Jobbik speeches on March 15

Polls indicate the ever growing popularity of the Hungarian far right that seems to threaten the overwhelming majority Fidesz is hoping for at the national elections on April 11. The latest poll by Nézőpont, a Fidesz-financed polling company and think tank, actually shows Jobbik ahead of the socialists. I usually take Nézőpont’s results with a grain of salt because I don’t quite trust their independence. No other pollster came up with such results and one suspects that Nézőpont may have an ulterior motive. The most obvious would be that under these circumstances people will consider a vote for Fidesz rather than the very weak and therefore ineffective socialist party. In fact, some liberal commentators like László Kéri keep urging people to do just that because, in his opinion, Fidesz’s two-thirds majority is the only guarantee of putting Jobbik in its place. One problem I have with that line of reasoning is that I don’t quite trust Fidesz’s commitment to democracy. In fact, there are signs that the ideology of the two parties is not that terribly far apart. Yesterday in Galamus Csoport I compared parts of the speeches given by Tibor Navracsics (Fidesz) and Krisztina Morvai (Jobbik) and found striking similarities. For example, both think that Hungary today is neither independent nor free.

I carefully read the speeches of Gábor Vona, Krisztina Morvai, and Loránt Hegedűs, all three leading Jobbik politicians. Of the three Vona’s was perhaps the least bellligerent. The Reverend Loránt Hegedűs delivered a largely incomprehensible anti-semitic harangue. Within the party he is the spokesman of the openly anti-Jewish faction. He seems to have a fairly large following including the new editor-in-chief of Barikád, the party’s official paper.

The latest cover of Barikád depicts the famous statue of St. Gellért
overlooking the city but in place of a cross in his right hand Gellért is holding up a menorah. The caption reads: Wake up Budapest! Is this what you want? Well, this is fairly explicit and it reminds people of the worst Nazi period of Hungarian history but with a twist. The anti-semites in the 1930s didn’t use religious items as weapons.

Although Morvai also alludes to Hungarians being Palestinians in their own land, her message is much more political than racist. Her speech consisted of a rejection of everything Hungary has managed to achieve in the last twenty years, including membership in NATO and in the European Union; she also  rejects the free market economy.

No Morvai speech can be imagined without some reference to the “half-witted Nero and his depraved companions” who, according to Morvai, ordered an attack on peaceful demonstrators with rubber bullets which cost several people their eyesight. The numbers quoted by her vary but the whole incident is greatly exaggerated. The half-witted Nero is Ferenc Gyurcsány and the peaceful demonstrators were actually rock throwing vandals whose favorite pastime was setting fire to cars, garbage cans, and anything they could lay their hands on. In her version of the story, “these people had the right of national resistance against colonization, against stealing our land, our national wealth, and our future.”

According to Morvai it is the duty of Jobbik to open the eyes of the Hungarians and the whole world. She promised that as soon as she becomes a member of parliament (and surely she will unless some miracle happens between now and April 11) she will hold an international press conference and will outline “what is going on in this country.” I assume a Fidesz victory will not change her plan. As for the international press conference Ms. Morvai is well qualified. She speaks accented but fluent English.

She considers Hungary to be in “extreme peril.” In such a dire situation the question is what they could do “to take their freedom, their honor, their country back.” Here Morvai made a gesture toward Viktor Orbán by pointing out that lately the head of Fidesz has also started talking about “taking our country back.” Surely a good sign in her eyes.

In order “”to take the country back” they have to see clearly who took it away from them. The problem began already in 1989-1990, which “was the beginning of the plunder of the nation’s wealth.” That’s not all. Hungarians were were not allowed “to pass the gate to freedom, to build an independent, successful and prosperous country.” Hungarians actually lost “even the illusion of freedom and independence together with [their] national wealth, [their] factories, and [their] economy.” The thiefs were the communists who “on Monday were preaching Marxism to the workers but by Friday were interested only in capital.” As an example of these robber barrons Morvai brings up the case of the present prime minister. In fact, Fidesz tried to find some dirt on Gordon Bajnai but eventually its politicians gave up. Bajnai was clean. However, that doesn’t seem to deter Morvai from making accusations and launching tirades about the “workers whose factory was stolen from them” by Bajnai and his friends.

“But no, and no, and no! They cannot take away the pensions of those workers whom they threw out on the streets, they cannot take away the salaries of teachers and nurses. On the contrary, stolen goods should be returned to the rightful owners.”  It’s simple: today’s rich should be dispossessed and their money should be given to the rightful owners of the nation’s wealth that was taken away from them after 1990. Once upon a time something like that happened in Hungarian history. It was in 1948. Morvai seems to think that the present difficult economic times are due only to the communists’ greed and all could be remedied if these people just returned the stolen goods. Therefore there is no need for austerity programs.

