Paul Krugman posted this on his blog two days ago. I reproduce it as he clearly wants to give maximum coverage to the issue, as do I:
On New Year’s Day, the new Hungarian constitution became law. The Hungarian parliament has been preparing for this event by passing a blizzard of “cardinal” – or super-majority – laws, changing the shape of virtually every political institution in Hungary and making the guarantee of constitutional rights less secure. In the last two weeks alone, the parliament has enacted so many new laws that it has been almost impossible to keep up. And to top it off, there was also a huge new omnibus constitutional amendment – an amendment to the new constitution even before it went into effect. By one commentator’s count, the Fidesz government has enacted 359 new laws since it came to power 18 months ago.
All of the laws connected to the new constitutional structure kicked into action yesterday if they hadn’t already taken effect. As a result, with the new year, Hungarians began living in a new constitutional order. In this new order, all of the escape hatches that would permit reentry into a constitutional democracy have been bolted shut.
I would urge you to read the rest of the long blog in question. It’s important precisely because it is so scary, and precisely because what is happening is so close to what many have predicted could happen in the UK.
In effect a deeply neoliberal government has done all it can to completely gut the Hungarian constitution and leave single party rule in perpetuity. In the process it is silencing the opposition, rigging the judiciary, stacking all government positions with its place-people, over-ruling local government and ensuring a flat tax system for the benefit of the rich in perpetuity.
This is totalitarianism back in Europe.
And no one is raising a murmur.
Why, David Cameron? Where is William Hague saying that this is wrong? And why hasn’t Hungary been expelled from the EU for this?
Or is this the pathfinder case for what the right wing governments of Europe plan for us all? Certainly the Merkozy deal to outlaw Keynesian intervention looks like it.
Hat tip: Howard Reed