The Origo readers’ comments on Viktor Orbán’s speech

Our Fidesz friends complained that I don't show the happy side of life in Hungary. My first reaction was that in the Rákosi and Kádár periods it was a pleasure to open Szabad Nép or Népszabadság. We saw happy collective farm workers harvesting the wheat or the corn that was naturally bounteous. More abundant than last year, more than ever. Workers were proudly showing their factories and the fabulous items they produced. The papers were full of good news.

I'm sorry that I cannot provide similar heartwarming stories for you, but I will try to cheer you up with some good Hungarian political humor that in the last twenty years had faded. It was necessary for Viktor Orbán to return for Hungarian political jokes to reappear.

As I mentioned yesterday, I collected a number of comments that were written in connection with a summary of Viktor Orbán's speech on October 23, 2010. There were very few positive comments, which surprised me because normally right-wing comments are more numerous because it seems that Fidesz and Jobbik supporters are more active on the Internet. However, here are a few I particularly liked.

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(1) Hmmm….. among the blind a half-witted caesar.

(2) Thanks, but I don't want this new century led by Orbán! What does this mini-dictator think?

(3) We have a huge problem on our hands. The socialists' running amuck gave birth to a very sick-minded evil little twerp. Anyone who now thinks that this is a good way to go is wrong. The truth when it comes out will hurt. And the saddest thing is that there is no one who could take his place and do something for us Hungarians.

(4) I used to think that Orbán is a serious politician but watching this speech I am totally disillusioned. It's true that I live in Transylvania and I learn about Hungary only through television and the radio, but I'm not so stupid that I would believe that there had been a revolution since 56 and it came to an end now that two-thirds of the country voted for them. That is a pitiful story. A politician shouldn't utter such a stupidity.

(5) His style of speaking reminds me of someone … I believe his first name was Adolf. He also had a sick mind, and unfortunately this one also.

(6) It is disgusting as "Mr." Viktor Orbán speaks of 56 while he is working very hard for the restoration of the Kádár regime.

(7) Orbán was still wearing diapers when we fought in 56 [sic. He was born in 1963.] The candles were burning on graves on public squares. He lived 12, 15, 17 years. How does he dare to compare himelf to these people? Or his "revolution" to 56. Who and what is he imaging himself to be? That offspring of a party secretary.

(8) Thanks for the extra 1,000 forints that the new tax cuts leave in my pocket. I have three children. My takehome pay is 105,000 a month. Thank you for your drastic tax cut. But I was naive in expecting anything from these people. During his first reign they did the same thing.

(9) He should drop dead along with his many followers. They are no better than the former government. If someone ever saw a pre-war newsreel on which a man whose name starts with H was talking, that person certainly can see the similarities.

(10) Well, thinking it through there has been no communism yet in this century but we are on the right track.

(11) Dear Viktor Orbán, you shouldn't be building the new century of Fidesz but that of Hungary. Half of what you have done until now is propaganda, the other half has caused more harm than good.

(12) Why is Viktor Orbán is screaming his head off???? [mint egy fába szorult féreg]

(13) Why did Hitler scream? Why did Mussolini scream? Why did Rákosi scream? Why did they? Now Orbán is SCREAMING! Why? Why?

(14) Because he is a REVOLUTIONARY, brave FIGHTER, NATIONAL HERO?!

(15) I feel nauseated. Phooye!!!!!!!!!

(16) He should calm down even if with the help of doctors.

(17) I have never seen seen a more conceited, puffed up man in my life although I'm not exactly young anymore. Many of my misled compatriots, why were you so blind? This scoundrel continues where he left off in 2002. In 1999 his mouth was watering for the money in the private pension funds but then he didn't have a two-thirds majority. Now he has which means that what he couldn't steal then he will steal now. I hope by now it is clear to everybody that the disturbances, demonstrators of the last eight years were not spontaneous "initiatives of the people." The whole thing was organized by Fidesz and KDNP.

