Viktor Orbán continues his fight at home and abroad

Although Prime Minister Viktor Orbán most likely harbors a deep-seated antipathy toward the United States, he and his party have borrowed liberally from U.S. politics. Perhaps most important, they copied American campaign practices. The much criticized “Kubatov lists,” named after Gábor Kubatov, the successful Fidesz campaign manager, are an adaptation of door-to-door campaigns aimed at mobilizing the party’s electoral base. It is this kind of American-style campaigning that has been a key ingredient in Fidesz’s remarkable performance in national and local elections. And Fidesz normally hires American spin doctors every time they are in political trouble. Like now.

Another U.S. borrowing, again adapted to Hungarian circumstances, is Viktor Orbán’s “assessment of year” (évértékelő). It is normally delivered in February, hosted by an association whose activities are pretty well limited to organizing this event. This is the seventeenth time that Viktor Orbán addresses a crowd of invited guests. Everybody who is anybody in Fidesz circles is present on these occasions. Orbán delivers these speeches whether in office or in opposition.

The excitement preceding this annual event has subsided considerably over the years, and the content of the speeches has become correspondingly shallow. In the past Orbán was often interrupted by enthusiastic applause, but this time, just as last year, the audience was less appreciative. Orbán is good at keeping interest alive by telling a few jokes, which were still appreciated, but aside from the jokes the audience reacted positively to only a few of his announcements. One was “placing Hungary on the political map of Europe.” The other time his audience was fired up was when he called for a tightening of the ranks of the political right by gathering everyone under one flag (egy a tábor, egy a zászló). This is a slogan Orbán often uses when he urges his followers to fight harder for the success of Fidesz and his dreams.

The speech gave an account of the fantastic successes achieved in the last five years. I will leave a critique of his often false and/or misleading economic data to others. Here I will concentrate on some of the political aspects of the speech.

I suspected that Gábor G. Fodor’s “analysis” of Viktor Orbán’s Machiavellian political philosophy–that “polgári Magyarország” is “simply a political product”–would be received with great dismay in the Fidesz leadership. But it looks as if G. Fodor caused an even deeper wound than I thought. Both Zoltán Balog, president of the host organization and minister of human resources, and Viktor Orbán spent a considerable amount of time trying to refute G. Fodor’s contention. Both men emphasized that the ideal of “polgári Magyarország” is a core value in Fidesz’s political philosophy. They believe in “polgári, national, and Christian governance.” Balog expressed his fear that these “too clever by half” analysts will mislead the true believers. Viktor Orbán picked up on the theme at the very beginning of his speech, expressing his opinion that these analysts will not be able to “confuse people” because “our flag flies high and everybody can see that our lodestar is the idea of “polgári Magyarország.” G. Fodor’s unthinking slip hurt deeply and is being taken seriously because many people believe, not without reason, that he is telling the truth.

"Hungary is becoming stronger!"

“Hungary is becoming stronger!”

It was expected that Orbán would talk about his  foreign policy strategy since it is widely believed that his moves in the last year or so have led the country into isolation. Some people argued that Orbán, especially after the debacle in Warsaw, would realize that he cannot straddle East and West and will have to choose. Well, as far as I can see, Orbán will continue his policies. He repeated his worn-out ideas about a world that had become so fundamentally different after 2008 that the old methods of economics, politics, and diplomacy no longer worked. The European leaders have no answers for these problems. Hungary, however, has its own solutions. He will lead Hungary into a secure position in an insecure world. He has developed a “new foreign policy doctrine.” In fact, Hungarians “already live in a future that others are only trying to reach.” I do hope that those who mistakenly thought that Viktor Orbán would abandon his destructive, dangerous foreign policy will realize that the double game between Russia and the West will continue unabated.

At the end of the speech he felt compelled to say something about the loss of the electoral district in Veszprém County, which shook even the most loyal commentators. The right-wing papers ran editorials in which they urged the party leadership to change course. They claimed that the behavior of the most important government and party leaders is repugnant to the electorate. The party has to do something about corruption and rein in the high living of people like János Lázár, Péter Szijjártó, and Antal Rogán. Moreover, there are just too many recent government decisions that irritate people. Something must be done.

The editorials in right-wing papers fell on deaf ears. No change in governance is necessary, the prime minister said. The only task is “to fight harder” because the party faithful has to prevent the socialists from unseating Fidesz. After all, the socialists were the ones who “stole the country blind.” He and his followers believed that after achieving such a great victory the second time around last year “peaceful times were coming,” but it was just a dream. The opposition will wage a continuous “negative campaign” for the next three years. One must “fight for the polgári Magyarország every day.” And instead of his customary “Hajrá Magyarország, hajrá magyarok!” (which means something like “to the finish Hungary, to the finish Hungarians”) this time he ended with “Good morning Hungary, good morning Hungarians!” This was a meant as a wake-up call. He is determined to convince his followers, former and present, that the fight will be worth it.

