On George Soros and from George Soros

George Soros took up the gauntlet on November 20 when he published a rebuttal to the national consultation on the so-called Soros Plan, an act which, I believe, was long overdue. Soros’s character assassination in Hungary shouldn’t have remained unanswered for that long. Yet some talking heads questioned the wisdom of getting engaged in any kind of debate with Viktor Orbán’s propaganda machine. They argued that Soros’s rebuttal and his video appearances only extend the government’s campaign against him. I think they are profoundly wrong. Knowing the Orbán regime’s modus operandi, the Soros-bashing will go on as long as the powers-that-be find it useful. And since the whole election campaign has been built on the migrant danger brought about practically single-handedly by George Soros, the anti-Soros campaign will last at least until the election. Perhaps even longer, because migration into Europe will not stop any time soon.

In any case, I’m no fan of cowardly behavior, and I must say that practically all of the opposition parties fall into the cowardly category when it comes to defending George Soros. True, they criticize the government’s policies, but I haven’t yet seen a really brave defense of the man. There is always a qualifying phrase about Soros’s business activities. I assume that in the back of their minds is the notion that one can become rich only by dishonest means.

Instead of a joint condemnation by all Hungarian opposition parties distributed to all major newspapers of the world, only four brave lecturers at a small Methodist college, training future ministers, stepped forward. In fact, they recommended that George Soros receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Here is their letter.

To the Nobel Peace Prize Committee
Oslo, Parliament

 Dear Mr. President,

We propose George Soros as the next Nobel Peace Prize winner. It is well-known that by his relentless and systematic support offered to the Hungarian, Czech and Polish opposition in the 1980’s, Soros had had a major contribution to the creation of democracy and to the break-up of the Warsaw Pact. Founded and chaired by him the Open Society Institute supports the cause of democratic transition everywhere in the world. Founded and supported by Soros, the Central European University has trained at high international standards thousands of students committed to democracy. By their openly anti-Soros propaganda campaigns governments in Belorussia, Hungary after 2014 etc., infamous for their anti-democratic activities, also reinforce the conviction of such forces about the symbolic significance of his person. In the issue of Foreign Policy published on July 19, 2016 he elaborated his position regarding the European migration crisis, which has been the most complex conception of the topic to date.

Iványi Gábor, priest
Lukács Péter, researcher of education
Majsai Tamás, theologian
Nagy Péter Tibor, sociologist
Szilágyi Gál Mihály, philosopher

That Soros would actually receive the Peace Prize is a very long shot, but the letter is an important gesture and a brave move. Admittedly, Gábor Iványi and his church have nothing left to lose thanks to Viktor Orbán who, according to Iványi, is destined for eternal damnation.

In addition to the rebuttal, the Open Society Foundation (OSF) just announced the expansion of its activities in Hungary. OSF will spend large sums of money in two of the poorest regions in Hungary: Southern Transdanubia and the northern regions of the Great Plains, with headquarters in Pécs and Debrecen. The plan is to distribute grants to civic groups that will work on community building and helping the downtrodden. The idea is to bring the foundation “closer to the people.” In plain language, they are planning to counteract the antagonistic propaganda campaign against George Soros and the foundation.

The first government reaction to these plans came from Péter Hoppál, one of the two Fidesz members of parliament from Pécs. He reported that the local Fidesz organization is working on a statement in which it will reject “in the name of the inhabitants of the city” the establishment of a “Soros campaign center” in Pécs. The local Fidesz leaders asked the inhabitants not to rent space for the foundation’s headquarters. I have the feeling that the local Fidesz bigwigs are barking up the wrong tree because Fidesz has already lost all its appeal in the city, which the Fidesz leadership managed to bankrupt over the last eight years. Moreover, the Fidesz majority in these districts was very small in the first place. They were two of the twelve districts that would have gone to the opposition if LMP had joined forces with the other opposition parties.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee is one of those partially Soros-funded organizations that have guts. Statement #5 of the national consultation of the Soros Plan reads that “another goal of George Soros is to make sure that migrants receive milder sentences for crimes they commit,” and in the Infobox the government claimed that the Helsinki Committee was one of those organizations that argued that “the use of serious sanctions in the case of illegal border crossing is troubling.” The Helsinki Committee sued, accusing the government of libel by claiming that they defend people who commit illegal acts. The appellate court of Budapest ruled in the Helsinki Committee’s favor. The government can no longer distribute any material that contains this statement.