(18) Men! We are in big trouble. This ranting of a demagogue, this posturing is on the one hand pitiful while on the other frightening.

(19) Viktor Orbán would like to be a towering figure in history. He will be but the most arrogant, most presumptuous figure who was able to lead a whole country by its nose. The personal cult he created can be compared only to the worst years of communism. Isn't it interesting that no one disturbed his speech? Why not? Because there were no paid people who were supposed to incite the crowd.

(20) AWAKE!!!!!! While it is not too late….

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I have more, but I think that will be enough to give an idea of how some people feel in Hungary.

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Kevin Moore
Guest

Each of these commenters are clearly anti-Fidesz voters. They are a vanishing minority. Exactly what does this post mean? That you can cite quotes from one of your favourite small playgrounds? I could cite 10* as many quotes from the forums of mno.hu, even a lot more humorous than these – and they all support Orbán.
What does this matter?
Nothing…

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Kevin Moore: “Each of these commenters are clearly anti-Fidesz voters. They are a vanishing minority.”
First, it happened that at the Origo website the vast majority of these comments were in this vein. There were hardly any representing the other side.
As for the vanishing minority. I hope you don’t believe that this level of support of Fidesz will remain as high as it is now for ever. Or, in fact it will grow and grow until there will be no one who holds different opinions. Because if that is what you think you have no idea of what democracy means. But of course it is also possible that within a certain period of time there will be no democracy in Hungary and the country will return to a time when one could speak against the government only in parks because one is even afraid to have a conversation in one’s own home.

Sandor
Guest

My impression was a fond reminiscence of this:



I always considered him to be the kneeling bust of Mussolini.

OpenDog
Guest

@Eva Looking back at my utterances in this thread I think I really blew it. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry if I offended you in any ways. I really admire your work in this blog!
In short what I was trying to say is that I don’t fall for this whitewash of Gyurcsany communist past and I think the MSZP better get rid of him.
To offer my token of friendship I tell you my age …. drums roll … 47. Same as Orban. I guess that makes me a bad vintage.
Now you really have to tell us what went down in Pecs in the 80s.

frank
Guest

Eva: “Because if that is what you think you have no idea of what democracy means.”
Yes, indeed. You are the one who does! It means 8 years of corruption, bringing a country close to bankruptcy. I did not hear you complaining about lack of democracy then. But now you carry on with this vitriolic hatred, don’t you get tired of it?

mouse
Guest

I’ve talked about the direction of Orban with some colleagues who as far as I can ascertain are supporters. Before the national elections austerity will be soon after. Before the local elections the expectation was austerity starts for real after those elections. With the new economic policy they now say austerity starts after Orban wins the next national election.
They remind me of the socialists clinging on in New Labour in the Blair and Brown years.
It seems Orban is not so easily characterized as either on the right or left economically.

Rigó Jancsi
Guest

@Frank: There must have been democracy, otherwise Orbán would not have been able to win the elections, don’t you think? And I wonder about the chances of any other party than Fidesz in four years.
What the elected government does with the granted power in the daily work is one thing. They may be incompetent in economics, they may have no clue about anything, even corrupt. But to purposefully undermine the basic fundaments of democracy, like independent media or a well-balanced, open-minded constitution, is a completely other thing. As for Fidesz and OV, it looks that both points are true for them: incompetent and malicious.

