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.

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

On Statues

At this point in time, all levels of government are absolutely enamoured by the idea of statues and memorials. They are so shiny and ideologically driven and they are really good for allocating state funds to friends and relatives.

Of course, this is not an exactly new thing. If one goes to Kossuth Square, the symbolic centre of Budapest, one can see about five thousand different statues and memorials. Well, one could, if the place wouldn’t be completely torn up, but I’ll return to that some other time. What you need to know is that it’ll be returned to the pre-1944 state, because YAY FASCIST HUGNARY. Before the rebuilding started there were at least four completely separate memorials to the 1956 revolution in this one place, alongside a statue of a post WWI Prime Minister, a 18th century revolutionary, Lajos Kossuth and 1848 revolutionaries, an MP killed by the Communists, a national poet and at least a dozen different memorial plaques dedicated to a mixed bunch of people, including ethnographers and cavalry officers.

You think this is crazy? You ain’t seen nothing yet. FIDESZ and other nationalist-conservative-theocratic affiliates have gone completely apeshit in recent years erecting weird statues left and right. My personal favourite is a four and a half metre tall monstrosity that was put up by some loony nationalist mayor in one of the suburbs. Its central figure is non other than God, who happens to have wings and two halos, one triangular, one circular. The wings are visible on the back, alongside a near life-sized copy of a Scythian deer ornament. The words of the national anthem are inscribed on the wings and there are also 24 bells commemorating the 64 counties of the Kingdom of Hungary. To this date, I haven’t seen a better representation of contemporary Hungarian nationalistic thought than this weird mixture of Christianity, romanticised  pan-steppe animism, irredentism and kitsch.

But things are about to change. The Hungarian Right has always hated the fact that there was a Soviet Memorial on a square near the parliament, which wasn’t torn down due to a bi-lateral agreement with Russia stating that the Russians would keep the Hungarian memorials on their territory, and Budapest would keep this single one. The first attempt to counter-act this relatively (by Soviet standards) modest obelisk is putting that evil bastard Ronald Reagan next to it. He is striding towards the memorial in a pose reminiscent of Frame 352 of the Patterson-Gimlin bigfoot footage. I like to take American visitors to see it just for the shock value. But now, a new project is starting to take shape: a memorial to the German invasion of Hungary in 1944.

I won’t really bore y’all with historical details, but this needs a bit of an explanation. Hungary was a staunch ally of Nazi Germany and when things were definitely looking pear-shaped, its bumbling puffer fish of a Governor tried to weasel his way out of the alliance. He failed, the country got invaded and the country that was already famous for enacting the first anti-Jewish law of the 20th century became known for deporting so many of its own citizens in such a short time frame that the death camps got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new arrivals. Hungary fought with Germany until the very end and there was at least one unit that surrendered a day after Berlin.

How will the memorial to this invasion look like? A four-metre tall statue of the Archangel Gabriel (symbolizing Hungary as “God’s Man, God’s power and Divine Power”), surrounded by broken Greek columns, being attacked by the Imperial Eagle. This is meant to symbolise the innocent, soft and holy Hungary being attacked and consumed by a stronger and more aggressive foe. I can’t even begin to describe everything that is wrong with this, but I will just post the official sketch of how it should look like, via 444:

While I am not against neither the ornithologisation of history nor Dadaist art, this is just fucking insane.

Meanwhile, a nincompoop member of the Catholic Taliban has issued an open letter to the heads of the main university of economics to remove the statue of Marx, because he was evil. And it’s still quite a few months until the elections…

A Brief Outline of Hungarian Political Parties

It can take quite a while to begin to understand how political parties work in Hungary. I can’t say that I have achieved this level of expertise, but I’ve seen them frolicking around for a long enough time that I can kinda guess what their game is. In this post, I will present a general description of the main parties so that you, kind reader, won’t be completely lost in the future.

But first, some terminology. Hungary has left- and right-wing parties, but the only way to actually split the parties into the two groups is to look at their attitudes towards nationalism: left-wing parties don’t know how to deal with it, so when it come sup, their only response is awkward silence, while their right-wing counterparts can’t shut up about it for five bleedin’ seconds. In any other way, the two sides both exhibit a chaotic mixture of political and economic ideas, where Anarcho-Stalinism and Occultist Nazism could easily go hand in hand in the same press release. As long as the pensioners are happy. Sidenote: pensioners are the largest and most active voting demographic. They are the ones at whom the campaigns are aimed, the ones at the protests and the ones hurling antisemitic abuse and eggs at Budapest Pride. 

So, here’s the list.

MSZMP: Let’s start with the basics. The Hungarian Socialist Workers Party came to power in 1956, during the post-revolution facelift that was aimed at making the Marxist-Leninist dictatorship cuddlier so that the people may not attempt to hang anyone associated with it on the nearest lamppost as soon as physically possible. Its emblematic General Secretary, János Kádár ruled the country until 1988 in a similar fashion, creating a semblance of wealth and trying not to seem too oppressive. I’m not saying he wasn’t a nasty fellow, but he was no ruthless ‘feed your uncle to the dogs’ crazyperson by any means. His longest-lasting achievement was levelling  every state-controllable aspect of life in Hungary, from cuisine to pop music, to the lowest tier of mediocrity. After the change of regime, the more cunning MSZMP members formed MSZP, the social democratic successor party (aka. Bozo the Kleptocratic Clown and his Merry Bunch of Pathetic Losers), the slower ones became christian democrats (aka. the Catholic Taliban). The party is now defunct and Kádár’s skull was dug up and stolen by some fellow.