As for the anti-Soros campaign, here is a good example of Fidesz’s lost moral compass. One of the Fidesz MPs republished on Facebook a photo he received from Transylvania. The good Szeklers were having great fun at a pig killing festivity with a dead pig lying on the ground. The message on its back reads “Ő VOLT A SOROS!!!” The sentence could be translated either as “It was his turn” or as “This was Soros.” The great Fidesz mind added: “One fewer pig over there. Bon appetit!” He was, however, greatly offended when a journalist from 444.hu confronted him with this tasteless photo. It had nothing to do with George Soros, he claimed. The Open Society Foundation said that the post was a “shocking attack” and that the photo fits into “a long and dark tradition of anti-Semitic imagery dating back to the Middle Ages.” No comment is necessary. Only total disgust.

Finally, let me reprint here George Soros’s latest article, which appeared today in Project Syndicate under the title: “The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies.”

♦ ♦ ♦

The Hungarian government has released the results of its “national consultation” on what it calls the “Soros Plan” to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

In October, Hungary’s government mailed questionnaires to all four million of the country’s households asking for peoples’ views on seven statements describing my alleged plan to flood Europe, and Hungary in particular, with Muslim migrants and refugees. The government made seven assertions about what it calls the “Soros Plan.” I rebutted each and every one based on my published statements or the lack of any published statements that could substantiate them.

Now, the government has released the supposed results of its “national consultation” on my phantom plan, claiming that the exercise was an unprecedented success. I leave it to the Hungarian public to decide whether and to what extent the figure of 2,301,463 participants (out of a population of 9.8 million) was inflated. It should be possible to inspect the list of those who took part and check if they did indeed participate. Instead, I want to focus on the campaign’s substance.

The national consultation and the release of the results are the latest elements of a massive ongoing propaganda campaign funded by Hungarian taxpayers to benefit a deeply corrupt government seeking to deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ legitimate aspirations, particularly in education and health care. The campaign started in the summer by flooding public spaces with posters featuring a close-up of my grinning visage with the words “Don’t let Soros have the last laugh.”

Other posters portrayed me as the puppet-master of opposition politicians. As many have pointed out, the entire campaign carries the unmistakable odor of anti-Semitism.

The government would have you believe that I am an enemy of the Hungarian people. Nothing could be further from the truth. I first opened my philanthropic foundation in Hungary in 1984, when the country was still under the domination of the Soviet Union. Since then, it has provided more than $400 million to strengthen and support the country of my birth.

In the 1990s, as ordinary Hungarians struggled with the transition from communism to a market economy, the foundation funded free milk for elementary school children in Budapest and supplied the first sonogram machines for Hungarian hospitals. More than 3,200 Hungarians have received academic scholarships from the foundation. Many of them have completed their graduate studies at the Central European University (CEU), which I established in Budapest in the early 1990s. CEU now ranks among the top 100 universities in the world in the social sciences – a remarkable achievement for an academic newcomer.

Another element of the propaganda campaign has been to twist the meaning of “open society.” So allow me to clarify what I mean when I use the term. I do not mean open borders and mass migration aimed at destroying the supposedly Christian identity of Hungary, as the government contends.

The open society is based on the idea that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth, and that to live together in peace we must respect minorities and minority opinions. Above all, it is a society based on critical thinking and vigorous public debate about public policies. That is why today my foundation – among many others including the European Union – supports groups such as the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which protect and promote the values and principles on which the EU was founded.

