Another nationalist and anti-foreign tirade from Viktor Orbán

Another March 15, another speech by Viktor Orbán. It seems that even Mother Nature is on this man’s side because this morning, when he delivered a nearly half- hour long speech in front of an enthusiastic crowd, it was sunny and warm. By the afternoon, when the opposition was supposed to have its gathering, the weather had turned nasty–rain and high winds. The demonstration had to be cancelled. Pro-government commentators suggested that the gathering was cancelled not because of the storm but because the opposition was unable to assemble a large enough crowd.

The Orbán government’s attempts to roll back history began almost immediately after Fidesz won the election in 2010. They undertook a major construction project, returning the large square in front of the parliament building to the way it was before March 19, 1944, when the German troops “occupied” Hungary. That meant, among other things, that all the statues that were placed there after 1944 had to be removed. Those that got damaged during the war had to be refurbished. The statue of Mihály Károlyi, the president of the First Republic (1918-1919), had to be removed not only because the statue was erected after that date but because, echoing the charges of the counterrevolutionary regime of Miklós Horthy, he is accused of dismembering Greater Hungary. The statue of perhaps Hungary’s greatest poet was also banished: Attila József was sent to the lower bank of the Danube where few people will see him. An incredible amount of money was sunk into this project. It was finished just in time for the country’s national holiday, three weeks before the election. The square is now open to the public.

The celebrations that began in the square were followed by the highlight of the day, the speech of Viktor Orbán in front of the National Museum. Why the National Museum? Because, according to common wisdom, it was here that Sándor Petőfi recited his famous poem “Talpra magyar, hí a haza!” (Rise Hungarian, the Fatherland calls!) It was hard to estimate the size of the crowd from the video, but it was large and enthusiastic. Lots of Hungarian flags sold for about three euros. Polish flags were abundant as well. Orbán has many friends in Jarosław Kaczyński’s far-right party who make their yearly pilgrimage to Budapest on March 15.

As for the crowd’s enthusiasm. Viktor Orbán’s charm is firmly grounded in his nationalism. Nationalism might have been a progressive movement in the nineteenth century but by the twentieth it was discredited, mainly because of the extremes to which Hitler’s Germany took it. Orbán’s nationalism consists of profuse praise for those Hungarian virtues that make Hungarians superior to all others. Yet these superior Hungarians need protection because outsiders want to keep them down. There is one man who will not only save them but will ensure that they have the happiest future in the history of the nation.

Orban March 15, 2014

This is what Hungarians have heard day in and day out over the last four years. If nationalism is “an infantile disease,” as Albert Einstein thought, it seems that the admirers of Viktor Orbán haven’t quite grown up yet. I fear that there will be a rude awakening one day, but for the time being there seems to be great enthusiasm for a continuation of the status quo. Program? No, there is no program, but the people who watched the celebrations don’t care. Everything was fine in the last four years and life will be even more wonderful in the next four. Isn’t it extraordinary? Every economic indicator shows that the last four years were at best years of stagnation, that poverty is widespread, and that living standards have dropped.

There was not much new in today’s speech. Weak and cowardly nations have no future. But Hungary is different. Led by Viktor Orbán, the country has fought against its adversaries: the financial world, imperial capitals, even natural disasters. “This is a strong and brave nation” but “outsiders don’t want to see a strong and successful Hungary.” His government defended people from the monopolies and “imperial bureaucrats.” It is a “country that broke the locks that seemed unbreakable,” an act that “made those who thought nothing of us respect us.”

The bashing of foreigners continued: “Our history teaches us that, if necessary with work, bravery and blood, it is we who must write our own history. We learned that when freedom is brought by a foreigner, it can also be taken away.” And further: “Foreigners used to put down our revolutions but there were always those who helped them from within.” This man foments hatred of other nations (and accuses the opposition of collusion) while using their money to his and his friends’ enrichment. But when money is brought by a foreigner, it can also be taken away. Then Orbán would learn how costly it can be to write, and re-write, the “nation’s” history.

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85 comments

  1. petofi: szelhamos – swindler (I think most Hungarians are very decent, and hardworking people. It is unfortunate that many of the swindlers can rise to the top as most still believe the well-meaning of many.)

