Viktor Szigetvári’s mistaken notions about current Hungarian politics

Heti Válasz discovered me. As it is clear from the article, the journalists of the magazine know who I am, but only as someone who formerly contributed to Galamus and who appeared a few times on Klubrádió. Both were years ago. For example, the last regular article I wrote for Galamus was in May 2011.

This is the first time my name appeared in Heti Válasz. Once before Tamás Fricz, someone who calls himself a political scientist, mentioned me in Magyar Hírlap in connection with his attack on Professor Kim Lane Scheppele of Princeton. The Heti Válasz piece is a variation on this theme.

I rarely look at Twitter. I simply don’t have time to follow thousands of tweets. When there is a crisis somewhere I may follow the comments of journalists on the spot, but otherwise I ignore the little bird. Therefore it was unlikely that I would have discovered Viktor Szigetvári’s pearls of wisdom that he finds time to dispense on Twitter. But Twitter decided that I had been neglecting them and sent me an e-mail listing some of the topics I might be interested in. The very first item on the list was a comment by Szigetvári from March 12. It read: “jogilag és tartalmilag kim lane scheppele-nél pontosabb és mégis visszafogott értékelés plankó és herczeg uraktól” (in legal terms as well as in content a more precise and more moderate analysis than that of Kim Lane Scheppele from Messrs Pankó and Herczeg). And he gave the link to an article in 444.

I could hardly believe my eyes. Not because Viktor Szigetvári the private person thinks that Messrs Pankó and Herczeg are better legal scholars than one of the most prominent experts on Hungarian constitutional law but because I found it astonishing that a politician could be so unskilled that he would make his criticism public. A politician should never turn against supporters of his cause. And Scheppele’s views more or less coincide with the opinions of the Hungarian opposition. They, like Scheppele, find many of the changes introduced by the Orbán government unconstitutional, undemocratic, and therefore unacceptable.

I’m trying to imagine a situation in which one of Viktor Orbán’s politicians would openly criticize a leading conservative theoretician who just wrote a glowing report on the Orbán government. I wonder how long this man or woman would remain part of the team. Not a minute, I’m sure. And I wouldn’t blame Viktor Orbán for getting rid of the person. In politics, party loyalty is important. If someone cannot adhere to this basic rule of the game he or she should get out of politics. This is a price you pay when you decide to become a politician. And this loyalty extends to supporters as well. A politician doesn’t weaken his party’s case by calling an argument supportive of that case imprecise and inferior.

confusion3

It was for this reason that I decided to engage in a dialogue with Viktor Szigetvári. If he had decided to admit his mistake I would have left it at that. But he insisted that his open criticism of Scheppele was a most normal and acceptable way of talking about one’s supporters. After all, he has the right to express his opinion. He is mistaken. He as a politician doesn’t have this privilege. He might tell his friends what he thinks, though even that might not be a smart move. In no time it can become common knowledge that X has a low opinion of Y or that X doesn’t agree with the party’s strategy. Soon we may hear from friends and acquaintances that there are huge political differences among the top leaders of the party or coalition. In fact, this kind of talk reached me from many quarters over the last few months.

One could retort that I’m advocating a  monolithic and therefore undemocratic party structure like that of Fidesz. But that would be a misunderstanding. I encourage broad debate, but only inside the party. Every time the opposition parties are accused of not having a unified voice, as is often the case, a pious explanation comes about the virtues of diversity. But that is no more than self-delusion. Especially when the stakes are so high and one’s opponent is a truly monolithic party. Under such circumstances one cannot afford the luxury of speaking in many tongues or criticizing one another in public. That’s why I said that Viktor Szigetvári shouldn’t entertain political ambitions. Unfortunately, as co-chair of Együtt 2014, he does.

From our exchange I came to the conclusion that Szigetvári’s main problem with Kim Scheppele is that she is too harsh on the Orbán government. It seems that Szigetvári still clings to the notion that one can come to some kind of understanding with Orbán’s Fidesz. It is time to wake up. One cannot make a deal with the Fidesz of today. I suspect that Szigetvári is one of the proponents of this mistaken notion just as he most likely had a hand in Együtt 2014’s mad search for the nonexistent “moderate conservative middle.”

