What’s the remedy? Boycott of parliament and/or elections?

Over the weekend Ferenc Gyurcsány called together the elected leaders of the Demokratikus Koalíció to discuss the party’s strategy in the wake of the political developments of the last week and a half. Apparently, after a very long and passionate debate, the politicians came to the conclusion that the party’s four members of parliament–Ferenc Gyurcsány, László Varju, Ágnes Vadai, and Lajos Oláh–from here on will boycott parliament. They will not attend the plenary sessions, they will not take part in the work of the committees, and hence they will not vote unless their vote would make a difference as far as Fidesz’s two-thirds majority is concerned. The four realize that they may not receive their salaries and/or may be fined. But, as Gyurcsány said at his press conference, they refuse to be a cog in Orbán’s “System of National Cooperation.” They will not cooperate with a dictatorial power.

The idea of a boycott is not at all new in Ferenc Gyurcsány’s thinking. He was still a member of MSZP in 2011 when he first suggested a partial boycott of the plenary sessions. The occasion was Viktor Orbán’s sudden decision to write a new constitution. MSZP had already decided not to attend the preparatory meetings, but Gyurcsány’s suggestion went further: MSZP should boycott parliament altogether when the new constitution was on the table. At that time no party was ready to heed Gyurcsány’s advice.

In February 2016, after skinheads prevented István Nyakó from turning in his referendum question at the National Election Office, Gyurcsány came up with the idea again. He suggested a boycott of parliament as long as the government party refuses to change the rules on holding referendums. The opposition parties didn’t support the idea. LMP’s András Schiffer went even further in his condemnation of the idea when he declared that “people must decide whether they will support the rule of law or follow Ferenc Gyurcsány.”

An intelligent critique of Gyurcsány’s suggestion came from Sándor Révész, Népszabadság’s op-ed page editor, who felt that between 2010 and 2016 Orbán had done everything in his power to destroy all vestiges of Hungary’s weak fabric of democracy and therefore a boycott was justified. But, he continued, staging a boycott because of one particular undemocratic step of the government is “not a very good idea.” He rightly pointed out that Orbán, “together with his Fidesz accomplices,” would come up with some clever way to “remedy” the objectionable piece of legislation and everything would go on as before.

The idea of a boycott, this time of the national election, was on the agenda again when Miklós Haraszti, SZDSZ member of parliament (1990-1994) and OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media (2004-2010), was interviewed by 168 Óra in May 2016. According to his argument, one of the sources of Fidesz’s overwhelming power is the electoral law that it created for its own benefit. Fidesz, with a 44.87% share of the popular vote, in 2014 achieved a 66.83% presence in parliament, which allowed the government to do anything it wanted, ignoring the powerless opposition. In order to stop the dictatorship of a supermajority, this lopsided, disproportionate electoral system must be abolished. In Haraszti’s opinion, all opposition parties should join ranks to force Fidesz to adopt an entirely different electoral system where 40% in the polling station means 40% in parliament. The parties should make it clear that if the government party doesn’t play ball, the whole opposition will walk out, refusing to participate in the next election. Such a move would create a “European scandal.”

The reaction to Haraszti’s idea was mixed. Márton Kozák, a sociologist and journalist, wrote a glowing endorsement in Magyar Narancs, praising Haraszti for calling attention to the electoral law as the key to curtailing Fidesz’s power. The opposition parties from here on should concentrate on enlightening their voters about the importance of this issue. And, he continued, the opposition parties must not assist Fidesz in its attempt to make small, unimportant changes in a basically faulty electoral law.

