Home > Uncategorized > The Milla: “Dilettantes, spare me!”

The Milla: “Dilettantes, spare me!”

August 9, 2012

This is what happens when I miss important interviews conducted by Olga Kálmán. Two days ago, on August 7, there was an interview with Péter Juhász, one of the organizers of Milla. Milla is a kind of nickname for the fairly long and cumbersome Egymillióan a magyar sajtószabadságért (One Million for Hungarian Freedom of the Press), a Facebook gathering place of those who expressed their fear for the future of Hungarian media freedom. The one million figure turned out to be far too optimistic. The last time I looked Milla had 100,000 followers, and probably even that number is somewhat exaggerated. We all know how easy it is to click on that “like” button.

Milla was formed in early June 2011 by 28 men and women active on the Internet. They were apparently inspired by the very large demonstration for the freedom of the press on March 15 by civic groups. The size of the demonstration surpassed the size of the crowd who went to hear Viktor Orbán’s speech.

Soon enough Milla organized another demonstration for October 23, 2011, and that was also enormous. By March 2012 the organizers announced Milla’s demands in a twelve-point list, harking back to the number of demands of the young revolutionaries of 1848. These demands were not exactly specific: media freedom, freedom of religion, representative government, democratic legislature, transparency, decent working conditions (korrekt munkavilág), equal opportunity in education, and adherence to the basic values of the European Union. Who couldn’t agree with these demands? LMP and DK immediately agreed with Milla’s demands. As we will see later, Milla is ready to cooperate with LMP but not with DK.

Let me first summarize the gist of the interview with Péter Juhász. He and his fellow civic leaders hope to get the support of the “politically disappointed ones.” These disappointed people come from left and right. They can be liberals, greens, or democrats from the right. They call this group the “New Pole” or the “Third Pole,” whose members “reject both sides.” Pollsters describe this group as “unsure voters,” but they are actually very sure of one thing: they don’t want to support either the socialists or the present government parties. They want democracy, a republic, and a “normal country.” They want a new kind of democratic thinking.

When Olga Kálmán pressed Juhász on the specifics and reminded him that only parties can run at elections, he expressed his hope that something will happen between now and the next elections. Lately they have been talking with LMP and 4K. The latter is another group that originated on Facebook and in April became a party. 4K stands for Negyedik Köztársaság Mozgalom (Movement for the Fourth Republic). 4K was also having “negotiations” with Milla and LMP.

After saying a few nasty things about MSZP, Juhász added that they don’t want to do anything with people like Gyula Horn, Péter Medgyessy or Ferenc Gyurcsány. He saw no difference between László Puch, formerly MSZP’s treasurer, and Lajos Simicska, owner of Közgép.

As for the organization of a future collaboration of parties, it is not their job. They are only citizens. Milla will assist forces outside of parties. They may even be called the trade union of those who cannot choose between parties.

Toward the end of the conversation Juhász admitted that he was very pleased when Fidesz won the elections with a two-thirds majority because he was hoping that Fidesz would put an end to corruption and would have the political strength to change things for the better.

Well, all that sounds pretty grim to me. But let’s see what others had to say on the subject. Both reactions to the interview appeared on Galamus. First, Ferenc Krémer came out with “The sigh of Milla” (A Milla sóhaja). Krémer is a true democrat who recently lost his job as associate professor of sociology at the Police Academy. According to Krémer, “Juhász’s wisdom consists of rejecting both the right and the left and finally in an overflow of honesty he confessed his happiness when Fidesz received a two-thirds majority.”

Krémer hopes that the undecided voters will not want to follow those people who were so short sighted in 2010 that they put their faith in Viktor Orbán. How can anyone be sure that these “myopic prophets” will show the right way this time around?

The next dayVera Lánczos wrote a longer piece entitled “Dilettantes, spare me!” (Dilettánsok kíméljenek!) Lánczos recalled that two years ago Milla’s beginnings were promising. In the last two years, however, they managed to lose all credibility.  Their claim to fame is that they reject both right and left. “They act as if nothing has happened in the last two years. As if there had not been a constitutional coup d’état that took place in front of our eyes.”

Lánczos pointed out that Juhász refuses to see any difference between the two sides. In his eyes the difference is that one governs while the other is in opposition. “And it doesn’t really matter which one is governing and for how long. It is more important that all disappear.”