Why should we be more moderate in our criticism of the Orbán regime? Why is the more moderate analysis of the electoral law preferable to the harsher criticism of Kim Scheppele? Whom is Szigetvári defending? Viktor Orbán? What is he defending? Orbán’s dictatorship? It looks like it. Szigetvári’s analysis is fundamentally wrong and can lead only to defeat. That’s why I decided to take him on in public.

122 comments

  1. When I heard Szigetvári last time on ATV I thought he belongs to Fidesz.
    People like him lead the way to defeat. Eva you did the right thing to take him on in public.

  2. I’m grateful to Viktor Szigetvári for proving once and for all that I am have no affiliation with the political opposition. And to Éva for her continued faith in my work.

  3. @ Kim Lane Scheppele

    You honor the country by your continued involvement in pin-pointing the political wrongs of an amoral society. Your writings will prove to be the political wealth of Hungary in times to come.

  4. Could there possibly be a bit of sexism going on with Szigetvári, that the real cut and thrust of politics should, in his view, be left to the boys?

  5. OT, the topic being Sizgetvári. But after reading your reportage on Orbán’s 15th March speech, I found Orbán’s exact antipode today.

    I just happened to come across the name of Kurt Tucholsky on Wikipedia; and as I spent some happy evenings last week getting drunk on Tucholskystrasse in Berlin, I was intrigued who this person might be!

    Here’s a quote from him:

    We have just written “no” on 225 pages, “no” out of sympathy and “no” out of love, “no” out of hate and “no” out of passion – and now we would like to say “yes” for once. “Yes” – to the countryside and the country of Germany. The country where we were born and whose language we speak. (…)
    And now I would like to tell you something: it is not true that all those who call themselves ‘national’ and who are nothing but gentrified militants have taken out a lease on this country and its language just for them. Germany is not just a government representative in his tailcoat, nor is it a headmaster, nor is it the ladies and gentlemen of the steel helmets. We are here too. (…)
    Germany is a divided country. We are one part of it. And whatever the situation, we quietly love our country – unshakably, without a flag, or a street organ, no sentimentality and no drawn sword.
    (Heimat, in Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, Berlin 1929, p. 226)

    I would love to hear of someone speaking to the quiet Hungarian Tucholskys by reading this out in Hungarian (with obvious substitutions)! Because the trouble with this kind of sentiment is that it’s quiet – what can it do when the stage is monopolised by a loudmouth?

  6. This remains the most extraordinary self-righteous storm in a teacup. You have still not demonstrated how you came to the conclusion that this fairly innocuous comment is in fact an outrageous political betrayal. Has Szigetvári even said what he meant in detail? And where has he said anything to suggest that he rejects what Kim Scheppele says? Kim Scheppele is not part of the political opposition, she is an independent scholar. And yet what you are saying is tantamount to suggesting that there are certain scholars who not be criticised in public. That may be politically expedient but if Kim Scheppele as a scholar believes that she should be immune to criticism, then I’ll eat my hat. And it is not as if Szegetvári has actually criticised her in any meaningful way in the first place.

    To crank out my favourite quote (by the English playwright Joe Orton): scratch a liberal and find a fascist bleeding.

  7. sebt, the problem was, that despite Tucholsky’s conversion to Lutheranism during World War I and despite his German patriotism only a small minority listened to this German writer. German students burned Tucholsky’s books while Goebbels raved against Jews and intellectuals. Tucholsky fled to Sweden where he committed suicide in 1935.
    After the power was given to Hitler in 1933 he recognized the defeat of the democrats. István Bibó wrote about the German Hysteria. Today we can see the Hungarian Hysteria at work. The similarity is shocking.
    Let us hope that the Hungarian Tucholskys will not end like Tucholsky

  8. @sebt:

    Is there anyone in Hungary that might be compared to Tucholsky?
    He’s one of my favourite poets – with his golden heart and his iron gob/mouth.
    And he clearly said what kind of people the Nazis and their supporters were …
    Is there anyone today in Hungary who can write against Jobbik and Fidesz in his style?

