President János Áder signed the anti-CEU law despite worldwide protests and massive demonstrations

President János Áder signed the changes to the higher education bill that the Hungarian parliament passed in 48 hours. His decision to do so didn’t come as a total surprise because Magyar Nemzet learned a couple of days ago that Áder found no legal reasons to reject the proposed law and either send it back to parliament for reconsideration or to the Constitutional Court for review. Still, I hoped that Áder would have the courage to make a symbolic gesture, thereby manifesting a modicum of independence, but he didn’t even dare to do that much. I suspect that the pressure on him coming from Viktor Orbán was considerable. Orbán is so obsessed with his crusade against the liberal, democratic worldview, to him symbolized by George Soros and, by extension, the university he founded, that he is throwing caution to the wind.

Those people who think that, with Áder’s signature, the case of Central European University is closed are, of course, wrong. This is just the beginning of something that may end very badly for Viktor Orbán. Yesterday 80,000 people went out to demonstrate. About half way through the demonstration it became obvious that the participants weren’t just fighting for the continued existence of a university or for the academic freedom of Hungarian universities in general. They were speaking out against the regime and what it represents.

This is a clash of two worlds: a nationalistic, xenophobic society hamstrung by an autocrat whose whims may lead the country into a diplomatic no man’s land as well as economic ruin and a free society governed by laws informed by the liberal principles of democracy. Orbán’s attack on Central European University, George Soros, and the civic organization is all about this struggle. For Orbán it is imperative to win this war. Even if his dream of transforming Europe into segmented little nation states led by far-right political groups does not materialize, as he hoped last year, he will at least stop the evil forces of liberalism at the borders of Hungary.

Orbán is confident in his own popularity and the strength of the regime he has managed to build in the last seven years. He thinks he is invincible. And why not? He sees the opposition as small, weak, and powerless. It seems that even the immense crowd on the streets of Budapest didn’t persuade him otherwise, despite the fact that the composition of this crowd was very different from earlier gatherings of mostly retirees.

Some people compare yesterday’s demonstration to the one organized against the internet tax in the fall of 2015, but the comparison doesn’t stand up. First of all, the participants in the 2015 demonstration were exclusively young internet users. Second, the demonstration was organized, in the final analysis, for grubby reasons. Third, it didn’t morph into a general political demonstration. Yesterday’s demonstration, by contrast, included young, middle-aged, and old people. They went out to show their support for ideals: free university, free thought, freedom in general, the European Union. And, finally, at one point, the gathering became a political demonstration against the regime. They sent both Orbán and the Russians straight to hell. The old 1956 slogan resurfaced: “Ruszkik haza!”

This is serious stuff that may end very badly for Viktor Orbán, but there is no way that he will abandon his holy war against the very notion of an open society. To him, this is a struggle for survival. Today’s Magyar Idők called the enemies of Viktor Orbán “the fifth column,” which obviously must be eliminated. János Somogyi, a retired lawyer and a frequent op-ed contributor, targeted the Helsinki Commission but in passing wove into his story the European Court of Human Rights and its Hungarian judge, András Sajó, who taught at Central European University before his appointment to the court. Somogyi described the situation at the moment this way: “War rages between the penniless [nincstelen] democratic forces, the will of the people, and the aggressive minority of immensely wealthy liberal imperialistic forces. Behind the Helsinki Commission there is the immensely wealthy liberal empire while the strength of the popular will is in the truth. In wartime, the rules of war must be applied because this is the only way to bring the truth to victory.” It is this war that Viktor Orbán is leading. It is a war in which enemies must be eliminated, according to the rules of war.

The world is looking at what’s going on in Hungary with growing concern, and in the past few months Germany has been translating its concern into action. Magyar Nemzet reported today that a meeting scheduled for May 5 between German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his Hungarian counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, has been cancelled. In February Angela Merkel celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of Germany’s signing ties of friendship with Czechoslovakia and Hungary, but only with the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Viktor Orbán was not invited. According to Magyar Nemzet, Szijjártó at the end of last year and the beginning of this year tried four times to initiate talks with the former German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to no avail. It is also unlikely that Angela Merkel will visit Hungary this year as was originally planned.

