The Orbán regime and the Austrian presidential election

A few hours ago newspapers all over the world announced that Norbert Hofer, the far-right candidate for the Austrian presidency, had lost the election. Pre-election polls indicated that the election was too close to call, but the final result gave a healthy majority to Alexander Van der Bellen, a professor of economics and former head of the Greens. Hofer readily conceded, while Van der Bellen called the result a vote for a “pro-European Austria based on freedom, equality, and solidarity.”

Although the post of the president in Austria is mostly ceremonial, the Austrian election had acquired special significance in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Democrats all over Europe fear the spread of populism and looked upon a Hofer win as an event that might have a domino effect, first in France and later in other European countries where elections will be held in the near future. Now these people are relieved.

Just as a reminder, this is the second time that Van der Bellen and Hofer faced each other in this presidential contest. In May Van der Bellen won the election with a margin of about 30,000 votes, but because of some technical irregularities Austria’s Constitutional Court annulled the result and ordered a new round of voting.

The Hungarian right followed the race between the two men closely because it finds in the politicians of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) kindred spirits. Viktor Orbán certainly didn’t hide his preference for Norbert Hofer and the party’s chairman Heinz-Christian Strache, whom he considers “a man of the future.”

The Hungarian right-wing, pro-government press was already full of praise of Hofer in May before and during the election. Two days before the election Magyar Idők published a glowing editorial claiming that while the left symbolizes failure, the Freedom party is “the depository of success.” The same pro-government newspaper was looking forward to “a political earthquake,” which was likely since polls indicated that Hofer would get at least 52-53% of the votes. When this didn’t materialize, they cried foul. They questioned the results and talked about electoral fraud. Zsolt Bayer in his usual style enthused over all those votes cast for Hofer: the peasants of Burgenland, the people of Carinthia, the Alpine graziers, the yodelers of Tyrol. With the exception of Vienna and Vorarlberg, everyone voted for Hofer. Red Vienna, what can one expect? And Vorarlberg, it is “not really Austria.”

The decision of the Austrian Constitutional Court was warmly received in Hungary. The pro-government papers were again hopeful, reflecting the Hungarian government’s wishes and expectations. Hofer was critical of the European Union, which he wanted to reform alongside Viktor Orbán and his allies. He talked about his desire for Austria to join the Visegrád 4 Group. A step toward the far right in Austria nicely fit into Viktor Orbán’s plans. Therefore, a new round of optimistic and encouraging articles appeared in the Hungarian right-wing press.

At the beginning of the second campaign, the pro-government media again talked about the “historic vote” and predicted Hofer’s victory. As Magyar Idők pointed out, “FPÖ may draw strength from the victory of Trump.” Hungarian right-wing commentators were convinced that somebody who doesn’t espouse an anti-migrant stance can’t possible win, and Van der Bellen had supported Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies during the refugee crisis and after. Mariann Őry, one of Magyar Hírlap’s interpreters of foreign news, elaborated on this theme, practically calling Van der Bellen stupid for telling the Austrians to support Angela Merkel’s policies. He is no better than the Hungarian liberals who are patronizing at home and opportunistic bootlickers abroad.

The Hungarian right's clear choice was Norbert Hofer on the right

The Hungarian right’s clear choice was Norbert Hofer, on the right

Closer to the actual election Magyar Idők reported a story from Kronen Zeitung: that a conspiracy is underway on the part of the European Parliament and Germany to influence the Austrian presidential election. The story was based on a conversation in a restaurant among Martin Schulz, the social democratic president of the European Parliament, Sigmar Gabriel, deputy chancellor of Germany who is also a social democrat, and Werner Faymann, Austria’s rejected (bukott) chancellor. Considering that the three happily consented to a photo of their meeting, claims of a conspiracy were obviously highly exaggerated.