As usual, others violently disagreed. Someone who calls himself Nick Grabowszki found Haraszti’s plan naïve. “What European scandal?” he asked. Western European commentators and politicians already look upon Orbán as a representative of the far right. They compare him to Erdoğan, Putin, and Lukashenko. The European Union expects Hungarians to take care of their own little dictator. Moreover, Orbán is very careful not to cross any red line when it comes to his dealings with the European Union. Brussels will not get involved. Yes, says Grabowszki, the electoral system produces disproportionate results, but it is beneficial not only to Fidesz but to all parties that manage to achieve a certain percentage of the votes. Even if Fidesz were stupid enough to agree to the plan Haraszti has in mind, it would still win the election. It would simply be forced to find a coalition partner. Grabowszki is certain that Jobbik would not join the boycott, and therefore all people critical of the Fidesz government would vote for Jobbik. Grabowski’s conclusion is that “a left-wing boycott would lead to a Jobbik government.”

To return to DK’s current suggestion, the reaction of MSZP to DK’s announcement of a boycott is slightly different from its earlier stance when the party insisted that boycotting parliament would offend its constituency and that being in parliament still gives them a certain measure of influence. This time their argument is that a party which is large enough to have a parliamentary delegation (frakció), with the privileges that come with this status, “cannot boycott because that would mean ceding the role of opposition to Jobbik.” On the other hand, according to Gyula Molnár, DK, which has no such delegation, “made the right decision.”

osszefogas

It would be indeed wonderful if all the opposition parties could together decide on a joint action, as Haraszti’s theoretical model would demand. But here even the two largest democratic parties cannot agree when it comes to the decision to boycott parliament.

Despite this, there is some hope that these parties are coming closer and will be, we hope, acting jointly. For example, Fidesz organized a five-party discussion of the proposed amendments to the constitution. The five parties are the ones with their own delegations: Fidesz, KDNP, Jobbik, MSZP, and LMP. For a while it looked as if LMP would attend, but at the end only Fidesz-KDNP, which is in reality a single party, and Jobbik had a friendly chat. From the media coverage of the event it seems that the two parties are largely in agreement on all points.

Another promising development is that MSZP, DK, Párbeszéd, and Modern Magyarországért Mozgalom (MoMa) will celebrate together in front of the Astoria Hotel on October 23. This will be the first time that, on a national holiday, these parties will hold their rallies together. Együtt is missing from the list. Only recently it announced that it will not cooperate with any other opposition parties. Broad-based democratic cooperation is a painfully slow process, but the events of the last few days, I think, will convince more people that Orbán’s regime must go. As Ferenc Kőszeg, founder of the Hungarian Helsinki Commission, said in an article that appeared in Élet és Irodalom recently, “nothing is more important than the removal of Viktor Orbán from his position.” He added that “against him one can even vote for Gábor Vona.” Of course, this remark raised quite a few eyebrows, but I agree with him. At the moment Orbán is a great deal more dangerous than the leader of Jobbik.

October 11, 2016
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Guest
London Calling! Gy said, in a response to my question that “the process is slow” – when he answered questions from us on your blog, Eva. Yes, very slow. So it must not be a damp squib and must be planned for maximum effect. I think he should keep his powder dry for the next election – which I believe will be a snap election, so they need to be organised and ready. Half-hearted cooperation from the other small parties will be a disaster. If he calls a boycott now – boycott-lite – it will just be ignored by Orban. I don’t think the latest referendum shenanigans are justification for using his one-use nuclear polit-bomb. And here is the elephant in the room: He needs to recruit and convince Jobbik. As long as he sups with the devil with a long spoon. This is the essence of my question and his response: “Charliecharlieh: Would you consider forming – or causing to be formed – an umbrella opposition which can unite as a clear opposition option on the ballot paper? Ferenc Gyurcsány: Thank you for your vote. I’m working on a common alternative to the democratic opposition against Orbán. This is… Read more »
dos929
Guest

This on and off boycotting would only have been effective if it had been implemented after the first infringement by the Orban regime of the democratic rule and continued without a pause. This would have brought the attention of the EU showing Hungary’s parliament is nothing more than a circus.

We have to come to realise that a dictatorial regime led by common criminals cannot be overcome by democratic means. The change will only come when the people realise that the only way out from this hopelessness is an uprising… It may start by blocking the streets in masses.