The government also claims that I control the European institutions in Brussels, and that I am using that control to impose the nefarious “Soros Plan” on EU member states. This is nonsense. Decisions about how to address the migration crisis are made by the EU’s member states, including the Hungarian government. It insults the intelligence of the Hungarian people to suggest otherwise.

I do have deeply held beliefs about how Europe and the rest of the developed world should respond to the refugee crisis, and I have been a vocal advocate of those views. My beliefs are born out of personal experience. I arrived in Britain from Hungary in 1947 as a refugee. I have never encouraged others to become refugees. My parents, together with 200,000 Hungarians, left the country after the defeat of the 1956 revolution, and they received asylum in the United States.

I first published my ideas on the refugee crisis in September 2015, and I have revised them over time, as the facts on the ground have changed. In 2015, I asserted that the developed world should be able to accept at least a million refugees annually; later I reduced that global figure to 500,000, of which I suggested Europe could take 300,000.

My guiding principle is that the allocation of refugees within the EU should be entirely voluntary. Member states should not be forced to accept refugees whom they don’t want, and refugees should not be forced to settle in countries where they are not wanted.

Member states that refuse to accept refugees can make an appropriate contribution in many other ways, but the refugee crisis is a European problem, so it needs a European solution, not 28 separate solutions. It is this set of policy recommendations that the Hungarian government has deliberately distorted and labeled the “Soros Plan.”

Unfortunately, the EU has not adopted my ideas, and the toxic political atmosphere created by Hungary (and Poland) has reduced Europe’s capacity to receive and integrate refugees. I do not blame the Hungarian and Polish governments for refusing to accept refugees they do not want; but I do hold them largely responsible for impeding a European solution.

I remember what happened during World War II, when another group was scapegoated for Europe’s problems. The wounds of the past have left deep scars that have not yet healed, and which today are being reopened. The true purpose of the government’s propaganda campaign is to stoke fear and hatred in the Hungarian people and render them indifferent to the suffering of others.

I am pleased to report that the government’s propaganda campaign has been a dismal failure. Despite the Hungarian government’s concerted efforts, the public was not taken in. My short speech on Hungarian television attracted more than a million viewers, and social media platforms were flooded with outpourings of sympathy and support.

I am greatly heartened by this response. I pledge to devote the remaining years of my life to supporting free thought and expression, academic freedom, and the protection of minorities and minority opinions – not only in my native Hungary, but all over the world.

December 8, 2017
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Member

The Fidesz filth in that photograph are the direct spiritual descendents of the Arrow Cross who transported their Jewish neighbours to the extemination camps.

1956
Guest

The humiliation of the pig was the work of some anti-Intellectual citizens.

The responsibility of the FIDESZ/Kremlin rulers is undeniable.

Almost all antisemitism would seize without the ongoing incitement from the Kremlin.

petofi
Guest

@ 1956

So, you blame Kremlin, do you?
What about 1944? What role did the Kremlin play in sending 347,000 more jews to Auschwitz than Eichman had asked of the Hungarians..?

There is no defense at all for the Hungarians…

ambator
Member

You mixed up the digits. The actual number was 437,000.

petofi
Guest

You didn’t read carefully : I had written that the Hungos sent 347,000 MORE. Eichmann had asked for 100,000…

Guest

And probably the same people took away the belongings of the “Kulaks” like my wife’s father who lost his family bakery that way after 1945 – they are very flexible in respect to which group to hate.
The main point for them is hate – even if it’s a nonexistent group like the Pirez!
A bit OT:
I still have several copies of the “National Insultation” questionnaire that my wife and some neighbours wanted to throw into the trash can immediately – maybe they’ll be valuable souvenirs of Hungary’s ugly history one day?

bimbi
Guest

Prof. Balogh’ please publish the name of the Fidesz MP involved in this Facebook outrage.

Name and Shame.

ambator
Member

Pócs János is the name of the pig in question.

ambator
Member

I commented on it: ”pigs amongst themselves.”

Member

@ambator, do not insult the pigs!
They have not deserved to be put on a level with those dangerous Fidesz idiots.