A day before the election Mariann Őry again expressed her disdain of Van der Bellen as an inept candidate who doesn’t know what to say when. Her example is telling. According to Hofer, those Austrians who went to Syria to become terrorists should be stripped of their citizenship. Van der Bellen retorted that no valid citizenship can be revoked in Austria. “Surely, it is hard not to think that the western liberals have completely lost their minds. What kind of an Austrian is Van der Bellen” who considers these terrorists Austrians? “If for no other reason than statements like this, the Austrians should realize what is in their best interest. We will find out Sunday night.” She did. Perhaps Van der Bellen wasn’t that stupid after all.

The most detailed account of the Hungarian right’s thinking on the Austrian election came from a government-employed talking head, Zoltán Kiszelly. He gave a lengthy interview to 888.hu yesterday. I believe that the scenario he outlined here, assuming Norbert Hofer’s victory, accurately reflected the hopes of Viktor Orbán. First of all, the new president will initiate an early national election. In fact, all Austrian parties have been anticipating such an outcome. Today the FPÖ is the strongest party and as such would be the dominant party in a future coalition. The logical coalition partner would be the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), which is part of the present coalition. Sebastian Kurz, foreign minister represent ÖVP and a great pal of Péter Szijjártó, “has already adjusted his program to that of the Freedom Party.” The political changes in Austria would significantly weaken the European Union’s migration policies as represented by Jean-Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel. The Austrian move toward the right would also have an influence on German politics. Another benefit would be that the new government would support the Visegrád 4’s policies, which would force Brussels and Berlin to retreat from their current migration policies.

The journalist of 888.hu at this point reminded Kiszelly of what happened in 1999 when Wolfgang Schüssel, the leader of ÖVP, opted for a coalition with PFÖ, resulting in a long, acrimonious dispute with the European Union. Kiszelly said he was certain that nothing of the sort would happen today because “this time the PFÖ wouldn’t have to cede the chancellorship to the People’s Party just because it is a ‘moderate’ party. There have been significant changes in western politics, like the political climate in the Netherlands and Denmark, Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and, for that matter, the election of Donald Trump. After these events, the world that existed sixteen years ago can never return.” Finally, he added that a victory of the far right in Austria would be an event that “certainly could stir up European politics because, following the Austrian example, other countries would also opt for early elections.” So, an avalanche would follow Hofer’s win, which could result in a sharp turn to the right, perhaps sooner than we think.

If I’m correct and Kiszelly was articulating views he shared with Viktor Orbán, the loss today had to be a real blow to the Hungarian prime minister, especially since only three days ago he announced that “it is just a question of time before [real] democracy is restored because in Europe there is no democratic equilibrium now. …We just have to prevail and, in the end, we will predominate.”

Of course, one shouldn’t be unduly optimistic. This is not the end of the spread of populism, but apparently with the victory of François Fillon in the French conservative primaries, Marine Le Pen’s National Front will have a much harder time than she had anticipated. Most commentators are convinced that Fillon will be the next president of France.

December 4, 2016
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
petofi
Guest

I’ve been listening lately to Leonard on utube, himself singing or kd laing. I’ve been remiss in keeping up with our Leonard in the last years of his life and his loss has spiked my feelings of guilt.

Woe is us. Leonard has left and Trump has moved forward.

The world is taking the express flush down the toilet.

Guest
Can it be that the gemütlich Austrian bürgers finally got past playing the victimhood card? [ . . . ejnye-bejnye, az a cúnya Hitler bácsi, aki olan egazán cúnyán leigázott bennünket, és beleforszírozott minket, szegény szerencsétleneket, hogy Waffen SS legények és tisztek legyünk, meg hogy tömegesen öldököljük a zsidókat a koncentrációs táborokban . . . :-))) ] If so, good for them. However, politically incorrect as this may be, I do believe that forfeiture of citizenship and deportation to country of origin (or parents’ or grandparents’ country of origin) should be the minimum consequence of participation in armed and/or violent terrorist activities, in particular where those terrorist activites are directed at publics in liberal democracies. This is being contemplated now in Australia, where a significant proportion of young, second generation Muslims are proving unassimilable – despite the best efforts of both official and unofficial Australia – as are relatively recently imported Somali and South Sudanese refugees, many of whose juveniles and young men are proving to be vicious hoodlums who organised themselves into fearsome gangs that are wreaking a reign of terror in the streets of Melbourne, with brutal carjackings, home invasions and robberies of stores in broad daylight. We… Read more »
Guest

