Jobbik (Movement for a Better Hungary): Előd Novák

It is very possible, and we can only hope, that Előd Novák's name will soon disappear from Hungarian politics. However, for the time being he is squarely in the forefront of things. He is a peculiar looking twenty-nine-year-old who as far as I can ascertain has never held a job. According to rumors he comes from a well-to-do family and spends all of his time and energy on dubious political activities. Apparently he doesn't have too many friends, perhaps in part because of his annoying mannerisms. Based on the videos I looked at, I can understand his isolation. And here is an ostensible self-portrait that I found on a website that, judging from its title (http://kurucwanted.blogspot.com/) and contents, was created to unmask Novák and his friends. The charge is that they run one of the most notorious far-right websites, http://kuruc.info/. Those who can't read Hungarian will be able to "enjoy" this rag in English: http://kuruc.info/r/6/39660/.

Novák's role in kuruc.info has not been officially established. But on the basis of information I have picked up I'm almost certain of Novák's involvement. For a number of years Hungarian authorities have sought to shut down kuruc.info. And what's the problem? The Hungarian national security team and the police are convinced that because the site is on an American server the United States government has jurisdiction over the matter. I personally think this is nonsense. After all, the server might be in the United States but Novák and his friends are sitting and writing this garbage somewhere in Budapest. Let's assume that someone living in the United States writes a blog in which he calls for the assassination of the president. This person uses a server in another country. Does anyone thinks that the FBI wouldn't be at his door in no time?

Now try to imagine Novák as aNovak Elod4 member of parliament next year. After all, he is already Jobbik's representative on the National Electoral Committee. Jobbik fulfilled all the obligations necessary to take part in the European Parliamentary elections in June and as a result it was granted a seat on the committee. As a new member Novák had to be sworn in in the presence of either the speaker of the house or one of her deputies.

SZDSZ tried to block Novák's membership on the Electoral Committee on the grounds that he has been known to steal and publish private information about people whom he didn't like. After all, SZDSZ argued, he could do the same at the Electoral Committee that has plenty of personal information on hand. They failed. Katalin Szili, I think rightly, explained that she has no legal right to keep Jobbik's representative off the Electoral Committee, but at least she herself didn't administer the oath. As one MSZP member said: "She had enough sense." So it was Péter Harrach (Christian Democratic People's Party) who was merrily drinking champagne with Novák. By the way, pay special attention to Novak Elod1Novák's outfit. It is called "bocskai" after István Bocskai (1557-1606), Prince of Transylvania, but it became fashionable only between the two world wars as a school uniform and in nationalistic middle-class circles. After the change of regime in right-wing circles the "bocskai" once again became fashionable, and I was not terribly surprised to see how many tailors specialize in making "bocskais" nowadays. There was another thing that was a bit peculiar at the swearing in ceremony. Novák doesn't believe in the Hungarian Constitution and therefore initially he wasn't too keen on taking the customary oath. He wanted to swear on the Holy Crown of St. Stephen because he believes in the Theory of the Holy Crown, a rather muddled notion that the physical crown is the embodiment of the Lands of St. Stephen. The Lands of St. Stephen in this interpretation represents pre-Trianon Hungary. At the end he took the ordinary oath and then descended to the first floor of the parliament building where he could take his own little oath in front the Crown of St. Stephen that Viktor Orbán had earlier managed to move from the National Museum. Also rather peculiar in the parliament of a republic. MSZP and SZDSZ complained that Péter Szegedi, head of the Electoral Committee, took part in the ceremony and also had a sip of champagne with him.

Előd Novák immediately swung into action as a new member of the Electoral Committee. His goal is to block the replacement of one MSZP politician by another MSZP politician in the Budapest legislature. The Budapest MSZP-SZDSZ coalition has only a one-person majority and because György Hunvald, the MSZP mayor of District VII and a member of the legislature, has been sitting in jail for at least two months on corruption charges, the opposition has prevented passage of the city's budget. Finally MSZP convinced Hunwald to give up his seat in the legislature and the MSZP big whigs in the city came up with a new name, a woman who from the 1970s on worked for the counter-intelligence unit of the Ministry of Interior. In no time Magyar Nemzet unearthed her past. This was not exactly a great discovery and until now it had been no impediment to her political career. She served as one of the Budapest's district's deputy mayors. But Novák immediately asked the Electoral Committee to bar her from taking her seat. The National Electoral Committee announced that there are no legal impediments to her taking office. Novák is not deterred. According to the latest news, he now is appealing to the Supreme Court. I very much doubt that he will succeed. After all, in Hungary there is no legislation to bar anyone from taking part in politics because of his or her past activities. Especially not twenty years before. But Novák is not easily deterred. Meanwhile Budapest still has no budget, although the deadline was March 15. I'm curious what else can we expect from Novák.

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Istvan Ertl
Guest

On “bocskais”, it could be noted that one of the best known photos showing Hungarians deported to Auschwitz (to be seen e.g. as
“Hungarian Jewish children in Birkenau, May, 1944” on http://www.degob.hu/english/index.php?showarticle=2031 ) depicts children wearing bocskais. If only this Jobbik individual wore this outfit in remembrance of so many Hungarian lives lost!

