Now don’t be hasty, Master Meriadoc

As you may or may not have heard, FIDESZ just lost its 2/3 majority in Parliament, thanks to the by-election that was held in Veszprem, a smallish city a bit North of Lake Balaton. The election was called because Tibor Navracsics, the local MP and FIDESZ veteran left to live the glamorous life of an MEP, leaving his seat empty. In the end, the election went to the independent Zoltan Kesz, a former teacher of the English language and one-time FIDESZ member, whose candidacy was supported by the Grand Coalition (MSZP/DK/Egyutt/MoMa/Liberals).

Veszprem was known to be e FIDESZ stronghold (most rural cities, or cities, or rural communities are. Or most other communities, for that matter, if we look at the recent national election results), and this loss is seen as a watershed event. I doubt it, but I tend to doubt things. The Grand Coalition spending half their time celebrating their grand victory (in an election where the candidate made sure not to appear anywhere near the pathetic losers supporting him. A wise decision) and fighting LMP. The latter is always amusing to watch, who doesn’t like mud-wrestling midgets? The last claim was that the LMP head was seen in a restaurant with FIDESZ campaign staff, to which the accused replied along the lines of “No, that restaurant was just cheap and I saw no FIDESZ there and I will sue every last one of youse trolls”. Measured words from a great statesman. LMP is often accused of being a FIDESZ satellite. Even if that is true, I kinda find it weird to concentrate such energies on the equivalent of Sputnik 1, a tiny little machine whose sole activity is to ping from now and again, while an Imperial-Class Star Destroyer is orbiting the planet. Well, at least one cannot blame the Grand Coalition for punching above their weight.

Talking about weight, here is why i doubt that this is, yet again a first nail in FIDESZ government’s coffin, a “sign that Hungary does not tolerate a one-party system” or any of the other triumphant slogans that were trumpeted all over the opposition media. Everyone knows that the government is unpopular. In the 2014 elections, they  received 44.54% of the votes of 61.73% of the eligible population. The super-majority was due to some creative electoral legislation and especially due to a complete no-show from the opposition. This is why I am not enthusiastic. Barring a miracle (I mean barring the doors of the parliament and setting the whole thing on fire), FIDESZ will be in power for a good few years now. They have already settled in and passed all the legislation that required a super-majority. They just won’t feel the need to pass any legislation that would require the majority that they lost yesterday. It’s not that they will be writing an even more retrograde constitution anytime soon, not that it is possible unless they just want to adopt the Bible as the fundamental law of the land. Oh shit… I should not give them ideas, these morons might actually do such a thing… Forget what I just wrote. Please.

What does this mean for the fall of the Orban Regime? Give me a break. The opposition is even more hopeless than a year ago. They are completely incapable of gaining any media attention, and failed at even attempting to capitalise on the numerous scandals the government got itself into. Their voices are simply inaudible. And this will not change with overhauls like what DK did recently, unveiling a cbeebies-esque new image, by a guitar-playing and ever more irrelevant Gyurcsany. No-one is going to buy this shit. No-one.

Yes, FIDESZ might lose the next election. What then? The more and more likely Nazi government would not be an improvement (well, the quick depopulation would make the country a perfect place for a grand-scale Pleistocene rewilding project, which would be cooler than cool) and the Grand Coalition couldn’t even beat the Jewish Transgender Cartoonists for Pig Farmers in an Islamic State general election.

The first nail in the government’s coffin will be the emergence of a new opposition force, which will need to be opposed to not only FIDESZ, but all the other current players. Until this happens, I’ll keep my party hats and fireworks in storage.

But I’ve must have said this a lot.

Same Old, Same Old

Well, well. I haven’t written in a while, because I am lazy. I know I should but I have quite a few things going on at the moment. A quick recap since the last post: FIDESZ won two elections with a landslide, which only surprised people who did not look at the opposition. The Grand Coalition, as it could be expected, failed miserably. They didn’t even try again at the EP elections, where MSZP suffered a humiliating defeat and the other parties hopefully reached the equally humiliating conclusion that they were tricked by a shambling corpse. MSZP dominates the opposition in parliament (kinda like how Moldova dominates Europe between Ukraine and Romania), even though at the EP elections, it was clear that it doesn’t actually have more support than Egyutt or DK, who now must feel particularly stupid.

Jobbik reached its zenith by coming in second at the Ep elections, but this really doesn’t mean much. If I manage to get to the Nazis article I’ve been planning for a while, I’ll explain what I mean. In short, they will never achieve any real power. Also, amusingly, their main financier was outed as an alleged Russian Agent. The party has taken a strong pro-Putin turn lately. I guess the fences surrounding the Soviet WWII Memorial were removed knowing that the nazis wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them.

LMP has gotten into parliament. Full stop.