But the communists committed other sins as well. They not only stole for themselves but they passed the country on to foreigners. For example, “the world-famous Hungarian food industry” was sold to foreigners who then closed the factories in order to create markets for their own products “that are inferior to our own.” They took away the livelihood of the Hungarian peasants and the Hungarian merchants. Instead came the foreign chains where “Hungarian workers deprived of their rights are working like slaves for shamelessly low salaries.” Morvai is outraged that the “present political elite” allows the exploitation of the Hungarian workers by foreigners. “As if [Hungary] were not a member of the European Union but a defenseless third-world colony.”

Morvai, and therefore Jobbik, doesn’t care about the rules and regulations of the European Union. Hungarians must be protected against foreign invasion. “After all, Hungary belongs to the Hungarians.”  As for the loans given by the IMF, the EU, and other foreign banks “we should declare at last that we had paid those loans back many times over and that we are not paying a cent more.” Moreover, the national wealth that was purchased for peanuts should be taken back from these foreigners.

Hungary is a country of wondrous endowments “even in its mutilated state.” Hungary has excellent soil, a good climate, is exceptionally rich in its waterways, the countryside is beautiful, the Hungarian people are hard working and efficient. Therefore our future should be bright. This is our road to the future and not tightening of belts…. Those people have who led the country until now not only didn’t know how to but actually didn’t want to make it thrive. And do you know why? Because they don’t love this country…. They didn’t honor this land, they didn’t respect the Hungarian people…. They didn’t want our freedom, our dignity, our better future…. Those who love the Hungarian people, love their Fatherland should lead this country.”

You may recall that Viktor Orbán plagiarized a bit from Péter Róna when in his “state of the country” speech he talked about the problem with Hungarian foreign policy. The passage that was plagiarized was this: “According to myth our country is small and depends on exports and because it is lacking natural resources and endowments it must defer to others…. [The authors and propagators of this myth] don’t talk about the fact that half of the countries in the European Union are smaller than Hungary. They don’t talk about it because this compulsion toward deference is a characteristic basis of the political elite’s legitimacy.” So, from Róna to Orbán and now to Morvai. If I were Róna I wouldn’t be too proud because Morvai said the following: “Instead of fawning, instead of deference to others, and instead of this polite diplomacy we should demand our rights. We must make it clear that we are not second-class citizens of Europe.”

Reading these lines one is not surprised that Jobbik rhetoric resonates well with about one million Hungarians. It sounds good to take money from the rich, get rid of the foreigners and explain that the country’s only problem is that some corrupt former communists stole the country’s citizens blind. Far too many Hungarians, more than the ones who will vote for Jobbik, believe that there was a thriving industry and agriculture in the Kádár regime that was wasted. They simply refuse to believe that Hungarian industry was not competitive and with the collapse of the Soviet market Hungary couldn’t find an alternative market for its, let’s face it, inferior products and produce. Too many people firmly believe this myth. These people love to hear all this instead of the truth.

Today, for some strange reason, a lot of people believe that Fidesz will be able to fix everything overnight.  Obviously those of us who are familiar with the economic situation of the country know better. And what will happen if the Fidesz voters will also be disappointed soon enough? Will the Jobbik remedy sound better?

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Curiosity
Guest

The caption reads: Wake up Budapest! Is this what you want? Well, this is fairly explicit and it reminds people of the worst Nazi period of Hungarian history but with a twist. The anti-semites in the 1930s didn’t use religious items as weapons.
#####
Yes. A shocking cover.
So, just out of curiosity, what was the actual article in this magazine that led them, or rather its editor, to lead with that story and that cover?
Tell us about the Nazi content of this article please, so people may be adequately forewarned.

Paul
Guest

no matter how you phrase it, as a whole jobbik is still the most honest and sensible party. they will continue to attract voters because they dare to say what everyone is thinking, rather than just repeating lies from the liberal media. hungarians have had enough of communist/socialist/liberalist corruption and find jobbik’s honesty and directness refreshing. i wish them the very best!

Peter Koroly
Guest

@Paul@ no matter how you phrase it, not everyone is thinking in Hungary like Jobbik.