  9. lutra lutra :
    Could there possibly be a bit of sexism going on with Szigetvári, that the real cut and thrust of politics should, in his view, be left to the boys?

    The patronizing sexist tone of his responses is so palpable you can cut it with a knife.

  10. @HiBoM

    “It’s a tempest in a teacup…” yet you insist on stirring the shit.
    Very suspect.
    We’ve seen this technique before–

  11. @HiBoM: “To crank out my favourite quote (by the English playwright Joe Orton): scratch a liberal and find a fascist bleeding.”

    What happened to Kingfisher?

    “Reading some of the reactions to Pibroch’s extraordinarily reasonable and well argued posts, I’m reminded of a comment from one of my favourite playwrights, Joe Orton: “Scratch a liberal and find a fascist bleeding.” It is the same mentality that is appalled (rightfully) by the extraordinary bias and absence of pluralism in the pro-Fidesz media but professes to admire programmes like ATV’s Újságíróklub.”

    Kingfisher, November 25, 2012 #1
    https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/orbans-election-campaign-has-already-begun/

    Kindred souls.

  12. Is Ms. Scheppele “one of the most prominent experts on Hungarian constitutional law “?
    How many constitutional lawyers would believe this in Hungary? Szigetvari reported having supper with her recently and she is not affiliated with leading members of former Aproistan?
    Come on people, get real!

  13. In my opinion Szigetvári’s case is one of the not quite unusual pitfalls of people (wannabe politicians?) with rather over-developed self-esteem (better than thou…) – if I put it mildly.

    I still remember his efforts to dwarf the DK at times of the renegotiation, voicing Juhász’s criticism against Gyurcsány and so on, stressing, just how big favour they really doing by letting them get some electoral districts.
    As I see it not only sexism, but even territorial instinct plays quite a role. I think he trying to keep away people with more distinct character from the ‘limelight’ so to speak, in order to ensure, that their mild and compromising line remains in the centre-stage, so he attacks people with clearly defined and expressed principles before their people may get tempted to go over.
    Not to forget, this is his chance to finally build his own image after a decade behind others, so he uses everything in his power to do so.

  14. Even though I perfectly agree that Szigetvári shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near any campaign based on his past and current performance, I don’t agree with your anger here. I went through all the tweets and he found that particular article better wanted to call attention to that too, that doesn’t amount to trashing Ms Scheppele’s. Ms Scheppele is not an opposition ground trooper as you refer to her as a ‘supporter’, but an independent constitutional legal scholar specializing in Hungary. That’s what makes her credible to e.g. me.

    Unfortunately, virtually nobody cares about this other than you, Szigetvári and Ms Scheppele and a handful of people, I think you gave Heti Válasz the opportunity for some schadenfreude by engaging in this rather pointless debate (why didn’t you write Szigetvári an email instead?) for no good reason.

  15. Kormos :
    Is Ms. Scheppele “one of the most prominent experts on Hungarian constitutional law “?
    How many constitutional lawyers would believe this in Hungary? Szigetvari reported having supper with her recently and she is not affiliated with leading members of former Aproistan?
    Come on people, get real!

    So, in your opinion being a “prominent expert” on something or other is only the question of if you- or whoever believe it or not?
    Well, I tried to take your advice about getting real, but beliefs and reality doesn’t mix, sorry!

    Recently I have had a dinner with one of the leading member of the Hungarian Academy of Science and I still do not affiliated with the Academy..!
    Would it come later on, or must the esteemed Szigetváry be present as well, in order to be able to ‘report’ about the event, otherwise the “affiliation” doesn’t count?

    Now I try to remember, who more I have had dinner with, – one never really knows, how many different affiliations may have been ‘reported’ after dinner over there…
    Not to mention the imminent danger not being real!

    So, watch out, people, whom you dare dine with, particularly if you happens to be a prominent expert on something, you never know, you may even become an affiliate too..!

  16. On the historical day when Crimea referendum makes it clear that high tensions remain, why should we concern ourselves trying to defend a disgraced American scholar Kim Scheppele?

    One whoose work is deemed inaccurate by EVEN one of the leaders of the opposition Viktor Szigetvári.