Those who claim that Orban and the FIDESZ have up to 40% support are mistaken. Half of this support comes from those wanting to belong to the winning side and as soon as the FIDESZ boat will rock they will flee the boat…. And it may happen any time now. The retributions may be comparable to the 56′ uprising and the more Orban is raising the stakes the greater will be his and all his cronies’ demise.

webber
Guest

Fidesz voters+Jobbik supporters+people who hate Fidesz but wanted to say “no”
did not amount to 40% of the electorate.

Ferenc
Guest

“as soon as the FIDESZ boat will rock they will flee the boat”
So put in all the rocks you can, dig them up, roll them over towards the boat, carry them to the water (Danube?), do everything what can be done, only don’t create any fake ones as it will avoid the boat to hit one really really hard.

Ferenc
Guest

And about the boycott, I understand the frustration leading to a boycott, but what does it bring really, for my feeling not much at all.
To stay with the above boat-rock comparison: seems like pulling a rock out of the water

Guest

Yes, rock the rock and roll it.

e-1956
Guest

Hungary has become again a Russian satellite by now
Is there any doubt about it?
Even the next or other future regimes can not wrestle Hungary free of the Russian captivity.
Will the Hungarian people ever rise up again against this yoke?

Guest

You know to effect change I would think some of these need to occur:
* showing a front of ‘unity’ towards goal….’essentials’ matter most
* lead as in the verb ….wringing hands under the circumstances is verboten
* use ‘strengths’ in opposition and finally
* all positions have weaknesses-in offensive play keep picking the scabs and the irritation will perhaps prove to be cause for concern

Fidesz of course can be beaten at a particular time. They are not super-human. Cracks exist in the edifice. Those in opposition appear to have very good ‘heads’. Now perhaps they need to know how to wield the crowbars and bang the hammer. Maybe the change in ‘occupation’ will prove very good.

Rigó Jancsi
Guest

People like Haraszti and Kőszeg should finally get lost. Hello? It’s almost 2017. SZDSZ is over for good, OK? There are many reasons why SZDSZ left the Hungarian political scene but one of them is that these downtown Budapest bubble living intellectuals had no idea about how politics worked. Less than 5% of people were interested in the ideas of such people and that was a decade ago. They are history at best. Haraszti and his pals live in their alternative reality. European scandal, right, LMAO, LMAO. Literally can’t stop laughing. It’s characteristic of the state of Hungarian left-wing that people like Haraszti and Kőszeg still have any influence and that they are taken seriously. I mean shouldn’t the left-wing be working on renewing itself? Well, I got bad news for you. MSZP the beacon of the Hungarian left-wing which is lead by an old school Leningrad-grad just elected Janos Barabas as a new leader of MSZP’s leadership committee (választmány) who accidentally happens to be the last Central Committee secretary of MSZMP the communist party. Renewal. Right.

webber
Guest
Boycotting elections, at this point, is just stupid. For those who don’t know, I am reminded of how Milosevic fell from power. He had fixed the elections, as he had done before (and his party was much more brutal than Fidesz) – or rather, he thought he had fixed elections. People inside his party, and people from an allied party who were the only ones delegated to count votes (sound familiar?), came together in, for once, refusing to stuff ballot boxes. They did this without Milosevic’s knowledge. The results of the last election of Milosevic’s term in office were not falsified. It was, against all expectations, a fair election, and he lost the election. Milosevic and his security people could not imagine this could happen. They could not imagine that people in his own party could do this. Now, before anyone says “but Orban has more control… bla,bla,bla,” and “Fideszniks are more dedicated” I will remind you of the surprising results of this last referendum. And I can assure you, Orban has nowhere near the control that Milosevic had, and (certainly now) has nowhere near the fanatical support that Milosevic once had. There is widespread disgust with this government, and… Read more »
Bowen
Guest

