Mission accomplished: Jobbik’s hard-hitting billboards will be removed

On June 14, 2016, a united opposition prevented the adoption of a proposal intended to re-regulate the use of posters and billboards by political parties. The bill, among other things, included the stipulation that if the provider of advertising surfaces sells spaces at a price lower than the current market value, such an action would be considered to be hidden and forbidden party financing. Since a portion of the bill dealt with party financing, in order to pass, the bill needed a two-thirds majority of the members present.

The proposal was submitted in response to thousands of Jobbik billboards carrying the message that while ordinary citizens work, the members of the political elite and their friendly oligarchs steal the country blind. Viktor Orbán’s fury over the posters was only reinforced when he learned that Jobbik had rented the advertising surfaces from one of Lajos Simicska’s business ventures, Mahír, for practically peanuts. Simicska would like nothing more than to get rid of his former friend turned enemy Viktor Orbán at the next national election in the spring of 2018, and he was prepared to be generous to Jobbik in its anti-Fidesz billboard campaign.

The government party was two persons short of the magic two-thirds majority, and therefore it was imperative that all the members of the Fidesz and KDNP delegations showed up. Even György Rubovszky of KDNP, who died a week later, attended the session. The hope was that either a few opposition members would be absent or that the politically diverse opposition would not be well disciplined. But everyone was there with the exception of Lajos Oláh of DK, who was on his way to the hospital with kidney stones. And every member of the opposition voted against the bill. So Fidesz was left with only one absentee, which wasn’t enough. The bill failed to be enacted.

Within hours, however, the government party announced that the bill would be resubmitted. The president of the parliament called for an extraordinary session, where the only item on the agenda was the poster law nicknamed by its co-sponsor Lajos Kósa “Lex Csicska.” Csicska is a person who in jail or in a reformatory is forced to serve others. In this case, the “csicska” is Jobbik, the party which, they claim, is simply an instrument of Simicska’s design against Viktor Orbán and his government.

Since the session was not a scheduled one, the hope again was that many opposition members would be unable to attend. At the same time, just to be sure, Fidesz politicians began negotiations with several opposition parties and members, hoping to get partners to push through this bill that Viktor Orbán found so important. A few days ago I devoted a post to MSZP’s decision to submit a proposal of their own, which was not a hit with the other parties and which was eventually torpedoed by László Botka, the party’s candidate for the premiership. Thus, it looked as if there was no chance for Lex Csicska to be adopted. Moreover, on the day of the extraordinary session (Friday, June 22) Viktor Orbán was supposed to be in Brussels. And György Rubovszky died on June 21, a day before the crucial vote. Yet Viktor Orbán announced that he has no plans to return because “his boss,” i.e. the leader of the Fidesz parliamentary delegation, doesn’t think that his presence is necessary. It was at this point that I became mighty suspicious that the legal wizards of Fidesz had found some clever work-around solution.

And indeed, late on Thursday evening, when Orbán was already in Brussels, the public learned that Fidesz will not resubmit the original law which had been voted down a week earlier. Rather, members of parliament will have to vote on amendments to a 2016 law on the defense of community image (településkép), which required only a simple majority to pass. In Hungary the central government lays down the parameters of what towns can and cannot do in burnishing their images. The original law dealt with advertisements, posters, billboards but only commercial ones, advertising everything from beer to toothpaste. Expanding this law to give municipalities the authority to restrict party advertising is, according to most legal scholars, unconstitutional because the Hungarian Constitution specifically states that “the detailed rules for the operation and management of political parties shall be laid down in a cardinal Act.”

Gergely Gulyás, Fidesz’s wunderkind, enjoying the fruits of his labor

But that wasn’t the only trick Fidesz employed. Gergely Gulyás, deputy speaker of parliament responsible for legislation, breaking house rules, introduced MSZP’s proposal, which was never officially submitted for consideration, as an amendment, putting MSZP in the uncomfortable position that their members had to vote against their own “amendment.” The vote was 123 in favor and 68 against. Fidesz-KDNP parliamentarians knew ahead of time what was coming, so of their 130 members only 123 showed up. On the other hand, all 68 members of the opposition parties and the independents were present and voted against the bill.

