Sir Roger Scruton foresaw the threats of illegal migration and defended Hungary against unjust critics, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Tuesday in London. The Prime Minister handed over a decoration to the British writer-philosopher.
President of the Republic János Áder conferred upon Sir Roger – a fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, Research Professor of Buckingham University and Visiting Professor of Oxford University – the Hungarian Order of Merit Middle Cross with Star.
The decoration was handed over by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the Hungarian Embassy in London on Tuesday.
In his laudation address, the Prime Minister highlighted that so far Sir Roger has honoured Hungary with his friendship, but today Hungary can honour him with this decoration on behalf of the Hungarian people.
“We have learnt from our beloved professor that Conservativism is anything but an ideology; in fact, it is the antidote to ideology,” the Prime Minister said.
Conservativism is fundamentally a theory, but it teaches us that the world cannot be explained by theory, and that practice is far more important than abstract ideas, he added.
According to Mr Orbán, Sir Roger Scruton, too, is a man of practice. At the time when the Soviet Union still existed, he was not just opposed to communism on philosophical grounds; he was an ardent and active ally to anti-communist forces in Central and Eastern Europe, and helped us in so many ways that we cannot list them all, the Prime Minister said.
He added that Professor Scruton has always sided with reality and truth, and helped us fight against communism while the Soviets still occupied Central and Eastern Europe.
At the same time, he did not blindly support the idea of open societies either as he was awake enough to see its flaws and warn about its dangers. He also foresaw the threat of illegal migration and defended Hungary against unjust critics, Mr Orbán stressed.
The Prime Minister stated that Sir Roger was and is a loyal friend of freedom-loving Hungarians, and he knows that this freedom relies on nation states and Christian civilisation.
In his reply, Professor Scruton highlighted that Hungary has shown an example by preserving its valuable identity also in times when everywhere else there is pressure to accept global uniformity and to eliminate national differences.
He added that if the decoration stands in recognition of the jointly held view that the nation state is both the foundation and building block of European politics, then for him this is a most valuable tribute.
(Website of the Hungarian Government / MTI)