    Viktor Szigetvári is a highly placed leader in the opposition a leader of Együtt, the future of Hungarian left wing politics and he is also an expert on Hungarian election laws. If he says Kim Scheppele writes inaccurate and self-weakening arguments then you can bet the farm that he is right!

    He has no reason to lie whatsoever so the explanation is much more simple. What Szigetvári wrote is the truth.

  17. An :

    @HiBoM: “To crank out my favourite quote (by the English playwright Joe Orton): scratch a liberal and find a fascist bleeding.”

    What happened to Kingfisher?

    “Reading some of the reactions to Pibroch’s extraordinarily reasonable and well argued posts, I’m reminded of a comment from one of my favourite playwrights, Joe Orton: “Scratch a liberal and find a fascist bleeding.” It is the same mentality that is appalled (rightfully) by the extraordinary bias and absence of pluralism in the pro-Fidesz media but professes to admire programmes like ATV’s Újságíróklub.”

    Kingfisher, November 25, 2012 #1
    https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/orbans-election-campaign-has-already-begun/

    Kindred souls.

    What a coincidence 😀

  18. A TALE OF TWO VIKTORS

    Kim Lane Scheppele :
    I’m grateful to Viktor Szigetvári for proving once and for all that I am have no affiliation with the political opposition. And to Éva for her continued faith in my work.

    It is not just Professor Balogh who respects and values Professor Scheppele’s scholarly and analystical work, it is all decent, thinking people in Hungary and worldwide who have any knowledge of the shameful goings-on in Hungary today, unchecked.

    It is History that will be Professor Scheppele’s judge and expert witness.

    It is the Hungarian populace who will declare (belatedly) its eternal indebtedness for her penetrating legal and analytical skills, eloquence, scrutiny and critical acumen, exercised tirelessly (and thanklessly) on their behalf.

    And it is Rui Tavares, and Kim Lane Scheppele — and, indeed, Eva Balogh — who will be remembered for their selfless contributions to the rehabilitation of Hungary in its time of need, long after Viktor Orban is behind bars or in exile with his plunder and Viktor Szigetvari has morphed into the private sector as one of the partners in an obscure media image consulting firm.

  19. speki :
    On the historical day when Crimea referendum makes it clear that high tensions remain, why should we concern ourselves trying to defend a disgraced American scholar Kim Scheppele?
    One whoose work is deemed inaccurate by EVEN one of the leaders of the opposition Viktor Szigetvári.
    Viktor Szigetvári is a highly placed leader in the opposition a leader of Együtt, the future of Hungarian left wing politics and he is also an expert on Hungarian election laws. If he says Kim Scheppele writes inaccurate and self-weakening arguments then you can bet the farm that he is right!
    He has no reason to lie whatsoever so the explanation is much more simple. What Szigetvári wrote is the truth.

    @speki You are kidding. Right?

  20. Today’s post is not so much about Professor Scheppele but about Viktor Szigetvári and certain people in the Hungarian opposition. Failure is practically programmed in because some of these people don’t know what they are doing.

  21. “It is History that will be Professor Scheppele’s judge and expert witness.
    And it is Rui Tavares, and Kim Lane Scheppele — and, indeed, Eva Balogh — who will be remembered for their selfless contributions to the rehabilitation of Hungary in its time of need”

    You went in too deep there, brown nosing taken to a whole another level.

    You can rarely see someone so desperate to suck up in a big public way. It seems the need to do this is really strong.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suck-up

  22. “How wars can be started by history textbooks” By Gideon Rachman, ft.com, 03-17

    “Ironically, Mr Putin’s Russia enjoys warm relations with Hungary – the one government in the former Soviet bloc that could justly be accused of adopting a dangerously equivocal attitude to the history of the far right. “

  23. FIDEZ-TROLL-FAQ #2: DUCK AWKWARD FACTS BY IMPUTING PERSONAL MOTIVES

    A Fidesz-Troll posting under the false-name “Steve” wrote:
    ”You can rarely see someone so desperate to suck up in a big public way.

