I have the feeling that I will be all over creation today because there are just too many items that caught my attention. Or that people called my attention to. Let’s start with the latter because two bloggers from Hungary have addressed our topic of yesterday: the rather shady football issue.
One blog post deals with the intriguing possibility of a connection between the sudden decision to pull all slot machines from Hungary and the relatively poor performance of Videoton. According to the author’s theory, although an incredible amount of money went to Videoton from MOL, OTP, Strabag and Közgép, just to mention a few of the supporters of the club, the team isn’t performing as expected. They hired the famous trainer Paulo Sousa who managed to sign up big names in football at home and abroad, and yet Videoton is disappointing both the sponsors and Viktor Orbán. Videoton’s rival, Debreceni VSC (Loki), has been the best team in Hungary ever since 2000.
So, what’s the connection between the slot machines and Loki? It turns out that the majority owner of the Debrecen team is Gábor Szirma, whose business concerns center around slot machines. If Szirma has to close his operations, Debrecen will be strapped for funds and might have to sell some of its best players. At least this is how the theory goes. A figment of the author’s imagination? Perhaps, although in today’s Hungary anything is possible.
The other post, written by “Pupu,” reflects on the football career of young Gáspár Orbán, the son of the prime minister. The title of the piece is “Ruined Lives.” It points out that Orbán’s children will never have the satisfaction of well-deserved individual achievement. Young Gáspár will never know whether he was chosen by Videoton because of his talent or because he is the son of the prime minister. Moreover, “it must be an oppressive feeling that he has to play with the electric trains that his father never managed to get and now he must fulfill his father’s dream of becoming an international football classic…. Did Gáspár ever think of Nicu [Ceaușescu], his late colleague?… And does Viktor think here and there of Ceaușescu in front of the wall?” Nicu, the youngest son of Ceaușescu, also played football at one point in his life.
According to “Pupu,” Viktor Orbán should think of Ceaușescu because those who gave the final word on the Conducator’s fate were all former supporters whom he had trusted.
This is how Viktor Orbán is seen in certain circles, and these circles are widening. Not so long ago using the word “fascism” in connection with the Orbán regime was considered to be a sacrilege. I think it was László Bartus of Amerikai-Magyar Népszava who first used it in describing the situation in Hungary, and there was an outcry. I also used the word but only in a very general sense. By now, we have reached a point where Attila Mesterházy talks about the ogre of fascism that is threatening Hungary and indirectly asks for Europe’s help in an interview with l’Unitá, the Italian paper. Róbert Friss in Népszabadság describes the Orbán regime as “the soft successor of Mussolini’s corporate state.” Or there is a profoundly pessimistic writing by András Bruck (ÉS, November 9, 2912) in which he predicts that “Viktor will not go.” This is an answer to Miklós Gáspár Miklós’s gentle pleading at the October 23 Milla demonstration: “Viktor, I’m asking you nicely, please leave!” Bruck is certain that Orbán, given another four years, will finish the job: his dictatorship will be fully established.
And finally, a few more words about the people who are behind Viktor Orbán. For the most part they are as ignorant as the boss himself. Sándor Demján, the richest man in Hungary, with a meager educational background (learning to cater to tourists in hotels and restaurants), suddenly discovered that only productive work–building, manufacturing, and agriculture–is worth supporting. Once I spent a whole post on this profoundly ignorant man, but every time he opens his mouth I get wound up again. This time he expounded on the fruitless expense of training scientists who examine the life of insects and maintained that it is unnecessary for a worker to know anything about history or literature and that there is nothing wrong with being an unskilled laborer.
Obviously one doesn’t have to be educated in order to make a ton of money, but the problem in this case is that this ignoramus seems to be a close adviser of Viktor Orbán. Blind leading blind. The lackeys are all around, with similar educational attainment and knowledge.
Right now Orbán and his minions are hard at work making sure that they will win the elections. The attacks on Gordon Bajnai have already begun. An opinion piece in Magyar Hírlap by the so-called political scientist Tamás Fricz is crawling with outright lies. And more of the same, if not worse, will be forthcoming. It looks pretty hopeless, I have to admit, but one mustn’t spread gloom and doom because of the danger of self-fulfilling prophecy. Somehow this election must be won despite every effort by Hungary’s little Mussolini to win regardless of the popular will.