Lánczos considers Milla’s stance more than dilettantism. Their activities are harmful. The leadership of Milla doesn’t seem to realize that the foundations of dictatorship have already been laid and that perhaps the time is not too far off when the basic constitutional rights of citizens will be in jeopardy.

Lánczos’s last words reflect her total frustration at what’s going on in so-called opposition circles: “I’m sick and tired of this amateurism, of this irresponsible behavior because these people are playing with our lives.”

I’m afraid these civic groups are doing more harm than good with the active support of LMP. Some people claim that “there is still plenty of time.”  The time in fact is very short.

About these ads
  1. August 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm | #1

    Down to 99,999 followers now, I just unliked them.

    Thanks for enlightening us, Éva.

  2. Petofi1
    August 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | #2

    There is no Time.
    Orban has squared the circle. On one side, he has committed all sorts of anti-democratic deconstruction with barely a whimper within the country and with no institution in a position to hamper him. On another side, the EU, fearing the fall of the first piece in the European puzzle, seems to be oh-so-ready to turn the other cheek and release the IMF funds if only
    Orban would accept it; on the third side, the US seems to be occupied elsewhere and not
    prepared to spread, or maintain, democracy in Hungary; and on the last side, hulking in the dark, the silent support of comrade Putin, propping up the forint…sending in the two major
    Russian banks, and promising untold amounts of future gains through Hungarian participation
    in the oil/gas deliveries to Europe.

    Orban has already warned us of a putsch attempt. Would anyone be surprised if, as the next election nears, another such ‘attempt’ pops up and emergency measures are instituted?

  3. Dubious
    August 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm | #3

    Éva, I completely agree with what you have written about the leaders of Milla, but the organisation itself may still show itself to be valuable. I’ve been to Milla demonstrations, the first time by accident, but I was really impressed by the huge cross-section of society represented at their rallies, all turning up because they are concerned about the way Orbán has dismantled certain parts of the democratic polity. The strength of it was that it was not a party political event. They weren’t a party (and if they were I may not have turned up to the second) they were concerned citizens.

    The strength of the movement is good, and not in its leadership. Declaring Dopeman the alternative president, was pretty stupid. But the people and good-will….

    I don’t know how to harness it, and if they try to hitch their wagon solely to 4K! and LMP, then they will fizzle. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I really think right now it is a positive movement and a positive sign of unrest.

    I guess I hope they will see the futility of trying an LMP, Szolidaritás, Milla, 4K! alliance, which obviously won’t work without someone like Bajnai at the helm, and then try to support the only group who can possibly stop Fidesz, MSZP.

    Don’t write them off as irrelevant. They are not really helping right now, but I think I can be part of the solution.

  4. Kingfisher
    August 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm | #4

    Wouldn’t it be for the greater good if Gyurcsány was to resign from public life? It would certainly make a unified opposition far more achievable.

  5. Dubious
    August 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm | #5

    Kingfisher :
    Wouldn’t it be for the greater good if Gyurcsány was to resign from public life? It would certainly make a unified opposition far more achievable.

    I have mixed feelings on this. He is very controversial figure, and I feel if Gyurcsány and Orbán were both to be hit by the proverbial bus, then Hungarian politics would reform itself in a much more healthy fashion. But Gyurcsány is by far the most talented politician from any of the opposition parties. And he is by far the most eloquent and capable critic of Orbán, and probably the only person Orbán is afraid of (outside of his inner circle – paranoia goes with absolute power).

    But I definitely can’t picture him as prime minister again, or as a minister in any future coalition government. Maybe he should renounce any aspirations to these positions, but still stay as an active campaigner. I don’t know. A lot of people have written him off (I think unfairly, but at the end of the day that doesn’t make any difference).

  6. Dubious
    August 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm | #6

    Dubious :
    Don’t write them off as irrelevant. They are not really helping right now, but I think I can be part of the solution.

    I mistyped..obviously I can be a part of the solution, but obviously I wanted to say “they” in this particular opinion piece.

  7. August 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm | #7

    Kingfisher :

    Wouldn’t it be for the greater good if Gyurcsány was to resign from public life? It would certainly make a unified opposition far more achievable.

    I’m certain that his presence is only an excuse. Schiffer, for example, said terrible things about MSZP just lately when Gyurcsány is no longer in the party. Yes, party financing was a very dirty business of MSZP but, as actually Vera Lánczi points it out in her article, the split between MSZP and DK was over that very issue.Moreover, in the last year or so very serious changes were made within the socialist party.