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Member

Hungarians, (as most people) are used to listening to demagog speeches for decades, many of them like it, they get enthusiastic and giddy. Why should they be disappointed by the viktor?
=====
Everybody (including me) loved the old May 1 parades too, people dressed in their best dress, huge displays were carried and everybody was enthusiastic. The smiling buddy, Papa Rákosi pictures were carried proudly and everybody sang happily. A few years later the enthusiasm was gone, then the parade was gone. Just like the viktor and his enthusiastic followers will be gone and fairly soon.
It is worth to look at the 1948 Newsreel (Hiradó) about May 1 Parade, if for nothing else, to remind us, that idols come and go, the people always be abused and disappointed by them.

http://filmhiradokonline.hu/watch.php?id=6726

Guest
This must have been just about the last Mayday parade when some of the old Horthy-era uniforms, peasant costumes and some pre-Communist era national symbols were still allowed to make an appearance, Not too many smiling faces though, no doubt partly because just a few years before many of the marchers were not just Hungarian soldiers on the Russian front, but enthusiastic Hungarian fascists, Hungarists or even Arrowcross members . My memories of Mayday parades are emphatically different from yours. By 1954/55, I was a squad leader in the pioneers and a pioneer railwayman, due to having been pushed hard by my parents and by some sympathetic teachers to participate and ‘be involved’, because of my ‘bad’ social class category (káder). On Maydays we were simply ordered out to march in the parade, and you could not get out of participating even if you were half dead. There was some forced jollity, particularly when we marched past the grandstand under the Stalin statue, but it was mainly intimidation, dead serious regimentation, a lot of waiting around, then marching a lot, and it went on the whole day, very boring, very tiring, very unpleasant. For me, those Maydays were pretty horrible,… Read more »
Paul
Guest

Good to see the flags are back. No dictator should have to face his public without a dozen large flags behind him…

Member

I think the title actor and his four member core gang has merely one golal: to stay in power and showel as many Eoropean money as he can.
Anytnig else is subordinated.
His really bad speech today emphasizes the lies about the succesful Hungarian economy and politics and the declining West. Besides illiberal, Hungarians are fed up with political correctness with his work. We have to fight for against these delusions more an more leftist talk show audiences comments that he should end up in a lunatic asylum,

Member

Because its very dark here, my prior comment has a lot of misspellings etc let me put a more approriate version below:

I think the title actor and his four member core gang have merely one simple golal: to stay in power and rake in many Eoropean money as he can.
Anytnig else is subordinated.
His really bad speech today emphasizes the lies about the succesful Hungarian economy and politics and the declining West.
OI his point of view, besides illiberal, Hungarians are fed up with political correctness

We have to fight for our our souverignity ie. his possibility continue his war, and steal

We rather have to fight against these delusions and thanks God more and more leftist talk show audiencies comment that he should end up in a lunatic asylum.

The point remains the same.

Guest
This is nice to hear, but I do not believe the Hungarian left can actually bring salvation to that wretched country, except perhaps in the sense of informing and enlightening people willing to listen, about the abuses of Fidesz and perhaps also about the threats posed by Jobbik. The Hungarian left is essentially a collection of people whose orientation is socialist or non-unionist social democratic, i.e. left-liberal, so-called, where the term liberal is taken in the American sense of non-unionist socialist or social democrat. In America, most Jewish people are liberal in this sense, as are most remaining Jewish people in Hungary. Hence it is a political stance that in any case starts on the back foot virtually by definition in an emphatically antisemitic, judeophobic environment such as prevails in Hungary. Fidesz (and to an extent also Jobbik) has abundant organizational and managerial “talent” appropriate to the Balkan circumstances of the Hungarian political environment. The Hungarian left almost completely lacks these talents. The Christian Nationalism peddled by Fidesz (and to an extent also the National Socialism peddled by Jobbik) has a large and very receptive market in the Hungarian electorate. The ideology or ideologies of the Hungarian left, on the… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Mike Balint: Hmmm….
I am NOT so sure about that Jewish-Christian dichotomy. There are one or two prominent people of Jewish background in Fidesz (György/George Schöpflin, the Fidesz MEP, for example). But exceptions like that don’t challenge the rule.
This might, however: I seem to recall value surveys suggesting that in certain working-class and decidedly not-Jewish (because of the Holocaust) outer districts of Budapest in the so-called “red crescent” (Csepel, Kőbánya, Ferencváros, Kispest, Újpest etc.) the majority of inhabitants appear to hold socialist values. I also note that one or two of these districts has always voted left except in the elections of 2010, and that these districts are called the red crescent because they voted left in 2014.
I note again that, for instance, the Jews of Kispest – which was not yet part of Budapest in WWII – were deported and murdered almost to the last soul.
However, I have to admit that your theory is engaging, intelligent, and surely deserves a closer look. I hope a sociologist will, at some point, do a survey of values based on ethnic/religious background in Hungary (perhaps such a survey has been done – I don’t know).

Webber
Guest

P.S. When the Hungarian left adopted Anthony Giddens’ and Tony Blair’s “third way” philosophy (esp. under Gyurcsány), there was practically nothing left of leftism in the parties’ practical policies. During that last leftist government the thinking underlying policies seemed – in economic terms – rather right-wing liberal (in the real sense, not Orban’s sense) or neo-liberal if you prefer. I have no problem whatsoever with liberal economic policies – especially for a country that has come out of state-socialism -, but most people who hold leftist values probably do.

