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Hungary’s Prime Minister shares similar views to Donald Trump. Should he be banned too?

10 January 2016

12:06 PM

10 January 2016

12:06 PM

If you are going to try to put people beyond the pale on the grounds of what they have said it pays at least to be consistent. This week, left-wing MPs were cock a hoop at achieving the required number of signatures on a petition calling for Donald Trump to be banned from the UK for the matter to be debated in Parliament.  More than 560,000 signed, with the result that the issue will be discussed in Westminster Hall on 18 January.

There was no visible protest, on the other hand, against David Cameron meeting Hungarian PM Viktor Orban in Budapest this week, no audible call for Mr Orban to be banned from making a return visit to the UK. There was even praise from liberals for Mr Orban’s strong words to David Cameron complaining about negative images of Hungarians in the UK.  They are not migrants, said Mr Orban, but EU citizens exercising their right to look for work in another EU state.


Mr Orban has something of a different view, however, of migrants trying to enter Hungary.  Last autumn, when the flow of Syrian refugees northwards was at a peak, he closed Hungary’s border with Croatia with a steel fence to keep out the new arrivals. His explanation echoes the statement which spurred British liberals to start petitioning against Donald Trump: ‘I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country,’ he said.  ‘Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian?’ Mr. Orban asked. ‘There is no alternative, and we have no option but to defend our borders.’   Rejecting the welcome which Angela Merkel was extending to Syrian refugees at the time (since somewhat reversed) he said: ‘Our moral responsibility is to give back these people to their homes and countries.’

Mr Trump, should he be elected US president, would certainly be a more powerful figure than Viktor Orban.  Arguably, however, Mr Orban is a more frightening figure. Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslim migration to the States is probably not to be taken all that seriously, given the other off-the-cuff remarks he has made about women, Mexicans etc. Mr Orban is a former Communist youth leader who has flipped to anti-immigration populism.

But either way, there is little to distinguish between the remarks of Trump and those of Orban, yet one is the subject of a vitriolic campaign to ban him from Britain. As for the other, we have heard hardly a squeak of protest against him. If it is so deeply wrong for a politician to want to ban Muslim immigration that they need to be banned from Britain themselves, surely this should apply to all who make that call.

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Show comments
  • Ozzah

    The situation is simple. If you’re a refugee, then go to the first safe country and seek asylum. Register as a refugee, provide whatever documentation you can – the more the better, and wait for the country to do its best to accommodate you. If they refuse to give you asylum, you are then welcome to try anywhere else.

    But when more than a million refugees flood in, cause total and utter chaos in Hungary’s capital and other cities, REFUSE to be registered, and DEMAND to be taken to Germany… something is not right here. Refugees must be registered, PERIOD. Refugees do not have the right to demand where to be settled, PERIOD.

    Moreover, according to EU law, Hungary is obligated to defend the border, since they are on the edge of the Schengen area. They are mandated to control the inflow of these people, otherwise not only could their membership of the EU and the Schengen zone be at stake, but the whole Schengen treaty could collapse. It looks like that may even be happening soon. According to the Dublin treaty, Hungary is obligated to register the incoming refugees, as all incoming refugees must be registered in the first EU country they set foot in.

    Hungary is a tiny country. There are only less than 10 million people in Hungary. More than a million people refugees flooded in. That means more than 10% of the people in Hungary were refugees. That is a COMPLETELY unmanageable situation. The EU gave millions of Euros to Italy and Greece to handle the refugee crisis, which they DIDN’T. (Recall that the refugees went THROUGH Italy and Greece, then to Turkey, then back to Hungary into the EU). The EU didn’t give a damn cent to Hungary.

    Hungary is doing what’s required of it by EU law. Hungary is doing what’s required of it by the Schengen treaty. Hungary is doing what’s required of it by the Dublin treaty. Hungary is doing what’s right for Europe. And Hungary is doing what’s right for itself.

    End of story. There is no other way to look at it.

    I want the refugees to be safe and happy too. And I want Syria and the middle east to be a safe and happy place. And I welcome Syrian refugees and other refugees when they need it. But not like this.

  • Nusrat Rizvi

    Have the British people gone totally berserk in listening to Muslim traitors by banning Trump. Donald. Trump is free to express his opinions on anything he wants yet Muslims who have lived in the UK for 4 generations still do not believe in free speech.
    What if Mr. Trump is elected President, will you then send the Queen to Washington on her hand and knees begging forgivness

  • scampy

    What would be result of EU referenda asking if muslim immigrants should be returned to countries of origin?
    The result would silence the lib/lab cottagers and doggers?

  • Tim L

    Ross Clark’s comparison doesn’t make any sense because Trump and Orban are advocating completely different things. Trump wants to ban any Muslim from entering the US including, presumably, tourists and businessmen. Orban wants to stop undocumented migrants of unknown provenance from illegally entering Hungary and then demanding the right to remain there on a permanent basis. The first is reprehensible, the second is dutiful. Apart from anything else, that is why there has been no demand to ‘ban Orban’.

    • Pioneer

      Do you only post once every year or so?

  • nononsense57

    It’s difficult to believe that the UK would dig in its heels to protect the Islamics that are hell-bent on destroying it. Even IF some Brits were to wake up now, it may be too late. The enablers have let in the jackals. Just don’t come to America and demand the same thing happen.

  • ibecool

    I wonder how the UK would enforce such a ban if Trump has business established in the UK? Trump sues if you look at him cross eyed. He could end up owning the UK.

  • Csaba Atilla

    Orbán’s point on the huge influx of migrants is that England has no memory of being invaded
    and occupied by brutal armies, her territory has not been reduced to a
    fraction of its original size – and – the English language is spoken by
    hundreds of millions all over the world.
    There are 12 million Hungarians trying to stand up to pressures from
    Germany, Russia, and other larger nations, who couldn’t care less if
    Hungary ceased to exist. Yet, when it comes to hospitality, Hungarians
    have always been known for their unselfish generosity to their visitors.

  • ibecool

    Hungary? You have got to be kidding me. That’s like being banned from playing in a full toilet bowl. The UK isn’t far behind.

  • Lann Morgan

    Trump is taking steps to keep his country safe whether he is liked or not. .I wonder if the people that criticize him will enlighten the rest of us how they would propose to keep our country safe .

    If anyone agrees that Donald Trump should have freedom of speech please sign the DONT ban Donald Trump from the UK petition by clicking on the link below and sharing with friends

  • Muttley

    Viktor Orban should be given a knighthood, a Nobel Prize and whatever else is on offer for someone as clear-sighted and determined. Given the entirely predictable state of affairs in France, Germany, Sweden and across Northern Europe, not forgetting the UK, Orban’s approach is now the only rational response, especially in a country where it is not yet too late.

    Anyone who still believes that large scale immigration is a good idea is being dogmatic and clinging on to a quite extreme ideology that has had its day in the same way communism did. The astonishing number of people who still believe in that godforsaken concept shows that unfortunately we will not get shot of immigrationism any time soon.

  • Brent Fraser

    The UK should be banning Third World Immigrants who want to stay rather than Hungarian or American politicians who just visit.