Although legal scholars believe that the Constitutional Court should find this law unconstitutional, they admit that, given the composition of the 15-member body, the judges may just rubber stamp it. Zoltán Fleck, professor of sociology of law at ELTE’s law school, with a certain sadness remarked that he wasn’t really surprised to hear about this latest Fidesz ploy because in Hungary “the rule of law has long been officially terminated.” György Magyar, Simicska’s lawyer and civil activist, also tore the law apart on his blog.

An amusing story connected to the passage of this bill shows the cynicism of most of those Fidesz members of parliament who serve as voting robots. Máriusz Révész (Fidesz), under pressure from a journalist of 24.hu about the strange transformation of a law that requires a two-thirds majority into one that needs only a simple majority, got mighty confused. After a lot of prevarication, he blurted out: “obviously this time it is not happening according to the law.” So, he basically confirmed the opposition’s criticism that Fidesz acted illegally. It is not something the Fidesz leadership easily forgives. This afternoon Index, which reported on the 24.hu story, received a letter from Révész in which he tried to convince them that he wasn’t talking about the law itself but about illicit party financing.

Albert Gazda of Magyar Nemzet wrote an opinion piece titled “The cowardly Fidesz.” As the title suggests, Gazda looks upon this latest Fidesz trick, which he considers primitive even by the party’s own low moral and intellectual standards, as a sign of weakness. “Here is the first spectacular and hard-hitting campaign and Fidesz is running around like a chicken with its head cut off.” Gazda also believes that Fidesz is not only cowardly but also fearful. “But fear eats away the soul, takes away strength, and destroys faith.”

I’m not at all sure that Gazda is right. Instead, I would suggest that these posters got under Orbán’s skin in a big way because he found them politically damaging. He had only one goal: the posters must be taken down immediately. Therefore, I believe, he didn’t particularly care in what manner this bill became law. He most likely knows that the law is unconstitutional, but in the short run he simply doesn’t care. Even if the Constitutional Court finds the law unconstitutional, that decision may take months while the billboards will have to be removed immediately. Orbán wanted to stop the political hemorrhaging right now.

June 24, 2017
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Member

Nobody has to worry about Constitutionality, where there is none. In a lawless, corrupt dictatorship the ruling criinals have nothing to worry about, they do as they please.
=======
Hungary is not one of the civilized countries for people, it is closer to an African wildlife reservation or rather just a zoo.

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘lawless’

When tricks, ploys, chicanery are used in the creation of laws it is completely untenable to believe that a true democratic state is functioning. Macron et al should look long and carefully at the erosion of the country in so many facets. Government, law, health, education, ethics. They have some big decisions to make when it comes to the vulpine VO and his ‘institutions’.

This is a government of the few by the few and for the few. And it’s ‘laws’ arise from poor and abject self-serving rationales. Their creation shows how weak and pernicious the politics behind it stands for the entire nation.

Observer
Guest

Unconstitution, illegal, immoral well apply to so many practices (if not all) of thev “governance” by Orban’s maffia state.
This bill is another crude trick, which wouldn’t pass muster in any rule of law country, and serves as yet another proof that Hungary is ruled by fascist regime without any respect for or interest in democracy.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

These posters are primitive and “below basic intellectual standard”. They must be also psychologically harmful to the population.
Politicians (of any political persuasion) should speak up against this.

Free Wheeling
Guest

Your sanctimony is showing!
Funny that you hadn’t mentioned your revulsion about the billboards previously or Fidesz’s counter-billboard campaign (i.e. Soros and Simicska being puppet masters for MSZP and Jobbik) that was more than just a little reminiscent of anti-semetic campaigns of those in the far right in Germany but also Hungary. (a quick search of this very same blog will provide you the information just in case you had somehow missed it) Fidesz/Fidelitas has already crossed that line of ‘primitivism’ long ago starting back when they were in the opposition in 2004. So I would say that you’re quite out of touch with what is going on in Hungary.

Melanie Zuben
Guest

“Eye for an eye would make the whole world blind” – Gandhi

All politicians should be held responsible for the mental well-being of their electorate. I sincerely hope that sooner or later common sense will prevail.

Guest

Yes and then O will join Mussolini and Ceaucescu?

petofi
Guest

Melanie Zubinka,

Don’t worry about soap, just ‘get yourself on the bus, Gus’; and whip home for the hot-tub! You’re in dire need.

