January 17th, 2012

Time for Viktor Orbán to let out his inner Gordon Bajnai

It’s probably pretty safe to say that Viktor Orbán hasn’t lost much sleep over having recently become the hate-figure de jour of the international left. But my guess is that he’s not overjoyed by what appears to be a steady slide in his personal approval rating among Hungarian voters.

The most jarring indication of Orbán’s ebbing popularity was offered by the recent regular poll by Ipsos. While the MTI-supplied wrap-up we published didn’t mention it, the survey found that Orbán’s personal popularity rating now trails that of his immediate predecessor, Gordon Bajnai, by a slim 28% to 27%.

Before anyone gets all huffy, yes, these numbers by themselves don’t say too much. Ipsos polls tend to favor the left, and, even if they didn’t, a one-point difference is probably within the margin of error. Moreover, former politicians tend to bounce back in popularity a while after they’ve left office, a phenomenon that in the US saw former President George W. Bush polling better than Barak Obama as early as late 2010.

Still, the gap does suggest that perhaps voters are starting to tire of the hyperkinetic, hyper-partisan Orbán’s approach to the job vis-à-vis that of Banjai, who, if not a genuine “technocrat” was certainly someone who tried to make it seem like he was trying to keep cool and above the fray. Interestingly, the most popular Fidesz MP in the poll was the state secretary in Orbán’s office (and former finance minister), Mihály Varga (32%), who, while also not a non-political type, at least sort of looks like one.

So you do have to wonder what might happen to Orbán’s numbers if he started looking and acting less like the guy always trying to start a fight in the company canteen and more like the bloodless manager-types currently on the march in Europe, among whom Bajnai fit in like the proverbial pea in a pod. If nothing else, it certainly doesn’t make any sense for Orbán to go out of his way to be the odd man out in Europe when he’s asking Europe for a bailout, and doing so offers diminishing political returns back home.

Moreover, Orbán himself back in 2008 said that, if returned to power, his government would initially be composed of technocrats rather than politicians.

Again, one shouldn’t read too much into these sort of popularity contests, and there is certainly a whole lot more going on with Orbán’s public image than mere style and packaging. And for sure, it’s pretty hard to “rebrand” any politician as “overbranded” as Orbán. So he’ll instead probably have to just keep being himself and wait for his approval numbers to find a floor and eventually bounce back – for his sake hopefully before he is once again a former prime minister.

Erik D'Amato (@erikdamato) is publisher and editor-in-chief of the All Hungary Media Group.
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  • Viking

    My wife went shopping yesterday evening at Metro (Cash&Carry for companies), she overheard some employees speaking:
    * Ahh I really hope the Socialists come back and take away that “zseb Hitler” (Pocket Hitler)

    Talk of being “underbranded”, maybe Orbán the ‘Viktator’ is going the same way as Gyurcsány, loved by the very few, hated by the very many

    (((Bug avoidance))

    • HMMM

      I talk to many people everyday, and none of them have said anything positive about orban Király. I would suspect that his standings will fall even further by mid February when the impact of his actions start affecting everyone.

      • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik D’Amato

        You don’t talk to enough people. :)

        • Leto

          Indeed. :)

          Anyway, let me congratulate, Erik. This is a good, fair and balanced article.

        • Hugo C.

          Erik, what is going on with chew…no posts for more than a month. You get us hungry ( we are stuck with the brit’s stuff at the grand market).
          hope you are not getting censored for your culinary tastes which may not be enough magyarised…or maybe you should give the rantott and porkolt receipes to be redeemed to fidesz’ favor.

  • Humphster

    Although masters of Spin, VO and his henchmen seem to be primarily interested in power. He’s got it and I expect he will keep it just as long as he can. Since he doesn’t seem to have a diplomatic bone in his body, I expect he will marshal whatever tools he can find – legal or extra-legal to make sure he stays in power. The evidence is that democracy and human rights are not high on his list of priorities.