Odin's lost eye
Guest

Professor where do you dig up such nasty little toads? Is there a special breeding unit in Hungary or are they specialy trained to be like this? I know that there are others in other countries but Hungary seems to mass produce them

Godot
Guest

“Kuruc.info is viciously antisemitic”
So what? This blog is viciously anti-Hungarian. Which one is worse?
The real problem in Hungary is not the few twisted individuals on the far right, it’s MSZP and its fake “opposition” SZDSZ. Everyone responsible for the past 7 years’ disaster must be severely punished. This is what’s important now, and of course finding responsible people to take over the government and the Parliament. Throw the bums out, don’t let them promote racial tensions only to hang onto power. The so-called “far right” is a creation of the ruling crooks, they want to divert attention from their own horrible crimes. Put decent people in power and the far right will fade away, having no purpose to exist. Believe it or not.

Godot
Guest

“for political mistakes one doesn’t get punished.”
I don’t know what Orban thinks, or why isn’t doing anything if he means what he’s been preaching. One major problem with Hungary’s political system is that no amount of “political mistakes” will disqualify or remove the incompetent from office. Corruption and other crimes are rarely done in the public eye, and the few cases discovered are usually go unpunished.
We have a mafia here, and we all know how they make their money, yet it’s difficult to catch and successfully prosecute them. Witnesses and members of the legal system are either bribed or scared.
Democracy never had a chance in Hungary, people are confused, disillusioned and tired.

Sandor
Guest

Well, Godot, perhaps you should start unwinding corruption with the first politically “interesting” case; the selling of the fidesz building and the pilfering of the hundred million purchase price.
This interesting case has lead to other interesting cases of fidesz corruption, Kaya Ibrahim, and an interesting series of contracts benefitting the Orban family.
Those Tokaj-stories were also quite interesting.
Now let me tell you why Orban is not doing anything.
He cannot do anything until he changes and twists the law into a special shape that catches only opponents, without including his own, and his friends’ corruption.
Or, if you think that the Babolna bankruptcy is any nicer than the Hajdubet bankruptcy, then I wouldn’t give a wooden nickel for your jurisprudence.

NWO
Guest

In Austria, corruption and patronage used to be nicely divided between the Reds and the Blacks in a way that all parties shared and all parties were always in power. In Hungary, of course, the Austrian model is always follwed but in the end it is screwed up. In Hungary, both parties share in the corruption but have not figured out how to share power. Corruption is much discussed but never prosecuted because all parties more or less are guilty. Elections in Hungary are SOLELY about who gets a bigger slice of the pie for the following 4 years. If the Hungarian politicians were as savvy as their Austrian counterparts, they could have figured out how to cut the pie better so all parties could all benefit simultaneously.

Godot
Guest

NWO,
Hungarian parties are much like mafia families. Using muscle, bribes and extortion to hang onto their turfs of illegal money-making, and they are not very goods at sharing or working together.
If we could just send all party members to Siberia for a few years, we would have a chance to come up with something a little more honest and useful for the country.
If we cannot do that, it’s time to start packing and move out. Sell Hungary to the Austrians for one Schilling (if they are willing to pay that much).

NWO
Guest

Godot-
What in Hungarian society makes you think the problem lies solely with members of political parties. It seems to me the type of corruption that bothers you so much in politics (and which I agree is unforgivable) permeates the whole society. The society lacks the essential element of trust and seems to me to be completely amoral in respect of civic affairs. Cheating and lieing are really accepted social behaviour. This is not the fault of the MSZP or FIDESZ, but of the culutre and maybe of the country’s history.

whoever
Guest
I agree with the sentiment Mr Godot. But the problem isn’t with that rare, endangered species, the much-derided party member. They are only useful as a backdrop for meetings, to be bussed around as useful. They are a fig-leaf for a non-participatory dysfunctional multi-party system. I won’t say democracy. Old Feri Gy. was notable for making speeches about a dynamic, go-getting Hungary, whilst the audience was composed almost entirely of nice old ladies, nodding and smiling in indulgent bafflement, whilst considering recipies for cakes. I still hold out hope that people will eventually throw out every existing political force here and sweep the slate clean. The problem is, that the landscape has been shaped by the battles between the phoney left and the phoney right. Even the small parties exist and maintain themselves in the bombed-out ruins of a no-mans land, where the only financial or electoral opportunities bring them within spitting distance of one or the other big shark. For people interested in politics for real political reasons, the best hope, regardless of personal ideology, is to find a new vehicle which will clean things up and promise to undertake the necessary reforms. Maybe LMP could be that vehicle.… Read more »
Sandor
Guest

How patriotic can you get, my dear Godot!
Before you were advocating punishment for all the “evils” of the government, and now you would sell the whole kitten-caboodle for a measly schilling?
Isn’t that a bit low? From a patriot?

Godot
Guest

NWO:”What in Hungarian society makes you think the problem lies solely with members of political parties.”
The government, the Parliament and most important management jobs are filled with party members. Just like in the good old days. How can we expect any changes if all the people in power are controlled by evil parties? Let’s get rid of the parties and see what happens when we elect independent folks, based solely on their abilities, not party propaganda. What can we lose?

NWO
Guest

Godot:
Democracy on the level of a nation (save for a icro State) cannot work in this day and age based solely on a collection of independent, interested citizens. Parties play essential organizing roles in politics, and are especially vital in a Parliamentary system. Your idea is helplessly naive; it also misses my essential point. The quality of the Parties is a reflection of the citizenry at large and larger problems in the society.

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