Hungary’s relations with Germany are just as bad as they are with the United States, but at least Orbán never aspired to close relations with the United States–not, that is, until Donald Trump became president. But Germany is another matter. Orbán announced on several occasions that he considers Germany the most important pillar of Hungarian foreign policy.

German cooperation is not the only critical pillar of the Orbán regime that is in danger of collapsing. If they start to fall, so will Viktor Orbán.

April 10, 2017
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Reality Check
Guest

Around 1 am in Budapest when I posted this live feed and the students are still marching through the streets. https://www.facebook.com/magyarinfo/videos/10155079986428467/

Reality Check
Guest

Video feeds are 4 hours long and then will appear archived on Kettős Mérceá’s FB page. OV will not be able to erase this history.

Here is the new feed started at around 1:30 am Budapest time. Energy level still very high. https://www.facebook.com/magyarinfo/videos/10155080716118467/

Reality Check
Guest

Here come the riot police in full gear!

Member

Eating shit is normal behaviour

Beliczky Mark Vilmos
Guest

Excellent article! Is is not time to initiate a global boycott of Hungary and even as difficult as this might be for such a historically grand country with such an amazing culture — the current politics dictate such unified action. I will change my plans and not visit this year, unless of course CEU is able to continue to keep their doors (and minds) open to the true freedom of enlightened scholars, administrators, students and Magyars near and far.

Guest

A boycott is a good idea, but it should be stressed that it is not against Hungary, but against its corrupt regime. So boycott Orbán and all his Fidesz minions. Put sanctions on them, just as they are trying to put sanctions on everything here which is critical of the government.

Why allow any Fidesz politicos to attend foreign universities in democratic countries, for instance, when at the same time the very foundations and principles on which such institutions were established in the first place, are denegrated back home by Orbán.

Ferenc
Guest

“Why allow any Fidesz politicos to attend foreign universities”
No not do the same in return, just allow them, but make very clear related information, a.o.:
-for Fidesz politicians Hungarian universities aren’t “good” enough for their own kids
-trend in budgets for Hungarian universities by Fidesz government (as far as I understand there have been considerable cuts in the budgets)
-“banning” of the best university in Hungary

petofi
Guest

Sorry to contradict: it is against Hungary.

Hungarians have the leader they deserve, period.

exTor
Guest

Does the US have the leader it deserves?

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

To my own horror a US citizen, I must say, “yes.”

petofi
Guest

I’m not sure the Yanks know quite what the Russians pulled off there yet…

wrfree
Guest

‘At the heart of a rights based order, of free speech and of intellectual freedom are centres of higher learning that promote these values to its future leaders. The CEU is a case in point and its importance to present and future generations can hardly be overstated’

Part of Mr. Annan’s letter to Mr. Ignatieff expressing his solidarity with efforts to halt the constraints on intellectual freedom and free inquiry within a supposedly an open and free society. Once again in his career he is charged with having patience with stultifying and a back to the future type of thinking.

In a way I am stunned how that band in the picture look so defiant, so ‘right’ ostensibly doing service for their country apparently in their minds under siege and attack. The wagons now circle. How they can think they can narrow and block the spigot of free and unfettered inquiry in Europe is beyond me. As if they can block a certain world and psychology inexorably impinging on them. That arrogance of control could be their undoing one day down the line. The world moves very fast and keeps on spinning.

Clarify
Guest

Like many writers you distinguish between liberal and illiberal democracy to describe what Orban is doing. But there is no such thing as illiberal democracy. Biased courts; a press owned by friends of the government; a ruling party channeling government contracts in exchange for kickbacks; a closed economy largely without competition — this is autocracy, kleptocracy and oligarchy. It is not a form of democracy. Illiberal democracy is a contradiction in terms. There is no such thing. What Orban is attacking is democracy, not liberalism. When the terms liberal / illiberal are used, the debate is lost. Please stop doing this.