For your info, MZ, Hungaricos were damaged a long time ago–I’d say from age 3 and the first year of Sunday school…

I have a question for the Hungarian intelligentsia:
I thought Hungary was part of Europe, but…at the European track and field competition, the beloved flag never appeared in the top 10 of any event…

I guess it’s enough to be a great soccer nation.

More stadiums, please!

Hajra Magyarok!!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Petofi,
Re : your pathetic comment: Is that all you can come up with?
You (and some others on this blog) would love to see total ANARCY in Hungary. C H A O S must be serving your hidden agenda!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Should be: “Anarchy”

exTor
Guest

Melanie Zuben, I recommend proofreading before sending, thereby (presumably) catching things like ‘ANARCY’ –uppercased, no less– thus avoiding extra embarrassment.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Melanie Zuben
Guest

ExTor,
Hmm . . . Let me let you in my little SECRET: it takes a little bit more for me to get embarrassed. You should know it by now that intimidation etc. etc. doesn’t work on me. 🙂

Ferenc
Guest

Gandhi in 1942 about the British rule over India: “I prefer anarchy to the present system of administration, because this ordered anarchy [of the present system] is worse than real anarchy.”

The current administration in Hungary, if it will continue and/or even further ‘develop’ it’s bogus democratic rule, might finally result into some sort of real anarchy. If it will come so far, please never forget that it’s a (temporary) effect only, the real cause being OV & Fidesz rule, “just as the sea-waves are the effect not the cause of the storm” [Gandhi]

Furthermore let me make clear, that personally I strongly prefer a system better than both real anarchy and the present ‘bogus democratic’ administration in Hungary!

az angol beteg
Guest

Sometimes anarchy has to be achieved before lasting change can happen.
We British are firmly on that track!

Istvan
Guest
Petofi in one of your posts I recall you wrote you once taught Hebrew school. While I deeply dislike MZ’s posts I find you to be her mirror imiage in some ways. I do agree that my experience with Hungarian school, the American Hungarian Catholic Sunday school here in Chicago I attended, was heavily laden with ethnocentric teaching. When as a child visiting Hungary I attended Sunday school in Esztergom, they taught the Catechism of the Catholic Church as defined by the Vatican not really different from what I got in the USA. Some Jews feel the same about Jewish religious education for the young, here is a rather long essay that praises that indoctrination experience http://www.thetower.org/article/was-my-jewish-summer-camp-trying-to-indoctrinate-me/ We Catholics call it the propagation of the faith, we even have the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as part of the church. We all do what you accuse Hungarians of doing which is to promote and try to perpetuate our accepted norms to the next generation. Its not abnormal, Its absolutely normal. The problem I think is being a thinking and humane person as an adult who takes that essentially indoctrination experience and utilizes it during ones life that does not… Read more »
Melanie Zuben
Guest

Istvan to petofi,

” While I deeply dislike MZ’s posts I find you to be her mirror image in some ways.”

Now, I take this as an insult. ‘petofi” hates everything about the Hungarians!
“petofi” calls the Hungarian people: genetically inferior morons, scumbags etc. He thrives on hate creation. Just to refresh your memory, remember when he told us how much Mrs Radnoti despised the Hungarians . . . she even refused to speak Hungarian, she only spoke French at home etc. This comment was particularly painful for me as Radnoti is one of my favorite poets. . . and I could go on and on . . .
I have a beautiful soul.

In the light of the above, how can you say that “petofi” is a “mirror image” of me?!
You “deeply dislike” my comments, yet you address “petofi” with respect. And you call yourself a Catholic who cares about the future of Hungary?
I’m NOT interested in your answer.

petofi
Guest

Melanie-babe,

I met Mrs. Radnoti on Hollan Erno utca some years ago. What I related was correct: she had stated that she had never forgiven the Hungarians for what they did to her husband…also, she had said that she no longer spoke Hungarian.

I’m sorry that the truth seems to put you in pain. You seem to possess that Hungarian trait of avoiding reality for wish-fullfilment.

Oh, for the world of pre-Trianon!

In the meantime, if you want to hold up the average Hungarian as the model of uprightness, decency, and good behaviour to your grandchildren…well, that’s your business.

petofi
Guest

Oh, and by the way, Melania, if the average Hungarian wasn’t as deluded as you, perhaps he could cotton on to the fool that Orban makes of all Hungarians, all the while robbing them blind.

petofi
Guest

Istvan,

I once taught in the “English Program” of a Hasidic School. It should come as no surprise to you that I found the Hasid teachers to be racist.