Odin's Lost eye
Guest
Mr Ringo Jancsi You say ** “As for Fidesz and OV, it looks that both points are true for them: incompetent and malicious” **. I fear that you do not understand either Fidesz or O.V (the Mighty One). The only Model of Government they know is that of Kador and the Communists. Most of Fidesz is totally unaware of the effects that the actions of their leaders will have on the country. All they want is to be is ‘in charge’. Now they are in charge they do not know what to do. From what I have read of their early days they are ‘socialists’ (of a sort) and their pronouncements they are defiantly ‘nationalists’. OV the ‘Mighty One’ so far has gone out of his way to upset the IMF, the ECB, the European Commission and uncle Tom Cobbly and all. He wants to be the greatest Hungarian EVER. That is why he is so aggressive. To them they do not give a tinker’s curse about democracy. All they want is POWER and Power for ever. They do not understand only the people have ‘power’ which they lend to the elected representatives for a time. The people then take… Read more »
Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Frank: “Eva: “Because if that is what you think you have no idea of what democracy means.” Yes, indeed. You are the one who does! It means 8 years of corruption, bringing a country close to bankruptcy.”
Well, maybe I am bit slow but I don’t know what I do and what not.
About corruption. I can ask from you too: “how old are you” or perhaps you have lousy memory. I would like to remind you of the incredible corruption cases between 1998 and 2002 or the bombings just before the elections. How Orbán made himself and his family rich from the taxpayers money while both Gyurcsány and Bajnai worked for nothing.
I know what the answer is going to be. The prosectutor’s office found nothing wrong! Indeed, because Orbán put his own man there which, by the way, was an excellent insurance policy. He is a clever fellow for sure when it comes to scheming.

JM
Guest

After pronouncing his ‘wonderful’ speech, guess where Viktor went? Well, you will be surprised: he had lunch at the Four Season’s (Gresham Palace). Alone. Totally alone.
I believe that this is meaningful especially when you know that on the day of his ‘sacrament’ he went to have some fried meet at café Picard…
Bon appétit Monsieur Orban.

Alias3T
Guest

It doesn’t pay to talk to too many people. They might disagree with you.

Alias3T
Guest

And thanks, JM, for that fantastic vignette. Lousy prime minister, but one day he’ll make for a Shakespearian character in a novel.

Passing Stranger
Guest

That’s so sad, like Orson Wells in Citizen Kane.
And so unneccesary. There are several önkiszolgálló étterem right round the corner from parliament where he could have shared a table with some strangers. Because, let’s face it, chicken paprikás tastes the same whether you pay 600 Fts or 6000 at the Gresham.

Alias3T
Guest

Orban doesn’t do strangers. If it’s to be “the people” it has to be the kind of people who can be relied upon to say:
“Nagyon szép volt a beszéd, és ujjongott a lelkem amikor a kamera mutatta az ünneplő tömeget a sok magyar zászlót. Végre nem parancsra vonultak ki az emberek! Sajnálom, hogy csak televízión keresztül nézhettem.”
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=486026171092&set=a.486024116092.298268.298090296092

Passing Stranger
Guest

The authoritarian personalities drooling all over OV’s facebook are deeply disturbing. Where else in Europe do we find such slavish adulation of a political leader? Where these people beaten as children? What is wrong with them?

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Alias3T quotes from facebook: “Végre nem parancsra vonultak ki az emberek!”
I saw there a sign that said: Tiszaújváros. That makes me to believe that Fidesz organized the crowd as usual in order to have lots of people on that big square. Otherwise it might have been embarrassing.
Many others on facebook comment how peaceful the celebrations were. Indeed, there was no one to organize the disturbances. One of the four people on Újságíró Klub said that the police didn’t even prepare for any disturbance in case. So, they knew that there wouldn’t be any. Quite telling, I think.

Alias3T
Guest

I wasn’t on the square this time; I preferred to water the plants (though I kind of regret this, given that a speech that mad would surely have been entertaining if watched live).
But the crowd for Orban’s swearing-in ceremony was indeed embarrassing. Very thin, limp and unconvincing. I’m sure they wanted to avoid a repeat of that.