  • MagyarViking

    Just go back to that old 2008 article and Orbán’s lies are all over the place
    (-http://www.politics.hu/20080604/can-hungarys-biggest-political-animal-lead-a-nonpolitical-government/)

    Hopefully now Orbán’s old friends in EPP finally understood this also

    (It is me – the Viking circumventing Erik’s latest try to block out posters)

  • I love Hungary

    “hate-figure de jour of the international left”….. really stupid comment. Conservatives don’t like Orban the Nazi either. (And please don’t quote a few European, facists, who pretend to write “editorials”).

    Silly silly Erik, haven’t you yet realised we are not talking a liberal versus conservative debate, here.

    But rather a democracy versus dictaorship debate?

    Nazis and Communists are equally in love with dictatorship.

    Liberals and Conservative tend, over time, to beat the crap out of dictators- even if they were elected- and especially if they used their mandate to rape their own people.

    I can speak for myself- an American, conservative- when I say the two most traitorous men in the history of Hungary are Gyurcsany and Orban.

    The one I hold personally accountable is Orban.

    He knows better, and is sacrificing his country’s future in order to cement power.

    At one time I believed in the guy, I thought it was his democratic nature that led him to oppose the communists.

    Now, that he has power, we learn that it was actually his Facists nature that led him to oppose communism.

    Tragic that he still has pawns like Leto and Erik to play. Sometimes you two sound half-way coherent, especially in the methodologies of country down-sizing.

    • Leto

      @Hatemonger:

      It’s high time you learned at leasr how to spell the word you keep using for those you don’t agree with: fascist.

      • Szabad Ember

        @Hatespewer (aka Leto)

        I love how you give spelling lessons in the Pál Schmitt fashion… complete with misspellings!

        Maybe you should stop trying to teach everyone how to spell and start making coherent, logical, honest points… oh, yeah, I just realized how unlikely that is, never mind.

        You continue to discredit your own cause, keep it up!

        • Leto

          Your truly hatemonger buddy has never managed to spell the word “fascist” correctly so far.
          As for my spelling, there was a single, obvious typo (“leasr”) in my post and that was because ‘r’ and ‘t’ are next to each other on my keyboard and I typed fast.
          So much about you, pathetic liberálbolsi loser.

          • MagyarViking

            Leto says:
            January 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

            that was because ‘r’ and ‘t’ are next to each other on my keyboard and I typed fast

            OMG, and we who were really concerned that you were dyslexic

            Ehh, forget that, you actually need a brain to be síakwyuxK

          • Szabad Ember

            @Leto

            So you’re saying that your post has more validity than his because yours has fewer typos? I guess every post that I’ve ever written is more valid than most of yours, since I make sure that I have no typos in mine.

            “So much about you, pathetic, liberálbolsi loser”

            Is that really the best insult you can muster? Weak. Maybe you should stop trying to do things you’re so bad at, such as insulting people and criticizing their spelling, and start responding to their arguments with logical, rational, supported arguments of your own. Oh, right, you don’t have any of those, so you must resort to criticizing their spelling and childishly insulting them, just so you have something to show your Fidesz paymasters when they ask what you’re doing to earn the money they pay you to push their agenda on English-language blogs. Lucky for you they don’t speak English very well!

            Also, he’s not my buddy, but I don’t like to see bullies like you beat up on anyone, even if I don’t agree with your victims.

            So much for you.

          • Leto

            “My victims”… referring, for example, to this rat who uses the handle “I love Hungary” (or, I suspect,”Obnoxious in Budapest”, too) … Jolly good indeed. :D :D :D
            It seems you’re not much different from these freaks.

          • Szabad Ember

            That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? I’m like people you don’t agree with you, who, therefore, must be “freaks”? Fidesz is definitely not getting its money’s worth out of you!

            Even justasking is more inventive than that, what with her borrowing lines from television advertisements from years ago. She’s still not clever or even effective, but more so than you.

        • Leto

          I found the exact description for in the other thread, “Szabad Ember” Anyway, piss off.

          • Szabad Ember

            @Leto

            Getting even less coherent; I didn’t think that was possible! Found the exact description for what, exactly?

            So you think telling me to “piss off” is somehow clever, or at least more imaginative than calling me a friend of “freaks”; this obviously comes from the same great mind who argues that nationalizing the pension system was “a great and clever move which serves the interests of the country in the long run.” At best, it just pushes the problem off to future pensioners, while making Hungary look like a place that is bad for business.