  8. Kirsten
    August 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm | #8

    Kingfisher :
    Wouldn’t it be for the greater good if Gyurcsány was to resign from public life? It would certainly make a unified opposition far more achievable.

    I would not be so sure, why should the other peoply magically find common ground if one person withdraws? He stands for a specific part of the Hungarian society. If the rest were so united, they could easily eclipse this group. But the rest is not united, and the group of people supporting Gyurcsany is not substantially smaller than that supporting LMP. And I think that you may be right that many people were frustrated by the Öszöd speech, but for me it is difficult to believe that this is because they had such a high opinion of politicians before. That the situation in Hungary was critical in early 2006, was blatantly clear to outside observers. I still believe that people were caught unprepared listening to such brutal description of Hungarian reality and the necessary changes in the behaviour not only of politicians but also of the broader society. For me the lack of programmes how to get out of this misery (and by that I mean also the economic misery of the entire 2000s) of those parties that allegedly would change everything if only Gyurcsany left, testifies to my impression that he hit a very weak point of the Hungarian society. And this is not that he deceived them “morally”. But more that he made clear that – as those disillusioned people do know – there is indeed no money for a broadly caring government. But to define a national programme based on this finding, and not turning to authoritarian solutions (that pretend to be “caring”, at least for the national survival) has not succeeded by now. So why should just the disappearance of one person help to extent that the opposition unites on a democratic programme…?

  9. free-free
    August 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm | #9

    The next election will be another round of wild spending. FIDESZ/Jobbik stole enough money to come through with great result.
    After that, there will be less to steal. And the civil war will start, The empowered will loot the wealth of the oppressed.
    The stigma on the communists and their children is remaining an indelible tattoo.
    It would take a miracle to rescue Hungary from this meltdown.

  10. An
    August 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm | #10

    The “new” opposition/civil groups should be pushing MSZP to change its way and show its commitment to crack down on corruption and nepotism/cronyism within its circles. If MSZP (and DK) shows real commitment to do this, there is no reason why the rest of the opposition should not include them in a broad alliance against Fidesz. The opposition should emphasize its willingness to act together (including all parties), if they can agree on this….as this was what the Hungarian electorate did not like about MSZP and this is why they lost credibility (which was then fully exploited by Fidesz). MszP needs to work on regaining its credibility with the voters.

    On another note, despite all the corruption/incompetence/cronyism that was going on during the socialist governance, it is a serious mistake to declare that Fidesz and MszP are “the same”. Fidesz has surpassed MszP in in this regard. Fidesz is like the good student of crookery who way surpasses its teacher. MszP had its fair share of shady deals and corrupt politicians, but Fidesz, as an organization, is designed so that its members can get rich from tax payer money. A lot of MszP politicians abused the (democratic) system for personal gain, but Fidesz is changing the whole system (into a pseudo-democracy) in a way that it is designed to promote its member’s personal wealth. That is a game changer.

  11. Kirsten
    August 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm | #11

    I share the opinion of Dubious on Milla. I heard from a number of people before the last elections that they really had hopes in Viktor Orban. Since I am an outside observer, I can only guess that these must have circulated as “common knowledge” among people. “Just get rid of MSzP, it cannot get worse.” For an outside observer, with a specific mindset, this has appeared strange because OV did not really convince with an economic programme and instead undermined democratic institutions with his support of the protests in the streets. But many people “living with it in Hungary” had to experience Fidesz to find out that this will not be much better than MSzP before. If they now try to identify their interests and clarify programmes, I find that very constructive. Getting acquainted with politics. That is what they do for me, and all of what they do is much better than apathy. Of course it would be better to have a pool of talented and experienced politicians who all work to maintain democracy, but in the absence of that, it is good to know that people who were not politically engaged before start to engage. And in such an early phase to enter into an allience with people who have been in politics for decades in some cases and with a background that is in some cases not closer to democracy than that of people in Fidesz, is comprehensible for me. Both Fidesz and MSzP are in some way the embodiment of the main problems of Hungary. An alternative programme, which can claim to represent a fresh attempt to democracy, cannot rely strongly on old people. Of course, the idea of these people seems to be that such an alternative movement can become strong enough to make MSzP and Fidesz (and hopefully Jobbik) unnecessary. That can be an illusion, as the support of socialist and nationalist ideas may truly be so high as to make these centre movements a clear minority. But the alternative route back to democracy through a broad coalition of forces that decide not to look back but only forward, may be equally difficult to achieve. So I think Dubious is right in that one should wait whether they will not get more professional in the future.

