Boris Johnson is currently hosting a visit by the rabidly anti-Semite prime minister of Hungary, Victor Orban. Next week he’ll be welcoming Rowdy, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan!
He might as well.
Orban has been accused of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, based on his behaviour in office. Johnson has been accused of those prejudices, based on his behaviour both in Parliament and away from it (as anyone who’s read his novel 72 Virgins must know.
What’s the message here? That it is okay to be anti-Semitic as long as you’re supplying millions of pounds worth of arms to Israel so it can bomb Muslims?
Even the BBC’s report has mentioned that the visit has been met with widespread condemnation.
Here’s how some of it looks:
Viktor Orbán & Boris Johnson compare policies: pic.twitter.com/fyYGuni8hp
— GET A GRIP (@docrussjackson) May 28, 2021
Entertaining Viktor Orban at Downing Street is an insult to the GRT, Jewish & Muslim communities under attack from his Government.
Britain should not be rolling out the red carpet for authoritarian leaders who erode democratic norms & make racism a pillar of their policies.
— Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP (@BellRibeiroAddy) May 28, 2021
Always demands on the left to disown Venezuela and Cuba. Never any demands for the right to disown Hungary, Poland, Turkey, India, Brazil, the Philippines or the USA under Donald Trump.
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) May 28, 2021
Are the Board of Deputies and Tommy Robinson joining forces again this week to protest against the meeting of Viktor 'antisemite' Orban and Boris 'antisemite' Johnson? No? Weird 🤔
— Matt Thomas (@Trickyjabs) May 28, 2021
Johnson hosting Hungary’s Hard Right authoritarian reactionary Viktor Orban instead of a Merkel, Macron or Sanchez is a Little Briton cosying up to Europe’s other worst leader.
— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) May 28, 2021
This commenter highlighted a decision by The Guardian (amongst others?) to describe Orban as “populist”:
Deeply uncomfortable hearing Viktor Orbán described as a 'populist' by UK media today. His government are Holocaust-revisionist antisemites, profoundly Islamophobic and aggressively authoritarian. Dont normalise them through these benign descriptions.
— Ross Greer (@Ross_Greer) May 28, 2021
Then there’s this:
Can you imagine the response if Corbyn decided to meet with Orban, regardless of the reasons. Where are the responses from the Board of Deputies and Jewish Chronicle? Anyone? Oh I forgot, they're as right wing as Johnson https://t.co/hjaZ5LH2um
— Revolution Breeze (@SueJonesSays) May 28, 2021
Well yes. The Jewish Chronicle spent years campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, on the grounds that this veteran peace campaigner, who never wished harm upon anybody, was somehow a raving anti-Semite.
In fact, of course…
if you sincerely believe corbyn is an antisemite but orban isn't then your brain is made from soap
— wurrance telephene jnr (@joyouschapzone) May 28, 2021
Now, in fairness, the Jewish Chronicle has published an article in which some Jewish voices have called on Johnson to raise the issue of anti-Semitism with Orban. No more than that.
But it does indicate that Mr Monehan’s sentiment in this tweet is accurate:
— Colin Monehen (@CMonehen) May 28, 2021
The real reason for the meeting is obvious: trade.
Having led the UK out of the excellent trading circumstances it enjoyed as a member of the European Union, Johnson is now reduced to grubbing around among the lowest of the low, desperately searching for someone who will take our products.
Even if he wasn’t an anti-Semite and Islamophobe himself, those considerations would trump his own personal feelings.
If he gets to do a deal, he would happily tell anybody complaining that it is only business.
And his ministers, tasked with ensuring that a good trading relationship is created with this anti-Semitic, Islamophobic government, would give us the classic Nuremberg defence – that they are “only following orders”.
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