Guest

I do take your point, and your counter-examples are of course valid. I seem to recall that there are even some people of Jewish origin fairly high up in the Fidesz ranks (though none in Jobbik). They might be rare as a white raven in the Fidesz ranks, but they do evidently exist.

It just seems to me that since “liberal” has become a synonym for “Jew” and even “dirty Jew” in common discourse in today’s Hungary, people who call themselves liberal or left-liberal or can be labelled as such, start out with a hell of a handicap in any political race in 21st century Hungary.

That many prominent left-liberals are in fact Jewish in origin, and tend to be internationalist in orientation and sentiment, merely confirm Hungarian suspicions of a continuing dark international Jewish conspiracy against them.

this is of course completely nuts, but Hungarian heads seem full of this kind of crap. Just read some of their forums.

Hence the theory.

Webber
Guest

Just slightly OT: There’s a sociologist called István Murányi who has been doing research trying to identify characteristics and motivations of those who support Jobbik. His research has re-enforced findings by others that Jobbik supporters tend to be better educated than average Hungarians, better off than average Hungarians, and younger than average Hungarians.
Moreover, Murányi has found that poorer people who identify themselves as ethnic Hungarians tend to have fewer anti-Roma prejudices than wealthier ones.
Some of the results of Murányi’s research are in English and are or will be freely available online – MySpace.
A couple of years ago Murányi also published an interesting book on a different but not unrelated topic with Gy. Csepeli and G. Prazsák called New Authoritarianism in Hungary. It’s worth a look – if only at the conclusions (my trans. – original: Új tekintélyelvűség Magyarországon).

bajaj
Guest

Thanks for the reference, I will check him out. I have some doubts about these findings and about what those findings may entail (except that Jobbik supporters are probably younger than average and so they are here to stay for decades). Daniel Rona had a Phd thesis written about Jobbik supporters published very recently at Corvinus and the conclusions are like there are no clear conclusions, he identified something 12 reasons why Jobbik is popular. Jobbik is an interesting phenomenon but I think it’s very easy to get lost in the “forest of the science” related to it. Overanalysis might be just as misleading as ignorance.

What was however in may view a good book was Nemzet a mindennpokban.by Margit Feischmidt. It’s more qualitative than quantitatve (so there are few such conclusions like average jobbikniks are better educated or better-off than the Hungarian average) but I think it contains a lot of insights.

http://www.harmattan.hu/konyv_1107.html

By the way who uses Myspace these days?

Andor
Guest

This one is a very insightful book:

Feischmidt Margit (szerk.): Nemzet a mindennapokban – Az újnacionalizmus populáris kultúrája

Guest

Murányi’s findings, by the way, seem entirely unsurprising to me. It is after all the Christian intelligentsia, the Christian middle class and the declassé Hungarian gentry class that made Hungary into the rotten place that it became after Trianon, with all its ultimate horrors, the vicious antisemitism, Jew laws, genocide and another lost war. Those Christian Nationalist and National Socialist sentiments and orientations continued as a powerful subterranean flow during the Communist era, only to burst forth with renewed vigour once the Communist shackles were removed. Jobbik supporters merely continue where their grandparents left off in 1945. They are similar in education, social status and age to those grandparents, and the only difference is that in our time the focus of their prejudices and hate shifted to the Roma as well, who have in the interim greatly increased in numbers, and therefore became far more visible and “difficult to put up with”, particularly in Eastern Hungary.

Member

I agree, I keep asking commenters what makes yous read this type of online media if it simply does not fit your taste?
I have a litle bit similar approach to CH, which had a marginal circulation before the massacre

Guest
Your counter-examples are of course perfectly valid. There are some people of Jewish origin fairly high up in Fidesz ranks (though none in Jobbik), and some of the old left-wing unionist areas on the outskirts of Budapest continue to vote “Socialist”. At the same time it would seem that “liberal” and “left liberal” have become code words for “Jew” or even “dirty Jew” in common discourse in today’s Hungary. As for instance the terms “banker” or “financier”, too, which have also become synonyms of the same thing. Thus, given the all-pervasive antisemitism and judeophobia in the country, anybody participating in a political race will start out with a hell of a handicap if s/he can be labelled a “liberal”. It doesn’t help furthermore, that a lot of prominent left-liberals, whether of the socialist, social democratic or Blairian “third way” kind, are in fact of Jewish origin in Hungary, and many from previously prominent Communist families. In the sick mind of many antisemitic Hungarians, these people are not just supposed to be necessarily possessed of a spirit totally alien to “Hungarianness” (idegenlelkűek), but continue to actively and darkly conspire against Hungarians on behalf of some evil international and internationalist Jewish conspiracy… Read more »
Webber
Guest
Sure. It’s obvious that the nudge-nudge, wink-wink anti-semitism doesn’t bother or isn’t even noticed by a lot of people. It’s also obvious that some people really like it. I’m just not convinced that anti-semitism is actually attractive to the majority of voters (I think they don’t care – which is sad, sickening, etc., but doesn’t mean it motivates them). Anti-Roma sentiments, however… It’s far worse to be a Gypsy than to be a Jew in Hungary today. Anti-Roma sentiments clearly motivate a lot of Jobbik supporters. On another (related) issue: The Hungarian left’s turn away from the “losers of transition” – the Hungarian working class – was made crystal clear to the poor with the left’s open adoption of the “third way” and the liberal idea that “everyone is free now and should make their own way.” In the local context that meant a crony (false) capitalism in which social support systems for the poor were degraded to such a level that unfortunate people now have to decide between heating or food, and for the poorest of the poor the choice of “food” means eating not just poorly but infrequently. In this context, it wasn’t just irritating to see leftist… Read more »
Guest
I think you are spot on re the hypocrisy of the ideological left and the callousness of the ideological right in Hungary. The bottom line is that the “leadership” – if it is possible to call it that – is corrupt and tainted to its rotten core on both sides. Hungary is today a country of four million beggars. It used to be a country of three million beggars in the prewar years. So not much changed in the past seventy years in this respect. The pre-war Hungarist solution to the problem was to loot the Jews, the Communist solution was to loot the remnant middle class, while the post-regime-change crony capitalist oligarchic solution on both the right and left was to, and is to, loot the country for their own personal gain, but otherwise simply ignore the problem. It would take exceptional vision, leadership, strength of character and courage to lay out a long term social, economical and political program to bring Hungary up to, let’s say at least Austrian standards, to enlist and maintain bipartisan political support for it, and then to implement it without any ifs buts or maybes. Sadly, given Hungary’s Balkan political mind-set, I cannot… Read more »
Member

