Jobbik’s Gábor Vona tells all: they are the enemies of democracy

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.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Paul (the original one!)
Guest
Paul (the original one!)
One point that never seems to be raised is the fact that Jobbik appeared almost out of nowhere. We talk about them as if they were an accepted (and permanent) part of Hungarian politics, and yet they didn’t exist as a parliamentary party just two years ago. They were formed only in 2003 and in 2006, even in alliance with MIÉP, they polled only 2.2% of the votes. So, how did such a new and insignificant party grow so quickly? Previous far-right parties have burned briefly and not very brightly, but Jobbik appears almost from nowhere, gains a significant number of MPs, and to many now appears to be an accepted, ‘mainstream’ party. My answer is not original – Orbán. In order to foster his own party’s chances, he created an environment where nationalism, jingoism, racism, even fascism were not only permitted, but actively encouraged. It was not only OK to speak openly about things that previously were only muttered in private, but it actually became ‘normal’ to have and to promote those ideas. Fidesz gained a great deal from this opening of Pandora’s box, but it also gave Jobbik a huge boost. As Wikipedia puts it: “Jobbik was perfectly… Read more »
Paul (the original one!)
Guest
Paul (the original one!)

By the way, there was an excellent article in the Guardian yesterday on the Roma in Hungary, and especially the behaviour of Jobbik:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/27/hungary-roma-living-in-fear?INTCMP=SRCH

Paul (the original one!)
Guest
Paul (the original one!)
Jano
Guest

“A pro-Russian stance is curious considering Jobbik’s wide ranging anti-communist rhetoric.”
Come on Eva, don’t play the naiva, I’d be pretty surprised if you haven’t heard about the reports on the Russian undercover foreign policy in Eastern Europe.
Most of the hard right parties receive enormous financial support from the Kremlin from Bulgaria through Hungary to the Czech Republic. I’ll try to look up the article that explains it much better than how I could, I think the intel comes from one of the wikileaks cables, but I don’t remember exactly. Point is, this is not a conspiracy theory, but the CIAs strong suspicion.

Ron
Guest

It seems that Jano is right. I found this article from 2009.
http://www.riskandforecast.com/post/bulgaria/russia-s-far-right-friends_349.html

Member

What happened to the Jobbik-Iran axis?
The Russian intentions are clear on this. Destabilizing Eastern Europe, turn them against the western allies. The Jobbik would be perfect. But the Russian bear will not be popular with the voters. I don’t think they will like it. They will so not like it that this could actually be a perfect disinformation to discredit the Jobbik.
Iran seems more logical. A country working on nukes to wipe out Israel. Jobbik voters will like that.

Odin's Lost Eye
Guest
I have known about this for some time. It refers to Hungary and it reads: – “Personnel not included in the Hungarian Army or Air Force shall not receive any form of military training or military air training as defined in Annex II.”. And Annex II says “DEFINITION OF MILITARY AND MILITARY AIR TRAINING 1. Military training is defined as: the study of and practice in the use of war material specially designed or adapted for army purposes, and training devices relative thereto; the study and carrying out of all drill or movements which teach or practice evolutions performed by fighting forces in battle; and the organised study of tactics, strategy and staff work. 2. Military air training is defined as: the study of and practice in the use of war material specially designed or adapted for air force purposes, and training devices relative thereto; the study and practice of all specialised evolutions, including formation flying, performed by aircraft in the accomplishment of an air force mission; and the organised study of air tactics, strategy and staff work.” Mr Vona do you or any of your twerps know anything about this? Do you know where it comes from? Your ‘Rancid… Read more »
GW
Guest

Odin’s Lost Eye is absolutely right to focus on the law. Even under Fidesz’s constitution, the state must insist upon a monopoly on the use of violence. The government may now be under the mistaken belief that Jobbik’s “Guards” playing soldier are harmless, but the potential for danger to the state, in the form of civil war or anarchy (think of the partisan militia in Lebanon or Somalia), is real and — not least for any real conservative and Hungarian patriot — the government’s negligence here is rather unbelieveable.

Odin's Lost Eye
Guest

Ah! GW there may be a problem here as the New Constitution may not recognise it as it refers to something which happened in the year 1947. It is Article 14 of the Treaty of Paris 1947. This was signed by Hungary and bought peace for her from the United Nations (even with the Romanians).
If Fidesz do not know this and abrogate any part of this treaty, then any of the signatories (or their successors nations) -including Slovakia- could say that they are ‘back at war’ with Hungary!
Hum Ho!

peter stark
Guest

@”government’s negligence here is rather unbelievable”…let’s try to leave western naiveté behind: we’re dealing with the Balkan mind here–Jobbik is a creation of Fidesz and does their bidding. Now, ‘brown shirts’….there’s a comparison!

