Mark Griffith Budapest; Orban’s stranger referendum, 98% say no but…

4th October 2016 1

On Sunday October 2nd, Hungarian voters were asked to decide in a national referendum whether or not Viktor Orban and his Fidesz-dominated government should refuse EU-mandated quotas of resettled Syrian strangers. Whether they are mostly refugees or mostly economic migrants is itself politically contested. Overwhelmingly, those who voted said no. However, in a confusing twist, too few Hungarians voted for … [Read on]

House of Lords: Why Pseudo-Lords are pro-EU

17th August 2016 7

Legislative chambers of sage elders are politically unfashionable, though they crop up oddly often in science-fiction films set on other planets. While in galactic fantasy (particularly American galactic fantasy), vaguely imagined senior councils of wise dudes are standard fare, for many of Britain’s proudly bland corporate types the fact their country still has one of these things for real touches … [Read on]

EU Crisis in September; Sarajevo revisited

10th August 2016 5

This July 1st, the Friday one week after Britain’s voters demanded it leave the European Union, something happened in Austria which threatens to create uproar. This unfolding scandal might easily dwarf pro-EU propaganda efforts to smear and intimidate Leave voters in the Brexit referendum. Austria’s Constitutional Court announced that the result of its May presidential election was null and void. … [Read on]

Mark Griffith; Retail is Detail

2nd August 2016 2

One of the shabby charms of the post-communist East Bloc in the 1990s was the slapdash enthusiasm with which citizens of the newly freed ex-Soviet satellites took to private enterprise. In Russia itself, violent business oligarchs from a class of communist apparatchiks with secret-police connections grabbed the limelight, helping a few of state socialism’s bureaucrat-criminals become startlingly wealthy. However, Russia’s … [Read on]

This Love Will Tear Us Apart – How the EU Resurrected Nazism

27th July 2016 3

Today, a left-wing friend remembered me saying something six years ago. That I’d warned him the European Union was reviving xenophobic nationalism across the Continent. I had, my leftie friend said thoughtfully, called that one correctly. Along with other better-qualified people like Bernard Connolly, I was already prophesying this back in the 1990s. I recall late in that decade struggling … [Read on]

Brexit. Those charming continentals and their Imperial Dreams

27th June 2016 1

At a recent dinner party in Budapest I heard an anecdote offered by a charming and sophisticated Continental man. Not a Hungarian, he had just that day been approached in a metro station here by a British holidaymaker asking how to buy a transport ticket. The charming and sophisticated European (of noble blood forsooth) asked how this fellow would vote … [Read on]

Mark Griffith; Brexit through the looking glass

1st June 2016 3

Europe’s former communist zone in the east can feel a bit like the mirror in Lewis Carroll’s second Alice story. Russians will tell you with completely straight faces that they need to militarily defend their country from neighbours like Estonia, (half the size of Iceland). Hungarians say “Hello” to mean “goodbye”, peel bananas from the other end and hold bouquets … [Read on]

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