Passing Stranger
Guest

Was the square really that full? I went to his swearing in, and Kossuth Square was only 1/3 full. But then, it is a huge square. The grass in front of the Kossuth statue was empty. There were no people standing on the streets, only in the small area in front of the steps of parliament. The giant flat screens placed optimistically half way down Alkotmány utca were broadcasting to the birds.
Let’s try to compare: how full was Kossuth square on Oct 23, 1956? You were there.
“So, they knew that there wouldn’t be any. Quite telling, I think.”
To Viktor’s facebook fan’s, this is, of course evidence of the man’s popularity. I have often heard it repeated like a mantra that Fidesz does not need bodyguards, as if it were a matter of pride, while it should be a matter of shame when politicians are threatened-

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

To Paul and of course everybody else:
I fixed Caboodle.hu’s link and added Hungary Around the Clock and Budapest Business Journal. Took off the link that no longer exists.
I also discovered lately a German-language blog on Hungary that looks very good to me. We have quite a few readers from Germany and I thought that this blog might be useful to them and to anyone else who handles the German language reasonably well.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Passing Stranger: “Let’s try to compare: how full was Kossuth square on Oct 23, 1956? You were there.”
I was somewhere in the middle but perhaps a bit closer to the building than center. Put it that way, we could hardly breath. A classmate of mine became ill because she was claustrophobic. Even if I wanted to get out earlier than before the crowd left on its own I don’t think that I could have gotten through the crowd.

Alias3T
Guest

” We have quite a few readers from Germany and I thought that this blog might be useful to them and ro anyone else who handles the German language reasonably well.”
Thanks for that update, Eva. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about your readership? There are a lot of us now, I know, but where are we from, and roughly how many?

Passing Stranger
Guest

Ah, well nothing like last summer then, when the Nemzettestverek where squabbling over places to sit out of the rain.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Passing Stranger: “Was the square really that full?”
I don’t think so. Most of the shots I saw were taken from an angle from which you couldn’t see the end of the crowd. However there was one that did and that was quite telling. It wasn’t a big crowd and it was also very thin.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Alias3T: “I was wondering if you could tell us anything about your readership? There are a lot of us now, I know, but where are we from, and roughly how many?
Here are the statistics for yesterday. 810 visits who read 1343 pages altogether from 45 countries. Unique visitors 678. 258 from Hungary, 194 from the United States, 95 from the UK, 63 from Canada, 28 from Germany, 21 from Slovakia, 19 from the Netherlands, 16 from Australia, 13 from Sweden, 10 from Romania, 8 from Spain, 8 from Italy, 6 from Croatia, 6 from Switzerland, 6 from Finland, 5 from Austria and 4 from Japan. I stopped here.

Alias3T
Guest

Thanks, Eva, that’s really interesting – and an impressive and well-earned number.
Beyond the obvious point that the visitors tend to come from places with large Hungarian diaspora concentrations is that it’s odd how few come from Austria. For a country that likes to see itself as the economic centre of the region, it’s striking how little informed interest there is.

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

Alias3T: “how few come from Austria. For a country that likes to see itself as the economic centre of the region, it’s striking how little informed interest there is.”
I was struck by the Austrian figures. And it is true not just about this particular day. Speaks poorly of the Austrian diaspora.

Alias3T
Guest

…and not just the diaspora. There are a lot of bankers and energy company executives who should know the region they invest in rather better than they do.

Sophist
Guest

“I was struck by the Austrian figures”
Isn’t that because this is an English language blog. Surely there are German language equivalents – The German press reports on Hungary more than the English language press?
Germany = 28/82 million
Austria = 5/8 million
Austria actually out-performed Germany yesterday.

Odin's Lost eye
Guest

Passing Stranger you write “Because, let’s face it, chicken paprikás tastes the same whether you pay 600 Fts or 6000 at the Gresham”. Unfortunately the last 600 Ft I Chicken Paprikas my tribe and I tried to eat resulted in a near riot in the restaurant. There were shouts of ‘Slabber de Gullion’ and even the Hungarians took up the yells of ‘Keel haul the cook!’. Although I do not think they knew what a ‘keel hauling is’ but they knew it was nasty. So was the chicken paprikas.

Rasmus
Guest

Dear Eva! Starting to read and write up on the situation in Hungary, I soon found my way here and I must say this is truly a goldmine! Many thanks for your intelligent comments from a historian in Sweden.

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