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Beware the illiberal alliance of Poland and Hungary, a grave threat to the EU

Will Hutton

Both governments prefer ‘conservative nationalist’ states to democracy. Brussels should take a standd (sic!)

It’s ugly and on the rise; and it’s hard to see how it can end well. The global rise of conservative nationalism with the aim of creating “national communities” – directed by an unchallengeable leader to defend special national values, controlling borders against the virus of immigrants and “foreign” influence – is the menace of our times.

It is the recipe for domestic repression, crony capitalism, massive corruption, implosion of the rule of law, the rise of racism and international conflict. The values that underpinned the postwar liberal order that conferred peace, tolerance and prosperity are being torched before our eyes. It is time to take a stand.

Russia and China are the international standard-bearers of this malign credo, flanked by Turkey and India, and openly admired by the conservative nationalists in power in Poland and Hungary – and by Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and a leavening of extreme Tory Brexiters. All are spawn of the same devil – immigration and a working population that feels jobs and living standards under threat. All over Europe there are conservative nationalist parties beating the same drum – from Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) to Denmark’s People’s party. Europe is reacquainting itself with its darkest demons. (...)
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