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The Play book of Despots.

Here’s the despot playbook.

Gain power through the ballot box; dominate a legitimate political party; allocate yourself increasing autonomous powers; threaten and blackmail district heads or governors into subservience; restock independent courts with party acolytes; threaten the media.

That’s the game plan or pattern we have described unfolding in the east European States of Hungary and Poland. Why you surely didn’t think we could be describing the White House —-could we?

And now Viktor Orban and Jaroslaw Kacznski are using the corona virus to reinforce their tyranny over their people and blackmail local political leaders. They are manipulating the May district elections on the one hand and blackmailing opposition city mayors, denying them their rightful support funding, on the other. Both are defying the will of the people, both are shamefully disregarding the vast history of their nations and both are flouting the authority of the European Community. Last week the European Parliament described both governments as “incompatible with European values and asked for sanctions. Nothing will happen. Such a decision requires u8nanimity and neither will allow the other top be voted against – you may as well ask turkeys to vote for an early Christmas.

Europe is in serious trouble. It is facing a depression. It is hard to see how the Greek and Italian banks have survived so far. It has no leadership capable of more than sullenly kicking what amount to the cans of history down the road. 

The virus has done nothing to ease their predicament. Look to Europe for the first signs of the wealth destruction that is now approaching faster than ever. Britain’s decision to leave looks more prescient with every passing day. Sell Europe. 

And just to return to the Despot’s Play Book – are you sure you did not think of the White House?

Have a good day, James.