  12. Pete H.
    August 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm | #12

    “The leadership of Milla doesn’t seem to realize that the foundations of dictatorship have already been laid and that perhaps the time is not too far off when the basic constitutional rights of citizens will be in jeopardy.”

    Given the nature of many of the posts on the both the English and Hungarian versions of the Facebook Milla pages, I do not think this statement is true. For example, links to Krugman’s posts on Hungary are common and included those featuring Scheppele.

    The fact that their original enthusiasm did not translate into real momentum and the generation of a new party is very disappointing and distressing.

    Another disturbing development – there was an important post about anti-Roma extremist activities that shows that the government does not have a handle on the issue.

    “We Attacked the Gypsies, And We Are Proud of It”: Extreme Right Demonstration Gets Violent in Devecser, Hungary (http://thecontrarianhungarian.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/we-attacked-the-gypsies-and-we-are-proud-of-it-extreme-right-demonstration-gets-violent-in-devecser-hungary/)

  13. Ofen
    August 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm | #13

    Dear Eva,
    Let me remind you that some of the Milla organizers were interviewed by the Hungarian IRS a few days before the demonstration last March. They were interviewed about people who had financially supported the demonstration. They were also threatened because one of them had not filed tax returns for years.

    It is quite possible that some Milla organizers became agents of the Fidesz regime in return for leniency in tax matters.

  14. petofi
    August 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm | #14

    Ofen :
    Dear Eva,
    Let me remind you that some of the Milla organizers were interviewed by the Hungarian IRS a few days before the demonstration last March. They were interviewed about people who had financially supported the demonstration. They were also threatened because one of them had not filed tax returns for years.
    It is quite possible that some Milla organizers became agents of the Fidesz regime in return for leniency in tax matters.

    I wouldn’t doubt it for a moment!

  15. petofi
    August 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm | #15

    From my postings people might think me anti-Hungarian. Not so. I’m just stultifyingly disgusted by the present state of affairs in a country I had always thought literate, intelligent,
    and cultured. Instead, i find that stubborn, lazy, racist, irrational, self-centered people abound.

    Still and all, two Hungarians displayed rare true grit: Daniel Gyurta and Eva Krisztov.
    Gyurta held off a rushing Brit who was spurred on by the shouts of thousands of backers.
    That was great, but what Eva did was the stuff of legends. She led a marathon from start to finish and held off, for over 200 meters, a quickly closing champion. What she did in the last
    40 meters was truly magnificent…and will belong to that short list of legendary feats.

  16. oneill
    August 10, 2012 at 2:53 am | #16

    The size of their initial protests and the publicity they gathered abroad hit Orban’s ego and so it was only a question of time before he ensured Fidesz/Jobbik organised a counter demo to prove that he could bring many more rightists, fascists and other assorted simpletons into the streets. After their second massive demo Milla should have moved onto what would have been the next logical step- a guerilla campaign of passive resistance, hitting the regime often and where it least expected it. They had the numbers, the PR network (on the wider international stage) and technical knowhow to provoke the regime into a panicky over-reaction.

    Their heart remains in the right place; the Hungarian political elite with its cronyism, corruption, lack of idealism stinks to high heaven and that is not (solely)the fault of Orban.
    The MSZP and their cohorts have no longterm strategy beyond get rid of Fidesz. The general population are apathetic, poltically ignorant, unquestioning sheep. Those are the three problems which need addressed before the country has any kind od chance of moving on.

  17. Törpefejű
    August 10, 2012 at 3:32 am | #17

    It’s certainly true that there are former Fidesz voters now expressing a sense of ‘buyers’ remorse’ at what true Fidesz rule means in reality, but – in the absence of much concrete data, and a ‘patriotic’ educational system dismantling independent research in the social sciences as we speak – it’s hard to say how much of an actual majority they would give any possible opposition movement.

    So in the absence of data, and the extreme unlikelihood of being able to collect much in the forseeable future, I’m going to rely on impressions and say that while Hungarian Spectrum readers may have in their circle of acquaintances several people who voted for Fidesz and regret it – but that the Hungarian middle classes are still largely fixed into two utterly opposed blocks, and fixed according to the dividing line of 1944. As a result, there are not many swing voters here. But when you look at the urban and rural working classes – and any oppositional movement that wants to win will have to do so – there is enough of a numerical advantage here.