Member

“So, just out of curiosity, what was the actual article in this magazine that led them, or rather its editor, to lead with that story and that cover?”
I was wondering this too, so I found the magazine online. It only has the table of contents of the latest edition:
http://barikad.hu/node/46292
Judging from this there are quite a few articles which could have led to the cover art (sorry if the translations are a bit off – my Hungarian is not good):
Sukoró csak a jéghegy csúcsa – izraeli térfoglalás a magyar ingatlanpiacon
Sukoro was the tip of the iceberg – Israeli occupation of the Hungarian property market
– Szabadrablás “Judapesten” – Feltárjuk a budapesti korrupciós botrányokat
Daylight robbery in Judapest – corruption scandals revealed
“Zsidóknak a földet eladni nem kell félnetek jó lesz!”
It would be good if they didn’t sell the earth to the Jews. (I think)
A földrajzot is meghamisítják? Izrael besettenkedne az EU-ba
Falsifying geography? Israel to join the EU. (I think)
Curiously several of the titles would fit just as neatly into a far-left magazine as a far right one, such as:
Palesztin holokauszt, az olaj ára
Palestinian holocaust: the price of oil.
Grespik László beszél küzdelméről a gyarmatosítók ellen
Laszlo Grespik on the struggle against colonialism

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

David””I was wondering this too, so I found the magazine online.”
Thank you, David. I looked too and as you can see there are several articles with Jewish themes. I also heard an interview with Sándor Pörzse, the editor-in-chief, on MTV’s Ma Reggel. He talked about his outrage when Simon Perez three years ago in jest said something about Izraelis buying up Manhattan, Hungary and Poland. It was said in jest, but it sure gave an opportunity to these guys to justify their anti-semitism.

John T
Guest
@ Paul. With all due respect, what utter drivel. Punishing some corrupt officials may be nice and easy, but what about the real world. Unfortunately for Ms Morvai, the total population of the world does not consist of just 10 million Hungarians + 5 million ethnic kin. It is actually 6+ billion, so do the maths – 0.0025% of the worlds population or to be more exact,totally insignificant in the wider scheme of things. So for her to effectively stick two fingers up to the rest of the world and the key institutions within it isn’t particularly bright. Now if Hungary was a world leader and had something we all needed, the bravado might be a little more understandable. But unfortunately, it doesn’t and isn’t likely to anytime soon. And apart from the Rubik’s cube and Turo Rudi, it hasn’t contributed much in the last 50 years. What Ms Morvai hasn’t appreciated (or just chooses to ignore) is that if Hungary embarks on an anti-foreigner, anti-business, “Hungary first” policy, other countries will simply play the same game and trade / export markets will shrink, investment will dry up, and with an aging population and a declining birthrate, the country will… Read more »
GDF
Guest

What is the importance of what’s inside this “magazine”? The cover speaks volumes.
And when I read here from somebody that members of this Nazi party “dare to say what everyone is thinking”, even if this everyone is “only” 18% of the population, it makes me shiver.

PassingStranger
Guest
I was there on 15 March and your piece does not capture the mood. There were perhaps 10-5000 people there (Jobbik claimed 50.00, which was nonsense, it was much too cold). Clearly most people there were Garda members and hanger ons, judged by the cheering evry time the Garda was mentioned, and its even more obnoxious baby brother, the Nemzeti Orsereg. Each mention of Israel got loads of boos, Vona’s anti-Semitic rant against a German named Salomon buying Hungarian land got lots of approval. I don’t know what is worse: the anti-Semitism or triumphalism. ‘They are afraid’ shouts Orban. Clearly some heads will get knocked about after 25 April. GDF, these are jobbik trolls who spend their days scouring the Internet for articles critical of Jobbik and lambasting them as anti-Hungarian. Everything that is not Jobbik (80% of the country) is basically magyarellenes in their view. They are either paid, or have loads of time on their hands, which suggests they are students, though a lot of them are incredibly studpid (like the ones above). Some are more clever. They have practically written the English wikipedia entry on Jobbik, which is a massive (but obvious) piece of disinformation. Save yourself… Read more »
Paul
Guest

wow some of you guys really hate hungary with a passion dont you! i imagine your worst nightmare would be a strong, prosperous, safe hungary. the more insults you spit at jobbik, the more real hungarians realise who is really on their side.

Member

Paul, Jobbik have a set of policies that would turn Hungary into a 3rd World Russian client state. I cannot see how anyone who loves Hungary or who even has a fleeting concern for the country’s welfare would wish to vote for them.