Such a perfect description of the political atmosphere for the last 70 years. I still have hope however, that Hungary will somehow find someone to lead them to a real democracy.

bajaj
Guest

Agree with the diagnosis but not with the last sentence, that there would be no market. Especially as one of the main problems you identified was the lack of a well-managed campaign machinery, this has nothing to do with ideology. The left lacks leadership in every sense and the lack of a meaningful GOTV system is just one symptom. While I agree that ideology-wise this anti-leftist(jewish)/modernist ideology has a significantly less appeal (more or less meaning that Hungary is a red state like Texas especially with the current gerrymandered districts), there are times when people are more open to new ideas (any ideas) and organizations. This is one of those times. I also think that the next election is for the left to lose.

The “good” news is that Orban will not change, so corruption, idiocy, isolation, wholesale lies, manipulation, the peacock dance will continue.

But these cannot possibly have any meaningful results in terms of popularity. (Note: in the 4th quarter investments increased by an absolutely abysmal 1.7 percent or something like that.)

Like Hitler, Orban will “die” (symbolically) with his supporters (like those present at these inane speech events) in the bunker.

Guest

I hope you are right, though can’t say I am holding my breath.

seinean sabisan
Guest

“…only task is “to fight harder” because the party faithful has to prevent the socialists from unseating Fidesz.”

Let’s hope none of his supporters will take “fight harder” ad-litteram like others do in other “illiberal democracies”:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31669061

CeCeCe
Guest
The thing with Nemtsov’s death is that he was a very-well known figure both in Russia and abroad, and given the hierarchical Russian society, even if, even if (lets assume for the sake of argument) this was a mafia deal enforcing a debt, even then the mafia could not act alone without seeking the approval of politics (siloviks who also oversee organized crime). The mafia is afraid to cause potential political problems, because it knows it should not meddle into that domain. Nemtsov was clearly assassinated because of his political activism whether directly by secret service people or veterans of the Ukrainian war paid for by the mob, doesn’t matter — his murder was sanctioned by people close to Putin if not by him. I think Simicska is right, if an adversary will be deemed too strong and thus too dangerous then Orban or his Russia helpers wouldn’t hesitate much to murder that person. Fidesz owns the prosecution, the police, the secret services, nobody would know what happened, some Russia hitman coming in and then disappearing via Ukraine. Until now simply Orban hasn’t thought that his position (or Paks 2 for example) was in danger (by people like Szigetvári? Schiffer?… Read more »
Guest
A bit of OT. It is interesting to note how similar the Israeli political spectrum looks to the Hungarian one. Where in Hungary you have a preponderance of Christian Nationalists, in Israel they have a preponderance of Jewish Nationalists. To the “right” of the Jewish Nationalists, there are even those who sound eerily like Jobbik in Hungary. Israel is the only place in the world where the overwhelming majority of Jews are emphatically NOT left-liberal. This is not just because of the “situation”, but because the population of the country is preponderantly made up of Jews from Arab countries and from the former Soviet Union, and there are also of course a lot of religious Jews there. Consequently, the bulk of Israeli Jews are most decidedly anti-socialist in orientation and sentiment. It is thus a very, very situation today from the early years, when the then socially dominant Ashkenazi (European) Jews were overwhelmingly socialist and even communist in orientation and sentiment, with many of them living on communal settlements where they were enthusiastic collective farmers (kibbutzniks). Like in Hungary, in Israel today there is no market whatsoever for left-liberalism, and as in Hungary, left-liberal orientation and sentiment is confined to… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Last night, Boris Nemtsov was murdered outside of the Kremlin walls. (Putin has already sent his condolences to the family.)

In Hungary, a 41 year-old dies in a police car (presumably of food poisoning).

Can we draw any moral conclusions from these two, bosom-partner countries?