I am well aware that much of what I have written above will be utterly repulsive to most of you folks on this blog. Eva will tell me not to generalize, Weber that this blog is about Hungary and not Australia, and that in any case I am wrong, and Reality Check will no doubt flare up with a “How dare you?” and tell me just how wrong I am. Well, ya’all are most welcome to rip into me to your heart’s content!!

:-)))

Melanie Zuben
Guest

ambalint,
I agree, this is a frightening nightmare in Australia. The so-called do-gooders/left-wing liberals got us into this. You left out one very serious crime: R A P E (almost every day)
Just last week, they raped a new mother in front of her husband, the baby sleeping next to their bed . . . etc. We are really scared of this gang (calling themselves APEX) they have no regards for anything and anyone. They are covering every suburb, rich and poor . . . they break into homes and beat the people up even if they are given money etc. etc. Just for the hell/fun of it! They don’t care if they get caught! They care of NOTHING! They are BARBARIANS! Luckily, we have two dogs, security cameras everywhere and the couple living next door to us are working for the police.
Wake up Europe! Think about “Political Correctness!” Enough of the madness! Demand explanations from psychotic politicians!
Do NOT let them intimidate you. When something doesn’t feel right, it is because it is W R O N G! WRONG! WRONG!

ferenc
Guest

Fully agree with the last part of your comment:
“Demand explanations from psychotic politicians!
Do NOT let them intimidate you. When something doesn’t feel right, it is because it is W R O N G! WRONG! WRONG!”

petofi
Guest

In support of Ambalint; a personal experience…

A few weeks back I needed to access a washroom in a shopping mall. I walk with a cane and move slowly.
Two Asian men, in their 30s, scooted around me to the toilet. One went to the pissoir but the other, seeing me, rushed to the wheel-chair accessible toilet. By the time I got their, he had finished and left: the toilet seat was peed all over.

Now who the hell needs this primitive, damn-you-anger from these people? Let them rot where they started.

Alex Kuli
Guest

I arrived in Croatia today by train. Shortly after we crossed the border, I went to the WC to relieve myself, and everything was absolutely dripping with piss — the seat, the lid, the floor… everything.

Let’s ban those damned neanderthals from the EU. And if anyone wants to argue, “Croats don’t rape or kill people,” remember, I lived in Bosnia for two years.

Reality Check
Guest

You are right – You are a sick bigot. And your posts are turning Eva’s site into a sewer of misinformation and bigotry.

You add no value to the discussions here and would not miss you if Eva decides the same.

petofi
Guest

@ Reality Check

Your post is the classic representation of “political correctness”.

The fact is–if you could think, you would agree–that immigrants should all get a course on Canadian values and customs. For instance,
Hungarians have to be taught not to steal toilet paper or hooks from public washrooms.

Guest

@Reality Check

You have a nasty habit of trying to shut down conversation through pathetic attempts at intimidation, hurling abuse instead of reasoning.

Look in the mirror and see a big time bigot, albeit of the hyper-PC kind.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

petofi
Guest

@ Reality Check

“Misinformation”?
Where you lurking in a nearby stall to be able to verify that the man did not soil the toilet seat?