FIDESZ has so far been true to its own campaign promise and it is continuing its arrogant steamrolling of everything and anything. What I find interesting is what makes waves and what doesn’t. This year, there were two and a half major scandals around the party. The half one happened when the media got wind that Antal Rogan, the mayor of District V and notorious bonvivant lied in his income statement. Specifically, it seems that his flat magically grew in size. This case went absolutely nowhere, partially becasue some higher-ups in MSZP were markedly against pressing the matter. Knowing Hungarian politics, they probably made a deal with FIDESZ to ensure that they wouldn’t be destroyed. (Despite all the posturing, the big parties can be quite cordial with each other, if it benefits them. During the previous government, a FIDESZ-MSZP coalition voted to ban press from most of the parliament, after some journalists caught MPs smoking in non-smoking areas on hidden cameras). Anyway, the case of Rogan’s Magical House will never be solved.

The first main scandal was the memorial to the Nazi occupation of Hungary, that horrendous pseudo-romantic piece of shit that I already wrote about in an earlier post. Despite protests from multiple organisations and foreign Governments, they just started building it. The reaction was furious, especially from the MSZP/DK-aligned pensioners who include a number of Holocaust-survivors. The  bulding site was vandalised every day for about a week, but the direct action stopped when police was sent to guard the area. Now there is a standoff between a varying number of police and protesters. The quite cool makeshift memorial, made up of stones, photographs and documents was rebuilt across from the building site and things seem rather calm at the moment, but I guess after the construction finishes, there will be quite a few random acts of violence against the statue. The issue is that the matter received a disproportionate amount of attention. Yes, it is a horrible and offensive piece of crap, but then again, it is just a bloody statue. It won’t really hurt anyone and it won’t make matters worse. It will not allow Viktor Orban to pull a Dark Willow and try to destroy the world by funneling magical essences through the central effigy.  But it is really convenient for both sides. FIDESZ can divert attention from its truly henious acts and the “Democratic Opposition” can mobilise against something that wouldn’t be as divisve as real issues, like refugee or Roma rights, for example.

The second one just started, and it could get juicy. Emphasis on “could” because it won’t. After a series of articles were published by the news portal Origo showing that the Minister of Douchebaggery (actually he has a not much less ridiculous title, the Minister Responsible for the Prime Minister’s Office, or at least this will be his role in the new government, not sure how things are at the moment), Janos Lazar participated in luxurious “missions” (aka. vacations) on taxpayer money. As a result of the articles, Lazar had to back down and pay back 2 million HUF (about 8900 USD) and I’m sure he got pissed. He’s like that. A few years ago, he sued a commenter who said that it’s a shame that he wasn’t the person who died in a car crash involving his convoy. The media, even the servile right-wing media erupted in outrage and a protest was organised for yesterday where about 1500-2000 people showed up, which is basically the number that the semi-dormant protest movement can mobilise.

Oh, also, the same Minister has launched a major attack against NGOs recently. This is not a Putin-esque complete crackdown, it is just that a financial regulating body was let loose to pester them while Lazar is trying to claim that Norway is attempting to meddle in Hungarian affairs because non-government-aligned NGOs can also receive money if their applications are decided favourably by the fund. There is some backlash against this as well, but there is no sign of it gaining momentum. People will grumble and then move on when there is something else to grumble about.

The scary thing is that there is a complete stalemate, or rather an equilibrium. The government, I think, is really not committed to destroying democracy on an ideological level. They don’t have ideology apart from their aspirations to live like the late 19th-early 20th century landed gentry: wealthy, outwardly pious, insular and openly (even theatrically) nationalistic. They attack anything and anyone that they perceive as an attack against their privileges and lifestyle but they want no more and no less. Meanwhile, the opposition is still completely devoid of ideas. When FIDESZ throws them a bone, they chew on it for a while, but they are incapable of taking the initiative in anything. MSZP is only active because it still has a little bit of momentum left and DK is surviving due to the bizarre personality cult of Ferenc Gyurcsany. Egyutt, which never had any basis in reality to begin with has completely lost its way after even they realised that Gordon Bajnai is not exactly the super-intelligent technocrat genious, just an awkward accountant. And LMP, well, they exist somewhere. And everyone is happy. FIDESZ has what it wants and its mere existence provides enough fuel for the continued activities of all the others. Of course, for example DK would like to be in charge, but they still have the next best thing. And it’s not like they can lose any more voters.

And this, in short, is why the one group that is well outside this game is so popular. The one that pursues its own agenda instead of jumping from outrage to outrage, the one that organises even when the elections aren’t a week away, the one that can’t give two shits about what FIDES or MSZP or anyone else is doing, the one that is interested in changing the status quo. And that group are the nazis.

We are still fucked.

Yay, campaign!!

I am still alive. Honestly, I had a bunch of ideas, started a number of posts but they never went anywhere. Until now, hopefully.

So, where are we and what are the baboons doing? It is just about two weeks until the election, and we are in the middle of the weirdest political campaign I have ever seen in my life. Hungary has a strange system to begin with, where the official campaign only lasts a month or so, but whatt is happening now is much more peculiar.

