Across the world, conservatives are taking inspiration from Orbán, embracing extremism
When the death of Roger Scruton was greeted with genuine sadness by Tory England, I did not make the nasty but accurate observation that the philosopher had betrayed whatever good was in him. It was not the time to show how he had gone from being the brave man of the 1980s, who had defied the Soviet dictatorship in eastern Europe by delivering lectures to dissidents studying in underground universities in Prague, to the degraded figure of 2019 that accepted “honours” from Viktor Orbán, who is busily turning his corner of eastern Europe into a corrupt, ethno-nationalist dictatorship.
Politeness is a curse as well as a courtesy. Scruton’s journey from opponent to courtier of tyranny has been taken across western conservatism. Respect for the friends and relatives of the dead should not stop you showing where they could take the rest of us. Nor should it stop you realising that Hungary is the Venezuela of the new right, the grim terminus of its twisted logic.
Politicians everywhere are learning that the old morality no longer applies