    When nothing substantive can be said in defense of Orban’s plunder or Szigetvari’s (helpful) blunder, try to insinuate that critics must have some ulterior motive. The notion of truth and justice has been so long discarded by the Fidesz faithful that they may well have concluded that there is no such thing and never has been, and that all others are just unprincipled opportunists like themselves.

    This Fidesz M.O. was already in full flower in 2011: Quod Erat ad Demonstrandum (QED)

  24. Kormos, HiBoM, Speki, Steve–an infestation of mental midgets. What gives? What have you done, Eva, to deserve this?

  25. Kormos :
    Is Ms. Scheppele “one of the most prominent experts on Hungarian constitutional law “?
    How many constitutional lawyers would believe this in Hungary? Szigetvari reported having supper with her recently and she is not affiliated with leading members of former Aproistan?
    Come on people, get real!

    Kormos, do you know anything about Hungarian constitutional law? Like anything? Kim Scheppele may not be popular in Hungary, given that the legal arena was also taken over by right wingers, but she is certainly the best foreign expert. There is nobody in the EU or in the US who would know more about the topic and, crucially, who would also understand the reality (as opposed to the black letter law) better. There can be no debate about that.

  26. Együtt is Szigetvari’s creation. There would not be any Együtt without him. Szigetvari essentially recruited Bajnai for his idea. There was even a reference to that in Péter Tölgyessy’s long serialized article in origo.hu. Bajnai did not want to return but was persuaded by Szigetvari. Without Szigetvari (although probably without Bajnai either) there is no Együtt. Együtt has always been a Bajnai-vehicle set up for this election, it has no national network, or brand, anything really on which the party’s future can be built. Szigetvari and couple of people whom he needed for his vehicle will have good-paying, not too demanding jobs in the Parliament in the next four years, but that is it, the party will have no separate voice and nobody would be interested in it anyway, that is clear by now.

  27. Bajnai probably got sold a bill of goods by Szigetvari. Mr. SZ. is slated to be an Orban flunky, if he isn’t one already.

  28. re Szigetvari…

    Hungarian politics is about creating your ‘brand’. Once you have something that can be thought of value–usually to the opposition–your future is ensured. Then you sell out a la Schroder and enjoy your millions. Once in a while you’ll be called up for a ‘biggie’–like Schroder saying that Putin is a ‘great democrat’. What Hungarian politician wouldn’t salivate at the role of a Schroder?

  29. I walked with Hungarian friends around the Woodrow Wilson Center in Princeton. Kim Scheppele’s picture hangs on the wall.

    All Hungarians should love her, as the rescuer of the fair future.

    Nobody can save the Orban constitution against her verdict.

  30. The left has no discipline whatsoever – among other issues. Until it evolves to have discipline and loyalty, it will continue losing.

    Just yesterday some fourth-rate MSZPnik publicized names who would be in Mesterhazy’s government. In the middle of a campaign. For all we know the guy may not even have the info, but certainly he has no discipline. The Hungarian left is just a bunch of hopeless amateurs.

    But Együtt’s legal ‘brain trust’ (Csaba Tordai and some other con law bloggers who blogged at HVG for a while) has always been open to Fidesz’ constitutional ideas, that has been clear for those who read their posts, among others on Haza es Haladas (Bajnai’s public policy foundation).

    I am sure these guys secretly admire Fidesz, even if they would deny this. They are lawyers and as such cannot help but admire Orban’s (a fellow lawyer) total coup d’etat by legal means which just could not be challenged legally, it’s a perfect legal Meisterwerk. The EU or Strasbourg or anybody can come, but nobody can do anything about it, because it is legally watertight. Plus they are young: it’s pretty grim to imagine all your carreer as a minority, opposition guy, and it is most natural to try to convince yourself of (conform to) the truth of the majority. Very few people can resist the opinion of a huge majority that has been tested a million times.

    Like all conformist leftists Együtt readily accepted the new political status quo. When Fidesz never accepted any status quo and always fundamentally challenged assumptions. But the Hungarian Left seemingly evolved into a deeply conformist (conservative) party, while Fidesz always remained a revolutionary party, even if they meanwhile also became a totalitarian, kitch-right wing, etatist party, so that was the kind of revolution they staged.

