The condemnation of a national leader for being in touch with his people suggests the EU is back in the business of oligarchy

In the midst of the general vilification of Viktor Orban, the Hungarian leader who has inspired moral outrage for his hard-line stand on the migrant crisis, you might have missed the vaguely sardonic mention in the news coverage of the leap in his popularity at home.

The voters who put him in office, it seems, hugely approve of the Orban policy. Imagine that: a European leader who actually chooses to represent the views of his own electorate rather than please the unelected commissioners of the EU. The obvious implication on the broadcast news was that this rise in approval within his own country was somehow indecent: a crass populist stance targeted deliberately at a benighted population. Either Mr Orban was a nasty piece of work who was opportunistically appealing to his countrymen’s worst instincts, or the desires of the Hungarian people were beneath consideration – or both.

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