Guest

And what about the lying propaganda billborads from Fidesz – which you haven’tseen of course since you live so far away in your cozy world …
And the harsh Hungarian reality – no money for education, no money for the hospitals, millions under the poverty line …
You are really crazy – like our troll Huli!

LwiiH
Guest

Shame on the opposition parties for colluding with Jobbik and victimizing Fidesz

Ferenc
Guest

At least these ‘primitive’ posters are “above basic Fidesz&Co standard”.
As there is some sort of truth in their message, that’s why they hurt so much to the leader of the Skunks. And therefore have to be removed using all means, legal or not really, available to that stinking troupe.

These posters might be “psychologically harmful”, but then only to those people whose dirty tricks are questioned and whose posters were full with outright lies, only aimed at manipulating he electorate.

PS: “Dung for a dung makes the whole of Hungary STINK” – Ferenc

Member

They must be also psychologically harmful to the population.”

30% or so of that population still support Orbán after all that he has done, so they are beyond psychological repair anyway. Politics has been primitive in Hungary for as long as I remember and largely created as a long term strategy by Fidesz. So, these posters are not that particularly bad, the regime`s counter campaign however stunk of anti-Semitism and racism.

There is very little difference between Jobbik and Fidesz- both are far-right, xenophobic hatemongers. Fidesz has the greater capacity to destroy the country at the moment and that being the case even a Jobbik victory would be better than the Orbán dictatorship continuing for another 4 years. Sad that democrats look to a neo-nazi party has their last hope but unfortunately that is where the fascist regime has forced us.

Member

Jobbik’s posters are not bad at all, not psychologically damaging to anyone save the most fragile Fidesznik snowflake.

wrfree
Guest

Jobbik appears to understand pure simplicity in messaging. Anybody looking at the posters cannot escape the ‘message’. Brief, clear and absolutely no ambiguity in the language.

An ‘infuriated’ Orban could rightly see the billboards would be up 24/7 constantly in his craw as well as being constantly in the vision of those who were just passing by. Not like a tv spot which air only for a secs or minutes and then floats into the ether consequently being out of sight out of mind.

Observer
Guest

Absolutely.

This is the best campaign (result wise) ever launched against the Orban gang.

bimbi
Guest

No, you are completely wrong. I am no fan of advertisement hoardings but these were outstanding examples of the art. They got the very simple message across at once:

YOU WORK THEY STEAL

Everyone understood it. The stark black and white photographs at once showed who “they” are:

ORBAN MESZAROS ROGAN HABONY

Primitive the ads are not. Powerful they certainly were. Which is why Orban & Co were and are so pissed about them. Just sorry it wasn’t DK of MSzP that came up with them…

Which planet do you live on Melanie?

Member

What is primitive is the Fidelitas punks running around with cans of spray paint blacking out Vona’s image and the “offensive” message.
Bet you Orban’s son-in-law has a company that makes black spray paint.

aida
Guest

The posters seem to be spot on Melanie. Politics is not too much of an intellectual exercise for the over refined. Political slogan exchanges are no more damaging to the run of the mill voter than the abusive exchanges of rival football supporters. Political debate has an element of robustness which is an essential part.

Jobbik should get low flying aircraft to fly over conurbations with the poster in tow. You see these as advertising material over holiday resorts. Do it twice a day. How does the law impact on airborne political advertising?

Never give up when chasing political opponents. Hound them to their defeat. Take a look at the no hoper Corbyn in the UK. 20% behind the Tories in April. Deprived the Tories of their majority and now 5% ahead of them in the polls. Message: solidarity, tax the rich, pay attention to the issues that bother people. Not too complicated and there is not much philosophy involved. Vote Labour, vote who in Hungary?

Observer
Guest

Hear, hear! Perfectly in a nutshell.

petofi
Guest

(Oh, oh. The dogs have arrived..)

Guest

Just once for our new troll:
That there are many antisemites in Jobbik has been discussed often here – but there are probably more in Fidesz, just take bayer Zsolt as an example.