    IXO :
    OT, for those who read Hungarian. This is mostly about the roma, but not necessarily. It shows why Fidesz is winning and why the left goes nowhere with anything sophisticated.
    http://nyomorszeleblog.hvg.hu/2014/3/15/409-nagyobb-teljesitmenyt/

    If anything, this article shows why Fidesz should not win. They spent a whole lot of money to education, and new books (some did not arrive to the schools before Christmas remind you). They installed a new education system, and mandated what books can be used in classes. THey are working on this for four years. WHat can they show up?
    Hungary’s eduction system was downgraded recently, and Hungary was given two years to catch up or their
    After all the money spent

    Now, an other thing that while Orban lobbies against the West and the EU intervention in Hungary. Erasmus+, the EU’s new funding programme for education, training, youth and sport, was launched in Budapest a few days ago (12 March) by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and the country’s Minister of Human Resources, Zoltán Balog. Erasmus+ will have a total budget of €14.7 billion over the next seven years – 40% more than under previous programmes [not only for Hungary,but across]. Nearly 100 000 Hungarians are expected to receive Erasmus+ grants between now and 2020.” http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-238_en.htm

    A survey by Transparency Internationol amongst 500 university students (so they all studied in the university under the Orban government/Fidesz) 2013, shows that most young people believe that the system is corrupt, also “75% of the fourth-grade students think that the Student Council represents only the interests of its members, contrary to its original task that should be standing up for all students.
    One of the finding is that “The availability and use of EU funds constitutes a corruption risk as for the functioning of higher education institutions.” http://www.transparency.hu/GCR2013_ENG

    “Currently the Board of ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) suspended Hungary’s (HAC – Hungarian Accreditation Committee on 29 November 2013). Hungary has two years to do something with the level of compliance of criterion 3 (resources) and 5 (independence) in order to reestablish its full status. This came out in November, but somehow the Orban government failed to inform the public.
    Now the original report has vanished from the HAC’s website. THe ordinal link to the document was here:
    http://www.mab.hu/web/images/doc/hirek/Letter%20ENQA%20to%20HAC_170114.pdf
    THere is no more. At the same time HAC started the new reviews, which I assume would be an independent report with a glowing picture of the Hungarian education system.

    Back to the books to study from. The Hungarian government/Fidesz created a monopoly of the printing of study books, and “awarded” the whole contract to an “independent” (I assume) company. No tender was given. In Hungary students pay for their own books (in Canada they don’t, so I must clarify). Not only the books way more expensive, they were not delivered in time for the school year,and many books did not even arrived until January. THe book needed to be pre-paid back in July. For 6 months the money was standing, and earned no interest to the those who pre-paid is the smallest problem. THe bigger problem is that for 4 months under Fidesz many students had no books to study from, even though since they have to pay for it, this education can hardly called free.

    Now I guess the EU in the same way does not read such reports as most Hungarians who were happily announce that Fidesz done so great for the education. WHat do you think IXO?

  2. Eva: Yes, and he unfortunately might be right on that one unless something radically changes on the leftist scene. Who knows, a tragic defeat might even catalyze that.

    I don’t think Jobbik would go into a coalition as naive and vulnerably as Torgyán did. If you pay attention to e.g. kuruc, it’s obvious that they might think that Viktor is better than the liberals but he’s still just Likud Viktor for them. Vona would be having a really tough time selling an outright alliance to them. My guess is that, if it comes to that, Fidesz would form a minority government that Jobbik would support from the outside on a case by case basis, obviously asking for an appropriate price each time.

  3. An : On the long run I think the
    owners end up paying more because of the damage of shoddy work and
    overpriced contracts… but this somehow doesn’t register. This is how
    Hungarians roll 🙂

    I always thougth that the common denominator was laziness. The dreaded
    “M” word strikes again … and again everywhere (munka=work). The lack
    of initiative stems from the unwillingness to put efforts into changing.
    So this isn’t necessarily idiocy – this is a tradeoff. That’s why it is
    so easy to take advantage of us. You only need to say we will take care of
    you. No work required. It’s an epidemic.

    This Ray Charles song should be the new Hungarian anthem:

    Personal good news for me: after 4 weeks (!) and two tries to register, my long awaited
    email came from the east side of the Land of The Goulash. Personally from the omnipotent
    local municipality clerk of my unpronouncable little village, where my permanent
    residence is. I’m permitted to vote in DC! Watch out Fidesz! You are toast!

    Why did it take them 4 weeks to respond? I’m guessing work …

    Me too I’m getting this “You don’t know in America what’s going on here …” remarks.
    Then I explain that we read more Hungarian “papers” on the net than they are and watch
    everything we want on TV. “Yeah, but you don’t know what the price of the milk is …”
    I don’t care. But I can text my sister and ask.