Michael Kaplan
Guest

Thank you Professor. Yes, I am also happy that Mr. Soros spoke out and in well thought out terms. Two cheers for the Methodists as well! The pig (anti Semitic in intent) photo should be a badge of shame for those in Erdely who think it a good thing;they need only remember what was done in 1944 by some of their ancestors or consider the violence done against some Hungarians by some Romanians. I don’t regret almost a decade of volunteer consultations in Erdely as there are many good people there. They must speak out though a bit louder against such dangerous nonsense. Regarding scholarships, Mr. Soros made it possible for Orban to study at Oxford. Clearly Orban did not study much and/or learn anything.
Years of poor diet, probable drinking and not much exercise have taken their toll, Orban may not last much longer. The damage though will outlive him. Soros will live a longer life and the good he did will be remembered long after Orban is forgotten.

Member

The same article of Soros appeared yesterday (Friday) in Hungarian in the print edition of Nèpszava.
Soros’ photo besides the article looks very pleasant.

petofi
Guest

Oh really, Eva.
You expect gutless, anti-semites to call out against the Soros campaign? To defend a Jew in the anti-semitic heartland?
You’re not serious…

Ferenc
Guest

The latest article by George Soros came after an appearance of OV on his strawman’s TV station.
Checked M1 news reports after the EU-LIBE hearing Dec.07, the late 23hr version had after all the EU items (hearing, EC to court, press conferences*) an item about that appearance (earlier the same evening!). In it OV claimed to be in the possession of ‘The Plan’ and showed a one-side printed A4 (texts not decipherable for me).
So now finally after his favorite propaganda tool is closed and ‘counted’, OV pretends to show ‘The Thing’, where all his lies were based on. ‘The Thing’ seemed to contain way less text, than OV’s paperwork, claimed to be based on it and send to all households in Hungary!

Note: *despite the many actual items, M1 news team didn’t ‘forget’ to include the usual latest refugee/migration report, typically blown up out of proportion, they’re by now so experienced in that…

bimbi
Guest

Well, that is the way it is in upside-down Hungary today:

Orbán’s libel and lies are disseminated about the country at tax-payer expense.

Jobbik’s truth “GENSZTEREK” is slapped with a € 2,2 m punitive “fine”.

Orbán, Szijjarto, Rogan, Habony and their cronies are dragging the bottom of the cess pit.

Ferenc
Guest

Helsinki Committee won the court case against the HU government.
Good and Brave they did, BUT why came the ruling of the court only after the consultation was closed and ‘counted’?
I’m not into legal matters, but such a case seems to be very appropriate for a ‘preliminary injunction’, and that would have stopped the consultation in the first weeks ‘dead in it’s tracks’! Checking wiki and the languages available about it – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preliminary_injunction – seems to reveal that such a ‘speed case’ is NOT possible in Hungary*. Why not make a proposal for it in parliament, or start a referendum for it!

Note: *such ‘speed cases’ seem not a part of the legal system in most other countries, but in about 10 EU countries (e.g.Germany, Holland, Czech, all of Scandinavia) they are possible, so why not (yet) in Hungary??

Marty
Guest

Actually preliminary injunction does exist for private law matters but extremely rarely used and extremely rarely granted. This was one of those “preliminary” matters btw and a rarity that it was granted.

Alas the court was slow but it was good for the courts. They acted when the courts knew that the decision was irrelevant anyway as the ‘consultation’ was closed.

The courts are also controlled by Fidesz only in less over way – the judges know how to behave and avoid causing political problems.

