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GIOR Investigation: Late British Philosopher at Center of Ties From Pro-Russian Dutch MP to Hungarian Influence Network

March 13th, 2022 10:32

A GIOR inves­ti­ga­tion demon­strates the rela­tion­ship between a British philoso­pher, a far-right pro-Russ­ian Dutch MP, and an alliance of Euro­pean nation­al­ists and US con­ser­v­a­tives. A Dutch pro­fes­sor has post­ed a Twit­ter thread detail­ing the Russ­ian con­nec­tions of Thier­ry Baudet and reveal­ing that the late  con­ser­v­a­tive British philoso­pher Roger Scru­ton was a men­tor to Baudet, hav­ing served on his Ph.D. committee:

Mar 11, 2022 In 2015, Baudet meets with old British acquain­tances: his men­tor Roger Scru­ton (in his PhD com­mit­tee), Dan Han­nan and Theodore Dal­rym­ple, who had been involved with a pro-Rus­sia group opposed to “West­ern inter­fer­ence in impos­ing democracy.”

In 2020, Baudet post­ed on Face­book about his close rela­tion­ship with Scruton.

Roger Scru­ton, in turn, was close to Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orbán, who in 2019 pre­sent­ed him with the Order of Mer­it of the Repub­lic of Hungary:

On Tues­day in Lon­don, Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orbán pre­sent­ed philoso­pher and author Sir Roger Scru­ton with the Order of Mer­it of the Repub­lic of Hun­gary, Mid­dle Cross, say­ing he had “fore­seen the threats of ille­gal migra­tion and defend­ed Hun­gary from unjust criticism.President of the Repub­lic János Áder bestowed the award which was hand­ed over by Orbán.At the cer­e­mo­ny held at the Hun­gar­i­an embassy in Lon­don, Orbán said: “We have learnt from our beloved pro­fes­sor that Con­ser­vatism is any­thing but an ide­ol­o­gy; in fact, it is the anti­dote to ideology.”

A recent report by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) iden­ti­fied a new and devel­op­ing alliance between US con­ser­v­a­tives and Euro­pean nation­al­ists. This alliance, oper­at­ing under the rubric of “Nation­al Con­ser­vatism,” is a poten­tial means for Rus­sia to exert covert influ­ence in Europe and the US, using Hun­gary as a plat­form. In 2020, a Nation­al Con­ser­vatism con­fer­ence in Rome fea­tured both Orbán and Baudet as speakers.

In addi­tion, the GIOR report iden­ti­fied the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­legium (MCC) as a pri­vate Hun­gar­i­an res­i­den­tial col­lege fund­ed by a mas­sive dona­tion of pubic funds and serv­ing as a cen­ter­piece for Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive efforts. The New York Times described the “inces­tu­ous nature” of the MCC lead­er­ship struc­ture in its rela­tion­ship to the Orbán gov­ern­ment as well as the  rela­tion­ship of one MCC board mem­ber to Roger Scruton:

Anoth­er board mem­ber is Zoltan Sza­lai, who also runs a glossy, pro­gov­ern­ment week­ly called Mandin­er. A cafe he owns recent­ly received a $2 mil­lion dona­tion of once-pub­lic mon­ey for use as an event space. The cafe, Scru­ton, is named after the con­ser­v­a­tive Eng­lish philoso­pher Roger Scruton.

Sza­lai is cur­rent­ly the MCC Direc­tor-Gen­er­al who recent­ly lav­ished praise on Scru­ton and described his rela­tion­ship with the late philosopher:

Scru­ton vis­it­ed our coun­try sev­er­al times, we knew and loved him per­son­al­ly, and he had great respect for Hun­gar­i­ans. He did a lot for British-Hun­gar­i­an friend­ship, which is why the idea of cre­at­ing a com­mu­ni­ty space in his name was born. We have an excel­lent rela­tion­ship with his wid­ow, who also gave part of his  her­itage to the Hungarians.

Theodore Dal­rym­ple (aka Antho­ny Mal­colm Daniels), iden­ti­fied above as anoth­er old acquain­tance of Baudet, has also appeared on an MCC pan­el.

Thier­ry Baudet is a Dutch anti-immi­grant politi­cian who heads the far-right Forum voor Democ­ra­tie (FVD). He is an adher­ent of the anti- Semit­ic “Cul­tur­al Marx­ism” con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry and was found guilty in Decem­ber 2021 of “cre­at­ing a breed­ing ground for anti-Semi­tism” over social media posts com­par­ing the gov­ern­men­t’s coro­n­avirus mea­sures to the Holo­caust. Baudet has recent­ly been tweet­ing Russ­ian talk­ing points on the Ukraine cri­sis, includ­ing one recent retweet of a Chi­nese effort to spread Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion claim­ing the US was secret­ly research­ing bioweapons in Ukraine. The Twit­ter thread ref­er­enced above con­tains numer­ous exam­ples of Baude­t’s Russ­ian ties.