And now I’m off …

Jean P.
Guest

Why don’t Orban and Meszaros sue Jobbik for damaging their reputation? Are they afraid that Jobbik can prove its point at court.

bimbi
Guest

Well, Mr. Habony has supposedly started a case against Jobbik for use of his image (he claims to be a ‘private’ person) without his permission…

Member

He lost that one.

aida
Guest

Eva’s final assessment is correct. The Jobbik poster in question is one of the best pieces of political vitriol I have seen. It matches an old Tory poster showing a long queue of job seekers with the headline “Labour isn’t working”.

The poster will have been assessed for its impact by Fidesz and it gave them huge concern. It is brief, to the point and hard hitting. What is more I would expect it to strike a chord with the voters who probably mostly agree with it. Impossible to counter it except by removing it.

The fascists rude on.

Ferenc
Guest

“How Far Can Too Far Go?”
That question sprung into my mind, when following the ‘Lex Plakát’ circus. Was making for myself an overview of the ‘main’ deeds by the government in the first half of this year: Lex Heineken, Transit Zone Prison, Lex CEU, Lex NGO, and now this one. All of course part of the essential, as seen by the parties in the government, policies for a better well-being of the people living in Hungary.
Typical for all is that they are floating near the legal border(s) of the new ‘Fundamental Law’ (aka.new constitution), the government introduced some years ago. Many in the opposition consider that most are over the border, so illegal, but with using all tricks. OV&Co consider acceptable, Fidesz&Co still claims to do everything legal and democratic.
I consider this latest play before summer break to be OV’s dung on the Fidesz dumpster (short in Hungarian: a kaki a kukán). So the question for the last half of this year will be: How long can the people in Hungary stand the stench of this troupe of skunks?
PS: when does the leader of the Skunks thinks he can enter his new Buda Badger Sett?comment image

bimbi
Guest

Not until the Hungarian National Gallery has been cleared out.

Guest

Éva please disregard these trolls. They cannot add any valuable information to the discussion – typical 888 style.

Ferenc
Guest

OT – Poland
Białowieża Forest is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. It’s located on both sides of the Poland-belarus border, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since the 1970s). The current Polish government recentlydecided to triple the cutting of trees and their environmental minister would like to get it removed from the Unesco list, so the forest will loose it’s protection and they can do whatever they like. UNBELIEVABLE
What’s going on there? May ‘Pole’ can shine some more light into this case?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bia%C5%82owie%C5%BCa_Forest
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2011/apr/06/bialowieza-europe-forest-in-pictures
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/07/polish-law-change-unleashes-massacre-of-trees

petofi
Guest

It occurs to me that the Fidesz attack on the Jobbik billboards is a sneaky Hungarianism: in other words, Orban wants to present Jobbik as his opponents thereby depriving other political parties of that position. As per usual, this is a copy of Putin’s dual parties in the Russian parliament…

petofi
Guest

And, by-the-by, Orban just funning because he knows that no opposition exists in Hungary that he can’t buy, if he wishes.

Ferenc
Guest

Agree, I noticed too many times the following coming out of Fidesz mouths:
“bill is to stop the black-money funding and party-corruption, all parties not supporting are on that side”
Started by the leader of the Skunks when in Brussels, and repeated, repeated, repeated by his army of badgers…

az angol beteg
Guest

All media owners in Hungary know that a back contract is invisible.
Jobbik pay the list price and then send an invoice to Sí Macska for 90% of the list price for “services rendered”.
Problem solved.
Given that is exactly how Fidesz (and everyone else) washes the EU’s money when paying for media time and space, the whole thing is a waste of time.

Observer
Guest

Let me add another widely used Hun solution:

A new ltd co buys the space and doesn’t pay. Goes bust without any assets to cover the loss.

az angol beteg
Guest

goes bust or gets sold to a Romanian csöves 🙂

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Re:” Jobbik’s hard -hitting billboards”
Just imagine: young uni graduates are confronted with these so-called “hard-hitting billboards”. This is one way of getting rid of the population. Looking at these posters for the next few months . . . the message will get to the subconscious mind . . . and they will say to themselves: That’s it! I’m out of here! (the same story during the Gyurcsany government)
“And who is going to listen to the politician belting slogans at the next election? The pensioners?
Effective oppositions should: oppose, propose and accept/acknowledge some of the improvements the government implemented. The government should list all their achievements, point by point on the front page of their website/media.
Fight with positive slogans (the Hungarians have been traumatized enough since the collapse of Communism), give the people what they want to hear: hope for the future.
In my humble opinion, there is no other option.

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