A statue of Viktor Orbán is toppled

I was sorely tempted to title this post “Viktor Orbán is toppled,” perhaps with a couple of exclamation points, but I couldn’t come up with a decent qualifying subtitle. Péter Kónya, the leader of the Solidarity Movement, now part of Együtt 2014-PM, would probably have appreciated the title. Others in the opposition no doubt would have considered it tasteless.

Péter Kónya likes to use unusual props to dramatize his movement’s political positions. Perhaps you recall Solidarity’s demonstration, which became known as the “revolution of the clowns.” Participants dressed up as clowns because Viktor Orbán called the trade unions’ leaders clowns. The clowns collected thousands and thousands of signatures to condemn the Orbán government. And that was back in 2011.

At yesterday afternoon’s demonstration Kónya once again sent a symbolic message. The group had erected a huge statue of Viktor Orbán made out of Styrofoam and painted bronze. At their demonstration they first unveiled and then toppled it. Very much like Stalin’s enormous statue was toppled on October 23, 1956.

Prior to the unveiling of the statue Gordon Bajnai made a fiery speech in which he called the politicians of Fidesz “the best pupils of the communists.” He was even funny at times, although he is not known for his humor. He said, “I’m warning you now: the stadium at Felcsút will not fit into the Park of Statues.” The park he was referring to houses the statues erected during the Rákosi and Kádár periods that were subsequent discarded.

Once the statue was toppled and its head severed as a result of the fall, Péter Kónya called Orbán a dictator who should have a separate room in the House of Terror. In no time the crowd moved the head and torso of the statue to Andrássy út 60 with a detour to the Opera House to mark the demise of the Third Republic on January 1, 2012. Kónya and Bajnai promised the crowd that soon there will be an end to the rule of the comrades, reminding them of the famous poster of MDF: Tovarishi konets, Comrades, this is the end.

One of the first articles to appear about the demonstration and the statue was written by a Magyar Narancs reporter. He admitted that some members of the intelligentsia might think that this kind of campaigning is crude, but the people he talked think that “the population must be awakened.”

The blogger Varánusz was of the same opinion: “What will happen now that some people will play football with Viktor Orbán’s Styrofoam head?” And he continued that the terribly boring leaders of the Bajnai party at last did something a little daring. He noted, however, that some of the people on the left called the statue toppling “tasteless.” And then he lists a few truly “tasteless” Fidesz stunts of late.

Orban feje

Then came the counterattack. The spokesman of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) was László Varga, the man who not so long ago thought that if women bore more children there would be no domestic violence. He called this gag a crime that can be compared only to the activities of Tibor Szamuelly’s terrorist group in 1919 or the horrors that were perpetrated by the ÁVH, the state security forces during the Rákosi regime.  For good measure he reminded his audience of the horrors of the Hungarist Arrowcross who shot thousands of innocent men and women and threw their bodies into the Danube in late 1944. He considered the incident “an incitement to murder.” Varga didn’t think that Bajnai could sink that low.

Yes, Gordon Bajnai certainly knew about the planned toppling of the statue. He delivered his speech against the Orbán government standing in front of that statue, then still covered. He admitted that these kinds of gags are not to his liking but added that “we must recognize that the rule of Viktor Orbán fanned such intense anger” that such a reaction is not surprising. He considered the erecting of the statue in this case an ironic gesture because it is only in dictatorships that statues of living politicians are erected. “Viktor Orbán’s regime is rapidly moving in this direction. The toppling of the statue only expressed opposition to Orbán’s plans for the future.” The pro-Fidesz Századvég’s Tamás Lánczi immediately commented that Bajnai’s radicalism will alienate the “center.” That mysterious “center” that nobody seems able to find.

One can understand the right’s indignation. Less comprehensible is the distancing that came from the left, especially from MSZP, the ally of Együtt 2014-PM. Péter Kónya, we must remember, is one of the chairmen of E14-PM. József Tóbiás, director of the MSZP delegation, immediately condemned the action. In a democracy, he said, one doesn’t overthrow a government; it must be replaced. This was, of course, an extreme interpretation of Solidarity’s action. Nobody, including Kónya, was talking about the actual overthrow of the government. The statue was intended as a symbol of Orbán’s regime that indeed must be eliminated. Gábor Fodor of the Liberals and Andor Schmuck of the shadowy Hungarian Social Democratic Party immediately joined Tóbiás. Ágnes Vadai (DK) got out of a sticky situation by saying that the Demokratikus Koalíció doesn’t want to demolish a statue but to defeat the Orbán regime.