    Depressing but the way it stands, facts are truly overrated in Hungary. If Orban was caught
    raping little boys in broad daylight on the Kossuth square the believers would still suspect
    MSZP propaganda. Perhaps the peace marchers would invite the NAMBLA to their next
    “We will not be colony” demonstration. It depends what’s the ukase is from Orban.

    They will do anything without quetioning. Here is the related Monty Python quote
    from the movie The Life of Brian:

  4. mutt damon :
    Personal good news for me: after 4 weeks (!) and two tries to register, my long awaited
    email came from the east side of the Land of The Goulash. Personally from the omnipotent
    local municipality clerk of my unpronouncable little village, where my permanent
    residence is. I’m permitted to vote in DC! Watch out Fidesz! You are toast!

    I tried to register twice also, but no luck yet. THe sad part is that they do not even send out an automatic response when you register that they received your request. It just makes me wonder if they even got it… It will be four weeks for me too. The sad part is that even if I can vote I maybe in an other province on the day.

  5. IXO : OT, for those who read
    Hungarian. This is mostly about the roma, but not necessarily. It shows
    why Fidesz is winning and why the left goes nowhere with anything
    sophisticated. http://nyomorszeleblog.hvg.hu/2014/3/15/409-nagyobb-
    teljesitmenyt/

    Well, yes. The so called education reforms of the Fidesz, led by Rozsa
    Hoffman, is causing incredible demage everywhere.

    This article is a little 21st century Hungarian “anzix”. “Meanwhile on
    Planet Hungary” category.

    Let me translate a portion of it. I hope my cornbeef a cabbage doesn’t
    burn down while I’m doing it …

    In the article, somebody talks about a questionnaire that was given to
    children in socially disanvantaged schools. This gist of it is this. It
    was designed for kids with average abilities but these children had
    great difficulty to fill it out. Or did they? They actually answered
    almost all of the questions … like this.

    “Giving their names went well. Date of birth – not so much. We needed to
    talk about the number of people in their families because they all
    counted their cousins into their siblings. To the question “do you have your
    own room and desk” most of them answered yes. We knew it wasn’t true.
    When we asked back, under “own room” they meant the single room where all
    of them lived, and whoever had a table among their furniture answered yes
    to the “own table”. Only those answered no who didn’t have even a table.
    About summer houses or dishwashers they all said they have one of those.
    Then it it turned out they had no idea what they are.”

  6. I became infamous. Viktor Szigetvári, co-chair of Együtt-2014 or whatever is the name of Bajnai’s party nowadays, wrote on Twitter: “Jogilag es tartalmilag Kim Lane Scheppele-nél pontosabb és mégis visszafogott értékelés Plankó és Herczeg uraktól…” (Legally and in contents here is an analysis by Plankó and Herczeg which is more accurate in legal terms and in general contents than that of Kim Lane Scheppele.)

    Here is a political illiterate who publicly criticizes his party’s supporters while the government is working very hard on trying to discredit Professor Scheppele’s work. I couldn’t stand it and I wrote to him, also on Twitter.

    I didn’t mince word and I told him what I thought of him and charged that “you shouldn’t get close to an election campaign.” I “tore into” Szigetvári. I even told him that the “deserve to fail.”

    Enjoyable reading.

    http://hetivalasz.hu/valasztas2014/szigetvari-viktort-uti-twitteren-a-baloldali-koziro-74314

  7. Eva, I understand your indignation. What the heck Szigetvari meant by “more accurate”???

    I only saw two differences: the article on 444 was a lot more palatable (understandable) to a general audience than Professor Scheppele’s careful and detailed (longer) analysis.They also differed in their final conclusion, as the 444 article was raising a lot less doubt about the democratic nature of the elections… which Mr Szigetvary may agree with, but there is no need to degrade a careful analysis of a legal scholar to make that point.

    To call Professor Scheppele’s work less accurate in a cursory tweet is an insult… if it’s inaccurate, what are the inaccuracies? In academia people don’t level charges like that at each other unless they take the time to back them up with evidence. I guess that’s the difference between academia and politics … but, Szigetvary’s smug tweet wasn’t even wise politically.

  8. the nutty prof #29

    All of us can agree with #29.

    Why is freedom such a cheap commodity in Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Kosovo, Ukraine????

  9. @Eva: Is Szigetvary involved in running the opposition campaign? Egyutt (Milla) used to have great campaign videos for the demonstrations two years ago with young people (“nem tetszik rendszer”)…. but now that freshness and creativity seem to be lacking in the opposition campaign.

