European political and economic union, once an idea so full of promise, has, in recent years, given us the opportunity to peep behind the veil and catch passing glimpses of its true nature. Global meltdown of the financial and currency markets has eroded the façade of the polity; exposing its prioritisation of economic concerns over the needs and wellbeing of people. Austerity has been as much a project of the European Union as the single currency, and we have now witnessed the full force of the European austerity agenda as it was measured out against the people of Greece. No longer can we see the European Union as the warm and fuzzy liberal super-state it has pretended to be. While it remains true that the EU offers member states, especially smaller member states, many invaluable advantages, it has revealed itself to be a hyper aggressive glorified financial institution, and – like all such entities – it has its doormen. Guarding the innumerable horde of bureaucrats, technocrats, accountants, financiers, and pencil-pushers – the very fundaments of the European Union – from the real world stand the uniformed thugs of the Hungarian police. As the crows come home to roost from Europe’s economic imperialism its fleeing victims are being bludgeoned and battered at the gates.

In every quarter of Europe there are tens of millions of people – ordinary working people – demanding that their Europe open up its doors to those in need, but they are fast discovering that they have lost all control over their Europe. It has become for them their very own modern Prometheus. Where once they would have turned to their elected representatives they are discovering that the democracy of Europe isn’t what they thought it to be. Countless closed-door meetings and treaties have ensured that democracy in Europe is as transparent as night. Not even those in the European Parliament fully understand who or what is calling the shots. Presented with the images of Hungarian thugs legally violating the human rights of refugees, there is a groundswell in opinion demanding that it stop, but Europe remains quiet. Of course there are words; polite words asking for restraint, but there is no force to the words, and Hungary gets the message. The primary function of the police force is to protect the state and the status quo, and that it precisely what the bullies in Hungary are doing. They are doing their job, they are only following orders. Hungary is teaching us a great deal about the European Union.

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