Alias3T
Guest
Jobbik has undergone something of a transformation over the past year or so: PassingStranger is right to say that the crowd on Bajcsy on Monday was stuffed full of gardistak, but what he didn’t mention was how different they were from the gardistak we knew and loved last year: the jaded, unemployed, fat, sad, desperate old men were almost gone, and in their place you saw well-groomed young men and women in their early 20s – presumably students or recent graduates, although some may have been just as unemployed as their older predecessors. I think that’s the big change: while it may continue to find its support base in the long-term unemployed of north-east Hungary and the foaming-at-the-mouth ‘patriotic’ right of Esztergom and western Hungary, the party as a whole has managed to make itself almost salonfaehig. Last year, only the utterly broken and crazy oddballs would be seen associating with the party. Now, you don’t have to be a loser to be seen cheering at a Jobbik rally. That would explain the self-confident mood that was so disturbing at the rally: gone was the anger of yesteryear; it had been replaced by the smug sense of a movement that… Read more »
Paul
Guest

and the communists/socialists arent taking hungary towards the third world…? have you been in a coma for the last 8 years?
im not sure if you have actually read their policies at all but i didnt see any which promoted subservience to russia (or anyone else). how about researching and thinking for yourself instead of just repeating propaganda you heard on the tv.
jobbiks policies are designed to fix a broken nation, in serious need of real reform. the current system is not giving most hungarians what they want – there is no denial of that fact. until this changes, jobbik will keep getting stronger.

Member

I am sure that Jobbik do not promote their policy of better relations with Russia as “subservience”, but given that Russia is 15 times the size of Hungary and given that the country does not like its neighbours taking stances it disapproves of(see Georgia or Ukraine for examples) it clearly will lead to subservience.
A “radical” political programme to create a better society, well Hungary seems to have tried that one already, it was called communism and it didn’t work. Fool you once, shame on me, fool you twice shame on you.
Any politician who tells you that his wonderful programme will radically change your country for the better is a liar. Change requires lots of hard work and a bit of luck, there is no political shortcut to prosperity.
Just because the MSzP are a bunch of crooks it doesn’t mean that Jobbik will be any different. Chances are they will be much worse. They are already lying in a way that would make Gyucsany blush….

Paul
Guest
so attempts at better relations with russia “clearly will lead to subservience” but signing away constitutional powers to the (even more massive) EU is ok??? where is the logic is that argument? are serbia and germany also “subservient” to russia by sharing special trade relations? jobbik’s program is not communistic in any way – your comparison is ridiculous. jobbik is a patriotic christian party, so yes i do believe they are fundamentally different to the socialists and can deliver real change for the better. every politician promises to change countries for the better – people must discern which party is most likely to be genuine and successful in doing so. i believe that jobbik alone has shown the will to address the country’s most serious problems. And more people agree with me every day (judging by the polls). you may also recall that communism was not voted it – it was imposed by a foreign power interested in controlling the country, not improving it. and so the mszp being a bunch of crooks is ok is it? the people should just shut up and accept it? how dare they demand an honest government! the nerve of those stupid peasants! being… Read more »
Öcsi
Guest

Paul wrote: “jobbik is a patriotic christian party, so yes i do believe they are fundamentally different to the socialists and can deliver real change for the better.”
Good luck on that one! Have a look at one of your leaders at this site.
http://tinyurl.com/yeadmye
And do check out the video and tell me again why Jobbik is better than anyone else. The guy is totally disgusting. But do feel free to follow your man. After all, Hungary is free now…

Peter Koroly
Guest

I guess the disappointment will come after april 11 and april 25. Because Fidesz will not realise the economic policy of Jobbik. So Jobbik will have the choice to become a secret partner of Fidesz, get some well paid jobs for the leaders and vote for Fidesz, or continue to be in opposition and face a Fidesz, which will in that case enforce valid Hungarian court decisions, f.i. the forbidding of the Hungarian Guard.

John T
Guest

“i imagine your worst nightmare would be a strong, prosperous, safe hungary”
Paul – actually, I’d like nothing better than a strong, prosperous, safe Hungary. I’d go on and add “where people are forward thinking, ambitious, outward looking, treat their fellow countrymen and outsiders with dignity and respect and take their rightful place in the European family of nations.” Is the Jobbik programme geared to achieving this – of course it isn’t. But perhaps it represents what Hungarians are actually capable of as a nation. If you go by the programme, they aren’t going to be capable of that much really, which to me is an incredible disappointment. As I said elsewhere, punishing crooks is the easy bit – god knows you can choose from a large number of your fellow citizens. But you’ve let your hatred of your opponents blind you to the realities of the wider world. Still, you can console yourself by believing you are a true Hungarian and a patriot. Maybe the former is true, but trust me, you aren’t the latter.