Member

For the sake of accuracy, Orbo never used the term “illiberal democracy” in his Tusnadfurdo speech. What he said was, “illiberal state.” This is telling – he was not necessarily talking about a democracy.

petofi
Guest

In complete agreement with Clarify–

Member

Once the politics of Mr. Putin was labelled guided/directed democracy (gelenkte Demokratie).

As everybody can see now: There is either democracy or no.

Every attempt to weaken the definition of democracy is the attempt to leave democracy.

Actually, after growing up in a democracy and experiencing it as normality, I really started to value democracy since watching its fall in Hungary since 2010.

exTor
Guest

One might think that ‘illiberal democracy’ is an oxymoron, an inherent contradiction in terms, something in the vein of ‘intellectual DJ Trump’, however democracies can be illiberal, Clarify. People elect mindsets, whether Hitlerish in the early 1930s or Trumpish in the late 2010s.

Ann Coulter, in conversation with Bill Maher, said (re the pussy-grabbing prez) that the population knew what it was getting with Trump, but it didn’t care. The implication was that a sizable portion of the electorate voted for Trump’s position on, amongst other things, Muslim immigration. It didn’t give a shit –basically– about Trump’s morality, a whole other issue.

Orbán’s job is to convince Magyar democracy that illiberalism is necessary.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

You mix something:
To elect someone, who is not democratic like Hitler or Trump as You say, is not an undemocratic process.

But the democracy will fade, if this person is capable to change the rules.
And this was easy for Hitler, because the democracy was weak at that time.
Hopefully Trump will be not as successful in the US. Apparently the democracy in the US has become strong to resist Trump. That’s checks and balances.

András B. Göllner
Guest

“I hoped that Áder would have the courage to make a symbolic gesture”. Áder didn’t have the courage to stay out of the Hungarian Communist Party before 1990. He doesn’t have the courage now, to do anything else other than what his leader tells him. As for backbone ? He demonstrated what he’s made of during the scandalous appointment of Sólyom to the Presidency. Áder’s unquestioning loyalty to the ND (the Nation’s Disgrace) will last until the end is just around the corner. He will take a step back, when the end is near – like Horthy, when the allies were knocking on his back door, and he stopped the deportations to save his skin, and to appear as a savior of the Jews. No doubt, millions of Hungarians will swallow Áder’s eventual self serving gesture the way they swallowed Horthy’s heroic defense of the Jews. The stomach turns, the world goes round.

petofi
Guest

Hungarians, with very few exceptions, are of no more merit
and decency than Albert Speer. But they certainly have a similar capacity to jive-ass endlessly…

Member

There is no need to diskuss Àder.

‘No courage’, ‘no backbone’ and loyalty to Orbán was the job specification to be president of Hungary.

Absolute obedience to the dictator and no personal opinion are characteristic to all minions of Orbán.

And this is, what he also demands from his people. Everybody else is a traitor.

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘…capacity to jive-ass endlessly’

I get it more after looking at North Korea and their ‘jiving’ with the world and especially the United States. They’ve seem to up the rhetoric to a more threatening level. They are perhaps getting close to the tipping point of their line. So is the US. The ‘jiving’ perhaps we’ll be over in due time with some unpalatable consequences.

Just a cautionary note in context to Eastern Europe. The nukes may not fly but rather the death of weakened democracies through VO ‘jive’ type behavior. VO is pushing the limits with the CEU story.
Will be interesting to see how long he can be called the ‘Jive Man’ of Europe. He is surely testing those who he wants to dance to his tune.

petofi
Guest

Of course, Vickie may just be doing a pavane dance with CEU. He might just relent a few weeks before the election, and the populace in its general relief will be moved to think, “he’s a good fellow responding to the general will…so let’s vote him in again-” Something of that nature to quell public uproar against him. He’s quite the ‘player’and certainly capable of that..