I love Hungary
Guest

@ Paul, the answer to where FIDESZ ends and JOBBIK begins would be in an election result that forced Orban to seek a coalition.

I love Hungary
Guest

Oh and btw. that woman holding the FeeeCK EU sign is Keith Richard’s mom.

Odin's Lost Eye
Guest

Just out of interest have a look at http://thecontrarianhungarian.wordpress.com/.
It shows just how ignorant people can become. Look at the judgement and these folk are appeal judges!

riviera1
Guest

“We’re not democrats..”
Of course, this is a politically impossible statement by a party leader. So, what’s going on? Let’s put out a surmise: Fidesz was losing support to Jobbik. To shear Jobbik of right wing support and keep it only to the lunatic fringe, Vona comes out with his statement. In one fell swoop, Fidesz is strengthened and is reestablished as the only viable alternative to keeping the rabid Jobbik out of power! Neat. I’ll leave my fellow bloggers to guess who is orchestrating the whole affair….

Odin's Lost Eye
Guest

If anyone else is interested I think this may be of concern to Jobbik: –
Article 4 (of the same treaty viz Paris 1947). It reads
“Hungary, which in accordance with the Armistice Agreement has taken measures for dissolving all organisations of a Fascist type on Hungarian territory, whether political, military or para-military, as well as other organisations conducting propaganda, including revisionist propaganda, hostile to the United Nations, shall not permit in future the existence and activities of organisations of that nature which have as their aim denial to the people of their democratic rights”.
The real ‘punch line is the last part “(Hungary) shall not permit in future the existence and activities of organisations of that nature which have as their aim denial to the people of their democratic rights”.
In this Hungary in the form of BOTH MZsP and Fidesz have dropped another clanger.
Fidesz must now take action with Vona’s quotation as reported by our good Hostess ** “We are not communists, we are not fascists, we are not national socialists, but we are not democrats either.” **.
My My perhaps Fidesz also into that catagory too.

whoever
Guest

“A pro-Russian stance is curious considering Jobbik’s wide ranging anti-communist rhetoric.”
And a pro-Turkish stance is very funny giving the blathering about God and Christianity by the deeply un-Christian Vona and friends. Plus of course the subjugation of Hungary for a couple of hundred years. How all this fits together, is anyone’s guess, but it indicates the scrambled-egg composition of Jobbik on issues apart from dog-whistle hatred.
Actually there is a sensible argument for a closer alignment with Turkey, as Turkey needs supporters in the EU, and potential export markets. But who believes any Hungarian politician… on any subject, not least canny Turkish politicians and diplomats?

Eva S. Balogh
Guest

whoever: “And a pro-Turkish stance is very funny giving the blathering about God and Christianity by the deeply un-Christian Vona and friends.”
I was also baffled.

GJ
Guest

Of course Jobbik are ‘Christian’, however, the pro-Turkish stance might make sense within the context of their pro-Palestinian line (Morvai is probably the most vocal on this).
One thing that distinguishes Jobbik from many of their colleagues in western Europe is their preference for antisemitism and anti-Zionism over the anti-Muslim rhetoric pumped out by e.g. the English Defence League, or Geert Wilders’s PVV, which wouldn’t win votes in Hungary.

Dubious
Guest

A number of the far-right believe in some great Turanian language family/group of people which includes the Hungarians. The Turanian language family includes Turks, and so Turks are seen as cousins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Turanism
I can’t find the quote, but I think Schmitt made remarks indicating his belief in the shared kinship of Hungarians and Turkmen on his tour to Central Asian dictatorships.
The same people believe the Finno-Ugric language family was some kind of linguistic conspiracy to demean the Hungarian nation.

Guest

“I Love Hungary” – It’s not – It’s Mick Jagger’s. Don’t be so juvenile!

Johnny Boy
Guest

At least Vona is not lying like MSZP.
Neither are democrats, but MSZP is lying about it.

Paul (the original one!)
Guest
Paul (the original one!)

Johnny’s back! The Fidesz wobble must be over.

