Jobbik had quite a day yesterday. The party held a large indoor gathering, setting the stage for a new year of political activity. Gábor Vona, the chairman of the party, made a speech. I don’t know how many foreign papers will cover it, but I believe it was a noteworthy speech that warrants an audience beyond the borders of Hungary. The message was: “We are not communists, we are not fascists, we are not national socialists, but we are not democrats either.” Clear talk, no beating around the bush.
Well, one could say that this is not all that new, but I don’t think that until now any Jobbik politician had been so plain speaking as the party chairman was yesterday. Vona outlined where the party’s “intellectual center” is not, though where it is is far from clear. According to Vona, this center has nothing to do with the power of class or the power of the state. It has nothing to do with race or “with money and intellectual capital.” By this point I was lost in the labyrinth of Vona’s ruminations.
As for the future, according to Vona the worldwide economic crisis is “the crisis of liberal democracies” and it is linked to an avoidable armed conflict in the next decade or so. From the context it seems that Vona is thinking in terms of a conflict that will take place in Europe because “Jobbik has the duty to assist the Hungarians in developing their self-defense and their capacity for survival.” To be prepared for this conflict he and his party will “fight tooth and nail against the materialistic and ultraliberal forces and will forbid any deviation and opportunistic deals with the enemy.”
Vona’s further message was that “our politicians must understand that they are not supposed to seek compromises; their duty is to fight, fight, and fight.” They “are not going to make peace with this regime that is against the nation, against men, and against God.” It is not quite clear which regime Vona is talking about. The present Hungarian government or the western democracies.
Jobbik’s duty is to prepare the Hungarian society for this new world. Vona’s conclusion is that Jobbik’s politics in the last few years has been successful because “the [Orbán] government incorporated many of Jobbik’s suggestions into its own program…. The spirit of Jobbik is capable of moving the government even with its two-thirds majority in the right direction.” As an example, he talked about the Peace March whose participants demonstrated under the banner “We will not be a colony” which was, after all, Jobbik’s slogan.
The message is crystal clear
The speech was delivered before a large audience made up mostly of young people, and thus Vona had an opportunity to bring up the average age of the Fidesz demonstrators a week ago, which bordered on the geriatric. He criticized the Orbán government’s economic policies as well as its failed “economic war of independence.”
Vona then vented his anti-European Union feelings which, as I mentioned yesterday, are not shared by all of his followers. He didn’t advocate outright secession but suggested holding a referendum on the question. Even though only a few days ago it was reported that Hungary received five times more money from Brussels than she paid into the common coffers, Vona insisted that “it is only on paper that we receive more money than we pay in.” How? Hungary loses on the free movement of capital and labor and the lack of custom duties.
“Hungary is not only an economic colony but by now a political one as well. Hungary has as much independence as a state within the United States of America.” The longer the country remains in the Union the more capital will be syphoned off by foreigners. In the end it will not be able to leave the Union because it will be too weak to stand on its own two feet. Instead of the European Union, Hungary should seek its fortune in the East. Vona’s latest idea is an orientation toward Turkey and Russia. A pro-Russian stance is curious considering Jobbik’s wide ranging anti-communist rhetoric.
Vona, whose speech lasted an hour and a half and apparently was very well received, finished his talk with a review of the current Hungarian political scene. He sems to have spent the most time on Ferenc Gyurcsány whom he labeled as “unscrupulous, power hungry, cynical, a liar, a traitor, and not really normal.” In MSZP “members of the retro-squad fight with the Kádár-Jugend while the LMP will soon dissolve in the slough from which it came.”
What does Vona think of Viktor Orbán? Not much at least on the surface since, according to him, “the Gyurcsány and the Orbán governments by different means together brought ruin to Hungary.”
This speech provided Fidesz with a wonderful opportunity to express its condemnation of Jobbik. Gabriella Selmeczi emphasized that “Jobbik openly wrote itself off from Hungarian democracy.” She added that it is absolutely clear that “only Fidesz is capable in the spirit of national cooperation to show the way out of Hungary’s difficult situation.” Naturally, she didn’t add that Fidesz demonstrators also said something very similar to what Vona had to say: Hungary will not be a colony.