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.
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.