The problems in Hungary are ongoing and clearly visible, and seemingly unfixable, despite 6 years of strong ‘national cooperation’. In Budapest, the filthy streets, the boarded-up shops, the incredible number of homeless. The appalling hospitals and schools. Vast swathes of even the central part of the capital (e.g . the eastern part of Erzsébetváros) look as lifeless and derelict as if it had been bombed by war last month (not 60 years ago). Surely even the ignorant and faithful are wise by now to the periodic rezsicsökkentés tricks, and the ‘threat of migrants’ isn’t a viable option for much longer (since there is no such threat to Hungary).

afgán-dobos
Guest
It is much more complicated than that as you know. In Zimbabwe the incumbent party lead by Robert Mugabe (in power for almost 40 years) won 62% in an election in 2013 that was called by the African Union “free, honest and credible” and even the Economist referred to this evaluation saying it was maybe “unfair but free” (the same designation Hungary received in 2014). The GDP per capita is less than 1/10 of the Hungarian figure. Yet, people are apparently happy and vote for the leader again and again. People may be poor, Budapest may be shabby, but don’t assume that people will rise up against Orban. One of the most ardently pro-Fidesz districts at the recent referendum was Tiszabő which is an overwhelmingly gipsy-populated hellhole which isn’t any better than rural Zimbabwe (actually probably worse). 76% voted in Tiszabő (as opposed to the nationwide 40% average) and nobody cast either an invalid ballot or a yes vote. Only no-s supporting Orban. So poor people are hard to predict. Sometimes they rise up (though usually it’s the middle class that does so), but mostly they know that it’s better to stay quiet. Orban knows this too which is why… Read more »
webber
Guest

I couldn’t agree with you more. For example, an enormous number of people pass through Kőbánya-Kispest train station every day on their way to and from work. Not a single person who passes through here believes Fidesz propaganda:

comment image

What you don’t see there is that some of the stairways have been closed because the cement holding them together has started to crumble away.

Observer
Guest

Webber,
Bowen,
Do you have any more specific info re political mood?
I’m in Bpest, feel some frustration and disgust around, but don’t see any big turn. The countryside is worse. Don’t let wishful thinking cloud your vision.
There’s a lot to be done before we reach the tipping point, where the majority will move – anything, but Orban.
Rather than such boycott, I think often walks out, noisy demonstrations and interruptions, placards, etc would be more effective and makes headlines, Speaker fines and admonitions notwithstanding. If a mockery of a parliament, make it a boisterous one.

webber
Guest

There is no revolutionary mood anywhere (thank God, I say – revolution would be awful).
There is disgust, anger, and hatred everywhere, and it is expressed quietly or to friends. Otherwise people don’t talk about it.
I spend a lot of time outside Budapest. People there are sickened by it all, too – but afraid.

N.b. I never visit the far W. counties – just zip through them to Austria, at most.

pappp
Guest

Revolutions almost always require economic circumstances too.

Hungary’s economy has bee slowly improving. Hungary is unable to catch up to the West, it is lagging behind most of its peers even but per capita GDP has been slowly improving. People (at least who stayed in Hungary) have been earning more and more and they spend more and more. They take on more and more loans again implying some kind of confidence in the future.

In 1989-1990 the economy was nearly bankrupt and luckily for Fidesz in 2010 the economy was struggling and many people (people with mortgages, people losing their jobs) in fact did struggle. Timing is very important in politics. The timing was very lucky for Fidesz something which will probably not be true in this sense for a new opposition in 2018.

Right now we lack that very bitter constituency which is necessary for any revolution.

webber
Guest

More than 4 m. people in Hungary are living in poverty. Those who just see the downtown area of Budapest don’t know a damned thing.

webber
Guest

Observer, if you can, take the blue (3) metro to Kőbánya-Kispest, then go up the escalator to the train station, turn left, and go down some stairs to platform 4. On the way take photos and post one or two here. I bet you can easily get a more shocking one than the one I posted. The roof leaks on the stairs to that platform, so photos in the rain are really depressing.
If you want similarly shocking pictures, take the 148 bus from Kőbánya-Kispest all the way to Csepel, and look around.

webber
Guest

OT – News of Stevan Harnad’s letter to MTA is on p. 2 of Népszava this morning.