  31. Omg. This is sooo Hungarian …

    Nine out of ten of my friends here would have said something like “there is an interesting alternative assessment by Mr Planko and his buddy”. Just who the hell this Szigetvary guy thinks he is to judge like this?

    This phenomenon is rampant with even ordinary Hungarians. They just can’t keep their mouth shut. The 10 second chance to look smart is more important than anything. They just trash their own allies for the illusion of being balanced.

    Why don’t they realize what’s at stake? STFU! Capish?

  32. Mutt, you’re spot on. What I notice, as a general phenomenon among Hungarian opposition politicians and “political communicators” (this is apparently a much larger demographic in Hungary than in most other countries) is that many of them will scream, kick and cry foul vis-a-vis the undemocratic nature of the Orbán administration, they’ll look for and expect support from foreign thinkers and academics, but when they feel that their interests dictate otherwise, they will just as quickly change gears and come across as measured, calm, reasonable, rational moderates, who stand in stark contrast to the overheated “radicals”.

    And, I’d say that Gyurcsány is pretty good at playing this game as well. He can give a rousing speech and rage about how the upcoming election won’t be free and fair, but then if you ask him in a different context (ie: outside of a party rally) what he thinks about a boycott, he’ll quickly dismiss this as idiocy and note that there is no alternative but to vote for him and the united opposition in this totally unfree, unfair and scandalous election.

    It’s probably best to keep a good, safe distance from the Hungarian political elite as a whole.

  33. “After all, he has the right to express his opinion. He is mistaken. He as a politician doesn’t have this privilege. ” Come on… It may be a political mistake, but he has the right.

  34. Oh well: it’s almost always a mistake for politicians to engage in criticizing academics.

    Eva S. Balogh :
    I suspect that Szigetvári is one of the proponents of this mistaken notion just as he most likely had a hand in Együtt 2014′s mad search for the nonexistent “moderate conservative middle.”

    That would be motive indeed. Now, if you consider that the united opposition has little chance to win the election, I’m not sure the search is so mad now.

    While I agree that Fidesz has shown no sign of inside dissent – particularly on its ‘left’ – during the past four years, and thus with your opinion that it was foolish to look for any kind of understanding with them, it might not be the case four years from now.

    PS: there is also a more cynical short-term perspective: a Fidesz win short of a handful of seats from the 2/3rds majority.

  35. Econ :

    But Együtt’s legal ‘brain trust’ (Csaba Tordai and some other con law bloggers who blogged at HVG for a while) has always been open to Fidesz’ constitutional ideas, that has been clear for those who read their posts, among others on Haza es Haladas (Bajnai’s public policy foundation).

    I am sure these guys secretly admire Fidesz, even if they would deny this.

    That’s why I couldn’t understand one of the commentators who thought that I drew too far-reaching conclusions from one little remark on Twitter. No, this attitude has been clear from the beginning. Unfortunately, one cannot win against Orbán this way. I think this is the reason for the lack of enthusiasm for Unity Alliance (Összefogás) of those who would like to see a change of government.

  36. If one looks at the full critique that Professor Scheppele presents of the Orban regime it is vey comprehensive and devastating. This comes from a scholar that started with almost no knowledge of Hungarian and as far as I can tell or experience with Hungary under the Communist government. Moreover, she is clinical in her approach.

    I think Viktor Szigetvári as a Hungarian political leader is embarrassed at how comprehensive Sheppele’s critique is of the Orban regime that has risen before his very eyes. She is able to do this because Hungary is such a small nation, effectively about the size of the Chicago metropolitan statistical region in the USA. Her critique is comprehensive whereas the critique of the opposition is somewhat fragmented. Effectively she puts the fragments together to provide a picture of what she believes is new form of authoritarianism that exists under the EU framework and capitalism.