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘let’s vote him in again’

You know if Magyars do I will have to go back and do some research on the psychology of crowds, the public, the electorate or if you will ‘the people’. For too long and the nation has been experiencing life akin to being on a yo-yo. Have to say ‘vestibular’ action appears to be wanting. Magyarorszag: ‘dizzy in a tizzy’ with VO pulling the string. Putting the nation off balance is his yo-yo game.

Member

I wish you were right, Eva. But unless Germany and/or the EU respond in ways that hurt Orban’s govenrment financially, they have little leverage. Disinviting Orban from symbolic meetings won’t do.

Hurt would the suspension of EU structural and cohesion funds – but the EC has a strong vested interest in maintaining these, hence this is not going to happen.

Guest

I think you’re right, Mrs Merkel and her CDU are not ready to do this. She just wants to stay in power …

But after the elections in Germany this year things might look different – at least I hope so. Though I’m not perfectly happy with a red-red-green coalition (including the Left aka former Communists) there is a chance that the CDU might be in opposition at year’s end.

I even use Merkel’s inactivity and the support of O by the really right wing CSU and its boss Seehofer (whom I consider as lunatic as O) as a reason to tell people to not vote for the “Christian” parties – but most people in Germany don’t know and don’t care about Hungarian politics.

Who cares about a fly on the wall and its sh*t?

Guest

Merkel’s refusal to meet with Orbán is in my view just a trick to keep the Germans who condemn Orbán’s policies happy. Orbán still gathers a lot of supporters among the CDU / CSU although they might not admit it. I hope I’m wrong but I cannot think otherwise.

Member

Who, exactly, is supporting him from the CDU? (CSU is another story.)

Member

I agree! Seehofer and the Bavarians is another story!

petofi
Guest

Cohesion funds or not, Orban is going ahead with his original plan to bankrupt the country. Method? Paks

Member

The first step has to be taken now by the EPP:
They must kick out the fascist Fidesz members.
There are no more excuses !

(Come on Mr. Weber, You are still protecting the Fidesz members, You cannot play the ball to the commission. It is Your fraction, that protects them since 7 years ).

Also for the big german companies (Audi, Daimler), that benefit from cheap workforce and low taxes in Hungary, the time has come to speak out, whether they still feel comfortable to earn money in a dictatorship.

Member

OT: Democrats have put a target on the back of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Orbán’s (and Putin’s) best friend in the US Congress. Apparently Rohrabacher hasn’t had a serious challenger in years, but that region went for Clinton last year so Democrats think they have a chance to unseat him. If there’s any type of Democrat wave next year then this guy is toast:
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-republican-orange-county-targets-20170409-story.html

Member

“War rages between the penniless [nincstelen] democratic forces, the will of the people, and the aggressive minority of immensely wealthy liberal imperialistic forces. Behind the Helsinki Commission there is the immensely wealthy liberal empire while the strength of the popular will is in the truth. In wartime, the rules of war must be applied because this is the only way to bring the truth to victory.”

Doesn’t this have a slightly Marxist-Leninist ring to it?

exTor
Guest

That’s reactionary, Alex Kuli. The quote sounds perfectly hysterical-neofascist, although the ‘penniless’ is a touching touch. Fascism is a capitalist phenomenon.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member
Unfortunately, I don’t think the protests in and of themselves are going to have much impact on anything. Orban knows that the overwhelming majority of the marchers were never Fidesz voters to begin with. HIs people are at home, cackling with nationalistic glee over the notion that Hungary’s leader has delivered a one-two punch to both the Jewish Globalist Elite and the Islamic migrants they sponsor. He also knows that the CEU protests will lose steam sooner or later. The question is, can Orban’s opponents harness the energy generated by these protests, and convert it into political capital? At present, I’d say the chances are slim. Where are the opposition organizers? Giving interviews to the hazaarulo echo-chamber that is ATV. Kunhalmi, God bless her heart, is hanging EU flags from Parliament windows. Momentum is defacing Fidesz’s ridiculous “Allitsuk meg Brusszelt!” posters with pieces of (removable) tape that make it read, “Allitsuk meg Orbant!” (A+ for originality, girls and boys!) What I don’t see is masses of Fideszniks announcing plans to change their vote in 2018, or any organized effort to persuade them to do so. In 2014, the democratic opposition’s voters made up, generously speaking, 30% of the electorate. Now,… Read more »
petofi
Guest

I wish people would stop with the inane ‘not Fidesz voters’ nonsense.
Elections mean nothing: Orban has 900,000 votes in Romania and Serbia, if he should need it; but the elections are not on the up-and-up in any case.