    We should remember that even though the ‘left’ intelligensia regards the working class with (partially justified) fear, the ‘right’ intelligensia of Fidesz views them with a boundlessly cynical contempt. At present, this situation is only leading to an increased support for the Fascist alternative, but – as much as I hate to write this – only the Fascists are able to address the broad uneducated masses in comprehensible terms – the ‘left’ as ‘Jewish bankers’ and the right as ‘would-be aristocrats’. However mindless this analysis is, it speaks to a deep, underlying sense of disenfranchisement among the Hungarian working class.

    For this very reason, any oppositional movement to the sick tribal narcissism that is the general united front of Fidesz AND Jobbik will have to speak in the language of abstract social solidarity, i.e. the old language of the European Left. Because in a situation where the ‘socialism of fools’ is so all-pervasive, only an ‘intelligent socialism’ could offer any hopes of a renewal that has majority support. And not a ‘socialist’ party that has managed to achieve public opprobium as cruel Dickensian capitalists.

  18. M. Riedl
    August 10, 2012 at 3:43 am | #18

    @Kingfisher: Of course, you are right. But it is not the solution to the problem. The more I read the posts here, the more I get the impression that the real enemies are those who stood up against Orban inside and outside parliament, LMP, Milla, recently Solyom and not Fidesz and Jobbik. From my view Eva’s idea that now all opposition forces should unite under one program and one leader (who has not even declared his candidacy) is destructive. It would not work anyway and lead to more conflict and controversy within the opposition. The partys should write convincing programs and campaign with them. At this point you need an opposition with diverse groups that can attract different segments of the electorate. What you do not need is an oppositional bloc party. In parliamentary democracies, coalitions and governments are formed after the elections and not before. All the opposition could need at this point is a mutual non-aggression pact. For LMP this would mean that they refrain from attacks on MSZP but also from any coalition agreement. What happens after the elections is a wholly different matter, because then you will know about results and actual options.
    However, an honest analysis of Gyurcsany’s role also hold good news. In 2010 many people voted for Fidesz not out of conviction but because they were sick of MSZP and Gyurcsany. Not even Bajnai was able to repair the government’s total loss of confidence. But this also means that these people could be won over, once they are sick of Orban, — maybe not to MSZP and certainly not to DK, but maybe to groups that keep a prudent distance to Gyurcsany.
    If the actual goal is to bring down Orban, some strategic thinking is required. The first step is to accept the necessity and legitimacy of oppositional groups that do not exactly one’s own political views — as long as they do not subscribe to racism or other absolutely unacceptable views.

  19. Dubious
    August 10, 2012 at 5:18 am | #19

    @ M. Riedl: Fidesz will win without some kind of pact for the second round of voting. Simple statement of electoral fact. At this point various parties will need to withdraw candidates to allow friendly parties to compete against Fidesz.

    Everyone knows this – so the question becomes when to start negotiating that pact? After the 1st round of voting with a month of bad blood and campaigning against each other? Or before then?

  20. M. Riedl
    August 10, 2012 at 6:28 am | #20

    @ Dubious: I think enforcing a pact on such diverse groups will cause more bad blood than allowing them to campaign independently. MSZP and LMP (and whoever else) should write convincing plans for pension reform, tax reform that appeal to their potential voters. Imagine a common program: this will be a compromise not much liked by anyone. If I understand the electoral system correctly. the primary goal of the first round must be that Fidesz candidates remain below 50%. In the second round the number of candidates will be reduced anyway (3 candidates with the best results and potentially others above 15%). I’m afraid in many cases this will mean that there is only one candidate left that is neither Fidesz nor Jobbik. I agree with you that in cases where two opposition candidates (Jobbik excluded) make it to the second round, a pact and the withdrawal of one candidate will be necessary. However, there is still a lot of volatily in the Hungarian party system, We still don’t who will run and with what chances. Therefore, the necessary pacts may differ decisevely in the respective constituencies. So I still don’t see the need for a unified nation-wide opposition before the first round. I don’t think that such a movement will be able to win over 1-2 million former Fidesz voters. Before the first round pacts are necessary only between groups that are close to each other, so that are able to take the 5% threshold.