    I see it differently, I see the Orban regime much more akin to the gangster capitalism in Putin’s Russia than as unique as Professor Scheppele presents it. I see it as an evolutionary form of capitalism that is required to accumulate massive amounts of money that will lead to a distinct development of a class of very wealthy people that will take the power from people like Putin or Orban, using them or more likely those that follow them as their controlled politicians. The Professor sees it as fundamentally a regime run by retainers of Orban and I see it as a regime that is run by institutional criminals who are accumulating capital, to a degree like my home town of Chicago was run for a short time in the 1920s. Because Professor Scheppele is a legal scholar I think she emphasizes the legal institutional aspect of the Orban regime and that provides great insight for all of us. There is also a criminal aspect to this just like there is in Putin’s Russia. As always Eva’s selection of topics is very interesting.

  37. New debt numbers from 03-14 are out this afternoon:

    new record: 23569.3 billion HUF

  38. Dr Balogh writes: “One could retort that I’m advocating a monolithic and therefore undemocratic party structure like that of Fidesz. But that would be a misunderstanding. I encourage broad debate, but only inside the party.”

    The second sentence was the philosophy and rule of the Communist parties. Keep it up…..

  39. Improvement over the horthy-stalin-orban regime structures, not to accept trolls, extremists and assassins into the national politics.

  40. Louis Kovach :
    Dr Balogh writes: “One could retort that I’m advocating a monolithic and therefore undemocratic party structure like that of Fidesz. But that would be a misunderstanding. I encourage broad debate, but only inside the party.”
    The second sentence was the philosophy and rule of the Communist parties. Keep it up…..

    … and the Fidesz. That’s why Orban isn’t willing to accept a challenge to a televised debate.

  41. @Louis Kovach, you seem not realise that the commentators on this blog are the next Hungarian government in waiting. The last thing they need is paid trolls such as yourself to start infecting this place with contrary thoughts and observations in case it disturbs their own iron convictions. So please troll elsewhere!

  42. OT:
    Two news from today.

    1. To celebrate Imre Pozsgay 80th Birthday, Janos Ader, President of Hungary invited Pozsgay and his family for a lovely dinner celebration in the Sandor Palace.

    2. Bela Biszku’s (92 year old) trial started today. Biszku is accused of warcrimes for his role in the killeing of 46 HUngarians in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

    Imre Pozsgay:
    1933: Born.
    1950: Become a member of the Hungarian Workers’ Party
    1956: Became a member of the MSZP or Hungarian Socialist Worker’s Party [Communist Party]
    1957: Obtains his diploma from the Lenin Institute [those who were active participants of the 1956 revolution immigrated, were dismissed, or jailed]
    1957: Becomes the director of the Marxism-Leninism’ Night University in the MSZP Bacs-Kiskun Province’s Commission, then until 1968 he is the director of the province’s commission Agitation and Propaganda Division, then he became its secretary until 1969.
    1976: Minister of Culture
    1988: Member of the Political Committee of MSZ, the Minister of State.
    1989: Changes of the political system, Janos Kadar dies
    1989: Pozsgay calls 56 a revolution of the masses.
    1990: MSZP Vice President
    1998: Candidate of MDF [Hungarian Democratic Forum that came into coalition with Orban’s Fidesz]
    2005: Member of the National Consultation Agency
    2010: Participates with his work of the new constitution
    Currently advisor of Orban.

    I cannot find any detail on Pozsgay between 1953-56 any info would be appreciated

    Bela Biszku
    1921: Born
    1937: Works as locksmith apprentice, then from 1941 as locksmith
    1938: Becomes involved wih the Youngworker Movement
    1943: Becomes member of the Vasas Union
    1944: Becomes member of MKP (Hungarian Communist Party
    1944–1945: Organizer of the local resistance group (against the Germans)
    After the war district organizer of the Communist Party.
    1946: Works in the MKP’s Budapest Party
    1953: Starts at Lenin Institute
    1955: Secretary of the Party xiii District Division
    1956: Organizes a counter group against the revolutionaries and supposedly issues orders for the ruthless killing of revolutionary groups
    1957: Interior Minister, at this time he’s the one who is supposedly managed the retaliation of the revolutionaries
    1961: Deputy Prime Minister
    1962: Secretary of the Central Committee
    1978: They retire him for his hard push trying to return Hungary to a Soviet style regime
    1980: President of the National Council of Trade Unions’ Audit Committee
    1989: retires

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