From Putin’s last visit in Hungary just a week ago, we can now be sure of where Orban gets his marching orders. And this from a country that’s ranked 135th;

“The country (Russia) ranked 136 of 175 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption index, on a par with Nigeria, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Cameroon.”

If our ‘betters’ are ranked 135th….where does that put Hungary?

HAJRA MAGYAROK!

ARE WE PROUD YET?

tappanch
Guest

@Mike Balint

“Israel is the only place in the world where the overwhelming majority of Jews are emphatically NOT left-liberal”

You are wrong, IMHO, because the meaning of “left” is different in Hungary and in Israel.

Israel faces annihilation by its neighbors and Iran. Nobody wants to erase Hungary off the map.

The powerful judiciary and most of the media in Israel are “left”, meaning they behave like ostriches in the face of the existential threat. Few things stay secret in that country.

The level of high-level government corruption is much, much lower than in Hungary – thanks to the numerous checks and balances.

Netanyahu’s recent “bottlegate” scandal refers to “allegations that [his wife] Sara Netanyahu and possibly others under her direction improperly returned used drink bottles for their deposits and kept the cash, though the drinks were bought with state funds.”

Olmert committed his fraudulent acts not as a prime minister, but as a mayor previously.

If you want to find Middle Eastern parallels to the Hungarian “right”-wing’s love for dictatorship and corruption you find a closer proximity in Gaza and Iran than in Israel.

Guest

Well said, Tappanch, and touché! Hats off.

However, I still think that there are some eerie parallels there between the Hungarian and Israeli political palettes, though admittedly the two situations and contexts are totally different and in many respects incompatible.

As to Gaza, I think that would be somewhat irrelevant, but with the Palestinian Authority, Iran and Turkey you would of course be spot on.

koeszmeod
Guest

Most of the media left? Sheldon Adelson is behind the most powerful Israeli publications (tea party/ Natanyahu)
Natanyahu=Orban,
Lieberman=Vona,
Settlers=Jobbik
Naftali Bennett addresses his audience differently in English and Hebrew. In Hebrew he is simply racist.
See this Netanyahu (think Orban) campaign video which explains that every liberal is aiding ISIS
http://972mag.com/netanyahu-campaign-video-a-victory-for-the-left-means-an-isis-invasion/102703/
Or Settler’s video (think Jobbik) where they explain that ashkenazi leftist Jews are serving the EU which equals the nazis in their interpretation.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4626855,00.html
(the headline of the paper in the video “HaSmol” means “TheLeft”)

All in all I am a zionist, I love Israel, but the current leadership and the prospects are very familiar to Orbanistan.

One more note: Even in foreign policy their common friend is Azerbaijan, the Israeli Ambassador in Baku some weeks ago announced that Israel won’t recognize the Armenian genocide.

ronaldino
Guest

I guess the US-Israeli relations aren’t the best either. That’s pretty blunt.

Actually Marton Bede of 444.hu wrote a few days ago that he predicts that now that Hungary and Israel are both totally isolated, lead by crazy, mean, lying nationalist leaders, Hungary will soon have a new friend…

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/26/us/politics/susan-rice-calls-netanyahus-planned-visit-destructive-to-us-israel-ties.html?_r=0

Guest
Yes, and this really is the nub of it. It has to be blatantly obvious that there is nothing more vital to Israel’s continued survival than excellent relations with both the executive and legislative branches of the US government, and excellent relations with all segments of the Jewish community in America. Conversely, the alienation of the executive branch of the US government and of very large segments of the largely liberal-oriented American Jewish community, and particularly the young people among them, portends catastrophic consequences for the very survival of the Jewish State. When in Israel, it is very easy to loose oneself in the thronbbing vitality of daily life there, and to delude oneself about the strength and resilience of the country, her capacity to survive against all odds, and to loose all grip on the underlying reality of an ultimate total dependence strategically, politically, economically and militarily on the United States. My own view is that the possible consequences of losing American support are likely to be incomparably more dire and more catastrophic for Israel then even a nuclear armed Iran. Orbán & Co can play at anti-Americanism and carry on like a two bob watch in their little… Read more »
koeszmeod
Guest

@mike I agree
Most young American Jews can’t identify with the values of the Israeli leadership. They are loosing the future supporters now.

Guest

Spot on. Completely agree. My position on this subject is exactly the same as yours.

Guest

This was meant as a response to koeszmeod (very angry/nagyon haragszik?) below.

koeszmeod
Guest

koeszmeod only comments when koeszet meod

koeszmeod
Guest

@tappanch
“If you want to find Middle Eastern parallels to the Hungarian “right”-wing’s love for dictatorship and corruption you find a closer proximity in Gaza and Iran than in Israel.”
I do not aggree.
More similarities between the Netanyahu and Orban governments
Klubradio licensing = Channel 10 licensing – both countries lost points for these actions in the Freedom House report
Orban’s new state media plans = Netanyahu’ s prime minister’s office new newspaper
Hate campaigns: Netanyahu Rabin Orban Gyurcsany
Campaign against liberals – they work with the same election consultants
Racism: Balog/Orban government – Roma population Netanyahu gov – Israeli arab population
(One of the most famous and popular IsraeliArab writer has just left the country , he could not take it any more)
Read Sayed Kashua interview about beating Arabs in Jerusalem etc…just like Jobbik in the Roma villages
http://www.npr.org/2014/08/14/340289287/mideast-tensions-force-arab-israeli-writer-to-leave-jerusalem

tappanch
Guest

@Mike Balint

Are “overwhelming” majority of Israeli Jews “right”-wingers? Certainly not

Latest poll on February 27, about 2 weeks before the election:

“Left” = Meretz + Hatnuah + Labor + Yesh Atid = 40 out of 120 seats.
Kulanu = new party, who knows its colors = 9 seats
“Right” = Likud + Israel Beiteinu + Jewish Home + Otzma + Yachad = 44 seats

Religious parties = UTJ + Shas = 14 seats
Arab parties = Hadash + Ta’al + Balad = 13 seats.