PALIKA
Guest

Gyurcsany is frustrated by the lack of progress in lifting him back to power. His job amongst other things is to represent the interest of his voters on bread and butter issues which is perhaps more important than petulant grandstading. It is hard slog being in opposition. Boycotting his way back to power? Grow up.

Guest

Yes – of course.

It’s extremely juvenile of those who call for a boycott of Trump – to stop the Bozo that you support.

The Republicans who are boycotting their own party need to grow up too.

Stopping the biggest and most juvenile contender for POTUS in history – not to mention the most ignorant – is not a priority.

Especially if you still misguidedly continue to support him.

The only way to stop Orban is through extra-paliamentary means, if not full blown revolution. Hungarians need to ‘grow up’ and realise this.

webber
Guest

Finding out which companies are owned by Fideszniks, or Fidesz-supporting firms, and calling for a boycott of them, is not at all a bad idea. I hope some opposition party takes it up:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-union-boycott_us_57eae07ce4b0c2407cda47d6

Guest

I have for years boycotted shops that were known to me to be Fidesz-associated . The problem is that it is hard for me to know where not to set my foot. It would be helpful to have a black list.

Ferenc
Guest

Just start with the complete Mediaworks portofolio:

Nemzeti Sport / Képes Sport / Világgazdaság / Manager Magazin / Sport and Life / Autó-Motor / BRAVO
Digital: vg.hu / hírmátrix.hu / nemzetisport.hu / mainap.hu / tvmusor.hu / jegyed.hu
Regional papers: Új Dunántúli Napló / Heves Megyei Hírlap / 24 Óra / Somogyi Hírlap / Új Néplap / Tolnai Népújság / Békés Megyei Hírlap / Petőfi Népe / Grátisz / Vasárnap Reggel
Regional media: bama.hu / baon.hu / beol.hu / heol.hu / kemma.hu / sonline.hu / szoljon.hu / teol.hu
Women and Gasto: Fanny / Fanny Konyha / Lakáskultúra / Tina Konyha / Ínyenc / Édes élet / Test&Lélek / hot!
Women and Gasto digi: mindmegette.hu / astronet.hu / lakaskultura.hu

DON’T BUY / DON’T WATCH / JUST IGNORE COMPLETELY

PALIKA
Guest

Gy and his colleagues have been elected to Paliament to represent their voters. This is nothing to do with the U.S. Presidency. That is an election campaign. In the course of its poisoned atmosphere people resort to whatever is effective to get elected.
Gy is an elected member. Boycotting is not doing his job. It is an expression of petulant frustration at not getting his way. Voters are more interested in people who represent their aspirations and address their concerns. Boycott is not the way to power. In his case I do not know what is but he clearly does not know it either. Hence the petulance disguised as high principle.

webber
Guest

Well… You are right. It’s nothing like the US. For example, no matter how Gy. and his colleagues vote, no matter what they say, no matter what happens in committees, Fidesz will pass abominable laws. There are no checks and balances.

I don’t know if you recall, but
Orban and company used to leave Parliament whenever Gyurcsány entered it.
Of course, that might not be the best example to follow – but it did happen.

PALIKA
Guest

Yes it is a national pastime. Indignant posturing. When they run out of points to make, or the arguments fall on deaf ears they walk.
Paliament is a forum for debate, amongst other things. So, OK, he does not like the other side. That is obvious, but how does boycotting the debate add to his case or detract from the other side’s?

Guest

Orban’s behavior was not indignant posturing. It was sabotage.

Member

Pali

Parliament is not a forum for discussion in Hungary. OV doesn’t want to be involved in any discussion. It is part of his concept of the illiberal state. The opposition is only for legitimating the regime, a kind of democracy outfit.

Guest

Re: ‘Parliament is not a forum for discussion in Hungary’

Stunning and correct observation. Frankly, those in the apparent bullying ‘majority’ arguably could be said to simply eat lunch there. Parliament and vacsora make a good combo.