Guest

Orbán’s notion of an illiberal democracy is a nonsensensical non sequitor, as another commentator has pointed out.

But his followers lap it up, as they do every lie which comes from this forked-tongued naughty little devil of a man.

In truth Orbán doesn’t give a fig about liberal or illiberal, about democracy or autocracy or communism, fascism or any kind of ism.
Like the spoiled child that he is, masquerading as an adult, he simply wants his own way, every time and all the time, so that he can put his greedy hands on everything going.

His tirade against liberal democracies and institutions such as the CEU, and Soros is just a cover up for his chagrin about the checks and balances which form part of democratic societies.

A man of no principle or moral rectitude, he is out to destroy anything and everything which gets in the way of his theft of EU funds. That is his only political platfrom and that is what his fabricated “illiberal democracy” means.

And just as Hitler said to his cronies after one of his rantings in front of hordes of idolatrous believers, “These people are so stupid, they believe anything I say”.
Hitler et al, Orbi.

HMR
Guest

I think that this is correct. If people ask me whether Orban is a fascist, I say ‘no, Mussolini put much effort in trying ti get rid of the Mafia, Orban – and Putin and co – are about setting mafias up’. There is no ‘ism’ involved. Urban shares many of the attitudes – resentments, bitternesses and hatreds – with people who had certain beliefs, but he has none of the beliefs.

Ferenc
Guest
Ader signing is no surprise. The main question/hope is: how things will develop from now on. The spontaneous demonstration after Ader’s signing is proof that the dissatisfaction is very strong and deep. Also the slogans shouted were not aggressive and very positive. In yesterday’s comments was noted that in history things in Hungary were less violent than in other countries (e.g.Romania), well that might be, but I think that that doesn’t depend so much on the country, but more on the people in power, how they will react towards big and continuous protests. To be honest in the current situation in Hungary I don’t have high expectations for OV&Fidesz reacting without force/violence if the protests continue, surely not if these stay peaceful but strong. I have a strong suspicion, that OV&Fidesz will then try to provoke the protestors into aggression (to give themselves valid reason for violent reply), and if that will not work send in some own people to just start violence. Regarding what the EU can do, especially with the financial funds. I don’t expect that from EU side will be taken steps, based on current and recent happenings. BUT WHAT if Hungarian political parties in the EU… Read more »
Nwo
Guest

Grass roots opposition is vital to political change, but the fate of CEU now rests in Berlin, Brussels and D.C. It is only if forced to “capitulate” or cut some face saving deal for Orban (which is entirely possible if US, EU & Germany think it important) does he back down. He needs an escape route.

Mihály
Guest

NWO: re escape route

Any deal with Orban will end up like the “deal” re the Norwegian funds. Orban will promise something which we all know (but some people refuse to acknowledge) he has absolutely no intention to keep. There cannot be any deal with Orban in the traditional sense only temporary containment.

Orban fanatically wants to eliminate anything from Hungary that in his view can be deemed as “liberal” and if this needs a bit of trickery and lying to some naive Western diplomats so be it.

Orban will anyway renege on any deal so there must be clear, automatic consequences and a clear and credible deterrent and then his future attempts can be neutralized.

petofi
Guest

Relying on Ader do to something ethical and honourable is to rely on the efficacity of a grasshoper’s fart….

Kalman
Guest

As step 1 the US should start by revoking the visa waiver program. Just so the Hungarian government knows where it stands in the pecking order. The deep state will get the message, but should it not other actions could be taken.