As for “bigotry”, you might try to beware of slinging this too-often used slur like an 11th century knight wielding his mighty sword…

ferenc
Guest

First I see that you consider it necessary to use the meaningless terms PC and PIC.
Second, because I don’t know the situation in Australia and wanted to know more, I did a search using following words: australia criminal immigrants. The first result was this wiki page titled ‘Immigration and crime’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_crime
It has a separate paragraph about Australia, first line: “Foreigners are under-represented in the Australian prison population, according to 2010 figures.”
This is ‘old information’ (more than 5 years!), so dear ambalint do you have more reliable recent figures and/or any comments to the above mentioned?

ferenc
Guest

PS: ambalint curious in your opinion/impression about the case of Ahmed H. Last week he was senteced to 10 years in Hungarian prison, his throwing of ‘things’ to the police at the border seems by judges and according current law to be considered an act of terrorism…..

Guest

That is just crazy overreach, especially as all this poor Arab was trying to do is get his extended family to Northern Europe, though admittedly using illegal means and queue jumping out of desperation, before he was then caught in Hungary and enmeshed in its Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Instead of letting him pass through quietly, the Hungarians decided to make an example of him, probably because his case demonstrated the uselessness and penetrability of their much-vaunted barbed wire fence. But then Hungary is full of criminal and non-criminal crazinesses of all kinds. I have given up on Hungary and Hungarians, and these days don’t give much thought to them, and write about them even less, apart from occassional visits to Eva’s blog. Don’t see the point.

ferenc
Guest

Ambalint, would you like to help this man against the Hungarians, you say you have given up on?
If yes, you’re invited to send him a letter showing him your support through Amnesty International Hungary, here’s their emailaddress: advocacy(at)amnesty.hu

Guest

I beg to differ about the supposed meaninglessness of PC and PIC. It all depends on who uses these terms and for what purpose. Right wing nationalists and fascists use it to attack the values and practices of liberal democracy, in particular civility and avoidance of giving offence to disadvantaged minority groups that have become preeminent civic virtues over the past seventy-odd years. My own use of PC simply designates those acts of omission or commision by liberal democrats that use the operating principles and civic values of liberal democracies to undermine and destroy those very principles and values through an utter absence of elementary common sense and an excess of zeal in the dogmatic application of liberal principles and values to the point of self-destruction. PIC, on the other hand, is simply the act of pointing out the lunacies of liberal democrats, who are busily chopping down the very branch of the tree that they are sitting on. So I disagree that these terms are meaningless.

ferenc
Guest

So why not just simply make clear what you mean, without unneceassry decorating that with meaningless or at least foggy terms.
And what about the Australian issue you started to write about, but didn’t reply to what I wrote.

Guest
Australia has a brilliant record of integrating refugees and immigrants from all over the world. Essentially, there are only two groups that are proving unassimilable. The first are lower class, barely educated Sunni and Shia peasants and near peasants from the Greater Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia who are neither able, nor willing to find their place in a liberal democratic, meritocratic and super-tolerant post-Christian social fabric. They stand however in sharp contrast to a minority of wonderful and very classy Muslim people, many of whom are highly successful professionals, intellectuals and business people, who are making brilliant contributions to life in Australia. Relatively recent intakes of refugee herdsmen of South Sudanese and Somali tribal backgrounds are the second group of seeming unassimilables. In their case, the elders seem to have totally lost control of the young “warriors” (who may range in age from early teens to mid-twenties), many of whom are proving to be vicious hoodlums lacking any and all inhibitions, who are rapidly becoming an enormous threat to social order in Australia. First generation immigrants and refugees are indeed underrepresented in Australian prison population, no doubt in part because for the most part they are too… Read more »
Member

@ambalint In science, listing all the evidence against your theory (to prove you know it) and then saying “Eppur si muove!” is ok for a Galileo, but what is your motivation here? We are discussing an awful situation in Hungary, a situation made worse by hate-mongering and racism. Australia may (or may not) have a problem of immigrant crime (and/or immigrant terrorism). Why are you airing pub-rants and pub-solutions about it here, rather than there? That’s where Trump’s deplorables live and breathe. Do you really want to join, or support them? Or drag this discussion down to their level? This is not about “political correctness.” It’s about fairness and decency. And reflection.
comment image

Guest

Nuts.

Reality Check
Guest

Agreed.

Guest

Thank you ambalint I totally share your views. It would be a big mistake to compare the Hungarian refugees of 56 to the these hords.

bimbi
Guest
While the solid victory for Mr. van der Bellen is reassuring for those who believe in the good sense and values of a European Union it also demonstrates that Fidesz pundits are as bad as most pundits at prediction of election results. Mr. Orban remains as a cock crowing “Visegrad Four, Visegrad Four!” on top of his farmyard midden and as such, is largely irrelevant in the European context. But there are still grounds for concern. We should be uneasy were this result to be taken in Brussels as an endorsement of EU policies because, as the Italian referendum and Brexit show, there is widespread dissatisfaction with EU management throughout the continent. The following questions essentially remain unaddressed in Brussels: • Any discussion of the limitation of free immigration into the EU • Control of religion in dictating acceptable society norms • Tax evasion and income disparity between haves and have-nots • The failure of the EU to emphasize employment and growth over the useless policy of austerity for the masses • and just for Mr. Orban: the widespread theft of EU funds for the personal benefit of politicians Until these questions are addressed by the complacent bureaucracy in Brussels… Read more »
Guest

I am not so sure about François Fillon’s victory against Marine Le Pen. He has a very right-wing program with which he plans to lay off thousands of civil servants, reduce social-security / health insurance benefits or employment protection. Marine Le Pen’s Front National on the other hand has been supporting left-wing policies for some time (a bit like JOBBIK) and many of the traditional Parti socialiste voters have shifted from PS to FN in the last years, explaining the Front National’s success in recent elections (European, local and legislative elections combined). While François Fillon looks like he’s likely to win next spring, we all know how the commentators and polls have been wrong about Brexit, Trump and in France Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy…

bimbi
Guest

@theestampe 3:45 a.m.

I agree. Francois Fillon is Margaret Thatcher raised from the dead. Those policies of destroying the trades unions, screwing the working classes, throwing workers out of jobs, increased austerity and enriching the rich are exactly what have landed the EU in the present economic crisis – with no end in sight! If French workers vote for this elitist en masse they will get nothing but more of the same, as in the last 8 years. Fillon is the wrong candidate for France (but look at the (likely) alternative…)

Guest

Francois Fillon is delusional, if he thinks he can introduce Thatcherite reforms in contemporary France. This is not Britain of the 1980s, and the French unions, students and lower middle class would absolutely paralyze the country regardless of consequences, if Fillon tried anything drastic. It is unlikely that Fillon could govern at all in those circumstances. Thus his brave foray into Thatcherism is likely to become much ado about nothing on a very short order. After all, we are talking about France.

Guest

The economic malaise of France, as of the rest of Europe, is not amenable to any solutions. The real issues are the lack of competitiveness with Germany, the hundreds of trillions of debt overhang (in dollars), most of it secured by leverage jupon leverage upon leverage, and the Heath Robinson or Rube Goldberg-style organization and financing of the French state. The brutal reckoning can be postponed for a while, but ultimately cannot be avoided.

Guest

I mean the international debt overhang, of course, which is a huge risk factor for France, as for all other developed economies. Automation, robotization and the mobility of capital then puts the boot into middle class, lower middle class and working class employability. No matter who is at the helm in France, the economic, and therefore social situation will be out of his or her control. And ditto for Trump in the States, and there will be absolutely nothing that he will be able to do about it without triggering a depression to end all depressions and capital destruction of monumental prtoportions. We live in highly uncertain, revolutionary times, and the tectonic plates of change are on the march.

webber
Guest

Yes, automation is moving apace, but there is a disconnect in logic here – on the one hand we are told that wages in W. countries are too high, and therefore factories (and jobs) are going to Third World countries, on the other hand we are told that because of automation there are no jobs… Doesn’t add up.

The average Joe will say “fine, let’s see what automation is like – but lets do it in our country, not in Mexico” (or China, or Vietnam, or E. Europe, or wherever) “At least that way the few jobs there are will be here.”

And the avg. Joe will be right, in his way.

webber
Guest

On automation, the following, to me, is incredible – a robotic machine that milks cows.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hojnPpvI6-I
That eliminates three jobs. 1. morning milker, 2. evening milker, 3. back-up/weekend milker.
Yet would you say that it is then better to have the cattle in, say, Vietnam? Of course not.
And would you say it would be better if the robotic machine were manufactured in, say, China? I hope not.

ferenc
Guest

awaiting the robot cow

NWO
Guest

A little bit of good news in an otherwise wretched year.

Alex Kuli
Guest

“The final result gave a healthy majority to Alexander Van der Bellen.”

Eva – While I share your euphoria over Van Bellen’s win, I fear that 3.3 percent cannot qualify as a “healthy majority.” Yes, Austria’s new president will not be an ally of Orban and LePen, but this is no reason for anti-extremists to breathe a sigh of relief.

Istvan
Guest
While in Hungary Austria may be know for it financial sector which took control of a significant share of the Hungarian market post communism, here its primary marker are handguns. To be specific Glocks which is the hand gun of choice of thug America. The gun is famous in rap culture and on the street, https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=243138009085083&id=164233143642237 that is a partial list of songs singing the deadly praise of the Glock handgun. For many Americans their primary concern is that the flow of relatively cheap priced Glock handguns continue to flow into America with a liberal President in Austria. I don’t own a Glock by the way, it’s a lazy gun owners gun, it requires limited cleaning and is easy to master. It also lacks a safety switch. Eva has to be one of the fewer Americans that concern themselves about Austria, with the exception of American fascists now largely Trump supporters. Here is a sampling of their responses on Brietbart, Trump’s advisor’s former website: “So let me get this straight. Bellend’s previous victory was overturned because of the fraudulent votes, and then people voted for him again? Enjoy the ‘refugees’ Austria. I am sure you’ll get along great together.” “Bet… Read more »
pappp
Guest

It’s time now to get terrified of Algeria and its potential impact on the EU (Le Pen, Orban etc.).

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/12/how-algeria-could-destroy-the-eu/

ferenc
Guest

OT: Prevention in Hungary
for who understands (even a little) Hungarian: http://www.atv.hu/videok/video-20161205-toroczkai-laszlo
I am speechless, please for whoever can say something after having seen and heard this, leave replies, thanks in advance

e-1956
Guest

This is the case of an irresistible student of the “Active Measures” A Jobbik man who graduated with flying colors from that school.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

To Stevan Harnard,
“This is not about “political correctness.” It’s about fairness and decency. And reflection.”

. . . and lack of basic common sense! When people make an effort to WARN you and inform you (re: violent crimes in Melbourne, Australia) about all the possible consequences of your noble ideas/actions, all you can do is ATTACK! So typical of what we call: academic arrogance.

ferenc
Guest

and you only counter attack, don’t think that helpful in any way
Curious if you like to see the video I posted above, a conversation about some sort of prevention in Hungary
For you this could be a solution for to reduce problems in Australia?

Melanie Zuben
Guest

ferenc,
I’ve watched the video. Unfortunately, I do NOT have the solution to the problem. This is a job for your politicians. Their job is to look after the best interest of the Hungarians, whatever it may be. (you live there, you’d know what it is)
Toroczkai raised some interesting points. The reporter was conducting what I’d call a ‘politically correct’ interview. (She did her best trying to intimidate/degrade her guest). Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch it till the very end.

ferenc
Guest

melanie,
first I don’t live in Hunagary, nor am I Hungarian, in the past I have spend some time in Hungary and two other ‘V4 countries’
second regarding to mr.T, and the interview I fully disagree (and therefore please do not label me with any meaningless terms)
also leaving solutions only upto politicians is very passive, better try to think about possible ways for solving any problems you see, have fun trying

Guest

When there are no substantive arguments to advance in support of one’s case, hysterical attack is one well-tried tactic to attempt to intimidate and shut down the conversation.