  21. milla-milla
    August 10, 2012 at 7:44 am | #21

    Petofi said it correctly. The number of degenerated Hungarians is growing.
    The intelligent ones have to act.
    MILLA may have given one bad interview. Not the end of the world. Keep the spirit alive.
    Fight for freedom. Let us create the Magyar Felszabadito Nyilatkozatot.

  22. August 10, 2012 at 7:46 am | #22

    I fear that all this discussion about the opposition and forming alliances is just hot air. It will I am afraid be of little use at the next election.

    Fidesz ‘s new, but as yet undisclosed, electoral reforms will make it very difficult and expensive for any opposition to put up candidates. The second thing will be the sudden spate of ‘accusations’ just prior to the election its self which will disqualify ‘dangerous candidates’ (those in marginal constituencies etc). The third thing is that there will be problems for those people who wish to vote in registering to vote. These will involve closed registration offices –they have moved-, staff sickness – the whole staff has gone down with the ‘Delhi Belly’ or the dreaded ‘Rangoon Runs’-. Because of cost there are no trained staff to replace them. Fourthly there will be a great deal of ‘dubious registrations and vote casting’ by Hungarians living outside Hungary.

    My word Fidesz hard core supporters are going to be busy little ‘Bs’

    In most cases the turn out will be very low and where it is not low the polling stations will have received the wrong ballot papers or will have run out of them fairly early on.

    Most of the folk I know will not even register to vote as they are afraid of the local Jobbik Noog squads. A noog is a backward goon.

  23. petofi
    August 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | #23

    @Odin’s Lost Eye

    Welcome to the world of Clockwork Orange….

  24. modern-MAGYAR
    August 10, 2012 at 10:08 am | #24

    Just an OT – The Hungarian Republican Party’s Manifesto:

    http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magyar_Republik%C3%A1nus_Politikai_P%C3%A1rt

    Politikai célok összefoglalása [szerkesztés]
    Republikánus párt-Magyarország érdekeinek szolgálatában.
    Elszegényedésünk megállítása, javaink visszaszerzése.
    Parlamentünk képviselői létszámának felére csökkentése.
    Utódaink érdekében új alkotmányt Magyarországnak.
    Bizalomra épülő kapcsolat kialakítása az állampolgárok és képviselők között.
    Listás vállasztások megszüntetése.
    Igazi rendszerváltás, amely a mai napig sem történt meg.
    Külföldi befektetők csökkentése, a hazai lehetőségek kihasználása.
    Átalakítani az önkormányzatokat hatékonyan működő szervezetekké.
    Ne a gyűlölet, hanem a szeretet uralja az emberi kapcsolatokat.
    Utat és lehetőséget biztosítani kiváló szakembereinknek saját hazájukban.
    Stabilizálni országunk iparát, mezőgazdaságát, újra felvirágoztatni Hazánkat

    MILLA is even better than this.
    The Republicans may mean it well, just remain hopelessly outdated. FIDESZ will count on its support.

  25. petofi
    August 10, 2012 at 10:59 am | #25

    milla-milla :
    Petofi said it correctly. The number of degenerated Hungarians is growing.
    The intelligent ones have to act.
    MILLA may have given one bad interview. Not the end of the world. Keep the spirit alive.
    Fight for freedom. Let us create the Magyar Felszabadito Nyilatkozatot.

    Unfortunately, what we see in Hungary today is the government support of ‘degenerated Hungarians’. They want a dumb electorate who follows direction and questions no action. Largely,
    they have achieved this–the intelligent ones are leaving or preparing to leave. Hungary will become a madcap camp of loonies to which arriving UFO members will be invited to come
    and watch the lower denominations of the human species.

  26. August 10, 2012 at 11:21 am | #26

    About once a month a new group forms in Hungary that is and was in opposition to the current government. At least the same number of new blogs appear with acolytes deriding the current government’s actions. None of these groups have the guts to form a party and actually compete instaed of wail about the Hungarian political situation, including the (from their standpoint) the dismal by-lection results.

    At the same time, believing themselves to be newborn Cassandras, they already predict that “the degenerates” will not vote for the existing or to be formed opposition political parties, which by the way have very limited or zero actual political programs to solve the problems of Hungary.

    The expectation is that “we are smarter trust us”. I am sorry to tell you that philosophy will not appeal to even the non-degenerate folks ; besides which what I read is not really smarter but rather mediocre and consist of opposing everything the government does without offering adequate alternatives.

    Without a program, that appeals to the majority of the Hungarian population, presented and discussed in the open before the election, the opposition has zero chance to win even without any electoral system changes.