Orban clearly went insane and he’s now waging a crusade of madness against ideas.

Everything that may be seen as Western, democratic, enlightened is seen by him and his loyalists as something in need of purging and annihilated.

Orban and his government must be contained because he’s hell-bent on spreading his pro-Putin, anti-West, Duginist, anti-liberal agenda.

Guest

Since we’ve done our visits to the USA we wouldn’t mind if Hungary joins again this list of EU countries not part of the VWP:
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania

A bit OT:
I’ve read that Poland was expecting to become part of the VWP “any day now” – but nothing happened for eight years …
So maybe someone in the USA is thinking?

Ferenc
Guest

This morning’s action by “Egyutt” at the Fidesz building (near Heroes Square): graffiti, banners, texts about ‘Lex CEU’, Russian influence, etc. Video was live at their facebook page and can still be watched at:
https://www.facebook.com/egyuttkorszakvaltok/videos/1267260850058486/
Next demonstration Wednesday Apr.12 – 17:30 – Heroes Square

muzsikus
Guest
Bowen
Guest

The BBC (through Nick Thorpe) has consistently taken a pro-Fidesz stance to events in Hungary.

Please see this open letter to the BBC, from Ottilie Mulzet, pointing out the BBC’s reporting of recent events regarding the “Soros University”.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/ottilie-mulzet/open-letter-to-the-director-general-of-the-bbc-re-coverage-of-events-in-hungary/1933012936968237

Cinkotai Akos
Guest

Thorpe must be MI5 or 6 or whatever and Orban must know this and so Orban figures that the British will never get rid of Thorpe. The British probably feel that (at least for a foreigner like Thorpe) they have a well-placed man close to Orban although they probably too stupid to realize that Orban’s been feeding them bullshit. But the British ultimately don’t care anyway. There is no other rational explanation why BBC still keeps Thorpe who has shown time and again his partiality to Orban. Thorpe’s work in Hungary is gong against everything BBC stands for.

wrfree
Guest

Re: Thorpe … MI5 or 6 ..

Or perhaps the governments English ‘Haw Haw???’
Nothing like a broadcaster to get the ‘word’ out.

aida
Guest

The time honoured rule according to which diplomats are recalled after a term of from 3 to 6 years is based on the fear they are likely “to go native”.This applies to journalists. The BBC have failed repeatedly in not replacing long serving correspondents even after they have gone native. Thorpe is a decent man who should not be put in this position by his bosses.

Guest

Not too much OT:

Not only diplomats and journalists have the risk to go native …
One of my sisters is married to an Englishman who worked as an accountant/financial supervisor for a large Global player. Every three years they moved to another country, from Hungary to Africa and some Arab country later, then back to another state in Africa …

And I’ve written about this before:
He was so angry about the extreme level of corrruption in Budapest (that was in the 90s) that he said he’d never come back to Hungary, even as a tourist!
So when my sister visits us, it’s always without her husband – their children however like Hungary too …

Guest
Nick Thorpe is marrried to a right-wing Hungarian, who comes from a Fidesz supporting family and with 5 Hungarian/British children all attending Hungarian state schools, he is one of Orbán’s model citizens, representing the Hungarian “Big Family”. He has entertained Orbán in his own home, where he promised VO to report faithfullly on his fight against communism. He has consistently lied to the world about events here, both by ommission, and also by deliberately manipulating and twisting stories so that VO comes out as an innocent and beleaguered PM. His excuse, occasionally, is that he “just wants to tell both sides”. but in order to do that, he would need to include crucial information, which he does not if it is damaging to VO. He is manipulated by his Fidesz family ties and has no business working for the BBC in Hungary, living on huge BBC wages. But complaints to the BBC have consistently fallen on deaf ears, even when one complainant reported that on more than one occasion, following her concerns about Thorpe, she received mysterious menacing telephone calls. So in Hungary, where things are so often back to front and topsy turvey, thanks to Thorpe even the BBC… Read more »
tyaftyaftyaf
Guest

Whatever Thorpe’s family situation is the question still remains why BBC is keeping Thorpe when it could easily find someone who is impartial and would likely work much more in line with BBC principles? As I know the operation of international media it’s highly unusual to remain a country correspondent for so long.

