Two assessments of the future of the Orbán government

I admit that this is a peculiar coupling of sources. One is the May Day speech of Gábor Vona and the other an opinion piece of the respectable analyst László Lengyel. Both predict hard times for Viktor Orbán and his team. Vona's assessment is quite primitive while Lengyel's is sophisticated. Vona categorically announces that "Fidesz will fail." The party's fate will be something like that of MSZP or worse. Lengyel is just doubtful whether Orbán and his government are up to the task.

Let's start with Vona. The main thrust of his argument is that Fidesz will either fail or, if by luck it doesn't, it will be because Orbán adopts the solutions of Jobbik. Vona will be the head of the Jobbik parliamentary delegation and he and his party insist on four key legislative actions: political reckoning (in plain language, send the socialist politicians to jail), law and order (again in plain language, put the Gypsies who commit crimes into jail and frighten the rest to death), suspend the evictions of those who have defaulted on their mortgages for a whole year, and tax cuts. In addition, they want to have a national holiday commemorating the day the Treaty of Trianon was signed, dual citizenship for Hungarians living in the neighboring countries, and an assurance that "no Solomons can buy land in Hungary." The Hungarian Guard must be legalized, a new constitution must be based on the Theory of the Holy Crown, and there must be a change in orientation of Hungary's foreign policy. He had a few words to say about the "immoral secular society interested only in consumption." Jobbik wants to set up an institute to study the ancient history of Hungarians. What kind of history that would be became clear when Vona said "I am no Finno-Ugric."

If these demands are not met, Jobbik will go out on the streets. I have the feeling that Jobbik can start organizing the demonstrations right now because surely almost none of these demands can be, will be, or should be met. Jobbik's strong language is not a charade. Some people think that soon enough Jobbik will be a willing partner of Fidesz, but I don't subscribe to this view. I think Vona and company mean what they say.

As for Lengyel. He predicts two "cold civil wars." I will explain later what he means by that. Lengyel thinks, not without reason, that it will be very difficult for Fidesz and Orbán to change overnight from an opposition that said no to everything and a party that kept its program secret to a government that has to take action and must explain its program. It will be very difficult for a movement that was against all reforms, a party that started a referendum to stop reforms, to become a government that introduces the inevitable reforms.

For instance, until now Fidesz's only answer to the Roma question was stricter laws and more policemen, but that very same party now will have to come up with some constructive, long-term solutions to a serious problem that cannot be solved simply by talking about law and order.

Lengyel foresees "cold civil wars" on two fronts: economic and social. The first is familiar fare to readers of this blog. Fidesz and Orbán will have to come to an understanding with the IMF and the European Union. Lengyel is convinced that as a result of these negotiations it will become apparent that there is no possibility of fulfilling the economic expectations of those who voted for Fidesz. I already noted that the doctors turned in their demands; since then the teachers have also spoken. They want 25% higher salaries and at the same time a reduction in their teaching hours which, by the way, are one of the lowest, if not the lowest in Europe. A couple of days ago the association of mayors also turned in their 12-point list for more money and their demand for fewer obligations. To somehow cool these expectations without public opinion turning against the government is going to be a daunting task.

Lengyel predicts that the second "cold civil war" will take place in the fields of culture and education. According to rumors the ministry that deals with these matters will be given to the Christian Democrats whom Lengyel simply calls "the beasts." From what I know about Rózsa Hoffmann (I wrote about her earlier) she is bad news. Her educational philosophy comes straight from the old Prussian playbook–strict discipline in the classroom, rote learning, and a curriculum that doesn't prepare Hungarian students for the demands of the twenty-first century. The Hungarian youth might lean toward the right politically, but I doubt that they'll be thrilled to give up their freedom and become happy little Prussian students. Lengyel predicts that they will soon enough view "a peevish government of adults, humorless and provincial, as out of touch and antiquated as the socialists."

A Kulturkampf spearheaded by these old-fashioned conservative Christian Democrats will develop and the liberal elite will in no time revolt. There will be a conservative counterattack. The "beasts" will call them "commies" and there will be a lot of talk about Jews who occupy important positions. Slowly but surely the elite will turn against this Christian Democratic onslaught. Lengyel thinks that perhaps Orbán wants it this way. Such a Kulturkampf would draw attention away from the economic problems. But Lengyel predicts that such a tactical move will not help the situation. Just as it didn't help Kádár in 1982-83 when Hungary first needed the help of the IMF and when the regime moved against oppositional organs. József Antall did something similar in late 1990 when economic problems beset the country. His government began "the media war." It didn't help. They were squarely defeated a few years later.

Lengyel also has some problems with the new government structure. "A monumental, centralized governing structure will be difficult to launch…. Also, this structure doesn't seem to fit the European model." Lengyel is not impressed with the professional background and competence of those already named.

