Revolution and the Hungarian lunatic fringe

Zsolt Bayer, one of the founding members of Fidesz, who has become one of the most demagogic "journalists," if you can call him that, announced at today’s demonstration in front of the Sándor Palace that "the time of the revolution hasn’t arrived yet." He’s not kidding, especially if you read the descriptions of today’s events and see some of the accompanying pictures. There were about two hundred people in Heroes’ Square, most of them older people sitting on lawn chairs, listening to endless and often incomprehensible speeches. Apparently a few thousand people attended the demonstration in Buda, but it seems they found the speeches so boring that well before the end of the progam many packed up their chairs and went home.

I must say that I feel justified in my prediction that the so-called "hot autumn" is not going to be very hot. A have a cousin in Hungary who exudes pessimism. Yesterday she asked me, "Who is going to defend us when the revolution comes?" At first I didn’t even understand the question. "What revolution?" Once I realized what she was talking about–that is, the overthrow of the government by the right–I explained that I think the "revolution" is already spent. No one, not even the Hungarian right, can maintain a constant, high-pitched, feverish mood and its resultant "revolutionary" actions. Their leaders promised that the government would be swept away, but nothing has happened. The people who believed Viktor Orbán and the Fidesz by now are disappointed and apathetic. Activist speakers also seem to be in short supply. Krisztina Morvai, for example, talked about her dream of the happy Hungary of the future in two different places: earlier in Heroes’ Square and later in front of the Sándor Palace. The same speech verbatim.

The orators were trying their best to arouse enthusiasm. Lóránt Hegedüs, the good Christian and Calvinist minister, called Gyurcsány a "sociopathic brute," while Bayer described him as "the crook from Öszöd." Nowadays they seem to put all their trust in the referendum which, they hope, will be favorable to their cause. They are also introducing a strategy of passive resistance. According to Bayer, if the government introduces a property tax, "we will happily refuse to pay it."

At least in Buda the speakers were understandable if boring; the speakers on Heroes’ Square were beyond description. The gathering here was organized by a bunch of people who would like to write a new constitution or who want to go back to the Constitution of Saint Stephen (if I understand them correctly). They were supposed to put down the foundations of this new/old constitution. One highlight of the demonstration was the performance of a fairly fat lady around forty who sang "shaman songs," adding that she "will make the left right and the right left." Interesting idea! Then came an older man, presumably from Transylvania, who claimed that he had spent seven years in jail in Romania. His speech was, according to all reports, totally incomprehensible. At the end he distributed his own poem, one line of which went something like this: "If someone dared to say ‘no’ his nose would be burned by a poker." In Hungarian it rhymes but it is not a whit better. For those who can enjoy it in the original: "Csak merne valaki mondani kontrát, megégetné a piszkavas az orrát." The next speaker was the leader of the Szeged Turul Association. (The turul is a hawk and the totem animal of the Árpád House; it became a favorite symbol of the far right after World War I.) This gentleman announced that Hungary is the leading nation of the world. The unquestionable cultural superiority of Hungarians also brings with it a terrible responsibility: the Hungarians’ duty is to prevent the world from becoming "a surrealistic nuclear wasteland." But, according to him, this will be a relatively easy task: first they will have to get rid of the European Union, NATO, the USA, and Israel. All the other nations of the world will have to follow the Hungarians’ lead in this task. Whew! Then a gentleman called Imre Oravecz spoke and outlined his ideas about "logical democracy" which, according to his definition, means that people listen to people and watch out for each other. The last speaker expressed his disappointment that so few people showed up but assured the somewhat sleepy audience that in the next few days this government will be swept away.

As it is clear from this description, we are talking about the lunatic fringe. This lunatic fringe cannot possibly serve the purpose of Fidesz and Viktor Orbán. Orbán will make a speech to commemorate the anniversary of the prime minister’s "lying" speech in Öszöd far away from the madding crowd on one of the islands of the Danube. The farther the better.

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There will be a surging tide on Tuesday and Mr Viktor, clutching the holy crown, a ventriloquist’s turul and wearing arp-sav undies will be swept down river.
Either that or they will come across a whole bunch of undesirables who have been there since the sziget and fidesz will faint with embarassment.
Its quite hard to work out what Laszlo Kover is on about in this analysis of the Jobbik. “a team of talented and ambitious youths and unsatisfied elderly gentlemen who, with the exception of the well-intentioned ones, have done their best to create possibilities to blackmail the right wing”. Does that mean that in Obuda they will stop cooperating with them. And on the MDF, he opines that the Ibolya-led gangsters have joined the evil government clique. Priceless.