The Nationalist Internationale is postponed again 😦
Ever since his aspiring autocrat buddies started dropping out of power Orbán (and his men) can’t stop yelping that the US and/or Brussels will interfere in the elections. Trump, Kurz, Netanyahu, Sarkozy, Babis, and some assorted Balkan strongmen have seen their political demise in what appears to be a political turn of tide, while Erdogan is also struggling with the economy. And Orbán’s current besties are not on government either – the worst thing an autocrat can say about another.
It is now a campaign theme of Orbán to be the country that stops “Brussels” (not the EU, the EU is hugely popular in Hungary). He is rambling that we (he) are the stick in the spokes, “the thorn under the fingernails of Brussels”. To which a young musician reacted splendidly: “Is this really what we are proud of? That we screw with other EU members? Yay, we are the sh*t in the crepe.”
And for some reason this was the sentence that kept ringing in my ear when I heard about the assembly of Orbán’s remaining nationalist friends in Warsaw. The meeting was meant to kick off (yet again) the Nationalist Internationale in Europe, the thing that finally undoes the EU (while keeps the cash coming).
All they could agree on is that they will do whatever they would do anyway (vote against immigration and more Europe) and that they will keep meeting until they manage to get something done. Salvini didn’t even attend. It was more of a PR stunt for everyone involved, to show at home that they are statesmen with an international alliance and not just sticks in the spokes.
The project was Orbán’s “I’ll show them!” to EPP, after he totally voluntarily (no) left the party group in 2020. He wanted to show them and be the vanguard of the new wave, of the demise of Europe, by leading the Nationalist Internationale – or whatever they plan to call their thing.
The stick in the hub of the Nationalist Internationale (sorry) was its own maker, Putin.
It may also be that someone like Salvini would not like to be under the leadership of a small country PM like Orbán and that is why he didn’t even attend the meeting. But the fact that the nationalists are split between Putin-made, Putin-vassal and anti-Putin parties is also very suspicious. And it wasn’t helped by the fact that the Polish Morawiecki (anti-Putin) and France’s Le Pen (Putin-puppet) stood together for a photo. It may just testify about the loss of support for PiS and it is difficult to see how it would reverse that.
Back in the days when the Kremlin supported whichever party could wreak havoc in the EU the task was easy. Communist or nationalist, it didn’t matter for destruction. But to build something they need a common ground and that appears to be missing. Not only are ethnic superiorities mutually exclusive, but their stance on Putin also divides the members of the new vanguard. Plus, if they were to become a formidable force one day – and they might – why would they accept Orbán as their leader?
Poor Orbán, even if he wins, he loses. His little ideas (destruction and ethnicism) are not original at all and they don’t depend on him to be brought to fruition. His country is also way too small for his ambitions. He can’t exactly aspire to European offices either with his history. He could move on to international sport organizations though. Not only are they spectacularly corrupt, they are also about sport (and money and influence). Or the Interpol. They hire criminals.