Finally, Lengyel adds that it is in the interest of Hungary to have a strong and effective government that handles the crisis well. The question is whether this new government is able to have a dialogue about the most important strategic questions. If not, if it wants to solve the problems alone, Orbán will fail.

Lengyel sarcastically finishes his piece thus: "Written in the first year of the revolution, on the third day of its first month, on the 27th day of the month of Saint George."

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GW
Guest

‘Vona said “I am no Finno-Ugric.”‘
That may or may not be the case, but would Vona be willing to submit to a DNA examination to find out?

Paul
Guest

Eva,
What kind of analysis do you expect from someone who calls the Christian Democrats “the beasts”? Thats the kind of hateful bias i would expect to find on the darker sections of kuruc.info – unfitting of the truly “respectable analyst” you claim lengyel to be.
I would say that a drastic increase in classroom discipline is a great step. Im not sure when you were last in a hungarian classroom – or indeed when lengyel was – but in my own recent experience the current system is not succeeding either in its aim to “prepare Hungarian students for the demands of the twenty-first century”. educational reform is long overdue.
As a historian himself, I’m sure that more resources for research into hungarian history is an issue close to Vona’s heart. an increasing number of young hungarians also feel that over the last two decades, the history of our ancient and unique people hasn’t received the recognition or attention it deserves. whilst the hungarian language is attested to be a distant ancestor of the uralic languages, other aspects of hungarian pre-history remain intriguing, mysterious and under-resourced fields of study.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

How true Paul, what Hungarians need is the proof that the bible was written in Hungarian and that Jesus Christ was also a Hungarian and not a Jew. And I am sure Vona and his ilk of historians will be able to do that.
Probably the best thing would be only to teach Russian and Arab and stop teaching English, German and French. Another good thing would be to install the good old system of whipping and slapping the pupils.
I do not know if Latin should be also abolished after all the most important sentence “extra Hungariam non est vita” was written in Latin.
When Vona will be minister of education all this will happen and Hungary will be a most happy and prosperous country.
The only question is, will Vona be minister?
While Fidesz did a lot to create Jobbik, I doubt very much, that they will be so crazy and ally themselves with Vona & Co.

Paul
Guest

at no point did i voice support for any pseudo-scientific theories in my post, karl. try responding to what i actually wrote, rather than inventing irrelevant nonsense and insinuating that it is what i was promoting.
promoting historical research does not make one a nut. your post does, however, show how little of value you actually have to say on this topic. the steps you mentioned are certainly NOT in line with jobbik’s actual education policies which can be found (in english) here (pg 13):
http://jobbik.com/temp/Jobbik-RADICALCHANGE2010.pdf
i also think that saying “Fidesz did a lot to create Jobbik” is giving fidesz a bit too much credit than is due. the corruption and dishonesty of the socialist government appears to be what really boosted jobbik’s support over the last few years.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Paul: “What kind of analysis do you expect from someone who calls the Christian Democrats “the beasts”? Thats the kind of hateful bias.”
How sensitive we became suddenly. Allow me to list a few choice adjectives from the other side. Zsolt Bayer called the socialist and liberals then in opposition “rohadt gyilkos gazemberek,” “mocsadék utolsó állatok.” But one doesn’t have to go as far as Bayer, Here are a few from Viktor Orbán himself. Again in Hungarian because one finds it difficult to find equivalents in English: gyűlölködő, acsarkodó, cinikus, gyáva, pimasz, ingyenélő, szélhámos, kalandor, gőgös, kapzsi, gonosz, pénzéhes, ripacs, pojáca, idióta, ideggyenge, erkölcsileg megsemmisült, alantas, ostoba, bűnös, beteg, milliardos klikk, elkényeztetett újarisztokrata semmirekelők, a keleti önkény hazai helytartói, a felső tizezer kalózkodó pártja, a kormányzat lápvilága, mocsara, and many more. All that was addressed to Orbán political rivals. Real Christian stuff!