MSZP: One of the dominant political parties of the post-dictatorship era. Founded by former state party members, but on democratic principles. It started out as a more or less social democratic formation and have been steadily moving towards populistic neoliberalism ever since. After a strong ten years, they have now managed to completely destroy themselves, mostly thanks to a cuckoolander Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány, who just did now know when to call it quits. The riots would have been a useful hint.  At the moment it is still the strongest faction on the left, no thanks to their PM candidate, who might  as well be a drawing that kinda resembles a person. They achieved this status simply on the merit that they are not FIDESZ. Not that they didn’t try to steal everything as well, but they were just too stupid and clumsy to succeed.

SZDSZ: The now defunct liberal party, famous for being socially liberal in word only and not even trying to pass any progressive legislation through during their two terms in power as MSZP’s lapdogs. Then, it became a proper neoliberal party led by a dude who had a helicopter (this was his only memorable trait) and promptly disappeared. Now some of its members are reappearing to take votes away from opposition formations.

FIDESZ: The other main player, or, to tell the truth, THE main player in Hungarian politics. Led by a ‘definitely not autocratic, just fond of having everyone do what he likes’ Prime Minister and a gang of lapdogs of different shapes and sizes, this nationalistic, theocratic bunch of grumpy men actually started as a progressive, democratic and anti-clerical party, but then they realised that it won’t get them elected. Plus, did I mention the leader Viktor Orbán really likes playing with giant, inflatable copies of Earth in his study? Well, that helped a lot. Since they were elected in 2010, in the “Ballot Revolution” (their terminology), they have aggressively reshaped the country so that it resembles an ultra-nationalistic version of the old Marxist-Leninist regime, invading every public institution and making us all look really bad in the process. Their name means Coalition of Young Democrats, but they are not a Coalition, definitely not Young and most certainly not Democrats. The sheer amount of certifiably insane characters surrounding this party is astounding.

KDNP: This Christian Democratic party, the previously mentioned Catholic Taliban, is the liver-eating twin conjoined brother of FIDESZ. The two have been in permanent alliance for many years now, which is good for the Taliban because they get into parliament (Hungary isn’t particularly religious and this bunch would get at best fifteen votes altogether) and even into juicy positions and FIDESZ can actually have someone else do the dirty work. This party is lead by an avid killer of defenceless animals and populated by the most zealous supporters of the old regime, who 25 years ago suddenly realised that they have been confusing Stalin and Jesus all along, and they actually meant to worship the latter. Their stars include Rózsa Hoffmann, the Umbridgesque Minister of Education who managed to transform the whole educational system of the country into something that is so backwards and inefficient that 19th century Caucasian mountain communities would have rejected it on principle, and those were the folks who thought that an escaped Sub-Saharan slave was Bigfoot.

Együtt 2014: After the crazy Prime Minister destroyed the political left with the drive and efficiency of a three year-old tearing up a roll of toilet paper, a quiet, neoliberal mini-oligarch called Gordon Bajnai became the Prime Minister for a year. Since he managed not the burn the whole gorram place to the ground, people, mostly him, think that he knows something and should be given a second chance. He formed the coalition on the ashes of a promising anti-establishment protest movement that he hijacked (effectively chasing away all its supporters). After he ran that ship onto the rocks, he gathered a few backstabbing career politicians from other parties and some old folks no-one wants to see ever again in order to form a grand coalition. This Robert Walpole then managed to get himself outmanoeuvred and outclassed in every way by the completely weightless and pathetic MSZP. He can be found standing quietly in the corner, artfully blending into the grey tapestry.

Jobbik: The nazis everyone loves to talk about. Just don’t call them nazis, because they get upset and might even cry. I have to give it to them, they are by far the smartest politicians of the whole bunch. They might be completely repulsive, but they know how to handle the media in the 21st century and they are the only ones who have been seriously campaigning and organising amongst young people. I still don’t get it why everyone is surprised that they are so popular with young folk, as they are the only ones talking to them. Too bad they are talking about the evil Joos and Roma and Slovaks and whatnot. Though they like Arabs as long as they are far away. Their supporters are like wee little jackbooted fairies, who can miraculously turn any online discussion into antisemitic hate speech with two well-placed comments. They are also notable for the sheer amount of party members who previously achieved worldwide fame thanks to the kosher bareback  scat porn movies they starred in. While the Taliban and FIDESZ are mostly Catholic, the nazis have significant support in the Reformed church.

LMP: Politics Can Be Different. A party that always sounded promising, but has a tendency of splitting up every five seconds. While they are really good at performance art, no-one know what they actually stand for. Difference, I suppose. Some of its members have been known to utter phrases that could resemble political thought.

DK: After the crazy Prime Minister managed to get himself chased out of MSZP, which is a great achievement for any politician, he formed this bunch. Despite their fanatical following of elderly pensioners who would probably die for their beloved leader if needed, the party only exists to troll other opposition political parties. Not even Gyurcsány can think that he could be re-elected. Or does he? DUN DUN DUN…

4K: These young folks are the closest Hungary has to a proper left-wing party. They are under-financed and under-manned, but within a few years, when all the other opposition parties managed to destroy each other, they could theoretically become an interesting faction. We shall wait and see.

This should be what I could whip up. Now that this is out of the way, we can have fun!