FIDESZ modified campaign regulations and exploited all the loopholes to completely dominate the scenery. Its main tactic is to use its almost complete control of the Hungarian media and advertising companies to spam the country with posters and it has muldiplied its outreach by using proxy organisations that can mount campaigns that are not restricted by the regulations that govern how a party can campaign. The biggest of these is  CÖF (Civilian Unity Movement), a group of pro-FIDESZ journalists and automatons that organises the irregularly occurring “Peace Marches”, during which tens of thousands of well-coordinated pensioners stroll through Budapest to express their undying, religious devotion to Viktor Orbán and his government. But, the interesting thing is that none of these posters actually say too much. CÖF had/had a campaign featuring personal attacks on the Grand Coalition, but Fidesz has been content with merely flooding the streets with the faces of its candidates. The most brazen of these features the Beloved Leader himself, with a caring, fatherly smile, looking down at his people, with the slogan “The Prime Minister of Hungary”. They don’t even feel the need to make an attempt. Although, a former MSZP scapegoat jailed for some petty fraud (to protect the bigger fish from persecution) did release a damning book just now, through a FIDESZ-affiliated publishing house, detailing the corruptness of MSZP, but frankly, everyone knows that MSZP is corrupt to the bone and this will matter little in the long run.

And what is the Grand Coalition doing? You guessed it, also nothing. After spending much of the past year destroying or swallowing all the upcoming political formations (and incorporating the conservative, Thatcherite austerity wizard Lajos Bokros into their little group of unsavoury former bigshots who no-one wanted to see again) and most of the past months squabbling over who will run for what office (and realising a month before the election that they shouldn’t use their original name, because another party has had it since 2006), they have settled into sitting around quietly. I haven’t heard a single statement from PM-hopeful Mesterházy in a long-long time. He did release a brief stab at the governemnt about its delayed response to the Crimean crisis, but that was basically it. The Coalition, which won’t even have a united election night event, has been unable to win over any new voters in a long time, at least according to the most recent polls and I have the feeling MSZP is content with the destruction of all other non-nazi opposition parties and has hunkered down to survive the election in order to remain the cancerous growth that is destroying any chance of having a decent left-wing in this country. Oh, and on their poster, they managed to use the same hackneyed19th century patriotic slogan “Talpra Magyar” (“Arise, Hungarians”) as the nazis. Because no-one has invented any new political phrases in the past 170 years…

(As a sidenote, I have to quote my sister who once said that the first step into making Hungarian politics better would be to ban all 19th century rhetorics from the Parliament. I could not agree more.)

Talking about the nazis, Jobbik has been running an interesting and active campaign. They have been doing their best to appear cuddly to the outside world, while continuing with their nazi bullshit when they think no-one is looking. Gábor Vona, their lead guy has appeared in the company of adorable puppies on Facebook and is trying his best to look like a charmless Colin Farrel on the election posters. All their communication is positive (as opposed to the Grand Coalition, whose ads feature despearate and hopeless people being desperate and hopeless), all their slogans are about success, action, justice, solutions, with just subconscious indications of their Christian-Nationalistic aims: a cross and a map of Greater Hungary in the background of the family scene, transparent traditional floral patterns on the posters, etc. I have been saying for a long time, that even if they are nazi thugs, they know what they are doing and are very good at outreach and communication. No surprise that their popularity is higher than ever. This does not make them less evil. Just recently, a group of far right thugs affiliated with Jobbik (and also with FIDESZ, as they were the same bunch that tried to disrupt the university occupation last year) made an attempt to disrupt a release party for a bunch of harmless hipster T-shirts that feature national icons in unconventional ways. They failed miserably, but this just shows that “smoother words, nicer suits, don’t be fooled, they’re still wearing jackboots”.

And what about LMP? The good news is that they haven’t split in a good while now and have been consolidating themselves as the non-MSZP, non-nazi opposition, having a strong and constant media and public presence. The bad news is that I don’t have much mroe to say about them. I am still unsure how much they know about what they want to do besides their broad slogans about “fighting corruption” and “green politics”. But I have to admit that I they have been growing on me, much like back hair. But this is mostly due to the lack of options.

4K, the other party I’ve been following has imploded. they failed to collect enough signatures and will only have a handful of candidates running for positions. Their campaign was not helped by the ridiculous gimmick of having their pretty blonde female spokesperson post a picture on facebook, her naked torso covered by a placard saying “3000 more signatures until Sunday and I’ll throw away the placard”. Not even the self-aware nods towards sexism were enough to chase the sour taste from my mouth. I still like these folks, but placing attention on weed (their previous media stunt was a rather misguided “weed is not a drug” campaign for legalisation) and boobs might not have been the best idea ever. See you guys in the coming decade.

So, what will happen? FIDESZ is bound to win the election, with the active collaboration of MSZP. I hope that during the next election, there will be a left-wing opposition formation, something that Milla could have morphed into if it decided not to sell out whose first priority will be to viciously and brutally attack MSZP and completely destroy it. Afterwards, we can talk about getting this place out of the Central Asian personal cult hell FIDESZ has installed. If the Russians don’t decide to annex the whole former Eastern Bloc by that time.

Oh, as a side-note: Fuck you Vladimir Putin, fuck you with a corroded rail spike.

Side-note number II: you can follow the blog on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/baboonshungary I should have advertised this before… oops