Paul
Guest

the “other side” may also have a dirty mouth. this is not in dispute.
my issue is with calling lengyel a “respectable analyst” having just quoted him as referring to the Christian Democrats as “the beasts”. what kind of “respectable” analysis could you really expect in an article containing that reference? you would rightly not afford bayer or orban the title of “respectable analyst” – is lengyel really so deserving of it either?
politicians of all persuasions will engage in dirty wordplay where it suits their ends – winning elections is their job. but don’t expect any sort of unbiased political analysis from an “analyst” who also stoops to this level. “respectable analysts” are those who avoid engaging in such open vitriol – not those who promote it.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Paul, if you knew Lengyel’s work you would know that he likes animal comparisons. I don’t feel like searching for examples but he had all sorts of animal names for Horn and many others.
As you ought to know the word “vad” in Hungarian means “wild, untamed, uncivilized.” Someone who when let loose goes and destroy things. I think in this respect the Hungarian variety of Christian Democrats are somewhat like that. They are ideologues who would close all the stores on Sunday, herd people into churches, introduce religious education in schools. One doesn’t need to continue. My only hope is that Orbán will realize that this will not go over too well in a country where only 13% of the population attends church regularly.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Paul I wrote an ironic post.
As you probably know I am the Vienna correspondent of “Hetek”. There was a panel-discussion about “Hit gyülekezete” and the mother of one of the members of this religious community who is a student at the theological academy of “Hit gyülekezete” complained about her son, that he learns Hebrew and the catholic priest who moderated the event said, well the reason for that is, because the Bible was written in Hebrew. To which the mother replíed very upset: “That is not true, the bible was written in Hungarian.
Of course Jobbik has a wonderful solution (irony) for the education of Roma, they should be occasionally segregated.
Jobbik is a nationalistic, antisemitic and antigypsie neoarrowcross Party and nothing good can come from it.

John T
Guest

‘Vona said “I am no Finno-Ugric.”‘
And like probably more than 70% of Hungarians, if he provided DNA, he wouldn’t find he was descended from the original Magyars. Does it make him less Hungarian? Of course not.

John T
Guest

“I would say that a drastic increase in classroom discipline is a great step. Im not sure when you were last in a hungarian classroom – or indeed when lengyel was – but in my own recent experience the current system is not succeeding either in its aim to “prepare Hungarian students for the demands of the twenty-first century”. educational reform is long overdue.”
Paul – Discipline starts at home. If there is poor parenting at home, it is carried into the classroom. In the UK, some parents seem to think they have no responsibility for discipline and it solely the job of the teacher to enforce it. That is a daft attitude. Sure the teacher needs to maintain order in the class, but their main role is to teach.
I’m of the opinion that if a kid is poorly behaved, there should be sanctions against the parents at some stage.

John T
Guest

As a historian himself, I’m sure that more resources for research into hungarian history is an issue close to Vona’s heart. an increasing number of young hungarians also feel that over the last two decades, the history of our ancient and unique people hasn’t received the recognition or attention it deserves. whilst the hungarian language is attested to be a distant ancestor of the uralic languages, other aspects of hungarian pre-history remain intriguing, mysterious and under-resourced fields of study.
Paul – if Hungary was a rich nation, awash with cash to look into the past, then fine, do the research. But for now, I’d be happier if the nation invested in it’s present and future, as that is more important. And I hate to disappoint you, but Hungarians are human beings, just like the rest of us 🙂

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

John T: “I’m sure that more resources for research into hungarian history is an issue close to Vona’s heart. an increasing number of young hungarians also feel that over the last two decades, the history of our ancient and unique people hasn’t received the recognition or attention it deserves.”
There is plenty of research on early Hungarian history but Vona and crew is not satisfied with what Hungarian historiography has achieved on that score for the last two hundred years or so. They have “their own” fanciful historical interpretation that is no more than the figment of their imagination. That is what they want to study in their “institute.”
As for Vona being “Finno-Ugric or not” is another sign of Vona’s ignorance. The Hungarian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric linquistic family but the Hungarian people’s DNA is in no way differs from other Slavic or Germanic people in the vicinity. But more about that in today’s blog.

Odin's Lost eye
Guest
Never mind what or who master Vona says he is! These pronouncements are just red herrings. If it is true, as reported in this blog, that *** ” If these demands are not met, Jobbik will go out on the streets” ***. Then his real intentions are made absolutely clear. If the government of Orban Victor does not do what Vona wants then Jobbik and its ‘Sturmabteilung’ will riot in the streets, burn cars, loot little businesses, and hospitalise policemen. These will be accompanied that shrieking harpy Morvai screaming ‘Police brutality’. One can see the special celebrations for ‘Trianon Day’ where the Jobbik Goons will assault selected foreigners, looting and destroying their investments, to show, as Morvai will say the ‘Righteous rage of the Magyar people at the injustice of Trianon’. A treaty imposed on the Austro-Hungarian Empire for having lost a war which it started. It is certain that the Hungarian expectations will not met by Fidesz. It will never be until there is a ‘sea change’ in the Hungarians’ attitude towards work, investment, grandiose schemes and the readiness to learn from other peoples. If you want foreign investment you have to invest your own money first!
Történelem
Guest

Jesus was not Jew. Only rebel thralls and foreigners (who are not recognized subservienced provincial nations of Roman Empire) were crucified. Jews weren’t allowed to live in Galilee in Jesus’ age. He wasn’t Jewish (as Talmud states) however, “Hungarian Jesus” is a very ridiculous statement.