Guest

Well, why don’t you write to the BBC and ask them?

Member
Ah, good old Fidesz Nick still spreading the good ole boyspropaganda...he is never going to change now. Still reminiscing about his late nights with Vik, Laci and all the liberal revolutionaries back in 88/89...unfortunately, without realising that being the Beebs man means at least attempting to show some degree of journalistic detachment and independence. Also the fact that those same buddies have now moved to the far-right and are now regarded as the pariahs of the EU seemed to have escaped his attention. Keep feeding him in Nobu and anywhere else similarly four star and he will report damn well whatever the regime wants him to If you are unhappy with FN, dont go public and put it up on Facebook whatever you do if you dont want the late night phone calls. The BBC has a relatively transparent complaints procedure: https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/?lang=en&reset=&uid=675771805 Will it work? Well, after his disgraceful performance during the Media Law scandal (for a journalist working for an independent respected news media he should have been ashamed of himself giving cover to the fascists whether they were his friends or nor) several of us sent separate complaints through. Coincidence or not, Nick went on Sabbatical for several… Read more »
Guest

Sorry for all the typos in my comment…here is a corrected version – a bit easier to read, I hope.

The BBC complaints procedure is just that- A Complaints Procedure- but in Thorpe’s case, it is entirely ineffectual.
The reason being that it is impossible for the BBC headquarters back in the UK to fully understand goings on in other parts of the world.
That is why they send and rely on their reporters, who are often residents and so have inside information of how things are.

But most reporters start from a British premise with democratic values. The shocking thing about Thorpe is that despite haviing had a Cambrdige education, because of his Hungarian in-laws and right wing Hungarian wife, he has abandoned any ethical journalistic practices and is simply an apologist, at every possible turn, of Orbán and Fidesz.

He is a disgrace to the BBC and the only way to get rid of him is by more and more complaints.

Recently, another news source, possibly the Guardian, printed a long article about how the BBC is subtly but consistently right-wing biased. So that might be another reason why Thorpe gets away with it. Shame on him and the Beeb.

bimbi
Guest

New news from “La Repubblica” today. In terms of the tax and deduction burden on earnings Italy is the 5th worst in the world. But who is 4th? That’s right, folks, Hungary – where mostly people hardly earn enough to get by anyway. 3, 2 and 1 are France, Germany and Belgium. I bet Rogan and Pénztáros don’t suffer too much from deductions…

Magyaroszág hamarosan tönkremegy!

Guest

Thank you Eva for the post. I was on the demonstration against the internet tax in 2015 and I can confirm that the participants were not exclusively young internet users. Instead they came from all walk of life. At that time many of the participants expressed his anger against the whole Orban system too with “Orban takarodj!” many times during the demonstration.

Guest

Thank you Gellert- that is good to know.

Observer
Guest

Gellert
It was a pleasure to see the participants in the huge Sunday demo – many young, and the overall majority were civilized intellectual people. A far cry from Orban’s faithful – dim pensioner crowds brimming with frivolous hate.

Istvan
Guest
We have all seen large demonstrations before in Budapest so the one over CEU is not really surprising. To transform large demonstrations into the classic central European color revolutions (i.e. former Yugoslavia’s Bulldozer Revolution 2000, in Georgia’s Rose Revolution 2003, and in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution 2004) requires a big step. I am not seeing any one posting on this blog from Hungary who seems to believe Hungary is on the pathway to some type of a prerevolutionary situation, unless that pathway stretches into the indefinite future. Eva raises the issue of future instability in Fidesz rule, but honestly Eva also raised that general perspective in relationship to the demonstrations over elementary and secondary education which died out eventually. I still follow the Tanítanék movement and read their related comments and one thing is clear that issue based protests that skirt around Fidesz rule attract people who are looking for political cover from outright opposing Orban. I don’t blame them at all given the tentacles of Fidesz to screw up peoples lives in Hungary. The core of the education protestors clearly seemed to understand the dynamic of the mafia state in Hungary and were willing to throw caution to the wind,… Read more »
Guest

