late to make corrections) an idea bubbled up: what role did the Russians play in all this, after all, they are the past/present master of dissimulation? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find that either Nicholas Farange or Boris (!)
Johnson were doing the heavy lifting for a foreign directorate.

And to think that Boris is vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party!

webber
Guest

Petofi: Republicans lining up behind Trump??? Are you still reading Hungarian news??? Or just some of the loonier Canadian weeklies, with stories about dog-headed babies?

Please start reading some American papers before you pontificate any more about Trump. I suggest the Washington Post.

Good that you are wondering about the Russians, but FYI, the Russians have been backing Trump not only verbally, but through hacking the Democrats’ computers. Story here:
http://www.npr.org/2016/06/14/482029912/russian-hackers-penetrate-democratic-national-committee-steal-trump-research

Istvan
Guest
Petofi this was one of your most well thought out posts and I agree with some of what you wrote. There are numerous debates going on among veterans of the US armed services about Trump, here is a link to a public one http://www.ijreview.com/2016/02/539068-two-vets-get-into-explosive-debate-on-fox-news-over-trumps-911-remarks/ All Trump supporters unfortunately are not delusional fools, Carl Higbie who was in the debate was a US Navy Seal and did attend college, he was a noncommissioned Petty officer. He is a Trump supporter, he is radically conservative and his Navy record was mixed with having been charged with abuse of a prisoner but also having received numerous citations for heroism. He is clearly not an idiot. Pete Hegseth was a US Army Major with numerous citations for heroism who is opposed to Trump is also very conservative. The debate is very typical, former officers cannot support Trump and former NCOs or Petty officers with years of service are more likely to be Trump supporters. In a way its based on how we evaluate things, former NCOs or Petty officers tend to be much more pragmatic and straight forward, whereas those of us who were officers tend be more analytical by nature on average. US… Read more »
webber
Guest
Only one person has chosen to resign from the Republican Party…??? Petofi, that is so wrong it is ridiculous. Where do you get this nonsense? When will you start reading American papers for a change? Here is some news for you – LA Times: “Some Republicans burn voter registration cards, leave GOP after Trump’s win in Indiana After Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday night, several Republicans burned their voter registration cards and left the GOP. Many who tweeted videos, photos and statements against the party were members of the conservative media and political strategists.” And here are some more headlines and stories – cut and paste in your server, and you’ll find them: “GOP Mayor Leaves Republican Party” “Glenn Beck Leaves the Republican Party” “Goodbye Republican Party. And Good Riddance.” “Up to One-Third of Republicans Ready to Leave the Party, Fed Up.” “Why Did I Leave the GOP?” “AutoNation CEO Leaves the Republican Party Over Trump” “Steve Deace Breaks Up With the Republican Party” “GOP Exodus: Why are Black Staffers Leaving the Republican National Committee?” “With a Heavy Heart, I Leave the Republican Party” “Why I Am Leaving the Republican Party” “I Didn’t Leave the Republican… Read more »
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