GENETICS
Guest

The Uralic origin of Hungarians is an obsolete idea, which is similar ridiculous and laughable as the idea of the “Hungarian Jesus”.
Genetics is a real (natural) SCIENCE. It proved that Hungarians and finno-ugoric northern fols are not related. The genetic similarity between finno-ugric and hungarian people is 0,00% in ancient and modern Y and mt.DNA.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Történelem, If I were you I would give up the study of history. The kind you study is bunk.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Genetics, you don’t get smarter when you use the name Genetics instead of History. I have very little patience with ignorami. So, beware that you will not be able to spread your nonsense here for too long.

John T
Guest

Eva – A tad harsh on Genetics. While I would agree with what you’ve said on the linguistic issues in terms of relations, DNA can help in tracing the way in which people have migrated, though it certainly has flaws. I’m very interested in genealogy, and DNA testing is increasing on the agenda.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

John T: “I’m very interested in genealogy, and DNA testing is increasing on the agenda.”
I will write about that today. However, I maintain that Tortenelem-Genetics is talking nonsense. Worse than nonsense. We know who propagates such “modern” theories nowadays. Jesus wasn’t a Jew, or Finno-Ugric linguistic relations are old-fashioned. The far-far, anti-semitic right.

Odin's Lost eye
Guest

Mr Történelem know ye this! The region around Nazareth and Galilee were part of the Kingdom of Herod Antipas who inherited it from his father Herod the Great (AKA Basilus). Herod the Great was elected ‘King of the Jews’ by the Roman Senate. Antipas like his dubious father who had a habit of killing his sons, was a JEW. So what you have written is I am afraid a ‘load of cobblers’. Enough said?
John T will tell what that remark means it is cockney rhyming slang the ending of the phrase (awls) is implied.

John T
Guest

Eva – I fully understand how some are using this issue for bizarre political reasons. But, DNA testing is likely to tease out other links in addition to the Finno-Ugric one. So it will be interesting. And as I said in another thread, DNA testing will certainly show that only a minority of Hungarians are descended from the original Magyars. The majority of Hungarians will have settled in the centuries after the Magyars arrived. But the descendents of these people are no less Hungarian.

John T
Guest

Odin’s Lost eye – I’m descended from good cockney stock on my mother’s side, with deeper associations than I first thought – that’s the fascination of genealogy.
And yes, a load of cobblers sums up the Jobbik interest in this issue. But it is likely to discredit any serious study.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

John T.: “But, DNA testing is likely to tease out other links in addition to the Finno-Ugric one.”
You’re too impatient. This has been done and I will give you all the details this afternoon. But the final result is: there is very Finno-Ugric in Hungarians.

John T
Guest

“You’re too impatient. This has been done and I will give you all the details this afternoon. But the final result is: there is very Finno-Ugric in Hungarians.”
I’m not disagreeing the end product – I just think that “getting there” is likely to be more complex. And as the way in which we test DNA improves, thats what I find interesting.
To be honest, while it is great to know and appreciate where you come from, it is the here and now that is the most important.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

John T.: “To be honest, while it is great to know and appreciate where you come from, it is the here and now that is the most important.”
No question.

GENETICS
Guest

For Eva Balogh: There aren’t genetic proofs for Hungarian finnougric relations. Please name an American or EU DNA laboratory which state that ancient or modern Hungarians are Finno-ugric. You can’t. For John T: Majority of present-day Hungarians arrived 40,000 years ago, it was long before the Ice-age. All genetic studies proved that.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Genetics: “For John T: Majority of present-day Hungarians arrived 40,000 years ago, it was long before the Ice-age. All genetic studies proved that.”
You’re talking nonsense. Lajos Papp’s “proof” is based on misunderstanding. Hungarians did not come to Europe 40,000 years ago. The only thing we know that Europe was mostly populated from the East but not by Hungarians. Give up all this nonsense. You make yourself ridiculous.

GENETICS
Guest

Again. Éva can’t find an European or American genetic laboratory and scientist who supported the Hungarian and finnougric relationships.

GENETICS
Guest

Majority of present day Hungarians arrived in the Carpathian-basin in 40,000 years ago. Every human genetic laboratories supports that idea.

GENETICS
Guest

Eva can’t find an American or European Human-genetic laboratory and scientist, who supported the Hungarian-Finnougric relation.
According to ALL DNA laboratories: The Majority of the ancestors of present-day Hungarians arrived in the Carpatian-basin 40,000 years ago, before the Ice age. She couldn’t find other recent genetic informations about Hungarians. Because it is evidence for every geneticists.

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