Ferenc
Guest

And guess what’s in the news today….
Hollik (KDNP, Fid’s ‘little doggy party’ – ‘kiskutyapartja’) stated:
“What the Helsinki Committee currenly wants in this case is nonsense, and furthermore there is no final ruling yet. So we can just continue as we had planned.”
https://hirtv.hu/ahirtvhirei/hollik-nonszensz-a-helsinki-bizottsag-kovetelese-2432841

ambator
Member

In order to gather some public support to Gábor Ivány’s initiative, I have started a petition for the Nobel Peace Price for George Soros. If anyone feels like it, here the petition can be signed: https://www.peticiok.com/nobel_beke_dijat_soros_gyorgynek#form

Jean P
Guest

The slaughter of Soros in effigie

The people in the picture are a deplorable lot who have had no way to know better. You and I would have happily joined the antisemitic manifestation if we had grown up in their environment.

Everybody is smiling with the exception of one man in the background. The man to the left and a little in the background may signal some reservation with his pensive gesture. Two men still have what is probably their second helping of palinka in paper cups in their hands. The sex distribution is a passable 4/6.

The picture is overwhelming and very sad.

Marty
Guest
I hate to say but Soros is hopelessly naive. The campaign of lies does work. Propaganda works. Orban’s strategy to own and control most of Hungarian media, especially in rural regions where people have no real access other than Fidesz-controlled media, is very successful, propaganda works very efficiently. Budapest – like all urban centres in the world – is somewhat different, but Orban doesn’t really need Budapest for his strategy and moreover even people of Budapest became significantly more pro-Fidesz in a last few months. People, especially those over 50 who anyway don’t go out, really fear migrants lurking in the shadows and think it’s mortally dangerous to go outside your home at night. This is no joke. In this atmosphere, Orban projects strength and decisiveness – whereas the opposition comes across as a bunch of clueless, bickering pussies, weakness is in their DNA almost. The voters ask: will this bunch defend us? Or will they set up a committee, involve experts, human rights activists and whatnot and debate the shit out of it when our life’s in danger, whet the very survival of the nation is at stake? Of course this is sarcasm, but it’s also real because given… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

“campaign of lies does work”
If the lies are allowed to be spread (further). Therefore I strongly suggest actions to get something like preliminary injunction into the legal system in Hungary.
see my earlier comment – Ferenc @ Dec.09-4:54am

Observer
Guest

Guys,
Can someone retouch the photo and publish it on the net with a “That was Orban”. Let’s see some screaming and frenzy.

Member

Observer, please have empathy with the poor pigs!

Maybe a rat will do as well for this porpose.

Ferenc
Guest

just put OV together with djT in a one-way rocket to their planet of choice: ‘free relocation’ – szabad kitelepítés

Observer
Guest

Btw in Hungarian there is a real pun: the sentence also means “it was its turn”. ” It was next (soros)”.

Observer
Guest

Ferenc
I would be perfectly satisfied with these thieves getting a 5-8 years and confiscation of property at first and as the notoriously slow Hun justice system delivers sentences on other corruption charges time is added ad finitum if they are punished for most of the crimes they have committed.

petofi
Guest

re: slowness of the Hungo judicial system

It takes time to negotiate the size and timing of the payoff…

Tosh
Guest
What is this Hungarian cultural obsession with pig flesh? One might think that it was the only farmyard animal not stolen to starvation during Hungary’s 158 years of decimated history as a Sharia-state called Majaristan, for rather obvious reasons, a somewhat glaring part of the history of the Middle Ages oddly absent from this post. What on earth is WRONG with these people?? Why don’t they embrace such an inevitable future, you know, like their Islamic past: the tomorrow that every demographic projection indicates will be the fate by degrees of all the nations of Western Europe by century’s end? I must agree though, it’s hight time their detestible and obvious to everyone but me Jew-hatred was eradicated once and for all! This would be best accomplished, and here I’m in total agreement with both Brussels and Mr Soros, by importing millions of unassimilable migrants whose creed demands they be anti-Semitic. Or perhaps it’s the influx of Magyars that’s leading to Jews fleeing Western European cities in their droves, these days? As this blog makes clear ad nauseam, Hungarians are such a liberally-minded lot, the integration that’s been evidently beyond the likes of France, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and the UK,… Read more »
Guest

Really nice – stupid propaganda, just what Hungary needs!
Re “Child rape” -how many children have been raped by Catholic (and other …) priests?
You might spend yout energy there!