Very clearly written, the reasoning why Hungary is not at all relevant for the USA right now – thanks Istvan!
And to add the EU’s position:
Brexit has to be handled – so as long as nobody dies in Hungary because of Fidesz (and the Audi, Mercedes, Opel etc factories are working …), the EU does nothing.
What’s a billion € more or less stolen by the Fidesz mafiosi – corruption is rampant all over the world.
As long as Hungarians don’t rise, what me worry …

aida
Guest

It is also interesting to note the timing of the attack on the CEU: Passeh

aida
Guest

Or pesach if you prefer it

Istvan
Guest
Off topic, but since I went off discussing North Korean rockets and US priorities I might as well venture into this story published in Hungary this morning. The journalist Tóth Szabolcs Töhötöm today has a truly strange article in Magyar Nemzet (https://mno.hu/atutazo/moszkvai-vizit-ket-perccel-vilagvege-elott-2394261 ). It is sort of about US Sec of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Russia. But it also an article that goes off in an interesting direction based on an article written last month by former US Marine intelligence officer and weapons expert Scott Ritter that was published in the small left-leaning Washington Spectator. Ritter’s article basically argues that Russia has developed a strategic weapon that close to renders the USA defenseless, a new kind of weapon, a hypersonic warhead capable of speeds 15 times the speed of sound, totally capable of evading any anti-missile system the United States has today, or may develop and deploy for decades to come. So the USA needs to make a deal with Putin fast for nuclear arms reduction. The Magyar Nemzet article enters a very complex world of ICBMs in a really profoundly unbalanced manner relying totally on Scott Ritter’s essay and Russian propaganda. The new Rusian warhead is larger than… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Istvan,

your extended piece has filled out my allotted military reading for the next four years…

petofi
Guest

By the way, Istvan, why don’t you unfurl your military hardware and go after the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd
in Chicago?

Istvan
Guest

If you read Chicago newspapers Petofi you will notice almost zero stories about black lives matter over the last several months. I suspect the movement is waiting for the conclusion of the first-degree murder case against Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke who shot a black youth 15 times that was captured on video. As of now all is quiet on that front, by the way do you pursume I am a racist of some type? Or was that just random cynicism?

pappp
Guest

Does anyone know if there’s any special reason why opposition parties are not overly active in the CEU matter?

I mean there were some speeches in the Parliament, some of the politicians participated in some demonstration but they aren’t really seen in the picture.

Did CEU told them to stay away? Or is this the usual laziness and being afraid of being “controversial” (ie. supporting a “liberal” institution might not be popular among imagined rural leftist voters)?

pappp
Guest

Orban is apparently offering some phony compromise (which is his usual modus operandi).

Orban lied and tricked the Norwegians with respect to the Norwegian NGO funds, Orban will lie again.

Orban must revoke the totally unnecessary and destructive law – any other “compromise” would be a sham. The revocation really depends on him, if he wants it the law can be revoked within a few days.

https://444.hu/2017/04/11/palkovics-nagyon-igergeti-hogy-a-ceu-mukodese-nem-kerul-veszelybe-meg-ha-nem-is-tudja-teljesiteni-az-uj-felteteleket

wrfree
Guest

Almost missed the great ’56 harangue .. ‘Ruszkik haza!’ Still reverbs in my head and ears years on. I mean there were some very angry people ’round the UN in those dark days. This kid’s ears heard the bombast.

Well I guess it took a couple of years but the US and some of its citoyens seem to be getting a sort of payback from the ‘gang’. Now the new mantra almst seems to be ‘Amerikai haza!’ And not only the horse you rode in on but all the luggage you managed to drop in. And with that perhaps we can see a new ‘iron curtain’ born on the new religion of illiberalism. It’s the ‘new’ way to get to heaven folks.
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