    Calling all who disagree with you “degenerate”, “fascist” or “anti-semite” or whatever derogatory name of the day is used, is not going to win any elections for you or the current opposition.

  27. CharlieH
    August 10, 2012 at 11:56 am | #27

    London Calling!

    The problem with Hungarian politicians is that they all have skeletons in the cupboard – and all are tainted in some way. They are all involved – or will be – in corruption. That’s what the electorate believe.

    Yes this will result in the lowest turnout ever in the 2014 election rounds – as Odinpredicts

    What is needed is a new compact with the people – at politician level – at individual politician level. Only this will restore trust and integrity to the political process.

    Each politician needs to sign-up to an integrity statement – in writing, that under their administration (and opposition) they will always be honest, open and working for the best interests of the people. For an open and free democratic society.

    Yes an oath – a meaningful oath on the record. This could be given to a representation of the state – St Stephen’s crown for example. And would be punishable in the courts if necessary – with impeachment proceedings decided by a truly independent court. One that is not in the hands of the politicians.

    Each politician would sign up to the pact beforehand – (now!) which at present could be administered by, for example, Transparency International (TI) or maybe one of the European Union bodies, before it can be incorporated into the national parliament proceedings. (Ouch! Maybe an European Union body might not go down too well!).

    There is no time to lose – and yes opposition parties need to be united to stop wasted energy on in-fighting.

    Remember you have a very unusual and difficult situation to overcome – Orban has stitched up any opposition to his power base and it will require exceptional cooperation and measures. At present the only effective opposition he has is the man on the Clapham omnibus. (Well okay the Győr omnibus!)

    This would imply – and mean – sweeping changes to Parliament, the Constitution, the media and education.

    If it was initially administered by a truly independent body like TI or some trusted independent body (we have many in England – Amnesty International, Liberty etc) then the electorate can begin to trust again.

    Maybe

    (Guy Fawkes said: “Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures” before he tried to blow up the English Parliament!)

    Regards

    Charlie

  28. August 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm | #28

    .Some excellent posts on this thread, particularly from oneill (as always), Törpefejű and M. Riedl – good to see HS getting back to its best again. It’s hard to be optimistic about Hungary at the moment (especially here on the ground), but reading such intelligent and informed discussion gave me some small hope that there may be a way out after all.

    Unfortunately I think that oneill’s analysis is the most accurate – the response to OV’s ‘fightback’ should have been more targeted protest, civil disobedience, etc (as I said so often at the time). Unfortunately, the Hungarian ‘intelligentsia’ just don’t realise the seriousness of the situation they are in and anyway lack the ability to fight back effectively, and the masses are too cowed by Orban’s regime and 20 years of disappointment with the democratic experiment.

    And the time for ‘easy’ action has passed, Orban’s control is now absolute, his confidence is high, and the police and military are being prepared to cope with anything that might happen. The opposition missed the boat while they were so busy arguing amongst themselves and now there are only two possible reactions left – bow down and accept the new regime, or fight. And that fight will have to be serious – and bloody.

    Is there anyone in Hungary up to that? I’m afraid I don’t think so. The spirit of ’56 is long dead.

  29. Kirsten
    August 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm | #29

    Paul: “, the Hungarian ‘intelligentsia’ just don’t realise the seriousness of the situation they are in”

    I think they realise as much as what fits into their world view. Changes have to occur in Hungary with the people and the ideas and the circumstances around there. Your preferences might be clear but I am not so sure that they are shared by those people that you try to mobilise. They are not passive although they could react differently but because this is the reaction that is the most straightforward. The opposition is not divided out of evil intentions but because of the very wide range of opinions regarding what the current situation means and what should be done about that. I think that the ideas that circulate in Hungary currently have to be taken more seriously (even if they do not correspond to your or my preferences or hopes), and also the criticism of the situation pre-2010.

  30. protest-protest
    August 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm | #30

    So, O’Neil suggested protest movements, demonstration etc,
    I agree with him.
    Only articulate expressions of protest can mobilize the tired Hungarians into an anti-FIDESZ tsunami.