Hungarians used to be known for their humor. They used to relish political symbolism. Now, it seems, some on the left are so concerned with appearing politically correct that they can’t enjoy a piece of political theater (and, in the process, stand behind one of their own). They’d better learn, and learn quickly, that it’s hard to tip-toe to victory.

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I am not surprised it is MSzP that shies away from such actions. I am however surprised they think the country is a democracy.

The action is indeed rude, but as Paul writes frequently, it is unlikely this regime can be replaced solely within the current legal framework by people who just obey. So actually very good that many people went there.


WAY TO GO !!!!

In the background they were playing Orban’s speech from March 15, 2007.

“We [the FIDESZ] did everything the democratic opposition could. We made it clear: the people have the right to chase away a government, even in a democracy, if it governs against the will of the nation, if it governs against the sheer interest of the people. Yes, they have the right! With one condition: if they used up all the available instruments of the democracy, and the government still has failed to submit to the clear and unambiguous will of the people.”

“Mi megtettük, amit a demokratikus ellenzék megtehet. Világossá tettük: a népnek joga van elkergetnie a kormányt egy demokráciában is, ha az a népakarat ellenében kormányoz, ha az emberek létérdekét veszélyezteti. Igen, joga van! Joga van egy feltétellel: ha a népakarat kinyilvánításának már minden eszközét igénybe vette, és a kormány elmulasztja magát alávetni az emberek világos és egyértelmű akaratának.”


I was disappointed by some of my friends’ churlish reactions to the statue toppling, but not surprised. The opposition has already proven it has no backbone and wants to crybaby its way into power. WE NEED NEW OPPOSITION LEADERS!


I was at the gathering at Clark Adam ter… My companion, who is not political but very intelligent and insightful, said that the event was so weak that one woud think of whether there is a conspiracy to lose this election… The crowd were mainly pensioners, and the first speaker was the rapper Dopeman… genius! This event was so bad, I couldn’t believe it…..



I was also there. I liked the toppling of Orban’s statute. It was symbolic speech.

The crowd was otherwise peaceful, unlike the aggressive soccer hooligans Fidesz prefers.

The number of people was small. The event had not been properly advertised. There should have been leaflets distributed everywhere in town, days before the demonstration to break through the silence of the Fidesz-controlled media.

I find it incomprehensible that the biggest opposition party, MSzP has not organized a single demonstration in the last three years I can recall.


Well from where I was standing, these guys managed to go lower than Orban, which is some feat these days… They have a former PM on the stage and some rapper who is dating a porn star opens the speeches… Is that good enough for you tappanch??? Personally it doesn’t quite cut it, when they are up against Europe’s most cynical govt…


Is it just me, or does anybody else notice how the left in any country, debate, situation, you name it, somehow manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by their petty in-fighting and sniping at one another, rather than the opponent they are trying to take down. Somehow, the right manages to band together and circle the wagons so that they always present a united front. And, it’s not like this is something new, for heaven’s sake…it has always been so. Why is it that the left can never seem to learn their lesson? They’re not all idiots, I don’t think, but they certainly act like it most of the time. It certainly doesn’t inspire confidence that an overthrow of anybody but themselves will transpire in next years elections.



It is not a question of left wing or right wing.

One has to get organized to win.


Very true Ms KKA… they left here are so divided its untrue… while the fidesz drones march on…


All we need is daily topplings of Orban.

Arthur Finkelstein will have a time to match this PR.

Hajra Anti-Orbans!


Ms KKA – some left candidates deserve defeat. It is Russian roulette.

There are chances that the less well funded candidate loses.

The rest counts very little.

Money rules. The sponsors hold the winning cards.

It is more their contest, while very little is left to the general public.

In Hungary, only Orban deserves defeat for being an enemy of decency.

In USA, Obama, the declared left champion won. And I am modestly unhappy. Obama was not the better, but the richer account.


Ms. KKA, yes, spot on, but everybody recognized this. Although too slowly.

Conservative and right wing people by definition (this is their ideology) respect authority and discipline, and such people move towards the right.

Those valuing their own personal freedoms, who disrespect, belittle, question and criticize authority tend to move to the left and liberal side.

Now tell me, how will you build a united front with such undisciplined people?