            Why don’t you just ignore me, if you don’t like what I have to say? Why do you insult everyone who proves you wrong? Is this adult behavior?

            For any non-Hungarians who are new to this site, please don’t think that all Hungarians act like Leto. He is having a hard time coming to grips with his recent realization that he is a homosexual. I say, embrace it, Leto! It’s actually going to make you a better person!

    • Hate politicians

      Here here! Down with gyurcsany and orban!

  • justasking

    @HWHH,

    “I can speak for myself- an American, conservative- when I say the two most traitorous men in the history of Hungary are Gyurcsany and Orban”

    That’s a good thing that you are talking for yourself…cause it shows how little you know about Hungarian history… :D

  • I love Hungary

    Name anyone worse?

    These two had autonomy to really take the nation in a solid direction. Both have chosen to look after their self-interest.

    That is rare in the Hungarian History that I have studied.

    Maybe you should brush up on your English.

    • justasking

      @He who needs therapy,

      “Name anyone worse?

      Kun Béla
      ————-

      “Maybe you should brush up on your English”

      Me tanks ewe for karing..I lurnd Inleesh in vhut ewe khaull intuhnet…

      ——–

      “That is rare in the Hungarian History that I have studied”

      Oh…quizzed the wife?

      But…but…I was positive you called us a bunch of Fascist’s!!! Surely, there must be more? I mean…we’re savages!!! Barbarians! I do believe at one time we ate our own young…at any rate, check again!

      In 1200 years, there has got to be more than a couple…don’t you think? Maybe…maybe look into those thingymajigs…you know…that small rectangular shaped item…the one with the hard shell.

      Bahw? No! Booo’s? No! Books? Does that sound about right to you? At any-rate…stay away from Wiki for a bit.

      • Szabad Ember

        @justasking

        Wow, you have gotten even more shrill since the last time I checked comments on this site! I wonder what must be going wrong in your personal life to make you act like a child in public here.

        You and I Love Hungary should not be fighting like a couple of aging queens, you should be celebrating the fact that in North America you would be best buddies! He said he was an American conservative, which is pretty similar to being a Canadian conservative. He certainly would’ve voted for Stephen Harper, as I’m sure you did.

        Seriously, do you think anyone other than Olga and Leto find your sarcastic rant funny in the least? What purpose do you think it serves? Anyone else who sees it wonders why you suddenly started acting like your meds have run out. Is that the image you want to portray to the undecided public that is passively reading your post?

        On the other hand, please keep it up, you’re doing an even better job than Leto of discrediting Fidesz supporters.

        • justasking

          @Szabad,

          I took your sudden disappearance from this site, as a sign of your willingness to go and improve your ability to comprehend written English. You obviously see the words…can read the words…but, it all seems to fall apart for you when you try and put the two together.

          • Szabad Ember

            @justasking

            I see you still haven’t learned how to support your claims with examples, logic or links… some things never change!

            You, of course, don’t deny that you’re discrediting your own cause, which is wise, because you can’t refute it any way other than name-calling and childish sarcasm.

            Thanks for not changing for the better!

          • justasking

            @Szabad,

            ‘I see you still haven’t learned how to support your claims with examples, logic or links’

            Ne légy hülye…run the risk of not having you chase me around this site? Never!!!

            You…big…strong…man…you!! XOXO

          • Szabad Ember

            @justasking

            “Ne légy hülye…run the risk of not having you chase me around this site?”

            Wow, you know some Hungarian! How impressive for someone who is commenting on a blog about Hungary… but please, for the sake of those who don’t speak any, let’s stick to English; I think I speak it well enough that I will understand it, even when you badly mangle it, as usual.

            Not only do you keep me “chasing you around this site”, but you keep people from thinking that you have anything worth saying, so don’t let me keep you from discrediting all Fidesz followers! Keep up the good work! I could keep this up all night, but I won’t.

          • JA aka justasking

            @Szabad,

            “I could keep this up all night, but I won’t”

            Hey, I’m sure you can! Pity, you don’t have enough grasp of the English language to know when to quit while your ahead.