  31. Petofi1
    August 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | #31

    Louis Kovach :
    About once a month a new group forms in Hungary that is and was in opposition to the current government. At least the same number of new blogs appear with acolytes deriding the current government’s actions. None of these groups have the guts to form a party and actually compete instaed of wail about the Hungarian political situation, including the (from their standpoint) the dismal by-lection results.
    At the same time, believing themselves to be newborn Cassandras, they already predict that “the degenerates” will not vote for the existing or to be formed opposition political parties, which by the way have very limited or zero actual political programs to solve the problems of Hungary.
    The expectation is that “we are smarter trust us”. I am sorry to tell you that philosophy will not appeal to even the non-degenerate folks ; besides which what I read is not really smarter but rather mediocre and consist of opposing everything the government does without offering adequate alternatives.
    Without a program, that appeals to the majority of the Hungarian population, presented and discussed in the open before the election, the opposition has zero chance to win even without any electoral system changes.
    Calling all who disagree with you “degenerate”, “fascist” or “anti-semite” or whatever derogatory name of the day is used, is not going to win any elections for you or the current opposition.

    Oh, Louis, Louis, you’re so full of IT. Let me say this for the nth time: not ‘plilosophy’, or ‘a program’, or a new political party…are what the country needs. First and foremost, one must
    analyze the problem correctly–THE PEOPLE NOW TRUST NOONE. MSZP stole surreptitiously; Fidesz steals shamelessly in the open under the protection of a 2/3 majority
    and a hopelessly skewed new constitution. Populism and the Catholic Church help to confuse
    the average voter.

    THE ONLY PLAN THE COUNTRY NEEDS IS ONE THAT OFFERS A LAW ABIDING, TRANSPARENT, GOVERNMENT WITH EXTREMELY SEVERE PENALTIES FOR
    BUREAUCRATS AND POLITICIANS DISCOVERED TO HAVE DEFRAUDED THE
    STATE. ALL THE REST IS OLD NEWS.

    The country needs an ATATURK.

    (And all Hungary’s got is an idiot who builds stadiums and is committed to the ruin of the country.)

  32. Dubious
    August 11, 2012 at 5:48 am | #32

    M. Riedl :
    @ Dubious: I think enforcing a pact on such diverse groups will cause more bad blood than allowing them to campaign independently. MSZP and LMP (and whoever else) should write convincing plans for pension reform, tax reform that appeal to their potential voters. Imagine a common program: this will be a compromise not much liked by anyone. If I understand the electoral system correctly. the primary goal of the first round must be that Fidesz candidates remain below 50%. In the second round the number of candidates will be reduced anyway (3 candidates with the best results and potentially others above 15%). I’m afraid in many cases this will mean that there is only one candidate left that is neither Fidesz nor Jobbik. I agree with you that in cases where two opposition candidates (Jobbik excluded) make it to the second round, a pact and the withdrawal of one candidate will be necessary. However, there is still a lot of volatily in the Hungarian party system, We still don’t who will run and with what chances. Therefore, the necessary pacts may differ decisevely in the respective constituencies. So I still don’t see the need for a unified nation-wide opposition before the first round. I don’t think that such a movement will be able to win over 1-2 million former Fidesz voters. Before the first round pacts are necessary only between groups that are close to each other, so that are able to take the 5% threshold.

    @M. Riedl, I agree with everything you’ve written, and the situation may be completely different in 18 months. I don’t know either way whether the parties should have separate programs. I do know that, without some major realignment, without some kind of pact/agreement to withdraw candidates in districts then Fidesz will win. And it will be too late to organise withdrawals on a district-by-district level after the first round of voting. There will be lots of candidates who don’t want to withdraw for a variety of reasons – especially after campaigning against the other parties in the heightened pressure of an election campaign. I know it seems like a minor technical thing/detail, but I think this is the detail with the devil in it, because however this is resolved will determine the number of MPs of each party in the next parliament, and hence their respective power in the new government and new parliament. Therefore, negotiations may be delicate.

  33. August 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm | #33

    Hi there,
    1stly the logo inserted in this post is not the logo of Milla https://www.facebook.com/sajtoszabadsagert but the logo of an association using a similar name, here they are: https://www.facebook.com/ademokraciaert
    2ndly I saw a comment-flow on the Facebook page of Galamus, mitght be useful to review when forming opinion, here it comes containing also a link to the interview discussed: https://www.facebook.com/galamuscsoport/posts/411258068921893?comment_id=4464223&offset=0&total_comments=21

  34. May 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm | #34

    It back links to your car’s OBD 2 diagnostic port, which is under the dashboard. Then you press the read through button on the code scanner.

Comments are closed.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,201 other followers

%d bloggers like this: