Botka’s formal introduction as MSZP’s candidate for Hungary’s new prime minister

Two days have gone by since László Botka, mayor of Szeged and MSZP’s candidate for the premiership, delivered a fifty-minute speech which has since received mixed reviews. The most quoted part of the speech was a frontal attack on Ferenc Gyurcsány as an impediment to electoral victory. Not even the socialists seem to be entirely happy with Botka’s attack, especially since Botka’s party is in the midst of negotiations with the other democratic opposition parties, including the largest among them, Gyurcsány’s Demokratikus Koalíció. After the speech Lajos Bokros, former minister of finance and chairman of Modern Magyarország Mozgalom Párt (MoMa), withdrew from the negotiation process while Párbeszéd accused Botka of lifting one of its signature programs, the introduction of a guaranteed basic income.

The speech, both in content and in delivery, began well enough, but after about ten minutes Botka lost some of his early eloquence. The speech deteriorated at times into a hurried laundry list.

In his editorial Péter Németh, editor-in-chief of Népszava, while noting that the speech could be considered an ideological shift for MSZP, said that most commentators paid little attention to the socialists’ turn leftward and concentrated only on the vicious assault against the former prime minister. After this speech, he said, MSZP must make clear what the party’s intentions are. Does Botka’s speech mean the discontinuation of the negotiations? Has MSZP opted to confront Fidesz alone in 2018? It’s time to decide. Index’s Szabolcs Dull shares Németh’s opinion that “we will most remember [Botka’s speech] as an event at which Botka publicly assailed Ferenc Gyurcsány.”

Since the transcript of the speech is available, I can quote some of the more controversial passages verbatim. The reader must keep in mind that László Botka has been an MSZP politician for 23 years. With the exception of the 1998-2002 period, he was a member of parliament between 1994 and 2010. He has been mayor of Szeged since 2002. Therefore, one must take with a grain of salt that Botka bears no responsibility whatsoever for “the missteps committed by the left-liberal governments, especially between 2002 and 2010.” And he continues: “Those who lied into the eyes of the electorate are liabilities for the left and they therefore should decamp…. In Hungary consolidation and peace will come only when the two most divisive politicians in the country, the beloved and/or hated icons, at last leave the sanctuary of politics.” Gyurcsány’s reaction to this assault was muted: “The voters will decide who has a place in the democratic public life of Hungary. I, as a voter, would give a place to Botka also. Moreover, I wish him much success.”

Watching the video taken at the event, I came to the conclusion that there was a divide when it came to Botka’s attack. There are those, like István Ujhelyi, MSZP member of the European Parliament, who believe that cooperation with the other parties will materialize despite Botka’s outburst. I saw István Hiller sitting rather stone faced without applauding. I assume those who are enthusiastic about Botka’s strong language think that the leadership of DK will tell their chairman to go and fly a kite and will merrily cooperate with MSZP and Botka. But “others are less optimistic as far as electoral cooperation is concerned.” They are seriously worried that this speech might end all negotiation between MSZP and DK, which may result in a devastating loss for the democratic parties on the left. Jobbik was not far off when the party claimed that “it became clear that László Botka, MSZP candidate for the premiership, and MSZP don’t want to defeat Prime Minister Viktor Orbán but Ferenc Gyurcsány, chairman of the Demokratikus Koalíció.” Botka bet everything on a single card. His hope seems to be that his strong speech will whip up such enthusiasm for the socialist party that it will be able to beat the forces of Fidesz and Jobbik singlehanded. Suddenly, the opinion polls will show an incredible shift in popularity for the party and, as a result, it will draw those one million undecided voters Botka referred to in his speech in addition to the loyal DK voters who will see the light and switch their votes to the revitalized socialist party.

Of course, anything is possible, perhaps even this scenario, but it is not very likely. Only a joint anti-Orbán force has any chance of removing the present government from power. Moreover, I have been convinced for some time that most commentators and politicians don’t study the polls that could give us direct or indirect clues about the political attitudes of the electorate carefully enough. For instance, the Závecz poll’s findings that about 75% of the electorate would not vote for a ticket that had Gyurcsány’s name on the list is misleading because it also includes millions of Fidesz and Jobbik voters who would not vote for a left-wing party or parties no matter what. The same is true of the undecided voters. When Závecz came out with its finding that for half of the undecided voters Gyurcsány’s presence would make a difference, the assumption was that all these people would vote for the left. But, of course, this is not the case. Therefore, this whole Závecz report, on which many people on the left rely, is totally useless as a guide for future action. I’m convinced that most people who want to get rid of Orbán don’t give a hoot whether Gyurcsány’s name is on the list or not–as long as it’s not at the top of the list.

The government press is naturally delighted. Magyar Idők’s headline reads: “László Botka: Gyurcsány is a burden on the left.” However, Tamás Lánczi, a a right-wing political scientist and the new editor-in-chief of Figyelő, gave a surprisingly objective assessment of the speech in an interview on Inforádió. In his opinion, the speech contained many significant elements, but Botka’s attacks shifted attention away from its essence. It might be the case that the candidate for the premiership has to show strength, but “we know from various surveys and research papers that the voters of MSZP and DK readily cross-vote. The voters of the two parties don’t look upon each other as enemies, and therefore there is the possibility of cooperation.”

I must say I have to agree with the young Lánczi. Where I disagree with him is in his description of Botka’s speech as populist. I’m afraid Lánczi doesn’t know the true meaning of the word. Let me quote Jan-Werner Müller, who just published the highly acclaimed book What is Populism? A few days ago an interview appeared with Müller in Bloomberg titled “Why Donald Trump Really Is a Populist.” Müller said: “Not everyone who criticizes elites is automatically a populist. Rather, populists always claim that they—and they alone—properly represent the people or what they frequently call ‘the real people’ or the ‘silent majority.’”

Botka gave a social democratic speech, which emphasized social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy. It’s too bad that most Hungarians have no idea what the speech was really about. It deserves considered debate. The Gyurcsány bashing doesn’t.

February 20, 2017
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exTor
Guest

Okay, Donald Trump is an elitist playing a populist, or I presume that is what Müller would have continued to say. Isn’t it a contradiction in terms to say that the leader of the MSZP is a populist?

There’s a political logic to László Botka’s attack on Ferenc Gyurcsány. No doubt that Botka thinks that Gyurcsány is damaged goods, having shot himself in the foot with his speech at Balatonőszöd [az őszödi beszéd].

I have to agree with Botka’s maneuver. He’s the front runner, he has decided to force the issue. If Gyurcsány were smart, he’d realize that a decade later things have changed bigtime. He will have to deal with Botka.

Had Botka adopted a different tone, Gyurcsány’s ego might have gotten in the way of a deal with MSZP. In a wide-open horserace, perhaps the best strategy is to get out ahead of the rest of the field and maintain the lead.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Observer
Guest

DK’s Agnes Vadai also gave very restrained answers to insistent questioning on ATV Sat night.

Botka’s use of the Fidesz mantra “lying to the people” as an insinuation to Gyurcsàny was unnecessary and damaging. What is he aiming at or counting on? DK has 300 – 400k voters, or more, which may rather put off by such attacks and not vote at all, if GyF is somehow pushed out (quite an improbable scenario now).

Otherwise Botka seems the best candidate fielded so far. But if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones at the neighbors!

exTor
Guest

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Gorka#cite_ref-32
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Gorka#cite_note-32

I’m not sure if this is old news, but Éva Balogh has been referenced in the Sebastian Gorka Wikipedia article. The first URL shows the article location where the point was made, the second URL shows the citation reference.

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Gorka#cite_note-27

It’s clear that Gorka was touchy about the claims he had made about testifying at the Boston Marathon bombing trial, especially after it had been pointed out that he had not in fact actually testified.

The URL above takes you to the reference that will provide a short PDF of a letter from the Acting US Attorney William D Weinreb, who called Gorka an “expert witness”. In the second paragraph he stated that “expert witnesses do not always testify at trial”.

Gorka has mentioned the letter many times in interviews, a sign that critics had gotten to him. I will bet a dollar to a donut that the Trump administration got in touch with the US Department of Justice to fire a request to Massachusetts to provide this letter as ‘proof of credibility’.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest
Gyurcsány is a good man, with a good intellectual head on his shoulders, but – fair or unfair – he is yesterday’s man, damaged goods and a serious electoral liability. Also, he lacks charisma altogether and is a pretty hopeless public speaker. Reminds me of myself at twelve or thirteen in primary school in Budapest: a geeky goody two-shoes top student with an owlish face, hopeless in gym classes and not exactly leadership material among the guys. It is high time that Gyurcsány stepped back from all active participation in politics and taken up the role of grey eminence behind the DK faction of Hungarian liberals responsible for shaping and nurturing the next generation of liberal leaders in Hungary. In business and politics you either lead, follow or get out of the way. On the one hand Gyurcsány is only able to lead his own DK faction and none else; on the other hand, he is not really unprepared to be anyone’s follower. Thus he would hang like a millstone around the necks of a future democratic liberal coalition government. Or like the albatross of the Ancient Mariner . . . It would be much better all around if Gyurcsány… Read more »
Guest

Correction: “(…) he is not really PREPARED to be anyone’s follower.”

Guest

Correction: “(…) around the necks of a future LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC coalition government.”

Guest

Apart from anything else, there are also serious questions hanging over Gyurcsány’s political judgement. And it is not only the speech at Őszöd and the inept management of its consequences that immediately pops into mind; his lack of support and indeed outright sabotage of Bajnai both in 2010 and later was a totally foolish and counterproductive exercise in mindless narcissism.

bimbi
Guest

@ambalint 9 p.m. onwards

“Reminds me of myself at twelve or thirteen in primary school”

Hey guy, you are still at it. I don’t know how old you are now but you still can’t put two thoughts together without adding four corrections. Like, boring dude.

Guest

Is that the best that you can do Bimbo, hurling childish insults and a smidgen of bullying? Your contemptible little post does not even deserve a yawn.

bimbi
Guest

@ ambalint, 6:43 a.m.

No, the above one was just for you. Check out my posts below on the parlous state of politics in Hungary today. Today, remember? Today. Now.

Guest

Get lost, Bumbo, I have no idea what you are burbling about. Of course your gratuitous insult was just for me, that is why I responded in the vein I did. Dunno about you, but I happen to be severely allergic to people who hurl about gratuitous insults. As to your spewings about politics in Hungary, who cares. I certainly don’t.

bimbi
Guest

@ rambling, 7:52 a.m.

“As to your spewings about politics in Hungary, who cares. I certainly don’t.”

Perhaps you don’t but then you are very remote from the Hungarian reality. Still, this does not prevent you from presenting your views on one of the leading Hungarian opposition politicians, complete with corrections…

Something does not quite fit here. Gosh! You are not a Fidesz troll are you?

Guest

Bumbo, your seem to suffer from a profound poverty of imagination.

You cannot seem to imagine that someone can be an interested outside observer of Hungarian affairs even though he has no dog in the political fights among Hungarians.

Nonetheless, it goes without saying that I am a Fidesz troll, and I get daily orders from Viktor himself on what to write in HS. But I only do it for the money that he sends me from time to time. As a poverty stricken retiree, I can use all the financial help I can get.

As to corrections to my post above, I am thrilled that I was able to write something that actually stuck in your craw.

bimbi
Guest

@ (r)ambalin(g) 4:38 p.m.

Now THAT must surely take the title as a cheap thrill…

aida
Guest

I am in complete agreement with this post. It is difficult to see what added value Gyurcsany brings to the opposition efforts to unseat Fidesz. I agree that his political judgment is flawed, he is an electoral liability.
The abuse hurled at ambalint brings this blog into disrepute. No one wants to read that sort of input that we have seen from bimbi.

Guest

Thanks Aida. But don’t worry, I am having great fun with cutting down to size you know who.

:-)))

Istvan
Guest
Comparisons to populism in the USA are hard to make for Hungary. Both President Theodor Roosevelt and President Jackson were members of the social class elite that ran against the Washington DC political elite with the support of America’s working poor, or disgruntled small business owners. Trump is similar in that regard. Jan-Werner Mueller in the interview Eva linked too does not really do a comparison between Trump and other historic figures. His defining characteristic of populism is linked to the personalization of the political message against the elite. I see it differently, it’s the cult of leadership that requires personalization. For example in my case the Army instilled into the officer corp the importance of being a leader, that is you are ready to be the first to die if necessary and you share the suffering of those under your charge. The truth is those of us who were officers generally were far less likely to be killed or wounded than a lower ranked infantryman, none the less personalization requires officers to appear to lead in combat and be willing to be the first to take a bullet. Trump is reflective of the cult of leadership inoculated in the… Read more »
Guest

What I’m wondering about:
Botka was a member of parliament and Mayor of a big city at the same time (which is an unhealthy thing imho anyway) so he was involved in “Gyurcsany’s lies” in those days, that seems rather obvious to me.

So what did he do then?
He’s not part of the solution – he’s part of the problem!

bimbi
Guest

This does not look promising. Too much political ‘machismo’? Mr. Botka (and all those who claim to “hate” Mr. Gyurcsany) would do well to look at Italy where ex-prime ministers are re-absorbed into the political body without any of the absurd Fidesz-serving, unforgiving anti-Gyurcsany hate campaign that only serves Mr. Orban (the Thief in Chief).

After 7 years of Fidesz “economic success”, and still 4 million very poor Hungarians, this election ought to be winnable. Stick to policy. Point out just how crooked and self-serving and wasteful the present gang has been. Give the electorate some hope of a genuinely shared Hungary of opportunity for all.

Agree! Speak the truth! Inspire hope for shared progress! IT CAN BE DONE!

Guest

In your dreams, Bimbo, in your dreams.

bimbi
Guest

@ ambalint 6:45 a.m.

My dreams – your nightmare, ambling?

But we still love you.

Guest

Bumbo, if you want to play games, play with yourself.

Ferenc
Guest

Gyurcsany is a good speaker and a clever politician, but I have doubts about his policies. Taking a good look at the infograms I posted in yesterday’s comments, makes clear that around 2006 started a ‘break in the trends’ for Hungary, both for it’s own progress and compared to the progress of the other V4 countries. So for me the mantra, held up by many, that it’s the 2008/09 crisis that caused the problems in Hungary is not valid. The problems started earlier and were (severely) increased by the later crisis. I hope someday Gyurscany will acknowledge that himself.
Regarding Botka, he was in parliament during that period, but for me that does not make him automatically (partly) responsible, for what happened. Best is if he can prove that at the time he had shown already doubts about the policies then. So far I haven’t seen any proof of such, so despite being a good mayor for a longtime, I don’t know if I would support him or not.

bimbi
Guest

@ Ferenc, 4:33 a.m.

Fuh cripes sakes, you are talking about stuff 11 years ago. Why? The problems are here, today, in 2017 – and they centre around Fidesz theft and mismanagement. What is hard to understand about that?

Botka – I’ll put it plainly = needs to open his arms wide and welcome to his camp anyone who is willing to remove the current mafiosi. No one is talking about Gyurcsany as PM but he is a smart guy and there must be a place for him in a united government of the left in Hungary. He can serve excellently as a minister, for example. Like the left (combined) has a surfeit of competent politicians willing and able to serve the people?

Without unity the train of the Left will be left alright – left standing at the station and going nowhere.

Guest
Gyurcsány a good speaker and a clever politician? Really? I think we must be living in alternate universes. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, Ferenc, and in Gyurcsány’s case there isn’t even a pudding. Talk is cheap, but in business and politics only results count. In this respect, I don’t see any evidence of tangible results on Gyurcsány’s scoreboard, apart from having organised a tiny liberal democratic parliamentary rump from a small group of of former MSZP and SZDSZ members, which however does not seem to have got anywhere much in its years of existence as a political ivory tower for left liberal Budapest intellectuals, and on past precedent is unlikely to do a whole lot better in the future. Gyurcsány seems a good guy, a very decent fellow, and most certainly a genuine liberal democrat. But that is far from enough to make a significant electoral impact. Furthermore, the DK remains to this day essentially a rump faction of the MSZP and the old SZDSZ, and I wouldn’t regard a followership that has been stuck at 300-400K voters countrywide (in fact, principally in Budapest) throughout the existence of DK, as in any way politically compelling or… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

I consider him a clever politician, because after all what worked and keeps working against him, he still is at the head of a political party with some significance in current Hungarian politics.
Note that for the same reasons I also consider OV a clever politician.
In the land of the blind (or eyecapped) two one-eyed men are ‘king’……….
So urgently awaiting till somebody lifts the eyecaps of the Hungarian people, so they can see reality for themselves.

bimbi
Guest

@ rambling, 7:26 a.m.

“Gyurcsány a good speaker and a clever politician? Really? I think we must be living in alternate universes” –

you say – but wait a minute, weren’t you the bloke who wrote:

“Gyurcsány is a good man, with a good intellectual head on his shoulders” ?

Dear rambling, you can’t have it both ways – unless you write it, it ain’t right?

I’ve always said, “Engage brain before touching keyboard”. For the common good here, give it a go, won’t you?

Guest

Dumbo, logic is obviously not one of your strong points.

You seem to be blissfully unaware that it does not follow from Gyurcsány being a good man with a good intellectual head on his shoulders that he is also a good public speaker and a clever politician.

Therefore I would suggest that you try some logic for once and apply your charming dig to yourself: “Engage your brain before touching the keyboard.” [and] “For the common good here, give it a go, won’t you?”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black . . .

As to ambling, thanks for the compliment, but I have already been baptized ambulant by a pissed-off Reality Check.

Guest

By the way, I like rambling (Rambling Rose is one of my evergreen favourites) and I might even adopt as my username. You see Dumbo, you can even be useful if you really try.

bimbi
Guest

@ (r)ambalin(g), 5:08 p.m.

Yeah baby, keep repeating the mantra. We are all breathless for the arrival of your next comment.

Ferenc
Guest

Eva, what about an interview with Jan-Werner Müller about current political happenings in Hungary?
Botka against Gyurcsany / Momentum against Olympics / Orban (with Meszaros) against all non-Fidesz&Co.

Observer
Guest
ambalint You can keep repeating the mantra, but it doesn’t become more true (with me at least): – The Orban motives, first of all, are clear: he was personally humiliated by loosing his last debate against GyF (OV never took part in another thereafter) GyF “robbed” him of his election victory considered in the bag. GyF raised the issue of party finances threatening the heart of Orban’s thieving designs. – The “lying to the people” bit becomes a joke on the background of the current flood streaming from the propaganda machine and the daily lying and flipping of Orban and his minions. With such record at hand one should believe nothing Orban said/says without double proof. – The corruption allegations are also laughable, and outrageous, coming from anyone associated with Orban’s cleptocratic regime and “policies” (per Lanczi). Memento Mészaros! – The Fidesz assault was facilitated by the MSZP lukewarm or no support for reformist GyF (fostered by Puch et al, ?) and the leftist intellectuals who didn’t see the forest for the tree, to their chagrain now. – No evidence supported specifics were/are offered in the record long and intense character assassination launched by Fidesz against GyF. What were the… Read more »
wrfree
Guest

Sure interesting observations on the relationship between the two great anatagonists. Brings up to me the whole concept of politicians fitting in with their times. What does the left need to counter and cover Fidesz? Seems a a possible fabric would be an amalgam of a ‘G&B’ coalition.

Mr. Gyurcsany may be out of ‘circulation’ but his opponents sure can’t get away from him as he’s certainly in their bad dreams. He’s the itch which won’t go away. I have to give credit to him. He doesn’t popoff on attacks but rather is measured in responses. As a very shrewd politician he through experience certainly know why they’re doing it for.
Who knows? Maybe there’s another life in this wily Magyar macska.

Guest
I completely agree with each of the points you raise, and I too hold that the character assassination waged against Gyurcsány was not just unfair, but downright despicable both on the part of the minions of Orbán and on the part of the MSZP operatives who stabbed him in the back. None of that however invalidates any of the points made in relation to Gyurcsány in my posts above, and if you care to look, you might notice that I haven’t made the slightest reference to any of the points you raise in your post above, simply because there was absolutely no call to make any such references or even allusions in what I was putting forward. My supposed ‘mantra’ therefore stands as is, since the points you raise are totally irrelevant to the points I made. Yes, life can be very unfair, and Gyurcsány did indeed suffer more than his fair share of ugly unfairness. But in politics you have got to take your punches, roll with them and give back as good as you get and more. That means that for every slap in the face you have to respond with at least two in the face of… Read more »
Observer
Guest
ambalint This may be late but I owe you for the effort. I see your point about the status quo, whatever the history behind it. By repeating the history I’m hammering at the voters that they you have been duped by Fid brazen and self serving lies, i.e. mantra. GyF is as honest a politician as they come in H. The “tangible results on Gyurcsány’s scoreboard” are second only to those of the Jobbik (and better taking into account the Fid assault).Pls note that everyone in H gets “ stuck” with the voters numbers after the first a year or so, or dropping. See even Fid. These angles and points of mine ARE relevant to you narrative, aka mantra. The issues of fairness, resistance, inadequate if gentlemanly response are secondary here. That said, one has/had to take into account the more dignified political discourse of the pre orban times and the civilized political culture of the MSZP, SZGSZ, MDF voters/parties, where response in kind would have been a double edged sword. Remember the scores of naïve democrats/left notables criticizing the 2006 GyF gov response to what, as it came out later, was an attempted coup. BTW I urged such resolute… Read more »
Observer
Guest

bimbi 6.59

Absolutely agree:
Why talking about 11-13 old stuff, when there is a mountain of vile one NOW?
Why is it top priority investigating possible corruption of 7-10 year ago, when an orgy of far greater dimension is raging NOW?
Would you investigate the fire of 2009 rather than fight the one spreading now?
What is so hard to understand about that, my intelligent friends?

Ferenc
Guest

The questions remains who should lead that fire-fighting now.
And as stated earlier, for me not Gyurcsany and for Botka, I don’t know, not (yet) convinced. That’s all.

bimbi
Guest

@ Ferenc 9:05 a.m.

No problem. “Who should lead that fire-fighting now?”

An all embracing, united opposition speaking the truth, that’s who.

Amen, Observer!

Observer
Guest

Ferenc

The leader of the largest party Botka-MSZP or an outsider agreed upon, like in the case of Megyesi or Bajnai. GyF has never woken about himself leading the united opposition.

Actually other dem leaders try at times to gain ground piggybacking on the Fid smear campaign. If they supported GyF and neutralized the Fis poison, the whole dem side would have been ready to trash the Orban regime with supermajority.

This is for lullaby.

Istvan
Guest

Off topic but of interest. I think Eva and other readers of HS will this article of interest https://www.wsj.com/articles/conservative-pundit-sebastian-gorka-brings-global-jihadist-movement-theory-into-white-house-1487650120 I think it’s author while highly critical of Gorka grants him some credibility that Eva’s stinging posts I think correctly call into question. I have to wonder if Mr Harris the author has any knowledge of the Hungarian aspects of Gorka, it is discussed just in passing.

exTor
Guest

Offtopic and offline, István. One has to be a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal to be able to read your linked piece. I can usually get around the restrictions to New York Times articles, however I couldn’t get my juju to unlock the WSJ portal.

What annoys about Gorka, aside from his wearing the rewoven ‘vitez’ mantle draped on his father by reactionary post1956 Hungarians living in Western Europe, is the Bushian faint smirk hidden by all that facial hair surrounding his conniving mouth.

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest

Re the back-and-forth involving ‘ambalint’ and ‘bimbi’, it is both annoying and disheartening to see (and perhaps to read) puerile exchanges infecting the webpages of Hungarian Spectrum. Natterings of this nature belong in schoolyards (if anywhere). It is irrelevant who started things; it is now time to grow up, gentlemen. Deal with differences of opinion more maturely.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Ferenc
Guest

fully agree, it should be avoided that Eva starts feeling like being an “óvónő”

Guest

So the injured party is just as guilty as the other, and the party that started the taunting and sneering is absolved.

Nice going exTor – and Ferenc.

bimbi
Guest

” (r)ambalin(g), 3:45 a.m.

Which “injured party”? Please have the courtesy to all readers of this blog to plan your posted comments without engaging in endless “corrections”. Put some thought in BEFORE you post – then you won’t have to do so much correction afterwards. Too much to ask?

Guest

Bimbi

You resorted to gratuitous insults over a single recent case of two corrections. I then allowed to lower myself to your level and engaged in tit for tat. That was a bad mistake on my part.

However, something good did come out of this unseemly shouting match between us.

I am a fish out of water here among Hungarians and expats, old lefties all. I am a Jew living in Australia. I have many interests and busy with a variety of projects. I don’t really have a dog in debates about Hungarian issues and I am not a leftie. So why bother with this forum? Should have realized this a long time ago.

I shall therefore cease to post on this forum forthwith. I am sure that my departure will be no great loss.

Bálint András Mihály, Melbourne, Australia

Hardy
Guest

Well I for one would miss your sharp analysis. So please reconsider

Guest

“So why bother with this forum?”

It takes all sorts to make a spectrum. Please go on.

exTor
Guest

I cant know who is more culpable in the ongoing slingshooting between the two petty parties. Ultimately it does not matter, for each party has been petty in respective ways. That’s my bottomline.

MAGYARKOZÓ

pappp
Guest
I think the Hungarian left (and the right of course) assigns way too much significance to polls (of questionable provenance). This has two reasons in my opinion. One is that polls especially unpublished polls seem to reveal the hidden truth. It’s an extremely fascinating thing to read the public (in the form of polls) and get to know something secret about them; politicians use them because they are perennially unsure of themselves and want the reassurance of polls. The other reason is because the left is irrationally attached to the liberal paradigm in which reality is knowable and empirical, statistical methods must be applied to arrive at the truth. Polls seem to provide politicians with such rationally obtained truth. Unfortunately for the proponents of big data, segmentation (Clinton had e.g. a separate campaign for women of color living in small towns of the mid-west and dozens of other similar segments), personalized political campaigns, believers of the rational choice theory etc. etc. people do not behave as expected by political science, statistics, economics textbooks. Trump spent orders of magnitude less on personalized data and polling. Basically he (and Bannon) had a conviction, an intuition and went with it. He won. If… Read more »
Member

papp: “I think the Hungarian left (and the right of course) assigns way too much significance to polls (of questionable provenance).”

There are a lot of politicians left, right and not only in Hungary, who don’t trust in their own values and beliefs. Many don’t even have these.

These politicians seek orientation in polls.
These politicians try to hit the mainstream opinions.

But these politicians are not authentic and the voter often can feel the artificialness.

I believe, if someone is straight and stands for his/her values, this is sensed and appreciated and finally more successful than the average jelly fish.

Unfortunately there are very few.
As for Fideszniks, there is nearly no one with an own mind. They are all handselected pawns of Orbán.

I remember, there was a Fidesz politician (Illés), who tried to make own advanced energy politics and was seeking for better solutions than Paks. But that one was to annoying for Orbán and he had to leave parliament in 2014.

Member

A very thorough and balanced piece as usual. I know little about Botka and even less about his intentions. But we can now take it as read that the in-fighting opposition parties have given Orbán the 2018 election, one that with adequate cooperation (i.e. a joint candidate in all constituencies, and assuming a failure to achieve such cooperation between Fidesz and Jobbik) might well have brought a real chance to uproot the Orbán régime. A terrible shame, especially if this in-fighting now drags on perhaps even past 2022 (if they still bother with an election then). Especially after such good news on Friday about the Olympics petition.

pappp
Guest

it aint over till its over.

pappp
Guest

Orban and Lazar lied again re the Norwegian funds: they will continue to torment the NGOs.

Orban wants to have the veto power (which is basically a right to decide, since Orban can use the veto until and unless money flows to entities preferred by him) over monies from the Norwegian funds.

This also means to me that – no matter what Orban implied through backchannels – Orban will not let CEU off the hook so easily. In other words: appeasement doesn’t work (it never does).

This is also a stark reminder (as if we needed one) that there can be no deal with Fidesz because Fidesz always lies and always reneges on its promises. Always.

What Orban, Lazar and top Fideszniks love the best is tormenting liberals. This may sound strange to foreigners but it’s a fact. They will never pass on an opportunity to do so. Tormenting, bullying provide the greatest enjoyment to Orban and Lazar and other top fideszniks. It’s just the operation of the pleasure principle in practice.

I hope the NGOS, the Norwegians, the CEU will fiercely resist Orban. There is no other way. Appeasing an autocrat never works and never will.

http://index.hu/belfold/2017/02/21/norveg_civil_alap/

Member

Papp: “because Fidesz always lies”

I would not rule out, that they sometimes tell the truth, if it is advantageous to them.

But even the truth would be seasoned with lies.

Guest

Pappp, you nailed it!

A bit OT:
I have to say I’m sorry because when you arrived here I sometimes felt you were a Fidesz provocateur …
But now I’ve realised that you mean it, you’re a defender of democracy – thank you!

Observer
Guest

Yes, appeasement doesn’t work, there has to be a stick too, preferably a big one.

Yes, no deal can be made with Orban, because he always lies and always reneges … Tormenting, bullying provide a great enjoyment to Orban and the fideszniks.
His total lack of morals and the abundance of malice are well revealed by his conduct toward former allies – from Fid coleagues G.Fodor/P.Tölgyessi to G. Iványi and Simicska, from FKGP, MDF, NDP to KDNP and Jobbik.

Orbans nature and nurture are both on the wrong side. To paraphrase the western cliche: a good fidesznik is a (politically) dead fidesznik.

Ferenc
Guest

OT
wanna know the real state of the Hungarian economy (under OV & Co), watch and listen this:
http://www.atv.hu/videok/video-20170221-bodnar-zoltan

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