Doesn’t work on me, never did.

petofi
Guest

(Ambalint baby, how’s it hangin’ ?)

Guest

Hiya! Hangin’ good. We ought to chew some fat over Skype sometime soon, long time no hear.

:-)))

webber
Guest

As you might have noticed, I ain’t joining this one. I think the whole PC “debate” is irrelevant and won’t resolve a single problem I care about. But I will say this – getting backing from M. Zuben is quite an achievement…

ferenc
Guest

some part of what M.Zuben has stated is quit OK for me:
“Demand explanations from psychotic politicians! Do NOT let them intimidate you. When something doesn’t feel right, it is because it is W R O N G! WRONG! WRONG!”

Guest

Melanie is one-eyed about Orbanistan and has a peculiar style of arguing her case. I don’t mind, especially as I don’t much care about Orbanistan one way or the other. That she chooses to agree with points I made about some unassimilable refugee groups is unsurprising, as the story is commonplace and common knowledge in the town and the country where we live. It is a story that ought to be a cautionary tale against unthinking zeal in importing people unlikely to be able to fit in. Anyway, to put it in a nutshell, I am as unconcerned about her “backing” as about your sarcasm. :-)))

Melanie Zuben
Guest

@ambalint,
“Anyway, to put it in a nutshell, I am as unconcerned about her “backing” as about your sarcasm. :-)))”

Don’t hold your breath! I wasn’t “backing” you, I simply agreed with some of the points you have made. 🙂

@wolfi,
Could it be possible that you relatives are not as well-informed as other Melbournians? 🙂

Melanie Zuben
Guest

“Melanie is one-eyed about Orbanistan and has a peculiar style of arguing her case.”

Oh, I admit I’m not very gifted in describing the teapot over twenty pages. (re: Proust) 🙂

Guest

Most people here probably think that Australia should solve its problems – not rely on Hungary …

Btw my granddaughter and her partner have been in Australia now for almost a year – “work and travel” is the program and they have reported nothing negative, so …

And she skypes her mother every day and is very active on facebook!

But latefor lives in a different world …

Guest
Hi Weber re your 2:15 today In my working career my primary job was turning around very large manufacturing operations either through reorganization and downsizing, or automation, or offshoring, or a combination of all three. I have also done similar work with very lage public and private utilities, though in their case primarily in managing privatization processes. So this is my response to the question posed in your post. Automation and robotization involves wholesale elimination of routine, repetitive work. And not just in factories, but in many fields ranging from law, medicine, banking, insurance, accountancy, and education to transportation and communication. Unfortunately the average Jill/Joe will be out of work, whether the automation and robotization occurs in her/his country or somewhere else. A catastrophe is upon us with this, a veritable social tsunami, and it should be on top of the agenda of all responsible governments in developed countries find solutions to at least ameliorate its effects. Relocation of production facilities to lower labour cost regions (or outsourcing routine accountancy, legal, medical, call center and other work to places like India) only occurs where either automation and robotization are not as yet feasible, or where the costs of automation and… Read more »
Melanie Zuben
Guest

“Unfortunately the average Jill/Joe will be out of work, whether the automation and robotization occurs in her/his country or somewhere else. A catastrophe is upon us”

Oh, YES . . . especially when the average, unemployed Jill/Joe will have no disposable income to purchase the goods, the very goods you and your kind heartlessly outsourced to make as much profit as you possibly could, without considering the so-called human factor.
Oh, Y E S . . . the sh*t will hit the fan sooner than you’ve so kindly predicted. And there is Donald Trump for the “outsourcers” to deal with. Bummer!

Paul
Guest

Ye gods. What on earth has happened to HS? I haven’t been on here for a while, but it used to be a place where intelligent adults discussed things in a reasonable manner (certain posters excepted). What I’ve read today makes me fairly certain I won’t be coming back in a hurry.

Jean P.
Guest

You can never step twice into the same river.Take a swim anyway.

wpDiscuz