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Covid 19 “Emergency Measures” are being manipulated by leaders intent on solidifying authoritarian rule, with Hungary’s Victor Orban leading the assault on Democracy. How soon before his known admirers in our hard Right Tory Government demand similar untrammelled power? Covid “viral coup” is currently decimating the toxic team at number ten, further weakened today as “Herd Immunity” advocate, Dominic Cummings, himself joins the “Herd.” This might defer their power grab for a week or two, but not for much longer than that, as an absent parliament is the perfect scrutiny free environment to forward their dictatorial aims.
The Guardian documents how: “Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for spreading misinformation and gives no clear time limit to a state of emergency that allows the nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, to rule by decree.” Orbán’s Fidesz party had the advantage of a two-thirds majority to ignore the valid concerns of opposition parties who called for an end date or sunset clause for the emergency legislation.
The overwhelming majority gifted to Boris Johnson in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election fake “landslide victory” would allow the Tories to overrule opposition objections in the UK to an unlimited extension of draconian “Emergency Powers” in exactly the same way as Orbán’s Fidesz party has. Some of these alarming measures were openly pledged on page 48 of the Tory Manifesto, with new limitations on the power of the Judiciary and attacks on our Human Rights. The Tory Election campaign itself provided ample demonstration of absolute control over the media including our supposedly neutral state run broadcaster, the BBC. The judiciary and the press are always the first to come under attack in the march to Dictatorship.
In an earlier Guardian article written before the decisive vote, Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, said “You can’t have a completely unrestricted mandate for the government. The current draft does exactly that. It basically gives an open-ended carte-blanche mandate.” The Budapest-based think tank Political Capital commented that “The past 10 years have served as ample proof that the Hungarian government exploits and abuses opportunities to weaken institutions serving as a check on its power, whenever it has the chance to do so. Extraordinary legal situations are very easy to introduce, but it is much harder to return to business as usual afterwards.”
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, a French Green MEP who represents the European parliament on Hungary and the rule of law, warned that Hungary had been taking a “a dangerous turn away” from democratic standards. “Viktor Orbán must not be given a carte blanche to further empower himself and strip away Hungarian citizens’ democratic rights under the auspices of tackling the corona crisis,” she said. “the EU had left it late to respond to decade-old concerns about democratic backsliding and the weakening of the rule of law under the Orbán government. Sadly for Hungary, we have been so far [behind] that I am a bit lost [as to] what we can do now.”
Orbán’s onslaught on democracy has not gone unnoticed by the EU, but it has remained a member state while determinedly flaunting the upholding of democratic principles that form the basis of membership. Over a year ago the Guardian reported: “MEPs vote to pursue action against Hungary over Orbán crackdown – Parliament votes for first time to trigger article 7 procedure against a member state. The European parliament has voted to trigger the EU’s most serious disciplinary procedure against Hungary, saying the country’s government poses a “systematic threat” to democracy and the rule of law.”
However Hungary is not the EU’s only trouble spot as reported by Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group in an Article: “Dictatorship law that could force Poland out of the EU brings thousands out in protest.” Commenting on the implementation of EU Law: “This is not the first attempt by the right-wing PiS [‘Law and Justice’] party in power to seize control of the judiciary, however the measures proposed against independent judges are so openly repressive that the law would inevitably raise questions about Poland’s continued membership of the European Union.”
In their description of the steady progression towards Dictatorship the group note similarities with their own leadership in Ukraine saying that: “On coming to power in 2015, the PiS government behaved very much like UKraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of the Regions in 2010. There were blitzkrieg moves to ‘tame’ a major part of the media and legislation to secure control over the judiciary. In Poland’s case this has meant that public television has effectively become a mouthpiece for the ruling party, with all issues of public importance, including the attack on an independent judiciary, reported with major distortion and manipulation.”
The same areas of attack in both Hungary and Poland are definitely on the Tory agenda; certainly the BBC has already “become a mouthpiece for the ruling Tory Party.” We must seriously consider the alarming warning signs demonstrated by the steady encroachment on democracy that has occurred under Orbán starting with the classic well recognized danger signs of dictatorship: attacks on the Judiciary and freedom of the press. The hard Right faction of the Tory Party that seized control following the Covert 2019 Rigged Election hugely admire Victor Orbán; his totalitarian rule is the model they will follow if given the chance. We cannot give them that chance.
When Boris Johnson crashes us out of the EU in December even the hope of a belated intervention by the EU due to unacceptable Human Rights violations will no longer be available to us in the UK: that is the Tory Brexit end game. While we remain in the transition period there is still an outside chance that British Citizens, both here and on the continent, plus EU Citizens resident here could potentially appeal to the EU to protect our Human Rights by challenging the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and possibly the Brexit Referendum result for the same reason: fraud and corruption.
By December it will be too late to appeal to the EU so we must not delay efforts to “Rescue our Watchdog” and demand a thorough investigation into the stolen Election. I know many of you feel that the Covid 19 crisis demands our urgent attention, but the Tory Party will not let this crisis go to waste; they will take full advantage with “Emergency Powers” granted temporarily, but permanently enforced as is the fear in Hungary. Covid 19 and the Covert 2019 Rigged Election are inextricably linked. Unless we remove this Tory Government from office we will be forced to accept the perpetual Human Rights limitations of “Medical Marshal Law” setting us on the path to Dictatorship.