PS:
my wife seems to be right: 70% of her compatriots are just “bunko paraszt”! You’re the perfect example …

Tosh
Guest

Brilliant minds evidently hang out here, they can actually argue that the solution to child-rape, by priests, is to mass-import more child rapists! Oh, that’s right it’s all “propaganda,” the countless female lives screaming and ruined forever, ranged across the continent in towns from Cologne to Rotherham and thousands of others, are just figments of hysterical female imaginations. It’s not actually happening.

I thought this blog was a favoured haunt of the Left, but it seems my bunko mind was wrong again. D’oh! Because you guys don’t seem to realize what has inevitably accompanied the *non-existent* arbitrary terrorism and *invented* sexual violence scourging all these countries: the explosion in support for the extreme Right that has gone hand in hand with it all.

But, no, no, don’t let me stop you in getting what you clearly all want. Keep up the arrogance, keep up the condescention, backup Brussels, follow Mr Soros, fling open the floodgates! And Vona and Jobbik will be in power like night follows day. Deny it. Morons.

Member

“Oh, that’s right it’s all “propaganda,” the countless female lives screaming and ruined forever, ranged across the….” blah, blah…”

Hungarian nationalists need no lessons from islamists about keeping their women folk *in line*, Mr… er.. Tosh.

Sort your own sewer out first before you dare to raise your objections towards the behaviour of others. There will be countless women tonight battered by their Magyar partners because well, it is erm… tradition, no? Any problem with that? As long as the brave boys doing the battering are Magyar, white and christian, then keep firing those punches in lads.

Domestic abuse is an intrinsic part of Hungarian nationalist culture and Fidesz, of course, are more than happy to oblige that primeval urge. Let’s not wander too far down the road of child abuse- Fidesz have enabled the Catholic Church to control most of the countryside’s schools. Say no more.

petofi
Guest

Orban? Vona? It’s what you Hungos deserve.

Anyway, what the Russians want goes in Hungary.

petofi
Guest

70% is way too low a number. How about 95%.
Let’s call a spade a spade and a bunko a paraszt…

Guest

Totally forgot – had to chuckle there:
Hungarian cultural obsession with pig flesh
Of course a Tiszta Magyar like Tosh cannot understand the different meanings of flesh and meat in English, for him it’s all the same.

Jean P
Guest

What is shown in the picture is pig meat representing human flesh.

Observer
Guest

Tosh vezèr

Why are you so concerned with the decadent, declining, unChrstian, liberal Europe? Why don’t u enjoy the victorious march of the great leader of Hun who is on his way to lead Europe as well…
Wait a minute, why does he want Europe? Wasn’t he opening to the east? Arent we going to be a-stan as well, Orbanistan?
Or maybe it’s not such a great idea to stage this titanic fight against the Soros and other phantoms, instead of addressing the multitude of woes here
– anemic economic growth,
– lack of innovation and development,
– low and stagnant productivity,
– monumental institutionalized corruption,
– terrible health situation,
– poor and deteriorating education,
– exodus of the best and the brightes combined with
– low birth rate and disastrous demographic/pension sys prospects
– hateful, divided, hopeless, embittered, stand society, etc etc.
Well, no, you want to talk about the Soros or perhaps so other thin air plan…

wrfree
Guest

The people in the pix are exactly the kind of people Soros wants to get through to. But it will be like shoveling crap against that kind of tide. Their belief in stupefying ‘narratives’ precludes that. It’s all cement in the head.

But in Soros’ rejoinder it looks as if he knows he can’t sit by and let others play out the lying narratives about his ‘open’ ideas without sime response. In the battle between ‘open and closed’ maybe there are many who still have the wherewithal to know and hold off where Orban et al are taking them and namely and lamely it’s the land of Nothink.