Paul
Guest

ah yes, the past actions of a jobbik spokesmen (which, lets be honest, werent really that bad) suddenly make the entire party a joke? its a minor embarrassment but id imagine most real hungarians are more worried about the tragic state of their bankrupt country than about some photos.
punishing crooks is just a start. but its a good start! im yet to hear you liberals actually point out specifically what is so horrid about jobbik’s manifesto. all i hear is repetitions of the usual biased, ignorant generalisations that the media use.
i also love it how you guys speculate on all the horrible things you think jobbik will do, instead of looking at all the horrible things your socialist buddies have actually already done! how bad does a party have to be before you will stop voting for them?? you old commies are hilarious! hungary’s youth want jobs and a future – and they wont get them from the socialists crooks!

John T
Guest
Paul, I’ve already stated here that a natural consequence of Jobbiks policies will be to alienate other countries. Do you seriously think for example, that you could restrict or stop imports from other countries as part of a “Hungary first” policy and expect them not to do the same in retaliation. As Hungary is geared to export products, that will be hugely damaging. And even if you could change your export markets away from the EU for example, it will take years to achieve. How do you fund the country (pensions, benefits etc.) in the meantime. It’s also daft of you to assume that anyone like me who disagree with Jobbik, are socialists or communists. If I was to exercise my right to vote in Hungary, I wouldn’t vote for any of the parties and would not have in the past, as they aren’t up to the job. And to take your last comments on Hungarian youth, if they want jobs and a future, then they need to play a full part in taking the country forward in a positive, not going backwards to the 1930’s for their answers. And a final point for you to ponder Paul, the most… Read more »
Odin's lost eye
Guest
I am seriously worried about Krisztina Morvai’s sanity. Her rantings show her to be paranoid. Ok I know that just because you are paranoid it does not mean that they are not ‘out to get you’. But her words bear little or no resemblance to the truth. In the article our good hostess reports that *** “She considers Hungary to be in “extreme peril.” In such a dire situation the question is what they could do “to take their freedom, their honour, and their country back.” ***. A counties honour is in that it repays its debts. As to its freedom as I wander round (on my lawful occasion) I see no one (except the Magyar Gaurda) stopping people and questioning them. As to the ownership of their county, where I live less than 0.001% of the property is owned by non Hungarian citizens. Although the rest of it may well be ‘in hoc’ to the ‘Gnomes of Zurich’. I cannot see them digging up the land and putting it on a lorry and carting it off. It will remain here. It is well known that when you put a person in uniform they become ‘arrogant’ unless they are strongly… Read more »
Öcsi
Guest

Paul wrote:”ah yes, the past actions of a jobbik spokesmen (which, lets be honest, werent really that bad) suddenly make the entire party a joke? its a minor embarrassment but id imagine most real hungarians are more worried about the tragic state of their bankrupt country than about some photos.”
Who gets to decide who is a “real Hungarian?” Is it Vona or Morvai?
In his own defence, András Király said he was doing “research.” I can believe that as this photo clearly shows that he was checking out new uniforms for the Hungarian Guard!
http://tinyurl.com/yl6twnr
Paul wrote:”punishing crooks is just a start. but its a good start!”
Ah yes, words that could have come from Rákosi’s or Stalin’s lips, but I digress…

John T
Guest

Odin’s lost eye – I can return the compliments on making good points, reading your last contribution. You comments on the misery that nationalism causes are particularly relevant. I’m sure most people families have suffered. In my family, my grandfather died in WWII so I never met him. But his death left a widow and 2 children, one aged four (my mum) and another daughter, whom he never ever got a chance to hold in his arms. That is the misery of nationalism, but unfortunately, people do not seem to learn the lessons.

John T
Guest

One additional factor with Morvai is that I think she actually craves the limelight as much as everything else.

John T
Guest

Odin’s lost eye – looking at another of your points about uniforms & power. If Jobbik do get into power, I actually don’t see their current leadership staying in place for long. Vona and Morvai are useful now as figureheads to attract voters, but I suspect there are more powerful, ruthless players in the background, biding their time waiting for their moment to come to the surface. I certainly wouldn’t see Vona as someone who could retain control if seriously challenged.

GDF
Guest

John T:”If Jobbik do get into power, I actually don’t see their current leadership staying in place for long. Vona and Morvai are useful now as figureheads to attract voters, but I suspect there are more powerful, ruthless players in the background, biding their time waiting for their moment to come to the surface. I certainly wouldn’t see Vona as someone who could retain control if seriously challenged.”
Bloody power struggles among Nazis have a long tradition. Just look at the fate of the SA in Germany.

Guest

Thanks everybody (except maybe Paul …) for your enlightening and refreshing comments – a pleasure to read!
@GDF, Odin … and John: “You took the words right out of my mouth …”