Everything seems to be ‘taken care of’ there regardless of what is expressed fruitlessly by the ‘commons’. The menu is set and already paid for. It’s already already known which fish to fry. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Viktor will pull a ‘Charles the First’ one day namely if he doesn’t like what he hears he’ll clang shut the doors and dissolve ye olde Parliament. Go, tell ye story as thou walketh amongst the thickets.

It’s been done you know when leaders just don’t have good answers to what they are presented with. Some Parliaments truly ‘shake and bake’ through their polemics. The one we see really just ‘buys and fries’.

Guest

Interesting post! Perhaps Hungary’s parliament could do with Black Rod – a post which – as no doubt you know – came about because of Charlie’s mistaken actions!

Guest

In the current situation the parliament in Hungary has a similar function as in North Korea:

Whatever proposal comes before it from O – it passes …

The only difference being the percentage – in North Korea it is of course 100%, in Hungary it’s somewhere between 60 and 70%, but who cares?

And that minority of nay-sayers, well they don’t count as A Neumerker remarked already.

Guest

So the elected senators who have an obligation to their voters ‘who represent their aspirations and address their concerns’ and who refuse to vote for the party’s nomination – is different from any other representation-of-the-people mechanism?

I don’t think so.

What is different is that your country’s Commocracy has become sclerotic – requiring different means.

We have a tradition in England of bonfire night (Nov 5) – Guy Fawkes – who attempted to blow the London Parliament. He has left an immortal phrase “The end justifies the means” (although it has also been attributed to Machiavelli).

The method to rid Hungary of Orban won’t come from Erskine May or the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Only Guy Fawkes.

PALIKA
Guest

Neither will it come from grandstanding pompous politicians who cannot be bothered to turn up to do their work in Parliament

Guest

You misunderstand what a boycott is and what it means.
And even the motivation behind it.

PALIKA
Guest

Please explain. I clearly got this one wrong.

Member

There isn’t no work in parliament IN BP. Do understand that!

PALIKA
Guest

A bit like the UK Parliament. They have been sidelined by a rather curious interpretation of the consultative referendum’s impact on events. A nice stitch up between the Tory right and their press baron mates. All you hear is how can anyone question the will of the people. Dark days in Hungary but probably darker days for the UK.

webber
Guest

Darker days for the UK – than for Hungary??? Which universe are you living in?
Apparently you have missed quite a lot of the travesty of Orban’s government.

As to the UK, they will change their government there, sooner or later – and I think sooner rather than later.
They have been doing that sort of thing for quite some time, you know.

PALIKA
Guest

The sooner the better. The best would be to get the Tories out tomorrow. If not, the day after.
Brexit is the result of the efforts of the Tory right and their media mogul friends. Recognise the set up?
I asked why? There is a very peculiar form of very British corruption. Take it from me I know how it works.
The major obstacle are EU laws and the ECJ.
The beneficiaries of Brexit will not be working people but the rich. Already, even before the button has been pressed prices are set to rise.
If you go to Tesco for beef instead of a discount you find a big sign that the stuff is British.
At Marks and Spencer the packaged wet fish such as Turbot is labelled as British. How does this treasure of the Oceans free become a flag carrier of the jingoist bigots?
Nemzeti Turbot?
Parliament side lined. Daily abusive headlines in the Tory press about anyone who thinks the “will of the people” vote was nothing quite so simple.
Cry Britannia.

Guest

Off your trolley as usual. Let’s stick to HS?

Guest

Why don’t you start your own blog?