If Kulanu joins the “Left”, Israel will have a new prime minister, who can make existential concessions in the last two years of the Obama administration.

Guest

Again, hats off! You certainly are well informed.

Guest

Again, hats off! You certainly are well informed.

Guest

Well, here I go again. I hope this time it works.

@tappanch
February 28, 2015 at 5:08 am

Again, hats off! You certainly are well informed.

However, the only parties that qualify as genuinely “left” is the tiny hard-left Meretz and the Blairian centre-left Labour.

Hatnua is “left” only in the sense that it is for “peace” at all costs with the Arabs, whatever that might mean.

And Yesh Atid is a secularist centre party that is ‘left” only in the sense that it is against Netanyahu.

Kulanu is essentially a Likud splinter. It would be more than surprising if it joined a left-wing coalition.

The religious parties are neither left nor right, but are solidly on the side of whoever is willing to bribe them with the most money (extracted from the taxpayers).

And the Arab parties are of the “left” only in the sense that they are united in their rejection of the right to existence of a (Jewish) State of Israel, though in practice will generally vote in the Knesseth (the Israeli parliament) on most issues with the tiny Jewish hard-left.

tappanch
Guest

Semi-official, live Russian coverage of the Nemtsov murder:

http://rt.com/news/236359-nemtsov-killed-moscow-politician/

Guest

@tappanch
February 28, 2015 at 5:08 am

(the reply function seems to have stopped working (tried twice above), so I am sending this as a separate entry)

Again, hats off! You certainly are well informed.

tappanch
Guest

The opinion of another opposition figure, chess champion Kasparov:

Nemtsov “always believed Russia could change from the inside and without violence; after 2012 I disagreed with this. When we argued, Boris would tell me I was too hasty, and that in Russia you had to live a long time to see change. Now he’ll never see it. Rest In Peace.”

http://en.chessbase.com/post/kasparov-on-putin-ukrainian-nukes-nemtsov

Guest

ATTN: Some1

Both the reply function and the edit function seem to have stopped working. I have been trying to forward to Tappanch a comment several times now, both as an edit and as a reply, without success. The top couple of lines go through, the rest get cut off.

Can you help?

Member

Me too!

Member

Hi, Can you try it now. Things seem to work fine now. 🙂

Member

Can you try again Mike. I did test and all seems to fine at my end. What browser are you using?

Paul
Guest

OT – but I hadn’t realised things in Transcarpathia were this bad:

http://drot.eu/article/megrazo-level-karpataljarol

We have a lot of family over there, but my wife hasn’t said much about what’s going on. This could be partly down to most of them being older (and on Hungarian pensions), or the blind Fidesz faith in the ‘rightness’ of what Putin is doing, which may preclude belief in any uncomfortable facts. (I suspect, if I raised this with my wife, she would claim it is the Ukrainian’s and the West’s fault – they brought it upon themselves.)

tappanch
Guest

EUR/UAH was around 12 a year ago, 18 as recently as January 30, 2015.

soared from 19 to 28 on February 05,
collapsed from 36.8 to 27.8 yesterday, and finished at 30.58

Paul
Guest
As for the Hungarian Left, I fear that the combination of the way Fidesz have shifted the political status-quo of Hungary so successfully to the right/nationalist, and the sheer ineffectiveness and disorganisation of the old left/liberals, means that the left is pretty much dead in the water for the foreseeable future. Hungary’s only real hope (as I have been saying for some time) is the emergence of a true centre-right party – something that can present a viable alternative to Fidesz-Jobbik and steer the country back into liberal democracy (far more successfully than any fantasy left revolution could ever do). Unfortunately, one of Orbán’s great triumphs was the destruction of the traditional centre-right in Hungary, so it is hard to see how such a new party could be established. The one hope we have is that the less extreme factions within Fidesz will eventually despair of Orbán’s mania and corruption and beak away to form a ‘Christian-Democrat’ party – although, even now, this isn’t looking likely. But if such a split does occur, those of us of the left/liberal/green persuasion are going to have to bite the bullet and support such a breakaway group, no matter how difficult that will… Read more »
Webber
Guest

I disagree. I think that the inevitable revulsion with the current government will drive people into the opposite camp, just as revulsion with Gyurcsány/Bajnai drove people to support Orbán’s camp.
Most people in most countries are neither right wing nor left wing. They vote for whichever side they see as better at the moment, or at least less awful than the rest.
As to ruling discourse – rhetoric on the media is one thing, but what people feel is another. If ruling the media really meant controlling people’s minds, people would never have voted for MDF in the first post-communist elections.
I do agree with you, however, about the disastrous mis- or disorganization of the left in Hungary.