Member

There was am article on index.hu today about JOBBIK. The title is “Very young, very Hungarian, in a very bad mood”. Apparently the JOBBIK is big on Facebook. 3 times of their party membership “liked” them (38,900). On Facebook if you want to see the wall posts you have to “like” them. It’s like “liking” the devil to have a heads up on doomsday.
They referenced an English language study “Populism in Europe: Hungary:
http://www.box.com/s/j1qsca1lsdep8jrlbakl

Kirsten
Guest

Odin, I like the reference to the Peace Treaty of 1947 but who should establish that Hungary violates this treaty? The UN? And has this treaty not lost a bit of its impact with Hungary joining NATO?
Jobbik’s: “We are no democrats.” I congratulate Jobbik to this clearness of vision. It would be good if others were also able to evaluate to what extent they consider democracy a desirable political system and to what extent they dislike key elements of it (systematic possibility to change leadership, periodical elections, participation, free speech, respect for own and other people’s rights etc.). I do not mind at all that Jobbik stated clearly what they stand for, but the society should take this very seriously and in particular the growing support for Jobbik.
The pro-Turkish stance of Jobbik, motivated mainly by the critical position towards Israel, is too revealing. So Hungarianness in Jobbik’s interpretation is nothing more than antisemitism…?

Member

“Of course Jobbik are ‘Christian’, however, the pro-Turkish stance might make sense within the context of their pro-Palestinian line (Morvai is probably the most vocal on this).”
Traditionally on the nationalist right “Christian” really just means “not Jewish”, the term doesn’t have any theological content.

I love Hungary
Guest

Please just say, “anti-semitic”.

Paul (the original one!)
Guest
Paul (the original one!)

Technically “anti-Semitic” isn’t correct, as this means being against the group of peoples who use Semitic languages. A language group which covers a huge area ranging from the Middle-East to the Horn of Africa – and includes Arabic, amongst many others.
I daresay many Hungarians don’t like Arabs either, so I don’t suppose this will bother the average Magyar racist, but usually by ‘anti-Semitic’ they mean specifically ‘anti-Jewish’.
Although as, according to Wikipedia “the term… overwhelmingly refers to Jews only” and was indeed coined as a specifically anti-Jewish term, I fail to see the point of your post.

Paul (the original one!)
Guest
Paul (the original one!)
“Traditionally on the nationalist right “Christian” really just means “not Jewish”, the term doesn’t have any theological content.” A very interesting comment, David. But are you speaking specifically about the Hungarian right, or more widely? As an anti-theist who was brought up in a nominally ‘Christian’ culture, with very specifically christian (small ‘c’) values, and who has read extensively about Jesus, Paul, the Gospels, the origins of Christianity, etc, I am utterly confused by right-wing ‘Christians’. Perhaps, in Hungarian terms, you are right, and ‘Christian’ simply means ‘white, non-foreign, non-Jewish, non-Islam’, etc, etc, but for many right-wing ‘Christians’ there IS a strong theological aspect. For instance in both the US and the UK. They know their scripture and they can use it to justify their beliefs. And yet those beliefs are invariably opposed (sometimes diametrically) to the Christian outlook and values I was taught and that Jesus teaches in the Gospels. For these people ‘Christian’ doesn’t just mean being anti-foreign/Jewish/Muslim/etc, it is also a ‘positive’ (in their terms) belief in and acceptance of the teachings and morals of the Christian church (as they see it). And for many right-wing ‘Christians’ in the States (and to some extent the UK) this… Read more »
Member

“A very interesting comment, David. But are you speaking specifically about the Hungarian right, or more widely?”
I was speaking primarily about what I had read of the Hungarian nationalist right between the wars (which to me seems to be the precursor of Jobbik’s ideas). Sorry, I should have been more specific.
Clearly the situation in the US is quite different. A favourite term in US political discourse is “Judeao-Christian tradition”. This is regarded by users of the term as a positive idea and the term was coined to get Jewish voters on board. I cannot imagine the expression Judaeo-Christian appearing on a Hungarian nationalist except in the context of Jewish conspiracy theories.
In the US some of the Chistian support for Israel is based on the idea that God promised the territory to Abraham and his descendants in the book of Genesis (Chapter 15 verse 18 to be specific). I say some because there are different interpretations of the verse amongst Christians (even amongst conservative Christians).

I love Hungary
Guest

Wow. This is is really an interesting topic.
Probably off topic, a bit, on this board, but still, really interesting.
I have been arguing with my Conservative American friends that “Judeao-Christian” makes no more sense than an “Christian-Islamic” label, when it comes to grouping ideologies.
In fact, I believe, the religous right-wing simply feel more affinity for Jews than Arabs- but that this is an ethnic and perhaps racial phemomena- not a religous and/or “values” driven decision.
But, as mentioned, a bit off topic, here.