          • Szabad Ember

            @JA

            “you don’t have enough grasp of the English language to know when to quit while your ahead”

            Haha, I knew you and Leto were sympatico, but now you’re lecturing Pál-Schmitt-style just like he does! If you’re so much better at English than me, then point out the grammar mistake in your sentence above that I quoted from your previous post. I’m wondering if the Canadian school system is so bad, or if you just slept through your grammar classes. You make mistakes like that all the time. I dare you to find even one mistake that I’ve made.

            Here’s another example of your so-called superior English skills, from this very thread:

            “I was positive you called us a bunch of Fascist’s”

            Spot the mistake there? Maybe you should take night classes at your local adult education facility; otherwise, you’ll continue to make all Fidesz admirers look like they don’t even have a secondary education.

            I don’t normally like to point out grammar mistakes, but you started it, by saying that I need to “improve” my “ability to comprehend written English”. I obviously don’t, but if I did, it would only be YOUR written English that I might have trouble with.

          • JA aka justasking

            @Szabad,

            You have seriously lost your mind.

            “but you started it, by saying that I need to “improve” my “ability to comprehend written English”.”

            Because you do….do you understand what the word ‘comprehend’ means’? Here, let me help you:

            com·pre·hend   /ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnd/ Show Spelled[kom-pri-hend]
            verb (used with object)

            1. to understand the NATURE or MEANING of; GRASP with the mind; PERCEIVE: He did not comprehend the significance of the ambassador’s remark.

            Now, tell me again how leaving out a comma here, an apostrophe over there…affects ones ability to ‘comprehend’ what the author has written?

            Can you ‘comprehend’ these sentences?

            #1: you toucha my suit, I breaka you face

            #2: watcha y’all doin over dare? wanna go and get a cuppa coffee? Naw, naw, dis ones one me.

            If the answer is yes, spelling and grammatical errors aside…the issue is with your ‘comprehension’ and not my writing (or lack there of)ability.

            Can you hear me now? How about now? Over here?

          • JA aka justasking

            Correction…sentence should read:

            Now, tell me again how leaving out a comma here, an apostrophe over there…using the word two, instead of to or too, affects ones ability to ‘comprehend’ what the author has written?

          • Szabad Ember

            @JA

            What, no Hungarian this time?

            So you still refuse to give an example of how I don’t “comprehend” what you’ve written; instead you just make the claim and move on to insults.

            When you don’t use proper grammar or even the correct words to convey what you are trying to say, comprehension suffers… even you must be able to “comprehend” that. Also, if you write something that is incomprehensible to anyone who isn’t intimately familiar with you and your style of writing, then a lack of comprehension on the part of casual readers is your fault, not theirs, and does not indicate anything about their ability to comprehend English. I have seen plenty of this sort of thing on this site, and have recently pointed out your miscomprehension to you (e.g. in the thread where you said Viking had been “punked”).

            Why don’t you ask some English-speaking friends to review these threads and tell you who they think has better comprehension. Oh, right, that might entail you being reasonable and fair, instead of just issuing childish insults. Never gonna happen!

            Also, your grammar mistakes are indicative of someone who is not highly literate, and, therefore, suggest that you have difficulty comprehending higher-level writing. They are clearly not just typos.

    • Curious George

      I do believe at one time we ate our own young
      Ah, that would explain a declining population. :)

      • justasking

        @George,

        “Ah, that would explain a declining population”

        And here ‘they’ would have you believe that it was the fault of feminism…

      • Curious George

        @JA – Given the feistiness of Hungarian women, you can hardly blame ‘them’ (the nationalists?) for denying their shortcomings, or for not be up to it (pun intended). Maybe that’s why the Hungarian women go for guys like Viking & Wolfi, whose names stir up visions of machismo, instead of some mechanical toy-in-the-box, HH69 ;)

        • Viking

          Curious George says:
          January 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

          stir up visions of machismo

          Actually I think it is more the vision of Marxism that stir up Hungarian women
          The purest and only real form:
          * Groucho Marxism

          Read, Weep and Join the Permanent Revelry!
          -http://sniggle.net/Manifesti/groucho.php

        • justasking

          @George and Viking,

          Well, if you both find comfort in those theories, all I can say is…must be some fantastic drugs :)

  • Trinity

    Discussing history whilst the country burns, tampering with the constitution, interfering in the judiciary, threatening the central bank, forint burning out of control, junk bond status,debt at unsustainable levels, corruption on a scale that beggars belief,ineffective reforms, flying in the face of reality, and fighting with all and sundry whilst holding out that well-used begging bowl? Where? What? Who?
    Hungary, Government, Orban Viktor!
    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! We’ll need all three very soon!

