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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday presented author and philosopher Sir Roger Scruton with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Middle Cross, saying he had “recognised the dangers of illegal migration and protected Hungary from unjust criticism”.
Sir Roger is a member of the Royal Society of Literature and guest professor at The University of Buckingham and Oxford University. President of the Republic János Áder bestowed the award which was handed over by Orbán.
In his laudation at the ceremony held at the Hungarian embassy in London, Orbán said: “Our dear professor taught us that conservatism is not an ideology but rather the polar opposite of one.” Orbán said Sir Roger was a man of action who did not just oppose communist ideology but also acted as a strong ally of anti-communist forces in central and eastern Europe during the communist era. On the other hand, he didn’t support open societies blindly but warned of its errors and dangers, he said, adding that Scruton was “a friend of freedom-loving Hungarians”, saying the philosopher had recognised that freedom was based on nation states and Christian civilisation.
Sir Roger said Hungary had preserved its precious identity in times when pressure to accept global uniformity and eliminate national differences could be felt everywhere.