Istvan
Guest
Tranyslivanians are very influential in American Hungarian politics, particularly in the American Hungarian Federation. The comment about the Szeklers depicted in the pig killing festivity being spiritual descendent’s of the Arrow Cross was an interesting one. But it could in fact be much more than a spiritual decency, especially if those pictured came from the Romanian village of Odorheiu Secuiesc ( Székelyudvarhely ) which is the home town of Jozsef Nyiro who was a famous Arrow Cross member who Eva has discussed before. My understanding is that there are actual ancestors of Arrow Cross fascists in that village who to this day support eliminating Jews from the earth and there are a few families from that village living in the Chicago area today some whom are right wing ideologues in our community. In fact here in Chicago as I have discussed before there were parents of children in my Catholic confirmation class who had been either Arrow Cross or soldiers in the 26th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, but they were not Szeklers. I was unaware of that reality as a adolescent as I have related in the past on this blog. Because my Catholic Confirmation came before the… Read more »
Marty
Guest

Opposition politicians should be out distributing free potato like the pros of Fidesz are (see link below).

It’s not just the free potato itself (although people love free goodies and are very grateful for it) but the subconscious message that the politician cares about the poor people is extremely important.

A kilogramm (two pounds) of potato is currently about 200 forints (maybe 60 cents) or even less. This means that for let’s say 1 million forints a politician can make 5,000 people happy, that is bring a happy news to 5,000 households. It’s much cheaper than buying advertisement which most people ignore and don’t receive. Believe me, free goodies is something people talk about when they get home, women tell their husbands how kind Fidesz was giving “free potato” (paid for by everybody).

Any party would be better served distributing free staples than collecting signatures or whatnot.

But leftists, liberals, urban intellectuals etc. are completely clueless about how poor or lower middle class people live and what their values are.

They don’t get that for many people a 200 forint gift does actually count and is really grateful for it.

http://index.hu/video/2017/12/09/retvari_bence_kdnp_etelosztas_krumpli_ez_egyaltalan_nem_kampany/

Ferenc
Guest

“leftists, liberals, urban intellectuals etc. are completely clueless about how poor or lower middle class people live and what their values are”

First I consider this statement of yours to be utter nonsense!
Second I like to ask: Which politicians, in your opinion, are NOT clueless?
Third a race in giving out ‘free goodies’ would only lead to the party with the most (illegal, strawmen’s) money to ‘win’; and most importantly not be of any structural* help to the “poor or lower class people” at all!

*setting up of structural help is what is needed and that is set-up by people who really care and done without any hidden goal!
One person who is doing such is… nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Marty
Guest
Orban and Fidesz know how rural and average people think. Like it or not, this is the case. I know from personal experience believe me. The way top fideszniks (and their spouses who also come from rural families) understand that for example a handyman who comes over to you to fix something in the morning likes (will not reject) a good palinka and it’s part of a proper rural hospitality to offer it to them (yes, to the very people who will then be somewhat drunk and work on your stuff). But these are the unwritten rules in rural areas and nobody understand these rules better than Orban and his fidesznik tribe. They are good at that. But their more professional than that. Fidesz operates a vast, very sophisticated management/intelligence structure which analyses, monitors life, mood etc. in each of the 106 electoral districts. They are always improving their system, how to get more popular in your district, what people would like to see and get, what do they don’t like? Tax free palinka making vs. free potato or cheaper chicken or defense against “muslims” etc.? They have it polled and analyzed to death and the local Fidesz team is… Read more »
Aida
Guest

Freebies are often a winner. Maggie Thatcher gave away by privitasation huge utilities corporations as well as the national airline. Sh4 also gave the public housing tenants to buy their homes at cut price. She won the elections after that.

Member

I don’t know about how stable the fascists’ support is in the countryside I get the impression that whoever offers the most recent bag of free potatoes wins the vote, irrespective of all the nonsense about migrants, Soros, the EU, Martians etc.

In other words,loyalty to the fascist regime continues as long as the bread keeps arriving on the table.
It ain;’t democracy but that’s the truth.