Guest

I completely agree with your diagnosis, but not at all hopeful that it is possible to establish a Christian Democratic alternative to Fidesz. The Fidesz leadership will carefully see to it that any such attempt will always be successully, totally and terminatedly nipped in the bud.

István
Guest

I am glad both Tappanch and Petofi made a reference to the murder of Boris Nemtsov in the context of this discussion. If one reads Fiona Hill’s biography of Putin, which was reviewed in Népszabadság several weeks ago, it becomes more than obvious that his regime is fully capable of this putative murder as part of messaging to society. One might think that the murder of Boris Nemtsov literally in front of the Kremlin would give PM Orban and Fidesz pause to consider what the Putin crew is capable of. But apparently not it is still full speed ahead with the eastern opening.

Nemtsov was part of the Putin inner circle and he just like Lajos Simicska was for Orban, let’s hope OV does not get any ideas from the murder. Simicska in his own comments seemed to believe OV was capable of ordering his own elimination.

Member

Are you suggesting that until now Orban had no idea who is he dealing with? Even to suggest that is silly. Orban does know who he is dealing with. The only thing I am most rue about is what does he get.

tappanch
Guest

The Ukrainian front as of yesterday:

comment image

tappanch
Guest

net EU financial contribution / GNI in 2013:

comment image

tappanch
Guest

Total EU expenditure in Hungary:

2007: 2.4276 billion euros
2008: 2.0026
2009: 3.5686
2010: 3.6500
2011: 5.3309
2012: 4.1771
2013: 5.9098

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/revexp/revenue_and_expenditure_files/data/revenue_and_expenditure_en.xls

Member

I am very sorry but this will be a post about nothing, in order to test the reply function of the comment functions with and without smilies. Maybe it is the smiley function that makes the posts cut off. Something in the dots, marks, etc. can make somehow get into the markup of the text. Example ; or possibly : an other ) function or the combination 8 of all of them. I am putting in a smiley face now 😉 with a wink and see what this will do t the text and to the timer at the bottom.
Sorry for this gibberish!

Member

It works for me. I am not sure what could be the problem.. Please let me know if others have similar issues as Mike Balint has.
🙂

Canadian
Guest

Here is an interesting and very a propos documentary I have seen a couple of times: http://www.docuart.hu/dokumentum-film/a-fideszes-zsido-a-nemzeti-erzes-nelkuli-anya-es-a-mediacio/index.php

István
Guest

Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee on the murder of Boris Nemtsov established by Putin, told journalists not long ago: “The murder could be a provocation to destabilize the political situation in the country. Nemtsov could have been chosen as a sort of ‘sacral sacrifice’ by those who don’t hesitate to use any methods to reach their political goals.”

I have seen a few posts on Hungarian sites picking up on Mrkin’s theme and attributing the murder to the CIA. The Russians fully develop this theory for their Hungarian friends in this article http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/28-02-2015/129934-boris_nemtsov_murdered-0/

Webber
Guest

“the CIA killed Nemtsov” idiocy is being disseminated by Putinbot commenters all over the web. Just look at the comments under The Guardian’s coverage of the murder. There’s a massive and concerted concentration on this conspiracy theory.
Not that it needs refutation – but can I possibly be wrong in feeling that the area around the Kremlin, where Nemtsov was murdered, surely must be one of the most heavily monitored areas in all of Russia? Putin, after all, works regularly in the Kremlin – goes there by helicopter, I understand. There must be video monitors and guards and sound monitors, and everything anyone could imagine around the place. It is hard to believe that the license plate number and image of the driver of every car passing is not registered by electronic monitoring.

Member

Exactly, if it was so easy for CIA operatives to do this sort of killing, then how come not one attempt on Putin?

spectator
Guest

I don’t really want to disillusion you, so purely among us: if I want to shift the blame to someone else, I would certainly use the “forward warning” technique too, it’s in the public domain, by the way.

Practically: I warn the populace in advance that someone else may implicate me with some wrongdoing, since it’s their interest to smear me, obviously, then I commit the deed and point to those whom I promised to blame me – cut and dry case, plain and simple!

Isn’t that difficult, is it? Works as advertised, all the time, and we won’t get any wiser, ever.

That’s the way it is where the “illiberal state” is the standard.

petofi
Guest

Nemtsov questions:

Who knew that he would be outside the Kremlin at midnight?
Was he called in to see Putin?
The killers where in a car. Were they not worried about surveillance cameras? It’s unlikely
that they drove an un-plated car in the heavily monitored area.
So, if the above issues did not bother them, whose killers were they? Only one guess. (Hungarians get five tries.)

I think I heard the murmur, “The jews.” It’s true that Nemtsov owed money but jews don’t murder…except
little girls…for their blood…for their deluxe matzah, don’t you know.

spectator
Guest

You can use any kind of stolen plate, even stolen car for the purpose, and the presence could be established through standard – and basic – surveillance technique, nothing overly sophisticated about it. As much as I know the circumstances were the simplest possible.

Same as Russia, btw.

Rough and raw, but gets where they want to.