  • olga

    @ Szabad Ember

    re your comment to JA: “He said he was an American conservative, which is pretty similar to being a Canadian conservative. ” Was that sarcasm and I didn’t get it?

    Concerning Leto and the probability of his voting for Stephen Harper, and JA voting for SH – he would and she did but so did I and Harper won a majority because of disgusted Liberals like me.

    I am still a member of the Canadian Federal Liberal party
    and I will always be a Liberal, supporting their commitment to social programs, the right for women to have safe abortions , the right for gays to marry etc.

    Unfortunately at the present time, the party has poor leadership and some major mistakes were made during the last campaign but since this is a Hungarian political website, I won’t list them; suffice to say the powers to be are busy reorganizing the party leadership and hopefully I will be able to vote for a Liberal I can respect at the next election.

    Because I was once on the Executive of the MP in my riding, (long evening hours, volunteering) I still get emails about current plans and events and this is the part that “connects” to Hungarian politics.

    I estimate that whining and sniveling about how awful Stephen Harper is and pointing out his latest transgressions takes up 10% of the emails, the rest outline concrete plans about reorganizing the party that was decimated at the last election and going forward with new faces, new ideas while still retaining the same Liberal ideologies and platform.

    You are making ridiculous assumptions about JA when you know nothing about her personal life but you are correct, I do enjoy her and Leto’s postings just as much as I enjoy those who are diametrically opposed to Leto’s political opinions and that would include Viking’s who is now suffering from a Magyar identity crisis :))

    What I personally consider disgusting and offensive are postings that have no purpose other than spewing hate towards minorities and/or the Hungarian majority and the Obnoxious Parasite in BP with his side kick in Switzerland who just loves Hungary are prime examples of the latter group.

    I do not agree with JA politically on a lot of issues but we resent non-Hungarians living in Hungary relentless criticism of the people and the country that has nothing to do with current politics.

    Regarding your attacking JA and this is just one example:

    “Seriously, do you think anyone other than Olga and Leto find your sarcastic rant funny in the least? What purpose do you think it serves? Anyone else who sees it wonders why you suddenly started acting like your meds have run out. Is that the image you want to portray to the undecided public that is passively reading your post?”

    If you do not consider that a rant, would you mind sharing your definition of that word? I did consider the possibility that Szabad Ember means that you are szabad to engage in behaviour that you are guilty of – in which case it makes perfect sense.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I’m glad to see that you can respond like an adult, unlike your friends Leto and justasking.

    I freely admit that I attack both of them, but I only do so when they attack me or others. I especially am disgusted by justasking’s unwillingness to be fair or respectful towards others, even when those others are just airing their opinions and not attacking anyone. You might disagree with my view of her actions, and I admit that I might sometimes be wrong about her intentions, but her style is unmistakable, and there is no doubt in my mind that she attacks people in an unwarranted manner. Also, the only time I’ve ever seen her produce any kind of support for her arguments is when she was going on and on about the Keystone pipeline in Canada. If only she had anywhere near as much knowledge about anything else, maybe she would share it with us. Instead, she always just pontificates and snipes, without knowing what she’s talking about, and she loves to insult, without being clever or even funny.

    Leto, on the other hand, is just a self-admittedly biased jerk who is incapable of reasonable discussion. He is only here to spout the party line, for which he probably gets paid by Fidesz.

    My remark about Harper was not meant to be entirely serious, certainly, but there are plenty of parallels between the Canadian Conservative party and the U.S. Republican party, and if you are trying to intimate that they are not ideological siblings, then let me know, and I will spend the time to defend that statement. I’m not well-versed in Canadian politics, but I’ve read enough about Harper to form an opinion.