  10. @Eva With all due respect you shouldn’t of lost your cool.
    Do I agree with Szigetvary? I agree that for him the 444 article was more understandable (just like An pointed it out).

    He phrased what he wanted to say wrong, and if he felt that Ms. Scheppele work was less accurate, he should of compared or pointed out the discrepancies. I think you should of just asked him to point out the parts he had a hardship understanding or felt are inaccurate. THis would given him an opportunity to clarify what did he mean, and also given the opportunity for more discussion. We always want the democratic opposition to unite, and it is important that the democratic and liberal opposing voices unite too.

  11. As to the world just across Hungary’s border today. Here are two visions of the same event indicate how far apart NATO/EU and Russia are over the situation in the Ukraine.

    Russian version via RT :

    Crimean military and self-defense forces have prevented an attempt to sabotage and cripple the gas distribution center that feeds a number of socially critical facilities in the peninsula, including schools and medical centers, Crimean authorities said.

    Around 11:00 GMT on Saturday the gas supply to Crimea was halted at one of the distribution centers near Strelkovaya, effectively cutting gas delivery to a number of areas in the eastern part of the Crimean peninsula. As a result a number of hospitals, medical centers, schools and apartment buildings were cut off from the gas supply.

    A group of gas technicians, escorted by the Crimea’s newly created military, comprised of former Ukrainian troops who have sworn their allegiance to the republic, responded to the supply disturbance and set out to check the gas station.

    “There they encountered a group of at least 20 armed men in camouflage,” the Cabinet of Ministers of Crimea announced. “These people were planting explosives at the facility in order to knock it out of action completely.”

    Upon seeing the Crimean forces, they quickly fled towards the village of Strelkovaya, authorities explained. According to Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov, the men sabotaging the facility introduced themselves as the member of the Border Troops of Ukraine, but retreated without any further explanation of what they were doing at the gas plant.

    Guardian version:

    A group of Russian commandos advanced beyond Kremlin-occupied Crimea on Saturday and landed by helicopter in an area of southern Ukraine under Kiev’s control, Ukraine’s defence ministry said. Some 60 Russian troops arrived at 1.30pm in the village of Strilkove, in Kherson province, 5km beyond the autonomous Crimean border. They came in four helicopters. Another 60 flew in in six helicopters at 3.30pm.

    Early reports suggested that Ukrainian forces evicted them, but the Russian contingent still appeared to be there on Saturday night. A spokesman for Ukraine’s border guard service, Oleg Slobodyan, said the Russian soldiers had taken up positions next to a gas production facility, backed by three armoured personnel carriers. Ukrainian troops had reportedly retreated to a nearby crossroads.

    Ukraine’s foreign ministry dubbed the incursion a “military invasion by Russia”. It demanded that Moscow withdraw its forces and said Ukraine “reserves the right to use all necessary measures” to stop the invasion. The area, Arbatskaya Strelka, is a long section of land running parallel to Crimea. Since independence it has been in Kherson province, but the land was originally part of Soviet Crimea and Vladimir Putin may be attempting to restore this Communist-era border.

    Most of the infrastructure that supplies Crimea with water and electricity is in the Kherson region. Reports suggest that Crimea’s secessionist authorities have claimed the gas production company that owns the facility, which would explain the arrival of Russian troops.

  12. HiBoM :
    Seal Driver, your experience is the absolute inverse of mine. Being able to speak the language is the key to opening even the stoniest Hungarian’s heart. So I really am at a loss to understand why you have been having such unhappy experiences. Contrary to the impression you get reading some comments here, face to face, Hungarians are almost always extremely warm and friendly people, even those whose political views belong in the rubbish bin.

    I’m honestly not sure which Hungary you are talking about. I’m talking about the one whose capital is Budapest and lies south of Slovakia, east of Austria and west of Romania.

  13. @Some1, I had no intention of finding out what made him write what he wrote. My outrage had something to do with the fact that he writes something like that about a supporter of his cause. When the government is trying to question Kim Scheppele’s expertise then one of the politicians of the opposition should chime in and tell that her work is less accurate.

    @An, you are right, This Viktor hates to admit that there is no democracy in Hungary anymore. He is wrong and if the premise if faulty the result must also be faulty. An opposition led by people like Szigetvári is doomed.