In this case the details rather uninteresting, only the message important.

And the message is clear: don’t mess with Wladimir Wladimirowitsch, or Viktor Viktorowitsch for that matter.

Brave New World!

UnUn
Guest

“Boris Nemtsov took not a step nor a breath that wasn’t under the intense surveillance of the FSB. Just like all opposition leaders in Russia. Nothing Boris Nemtsov did was not bugged, tailed, filmed or monitored by the secret police. It is quite simply impossible that this man could have been shot dead without the Kremlin knowing there was a plot afoot to kill him.”

I always wondered whether in Hungary that’s the case too (to a lesser degree). I seem to recall articles which implied that in April 2014 the leftist opposition leaders met every day at a different venue to prevent possible or easy bugging of the place. They suspected that they were under constant surveillance by Fidesznik siloviks.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/11441799/Boris-Nemtsov-murder-Putin-now-governs-mostly-through-terror-and-propaganda.html

spectator
Guest

“..the case too (to a lesser degree)”

– You’ll never know the degree as long as it isn’t really significant, usually afterwords, when it does help rather little to none.
Just remember how well Orbán’s private army (TEK – in case you wonder) funded in comparison to public service (still called Police) and/or how it’s hierarchy working.

Nothing unusual there, believe me!
(Not even the killings, but you know that too!)

tappanch
Guest

Here is a piece of good news in the 104th year of Juche 🙂

Kim IL Sung’s grandson turns green!

“Let Entire Party and Whole Army and All People Conduct a Vigorous Forest Restoration Campaign to Cover Mountains of Country with Woods”

http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2015/201502/news27/20150227-02ee.html

spectator
Guest

I’s nothing, and you know that!

There is free bus ride to the Felcsutian Pancho Arena to anyone who some unknown reason will visit the place.

Now this IS really something!

So, next time, dear “tappanch” please, put your priorities in order!
(So now you know 🙂

tappanch
Guest

If you think Orban cannot last another 40 years as the tyrant of Hungary, think twice!

Here is Orban’s kindred spirit form Africa:

“Mugabe celebrates 91st birthday with million-dollar bash”

“Addressing the gathering in a 90-minute speech, Mugabe castigated the US”

“They (the US) can’t have it both ways if they want to be friends then they must be friends with us in total and we allow them to have some safaris,”

“critics accuse the Zimbabwean strongman of turning southern Africa’s former bread basket into a basket case by trampling human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2973254/Mugabe-turns-91-million-dollar-birthday-bash.html

spectator
Guest
Regarding the whole “Country-evaluation” charade: my biggest compliment is that he can still read pretty well, – even if it demands a bit more effort in recent times, – it still goes on flawlessly. The reading, I mean. Otherwise the same old bullshit whit some new wrapping in places… For awhile I have had the tendency to think that the average Hungarian/Fidesnik audience really that primitive that it might justify such speech with so low intellectual level, so Orbán simply comply to the demand, in order to be heard. No, this isn’t the case, ladies and gentlemen: this IS the speaker! That rural character, those primitive anecdotes IS of Orbán, nothing but! The significant part is that he’s still pretty sure that this is the style what “his worshipers” demand, and he delivers according to his own imagination. And I don’t think that I am so far off with the “his worshippers” stuff. He frequently used the term “hiveink”, which is in English means “our believers” or “our worshipers” – which is in effect his, since he using the plural regarding himself all the times. You see, one may think that if someone traveled around, having met with civilised people… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

Fresh, long interview with Orban! The topic is soccer.

Had he become the Hungarian soccer Tzar, all of Hungary would have benefited. But he wanted to play the role of the Duce – woe to Hungary!

“There are people that cannot separate sports from politics”

“Every person in position should take part in the Hungarian soccer, according to its capability, energy and time.”

Lots of praise to oligarch Csanyi, who is the president of the largest bank in Hungary and the Soccer Federation at the same time.

“I would like to become the prime minister who made the most contribution to soccer in Europe. Donald Tusk is still ahead of me [ ] But I would like to overtake him with a fast finish”.

“I would like to develop the soccer in Budapest. The Fradi town is only half ready. I am not deterred by continuous heckling against me in our every match against Vasas.”

(Vasas of the opposition district 13 is no longer in the premier league, while Orban’s village club is there – so the two teams cannot possibly meet in a match)

http://www.puskasakademia.hu/hirek/2015/02/28/akademiank_alapitoja_nyilatkozott_honlapunknak

spectator
Guest

It still amazes me that so far nobody find Orbán’s little hobby problematic in the legal sense, while it clearly is the case of COI, Conflict of Interest, from day one!

Being in the position to influence legislation while his pet project doubtlessly beneficiary of the law they made, qualifies a few times over for the title!

In short, the incompatibility of professional duties and personal interests is overly obvious, but neither the political opposition, nor the legal authorities made their move, quite remarkably.
And there isn’t even necessary yo go into details, just who made the proposition, or wether or not Orbán was present, the case defined already by “a situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person’s self-interest and professional interest or public interest.”

In any civilised country such person wouldn’t be allowed to stay in office for another day when such ‘situation’ comes to light.

In Hungary the felon proudly bragging about his achievements in the public media and nobody bats an eyelid.

wpDiscuz