‘My eccentric, vituperative observations of my hated host country from a child of the Kadar era”?

webber
Guest
The Tories will go, and Labour will return sooner or later. No fear of that. You seem to have come around to the views of some labourite friends of mine, who really seem to believe that Tories are evil, and to whom I dare not introduce Conservative British friends (both of whom are spitting mad about Brexit – hate it, deeply). Yes – there is some jingoism in England (the word was invented there, after all – in a jolly good song, too). But where is there no jingoism? Show me the country. And yes, there has been a really nasty bout of it in England after the Brexit referendum. I hope they raise a monument to that Pole who was murdered – for doing nothing more than speaking Polish. It reminded me of racist murders in the US. The Brits I know are as horrified by that as I was. As all decent people would be. As to fish – well, I hate to disappoint you but EVERY European country I’ve visited labels fish caught in its waters as national (and there is such a thing as national waters -even in the EU – witness the dispute between Slovenia… Read more »
webber
Guest

P.S. Visit Sweden some time – a bastion of decency, liberalism, care for the downtrodden and all the rest. You can’t fault Sweden. Then visit a supermarket – and you’ll see in WONKING big letters which of the lamb, beef, and pork is Swedish (only in Swedish, of course). It’s generally segregated from other lamb, beef, and pork – just to the r or l of the “foreign” stuff. The same goes for fruits and vegetables. MASSIVE letters telling shoppers that these apples or whatever are Swedish.
Next try Denmark – same deal.
Try Spain – it’s the same.
Try France – French flags all over national products.

PALIKA
Guest

Thank you for the tour of jingoistic meat and fish labelling. Until 24/7 this was absent in London.
In France the origin is shown whether it is French or otherwise.

Guest

One of the problems that Hungarians engage in is moral relativism – except in your case you insinuate your hatred of your adopted host nation too.

When will you understand that in England we have a proper democracy with all necessary concomitant checks and balances?

An imperfect perfect democracy.

Any comparison – in the way you do it – won’t work.

And doesn’t.

(There will be no dark days in the UK, try as Brussels might. If they don’t watch out they will be so busy dissing the UK that their own EU will crumble before their eyes.

If you despise England so much why do you stay? – It must permeate all your relationships that lead to the unhappiness which comes through as bitterness on here?)

PALIKA
Guest
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I owe a true debt of gratitude to the UK which gave me refuge when I needed it. Gave me an education that enabled me to have a job, make a home and have a family. Also it taught me much about the world and values of freedom and the rule of law. Let me not have to repeat what I have written about Brexit and it’s likely consequences. I regard it as mistaken and not in the Interest of the majority of the British people. I also think that it serves the intersts of people whose aims and motives I do not share. If you think I am ungrateful or disloyal because I do not agree with those whose motives and aims I reject, so be it. I do not feel I need to demonstrate a sense of belonging or loyalty by espousing views I reject. I believe Brexit is bad for the people of the UK, bad for Europe, bad for peace, but good for rich right wing Tories and their Press Magnate friends. You may like it, but count me out. But do not please lecture me on loyalty or gratitude… Read more »
Guest

Since when did I ever say I welcomed Brexit? I voted remain – and was bereft when the result came through. You obviously didn’t read my bitter posts – but that’s ok. But now it’s happened we have to make the best of it. Simple, face up to it and get on with it as fairly as possible.

That’s democracy and most Brits understand that.

If only Brussels would – and play by the rules they set.

I just have one by question which is not for answering. With 700,000 Poles, 500,000 French and 400,000 Hungarians and so on. How could we let this situation go on and on before something gave? And if Schengen is such a precious ‘value’ why is it arbitrarily tied to the single market?

But don’t answer this is HS.

PALIKA
Guest

I think I can answer it quickly. UK is not the only country to which the freedom of movement rules apply. So far it is the only one which has allowed the issue to turn the world on its head, Hungary apart. Corbyn has spelt out the answer. But unfortunately not at the time

Member

Charlie

I like your views. How come hunkies can’t see the obvious?

Guest

Thank you Albrecht! I just like to give an outsider’s perspective to poor Hungary.

You have hit on one of the biggest conundrums that I have about Hungary.

How can Hungarians not see what is going on? – And something I have only ever witnessed on my visits – how Hungarian can diss Hungarian?

But I love visiting Hungary – my partner’s family home by the Danube. Such a more beautiful place would be hard to find – anywhere on the planet.

Guest

What was it they said of Guy?
‘The last man to enter Parliament with honorable intentions’.