It was pointed out clearly in a cink.hu (and mind you cink.hu is otherwise a conservative medium, László Szily is an ardent “anti-communist” and was a pretty enthusiastic Fidesz supporter until that became uncool in urban hipster circles) post that Bajnai has been criticized by the liberal intelligentsia for being too bland, who can’t inspire emotions. Now that Bajnai gave a relatively funny speech and went to a show event of which Orbán staged one every fortnight, he is criticized by his fellow liberal smarteggs that he is radical and Bajnai went on the defensive.


As they say, with friends like these…

The Hungarian left will soon disappear, they are a dying breed.


There is hardly a post on HS which does not elicit a comment where the Fidesz strategy is described as sophisticated. In my opinion it is a truly sophisticated idea to tell people who do not listen to or read political statements (the majority) the truth by visual means. The pictured of the Stalin/Orban statue will never be forgotten by anybody who has seen it, and it will make a lot of people brood. In addition Fidesz cannot condemn it without describing it and thus creatlng the picture in the minds of people who have not seen it.


danielfrancis, your bright friend is certainly a very helpful guide for you, but in view of the preferences existing according to the polls and given the current election, you can trust other people also that this event need not be part of a conspiracy directed against the opposition. But I wonder why you went there, actually. Are you part of the “conspiracy”?

” Is that good enough for you tappanch???”

Should we repeat the goodies that OV brought to the country? Perhaps you memorise these and then ask your wise friend whether being a former PM, being a rapper and being a porn star is really such a big thing (and you could also look into the CV of OV’s first media authority boss – she was a porn queen also…).

So tappanch, very well done. And the increase in troll comments today is just a proof how useful this gathering was.


Now I understand why the number of new Hungarian passport holders has shot up by 36% in the last 5 months! [see my calculation yesterday]. You do not have to be ethnic Hungarian, just pay. (But Fidesz will vote in your name, even if you do not know about it)

Russian website in the Ukraine:

For Ukrainian citizens:

Hungarian passport in 3 to 6 months!

Cost with “presence” – 5,000 €
Cost without “presence” – 5,500 €

100% guarantee or we refund the entire amount.

For Russian citizens, the cost is 9,000 €.

“Investor” passport for citizens of other countries: 20,000 €

” The idea to Prime Minister Orban and party Fideks [!] came from Cyprus”


On the other hand – I heard it myself from somebody very close to the action in the Ukraine – the Orban government has ordered that you can be a genuine ethnic Hungarian, but if you are/were member of the Hungarian organization Ukrajnai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség (UMDSZ) Orban does not like, you cannot get a Hungarian passport.


Kirsten: I was there on my way for a Sunday walk around the castle district. My point was that the gathering was so uninspiring that you could even believe they are doing it on purpose… I don’t think that is true, I simply wrote that to express what a damp squib it was. Bajnai (Hungary’s best PM since 1989, IMO) was promised a lot more money and staff than he actually got for his comeback (which should be being launched now, not two years ago IMO). He doesn’t have the political instincts to do it on his own, and the people around him are clueless, e.g. getting a rapper to open their campaign events. Invoking Stalin for toppling Orban makes him look better, if anything. Szalai has got nothing to do with it.
I was there, you weren’t, but feel free to engage your usual long-winded, patronising tone nonetheless.


Look at my calculation from June 12, 2013,

The Hungarian state loses $69,000 on each “investor” passport.
I estimated the cost to each “investor” to be at least $15,000 (if s/he applies through
a passport wholesaler). If you go through the passport retailer in the ad above, your cost is higher, 20,000 €.

So the Fidesz-appointed, offshore passport wholesalers earn at least $84,000 per passport.

Will any of the profit go to Fidesz apparatchiks or oligarchs that selected the intermediary
offshore company?


[…] “A statue of Viktor Orban is toppled” […]


From the passport ad:

“Hurry up, the program closes on January 1, 2014.”
“WE will issue a Hungarian passport to your children free.”

If you cannot go to Hungary, then “our lawyers will submit all the paperwork for you!
The service costs just 500 euros.”

“Why does it take 3 to 4 months to get your passport? Your data will be entered into the Schengen system and all institutions of Hungary. Hungary will never give information about you to Ukraine.”


“After the oath within 5 days you will receive the following documents:

• Utlevel – external Hungarian passport (valid for 10 years , the extension automatically and completely free).
• Hungarian birth certificate ( the main document certifying Hungarian citizenship ) ;
• Hungarian marriage certificate , ( if you are married )
• ID card ID-card of a citizen of Hungary ( get immediately after the oath ) ;

Also, you will have the opportunity to obtain:
Citizenship to your children under 14 years free of charge , and 14 to 18 for 1500 euros.
– Driver’s license ;
– Registration card” [address card, for election??]