  14. @Eva: “This Viktor hates to admit that there is no democracy in Hungary anymore. He is wrong and if the premise if faulty the result must also be faulty. ”

    I think for the opposition it is hard to acknowledge that Hungary is not a democracy, as they decided to play along and participate in the elections. If Hungary is no longer a democracy, then the rules of the game are very different and political strategists who are used to (or studied) campaigning in a democracy just wound’t know what to do… they just go by the routine of putting together the campaign as if it was a democracy… because that’s all they know.

    If we accept the premise that Hungary is no longer a democracy, shouldn’t the opposition be demanding free and fair elections rather than preparing to run in a rigged one?

  15. Eva S. Balogh :
    This Viktor hates to admit that there is no democracy in Hungary anymore. He is wrong and if the premise if faulty the result must also be faulty. An opposition led by people like Szigetvári is doomed.

    There is still democracy in Hungary, in the sense that people can vote, and those votes are counted. But it is a hollow and incomplete version of democracy – one that is acceptable to people who lack the critical-thinking capacities to tell the difference between shit and shoeshine.

    As for Szigetvari, Hungary’s opposition LOVES petty rivalries. As Bajnai’s strategist, he is partly responsible for the current quagmire. He will be thrown onto the trash heap of history along with most of the so-called “left wing.”

  16. @Seal Driver

    “There is still democracy in Hungary, in the sense that people can vote..” This almost qualifies you for Trollhood…
    So, there is democracy in Russia because people can vote? Suuuurrrre.

  17. petofi :
    @Seal Driver
    “There is still democracy in Hungary, in the sense that people can vote..” This almost qualifies you for Trollhood…
    So, there is democracy in Russia because people can vote? Suuuurrrre.

    Petofi – Don’t “do an Orban.” Read my entire sentence. I said it was a hollow and complete version of democracy that is acceptable to idiots only.

    As far as suggesting that I might be a troll, please recall what the cannibal said: “Don’t eat today the man who might be your friend tomorrow.”

  18. @Some1

    “petofi: szelhamos – swindler (I think most Hungarians are very decent, and hardworking people. It is unfortunate that many of the swindlers can rise to the top as most still believe the well-meaning of many.)”

    As I’ve said several times over…why can Hungarians not distinguish between the swindlers and the honest ones? Mind you, most politicians in Hungary–I’d say 97% or so–are swindlers or swindlers-in-training: that’s the political culture. Imagine if you were a hanger on of the, say, 6th or 7th member on the party list and a reformer came along. How would you feel being just one or two rungs below the level were the real money is to be had? Well, my guess is that’s were the et-tu types who got Gyurcsany at Oszod were.

    But bottom line: corruption is endemic to the system. I would say it goes way back but the regime change in 1989 was already tainted when,
    a) they kept 23 districts in Budapest,
    b) the districts kept the store-fronts and many apartments in their jurisdiction

    What is a & b if not the hallmarks of corruption?

  19. re Ukraine reporting by CNN:

    Since when do new media incite?
    The report that 95.5% of voters voted to join Russia is wrong.
    It is 95.5% OF THOSE WHO VOTED–not of all voters. Significant difference as the Tatars
    boycotted the election.

  20. “Viktor hates to admit that there is no democracy in Hungary anymore. He is wrong and if the premise if faulty the result must also be faulty”

    Then why are democrats participating in this election?

  21. oneill :

    “Viktor hates to admit that there is no democracy in Hungary anymore. He is wrong and if the premise if faulty the result must also be faulty”

    Then why are democrats participating in this election?

    Good question. I think they should boycott. It got to the point of no return.

  22. petofi :
    @Seal Driver
    “There is still democracy in Hungary, in the sense that people can vote..” This almost qualifies you for Trollhood…
    So, there is democracy in Russia because people can vote? Suuuurrrre.

    Sorry, Petofi. I know you were joking 🙂

  23. @Seal Driver

    Who can take stuff seriously in the woebegone country?
    Did you see those people listening to Orban’s nonsense, mouth agape?
    I don’t know what he said about onions, but I hate to have my favorite veggie bad-mouthed!

  24. Orban’s remarks were merely a mild version of the kind of xenophobia that runs rampant through most Hungarian workplaces, quite regardless of whether one’s colleagues ARE actual ‘foreigners’ or not. I can vouch for this. It’s a grim reality. And his speech grants authority’s stamp of approval and green light for such xenophobia. Again. Such extremism is therefore the norm, the normalis, in fact the very definition of civilised discourse in Orban’s Hungary.