Interesting item: If Fawkes succeeded in the Gunpowder Plot James would be bye bye and ‘divine right of kings’ might not have been something handed down to future monarchs.

And speaking of ‘divine right’ arguably we could be seeing a repeat performance of it a few centuries on.

Guest

Completely O/T

We recently debated the effectiveness, partisanship and statespersonship of Katalin Bogyay.

webber, as usual, won the debate for me – and says he’s met her.

Here’s quite an escoriating article about her – bang on cue!

http://hungarianfreepress.com/2016/10/12/un-ambassador-katalin-bogyay-to-bamboozle-new-york-synagogue-audience/

Discuss.

(Not that I need to say that – perhaps ‘light blue touch paper and retire’ might prove to be more apposite!)

Guest

Have to say KB knows how to pick a place… Sutton Place of all ‘places’. Right in the old neighborhood. That zip code is paved with arany. Median hhi is 140% greater than overall NY. 125.5k vs 52.2k in 2013. ‘Bamboozling’ could be also happening in the pocketbook too. What’s that thing… ‘Show me the money?’

PALIKA
Guest

Can we find out from Mr Lazar what the Ambassador actually said rather than to have to read an infantile propaganda piece based on suppositions. Not that I think it makes much difference since there are some users of this blog who prefer supposition to fact and pro panda to debate.
I am sure you would all benefit from downloading the Ambassador’s CV as she wasmost successful director general of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London where she organised a more than a year long festival called Magyar Magic, a cultural bridge building series of events. She earned the praise and the gratitude of those involved. Those events put Hungary firmly on the cultural map of London. It helped many aspiring youngster in the arts to make links in London.
An intelligent, hardworking woman whose efforts and qualities were recognised by successive Hungarian governments of both left and right as well as the membership of the UNESCO assembly by electing her it’s president.

Guest

Tamás Lörinczy would post like that.

webber
Guest

György Lázár is right. (see István’s post about him below). I’ve never met him, but I’d like to one day.

Istvan
Guest

György Lázár who wrote the article for the Hungarian Free Press speaks truth to power in the American Hungarian community. Anyone who has been declared the enemy of the American Hungarian Federation is a friend indeed, see http://hungarianfreepress.com/2016/09/28/in-defence-of-transylvanias-szekler-flag-a-letter-to-the-editor-from-the-american-hungarian-federation/

PALIKA
Guest

He is welcome to power what he likes. What did the Ambassador say? Please let us ask Mr Lazar, so he can power us too with some knowledge

tappanch
Guest

New details about the impending ban of large billboards or giving the entire billboard industry to three selected companies.

http://hvg.hu/gazdasag/20161012_oriasplakat_hirdetes_simicska_jcdecaux_rogan

tappanch
Guest

The National Bank seems to have found about 2.7 billion euros more in their international reserves recently and RETROACTIVELY.

I have the feeling that the finances of this country are based more and more on phony numbers.

MNB international reserves

closing date:
data published originally (within 2 weeks of closing date);
data modified in October, 2016;
difference

2015-11-30: 33140; 35065; diff = 1925

2016-05-31: 25462; 28350; diff = 2888
2016-06-30: 24785; 27563; diff = 2778
2016-07-31: 24557; 27254; diff = 2697
2016-08-31: 24130; 26891; diff = 2761
2016-09-30: ????? ; 26468; diff =

tappanch
Guest

Professor Kornai gives several criteria to separate “democracy”, “autocracy” and dictatorship.

http://img0.hvg.hu/image.aspx?id=eecac4f6-9e31-422c-bd8b-fd66753eae18&view=b2dea50f-cee1-4f6e-b810-034566fbfb2e

http://hvg.hu/itthon/20161012_magyarorszag_autokracia_orban_viktor_kornai_janos

One of the criteria he uses is whether there are several parties running in the elections. According to him, Hungary is not a dictatorship, since it is not (yet) a one-party system.

I would like to remind him that “Socialist” (Communist) East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria had several parties, which were represented in the Parliament, so I respectfully disagree with professor Kornai.