The journalists at Nepszabadsag did some phone calls to the advertisers:

“What if I do not have Hungarian ancestors?
– You will have them. We work with Ukrainian archives”


Csabai T.


For those how naively thought that Ferenc Papcsák was caught in the act when the tape on which the conversation between a discontented entrepreneur and Papcsák’s subordinate was published. The entrepreneur talked about the kick-back and related issues (20% from a 100m HUF deal).

“Papcsák is the holy cow”


Try to get this:

95% of the Hungarian voters do not even know who Papcsák is and will never know about him from the Fidesz controlled media.

The enfeebled opposition cannot muster any power to make sure people know about Papcsák’s scandal — as it could not make any scandal about the very fact that Fidesz officially cheated! I mean try to imagine what Fidesz would have done if the court had made it clear that MSZP cheated…100 thousand Békement people the very next day chanting down with Gyurcsány?

Papcsák is an extremely influential guy in Fidesz, one of the most important lawyers in a party of lawyers. He will stay, no matter what. He is actually destined for bigger positions and it is his choice only: does he want to remain a practicing attorney or get a nicer title? Forget the tapes.


September 30, 2013 at 10:02 pm | #13 Quote
Ms. KKA, yes, spot on, but everybody recognized this. Although too slowly.
Conservative and right wing people by definition (this is their ideology) respect authority and discipline, and such people move towards the right.”

Other conservatives want small or no government.
Reagan has injected lots of confusions into the mind of the weakminded american citizens.
orban is using some of the reagan tricks. arthur finkelstein has got a good memory.

Johnny Boy

Eva S. Balogh :
So was I. Even members of Újságíró Klub were playing the shrinking violets. Well, I’m a bit tougher than that.

No you are not “tougher”, you are an extremist. Simple as that. This is why you approve of such an idiotic and primitive action and this is why your kin will remain on sidetrack as long as democracy is concerned.
The lunatics in Újságróklub did not whine because they dislike the action; they are correspondingly violent and primitive. But they have a litte brain left and thus they know this repels the vast majority of the voters.
But go on, do some more demonstrations like this and everybody will know what the country would be transformed into if you ever came into power. You youst gave a demo of it so that no one can complain afterwards.
Lucky thing is, there is going to be no ‘afterwards’ for you, otherwise God save us all.

Johnny Boy

Jackson :
It was pointed out clearly in a cink.hu (and mind you cink.hu is otherwise a conservative medium, László Szily is an ardent “anti-communist” and was a pretty enthusiastic Fidesz supporter until that became uncool in urban hipster circles)

Szily as a conservative? I wonder which planet you are living on. Szily, one of the core members of the liberal-extremist Index portal, has always been an incredibly cynical, nothing-believer urban liberal.


Nice job, Johnny Boy. Orban and the gang can be proud of you 🙂


The Constitutional court approved today the general amnesty the Orban government gave to the hooligans of 2006. The vote was 11-3. The majority argued, among others, that the amnesty was like the amnesty Italy gave to people who committed unlawful acts against former Fascist officials in 1945.

(see [67] in http://www.mkab.hu/download.php?h=572 )

Gyurcsany = Mussolini

Fidesz’s soccer hooligans = antifascist partisans

What a wonderful twist of history in the eyes of the Fidesz-appointed ideologues in the court…


Johnny Boy/Girl:

László Szily is known to dislike MSZP the “Liberals”, the commies or the kommers.

Just because he smokes a joint every other day (or more often, not to mention other substances), does not make him a political liberal or leftist.

He may be critical of the Hungarian right and of the conservatives, their petty anti-gay and anti-semitism. But he is critical for them not against them.

And he was a pretty partizan Fidesznik circa 2007-2010.

You never read him carefully and never met him.


Let me point out the irony of the abbreviation the Court still uses, i.e. MKAB

“The Constitutional Court of the Hungarian Republic”

Since January 1, 2012,

1. There is no Hungarian Republic
2. There is no constitution


@tappanch: This is how the Fidesz propaganda machinery works… their label their opponents with labels that would actually would fit Fidesz … thus rendering any of these categories murky and practically meaningless. This is a war of words. If everybody is called a liar, a fascist, an extremist, the terms become theatrical and people will stop caring about trying to figure out if any of these accusations are justified.. and the real liar, fascist, extremist can get away without being exposed of what he really is.