  25. Eva S. Balogh :
    I was too mad. Someone who writes something like that is a political illiterate.

    I read the whole exchange and I agree 100% with Professor Balogh. This Szigetvari is a moron — but I am beginning to despair of the opposition (with the exception of Gyurcsany): Jobbik are vicious bigots; Fidesz are unscrupulous crooks; the opposition are naive amateurs. (But I would still infinitely prefer amateurs to bigots or crooks, if only they could wage and win an election…)

  26. An :
    If we accept the premise that Hungary is no longer a democracy, shouldn’t the opposition be demanding free and fair elections rather than preparing to run in a rigged one?

    Yes!

  27. Eva S. Balogh :
    I think they should boycott. It got to the point of no return.

    Yes! They have nothing left to lose. (Exactly as with the constitution: if they had taken part it would have legitimized it.)

  28. whoever :
    Paul, I gather you’re a paid goon who specialises in spreading doubt and uncertainty about the Hungarian government online. I hope they actually are giving you some real money for this, but it being Orban’s Hungary, it’s just as likely that you’re getting very little, but you’re hoping for kudos and the chance to snuggle up to power and money at a later date.
    You’d better hurry up, because – and this pains me – Hungary’s lights are going to be switched off at some point. Look at the reality on the ground, and there is every indicator that a second Orban term is going to be an economic disaster.
    Long-term: The investment climate in the region is simply failing to recover. The Ukraine situation is not going away, and the banks are not coming back. This means that for most of Hungary, the idea of a rural Smallholders’ economy could become an increasing reality. Given the amount of Hungarian ingenuity, commercial nous and marketing prowess… this doesn’t bode well. It wouldn’t be fixed by a Mesterhazy government either. Pump away all you like, Paul, but Hungary has nothing to offer the majority of new school-leavers. If they can, and if they are capable, they will continue to leave, and the long-run growth prospects will be trimmed accordingly.
    This is a long-term spiral of decline – to be fair, it isn’t only a Hungarian phenonema. But the laughable/comic aspect to Hungary is that, despite Orban’s rhetoric, the country has become so dependent upon foreign money, whether it be Russian, or from those countries who contribute to the EU’s funds. The susceptibility to short-term shocks is acute, and only worsened by the Paks loan.
    What I see here is a collective failure on the part of Hungary’s political class to engage honestly with the public. There are real questions about how to keep the wheels of the economy turning, there are real arguments that simply following an economic rationalist course (eg with something like MAV) would be counter-productive – that draining jobs and money out of the economy would present more real dangers. And ultimately, this may account for the Left’s current subdued mood. People see that the fall is coming, it will be nasty, things will turn ugly. In this sense the demoralised mood of the MSZP bears some similarity to the German SPD in the early 1930s.

    Do you actually read my posts?

  29. Eva S. Balogh :

    oneill :
    “Viktor hates to admit that there is no democracy in Hungary anymore. He is wrong and if the premise if faulty the result must also be faulty”
    Then why are democrats participating in this election?

    Good question. I think they should boycott. It got to the point of no return.

    Boycott works only under very exceptional situations.

    The only time it could be successful if the boycotters had the majority anyway and were disciplined and so without them the elections could not legitimize any government. (Like in Egypt under Mubarak, if I remember correctly, which had minimal democratic support as even then the islamists had the overwhelming majority).

    But if that was the case in Hungary now then the Hungarian Left could win or almost win (given Fidesz built in advantage) the elections anyway.

    The Hungarian left is not disciplined, nor well-organized and there aren’t enough of them anyway.

    I also read the Financial Times and there was a small book review about the UK Independence Party.

    It turns out Ukip voters are not, contrary to the myth, Tories in exile (ie. for whom the Tories are too moderate) but more like traditional Labor voters who became disillusioned after Blair’s right turn, who favored the well to do and totally forgot about the lower classes. It is a kind of Left, just like Jobbik is. But Labor does not have anything to say to these losers of globalization just as the Hungarian Left doesn’t have anything to say to small-town working class or rural white folks. Perhaps, because they do not have anything to say at all.

  30. My body’s liver ‘dont’ have the capacity to sift through all the ‘pofonok’ slapppsss in da face the commenters are giving one-another in the above boxing match melee. Is this Madison Garden or What…

  31. Many of the Fidesz supporters are afraid to address us openly.

    They are escaping into twisted anti-intellectual propaganda.

    Any Hungarians who support an Orban & co. regime must be accountable for the coming bankruptcy.

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