David Cameron vs. Viktor Orbán

David Cameron is a true democrat and a wise politician. He believes in liberal democracy and free market economy, and refuses an ever more integrated European Union. Mr. Cameron looks for allies on these grounds. And his greatest challenge is that most of his anti-EU allies are xenophobes and extreme populists. Will statesman Cameron be ready to tame or handle the Orbáns and Kaczyńskis of our continent? These are politicians who believe in a state-controlled, etatistic economy, anti-capitalism and who keep making gestures to right-wing extremists in order to build up their exclusive power. Can a British conservative agenda be legitimate, credible and efficient if it seeks support from representatives of obsolete, pre-WWII ideologies? Can a distinguished leader of one of the oldest democracies in the world afford to embrace politicians and parties that aim at destroying Churchill’s dreams?

Kaczyński, Orbán and the likes have millions of supporters as this type of politics always have and will. But, fortunately, friends of a transparent and liberal democracy are still in majority in Europe. The notions of human dignity, civil liberties and non-corrupt state of affairs are the real grounds for cooperation; considerations of the future of the European Union only come second. I believe we can work out our differences on the EU because democrats are always ready and able to find compromises even after heated discussions. But compromise can and must not be made with those, e.g. Messrs. Orbán and Kaczyński, whose entire goal is to undermine our basic Western values. That is a warning Mr. Cameron may want to keep in mind when talking to Viktor Orbán today.

Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy

British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, speaks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. European Union leaders are reconvening in Brussels for the final day of their year-end summit with a wide-ranging agenda including how to build greater economic unity among their 28 countries and stepping up the fight against terrorism. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, speaks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels in December 2015. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool)

3 Comments

  1. Kerék-Bárczy’s caution to Cameron is timely and welcome, but rather too fawning (according to my taste — and Cameron’s merit).

  2. Avatar Todd Edelman says:

    Wow, I am sure many in the UK would differ considerably with your glowing review of Cameron’s “human dignity” and so on.

  3. Avatar David Robert Evans says:

    Crazy when the dirty business of politics and compromised alliances becomes more important than economics. The UK’s problem with the EU is not just the migration issue, it’s that the UK pays money into a system that it (by its own volition) doesn’t play the central role in; meanwhile countries like Hungary take money out of the EU and often squander it. But instead of making any kind of criticism of the cronyist Hungarian government’s autocratic and corrupt ways, and asking where that money is going, the only thing that matters to the “true democrat” Cameron is to push another referendum through in a way that suits him, and he is seemingly willing to grovel to anyone to do this…

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