Budapest and possibly also the bigger southern towns (Pecs, Szeged etc) are a different kettle of fish, in my opinion. The average voter there will be disturbed by, for example, the more abstract issues (internet tax?).

The fascists need to be careful pre-election; if I were them I would tone down the anti-semitic, racist, anti-EU bile because it won’t win extra votes, just consolidate their present base (with the typical Fidesz voter being a misogynist, racist, anti-semitic, moronic thug)

Guest

Marty, it was only 10 000 HUF that my wife got e g …
And free potatos/palinka/whatever is good for stupid Hungarian country bumpkins – bunko paraszt my wife calls them …
If they are the majority still in Hungary – then give up hope!
Every country gets the government it deserves – no problem.
Just throw Hungary out of the EU (and NATO and other liberal groups …) – everybody’s happy!

Marty
Guest
Freebies are needed because: (i) that’s how you get people’s attention and (ii) the secondary message that you care about them. Only third (iii) in line of importance is the actual, quick satisfaction of the voter you cause via getting some free stuff. For 30 billion forints Orban comes across as deeply caring about the pensioners (with handing the pensioners this HUF 10k Erzsébet voucher which is not even real cash, only a limited-use money for domestic purposes) whereas believe me, no pensioner needs to be reminded that Gordon Bajnai took away the 13th month pension. They know exactly that the left-wing takes away pensions and the right gives. Which one do you like dear voter? Why did MSZP not resign and did execute that restriction programme with Bajnai – I will never get that. Probably Fidesz pushed the top MSZPniks (many of them on Fidesz’ payroll) to do it. Anyway, I’m just saying that giving free stuff is not so expensive and opposition politicians should be out in the cold doing it not playing idiotic games which party works together with whom. If Fidesz does it,you can be sure they tested it and it works and are receiving professional… Read more »
Guest

It only works because too many Hungarians are bunko paraszt!
I may have told the story before:
A neighbouring couple (both pensioners) each receive around 80 000 or 90 000 HUF monthly so they would be eligible for the village’s program “free firewood for poor people” – but in the month of November they had these extra 10 000 so they were over the income limit!
That means NO free firewood – end of story!
PS:
Those Erzsebet vouchers are like cash – I used my wife’s ones shopping in the Tesco …

PPS:
There are many people living on a pension of less than 100 000 HUF – if you’re alone in an apartment for which you have to pay rent then there’s not enough money left to pay for heating …
A former teacher(!) invites old friends for playing cards – but they have to bring blankets, the living room is barely heated, less than 18 Celsius.

Marty
Guest

yes, you can buy food and pay with it in Hungarian hotels (which knowing that you didn’t work for the vauchers and so you don’t really care correspondingly increase their prices) with it but you can’t buy a TV set for it or convert it to EUR.

Observer
Guest

Ferenc
“Third ..will lead … the party with the most (illegal, strawmen’s) money to ‘win’; and most importantly not be of any structural* help to the “poor or lower class people” at all!”

This is exactly what’s happening, however immoral or wrong that may be, i.e. the bad guys have the upper hand. And I’m not being cynical, just don’t confused desire and reality, wishful thinking and striving.

Observer
Guest

These free potatoes or 0k Erzsi voucher episodes are also very telling of the poverty and integrity/civic levels of Hungarian society and , yes, we can see that those who sell their freedoms for some comforts will lose both.

The financing of these actions is not yet clear, no documentation has been shown. While there is little doubt that these couple of millions come from the multi billions embezzled/misappropriated by the regime, they still have to be accounted for on paper.

Cujo
Guest

The mere fact that the government is engaging in smear tactics and character assassination as a platform against one man is bad enough. It reminds me of the Japanese Assassination Classroom comics where one big giant lethal octopus is being fought by his own students in the quest for his demise. What an irony! VO was indeed a student on GS bursary.
The ridiculousness of the quest is obvious from outside. And, by all means, engaging at that level is tragicomic in itself. Of course, the comic part is not comic at at all for anyone in good faith who cares about their country being dragged on that path by a bunch of psychos who run it.