Fidesz political culture and its consequences

Yesterday the honorable members of the Hungarian parliament gathered again at their first open session of the week. The video of the session is already available on the site of the Hungarian parliament. Here is the link. In order to access the speeches one must click on the length of time in the third column:  I am especially calling attention to the speeches of Imre Iváncsik, undersecretary of national security, and the short answer of Ervin Demeter who, after all the evidence to the contrary, announced that neither he nor Fidesz had anything to do with UD Zrt. The loud laughter of the MSZP members attests to the ludicrousness of this claim.

Iváncsik spoke three times, and it was after the second time that an overly sanguine Fidesz member of parliament in a rather loud voice shouted: "You'll be hanging!" The Fidesz member, Sándor Arnóth, is a new addition to this particular parliamentary session although he was a member of parliament earlier. He joined Fidesz in 1994 and two years later became a member of parliament. In 2002 he won again, but in 2006 he lost the election and had to be satisfied with a place on a county list from which he didn't managed to move into the parliamentary delegation. However, three months ago József Pálinkás, Fidesz member of parliament, was elected president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and he resigned his seat. The party decided on Arnóth as his replacement. Arnóth is the mayor of Püspökladány, a town of about 8,000. Otherwise, he used to teach history to high school students.

The outcry that followed Arnóth's outburst was so loud that Viktor Orbán acted right on the spot. He and Arnóth disappeared  behind closed doors in the parliament building and fifteen minutes later Arnóth resigned. I think that the faces of these two men tell a lot. Arnoth Sandor es Orban Viktor  Yesterday evening a political commentator applauded the swiftness of this decision. As he said, other parties wouldn't have acted so rapidly. Well, I'm not sure whether speed is such a virtue. To my mind this case again shows that Fidesz is not a democratic party. It is enough for the chairman to sit down with Arnóth for fifteen minutes and the whole thing is over. Not like the removal of Kornél Almássy from MDF. There the delegation unanimously voted on his removal from the party and hence from the delegation, and that decision was reached only two weeks after the revelations of Almássy's duplicity. By the way, yesterday Almássy was sitting among the independents, and an MDF member with a good sense of humor put a nice big orange on his empty desk. The orange is a Fidesz symbol.

As for the success of Fidesz at confusing an issue that reflects badly on the party and its leader one must say that they are masters of what Hungarians call "blurring." Indeed, I have already received letters from Hungary, admittedly not from the brightest bulb on earth, who admits that she doesn't have a clue what is happening. A television station asked its viewers to vote on which party is guilty in this case: half of them said Fidesz, the other half MSZP! One must admire these guys' skill in confusing issues so thoroughly that people don't understand what happened. When it is so simple.

Those who wanted to know the details could listen to the tapes or read the newspaper articles, listen to the interviews, from which it is crystal clear that there was a private firm engaging in, among other things, illegal activities. That firm managed to infiltrate government offices, break into e-mail accounts, and look into bank accounts. It was also spying on politicians and government employees. The National Security Office became suspicious, got permission from the judiciary for a wiretap, and behold what did they hear one day? Two important Fidesz politicians having conversations with the CEO of this firm. In one conversation the head of UD Zrt. is scheduling a meeting with László Kövér "to report" to him, while in the other Ervin Demeter is asking the same man for information on the comings and goings of the head of the National Security Office. So there is nothing mysterious in this case. Yet Fidesz has managed to confuse people by repeating false accusations about the illegal wiretapping of politicians. In order to make the accusation stick, to have more punch, they are even suing György Szilvássy, although they must know that the prosecutor's office will not pursue the case. (Or, at least, I hope not.)

By the way, after what we now know about UD Zrt. a lot of people are wondering whether József Horváth and his associates had anything to do with excellent quality tape that recorded Ferenc Gyurcsány's speech at Balatonőszöd in the summer of 2006 and that was made public in September, shortly before the municipal elections. A not unreasonable hypothesis. Perhaps we will find out because according to Imre Iváncsik the evidence is overwhelming. He was talking about thousands of documents and months that would be necessary to analyze them. And I hope that my Hungarian informant is not right when she predicts that all these will remain state secrets for at least 125 years!

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That picture is priceless. Thank you for posting it.