    In response to your last question, I didn’t have a problem with the fact that she ranted, I had a problem with its style and irrelevance. I guess that I feel towards justasking and Leto the same way that you feel towards American in Budapest and I Love Hungary (btw, when have they spewed hate towards minorities?), except that I don’t feel towards the latter two the same affinity that you apparently feel towards justasking and Leto. If you see nothing wrong with they way your friends interact with people on this site, and don’t feel that they are monumental hypocrites, then I guess I have lost a great deal of respect for you and your opinion, and will need to reassess all the opinions you have aired here.

    As for my remarks about justasking’s personal life, I am only mirroring her remarks about my personal life. Look back through the threads if you don’t believe me. I don’t like to attack people, and I prefer to leave their personal lives and their grammar and spelling mistakes out of the conversation, but, when attacked, I will respond in kind.

    • Leto

      “Btw, when have they spewed hate towards minorities?),”

      Ah, Hungarians, who these rats are spewing hatred towards, aren’t in the minority in Hungary indeed (yet?).

  • Szabad Ember

    The previous post was mine; for some reason, it didn’t take my name. It was in response to Olga, if that’s not clear.

  • MHL

    Perhaps somewhere in between all this ranting and raving we can get your opinions on the flat tax rate, the recent demonstrations in Budapest, the failing government policies, the ‘weakening’ forint, the attempt by Fidesz to grab the foreign reserves at the Central Bank, the on-going spat between MNB governor Andras Simor and PM Orban Viktor purloining and wasting private pensions etc. etc?
    The opposition parties, MSZP and LMP are a waste of time and that’s why we need your support in condemning what is going on in the Hungarian parliament at the expense of a impoverished and bemused people!
    It is a hard time for everyone and I think we should call an amnesty for at least a month whilst the real, and very grave, issues are debated. I only asked! (lol)

    • Leto

      My opinion is that 1 EUR cost 299 HUF, 1 CHF cost 244 HUF, 1 USD cost 229 HUF, 1 GBP cost 358 HUF today.

      • Viking

        As everyone can see on this chart (that shows the HUF/Euro development the last year from the latest closed time, normally yesterday):
        (-http://www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/eurofxref-graph-huf.en.html)

        This temporary dip to 299 HUF/EUR, that the forint did before the Fidesz-stoogies in the Hungarian Central Bank fucked it up again:
        (-http://www.realdeal.hu/20120124/hungary-central-bank-leaves-base-rate-on-hold-at-7/)

        “The National Bank of Hungary’s Monetary Council kept the bank’s base rate on hold at 7.0 percent on Tuesday. The bank did not raise the rate as widely expected. The market had expected a hike of 25-50 basis points”

        “The forint slid to 303.40 against the euro shortly after the central bank’s decision from levels a touch stronger than 300″

        “Gergely Suppan of Takarekbank speculated that the decision had not been unanimous and that external members of the rate-setting Monetary Council had shot down a proposed hike”

        One criticism of the New Central Bank Law has just been this that Fidesz increased the members of the rate-setting council and Fidesz favours a a low rate, which in today’s context gives a bad exchange rate, then who wants to buy forints for low interest-rates

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        January 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

        My opinion is that

        the pressure on Hungary increased today substantially:

        “Rehn said Hungary’s budget had posted a surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011, but this was “thanks to one-off measures worth 10 percent of GDP, especially including the transfer of private pension funds worth 9.75 percent of GDP. [...] Without these measures the budget deficit last year would have reached 6 percent of GDP,” he said, adding this could not be considered a sustainable correction.

        Rehn said Hungary’s budget deficit was being kept on track due to one-off measures and was therefore on an unsustainable path.

        He noted that Hungary’s deadline had been pushed back twice in three years.

        Rehn said it was possible that Hungary’s Cohesion Fund support could be suspended at the start of next year. He added there had been “ample time” for Hungary to take action to meet its fiscal targets”
        (-http://www.realdeal.hu/20120124/eu-presses-ahead-with-hungary-excessive-deficit-procedure/)

        This was not just a bunch of ‘unelected EU-crats’, this were the other 26 Finance Ministers in the EU who decided this
        Orbán is the odd man out, again

      • Leto

        I also opine that the flat tax rate should stay, the recent demonstrations in Budapest proved the government is strong and the opposition is weak and MNB governor Andras Simor should be gotten rid of as soon as possible and some more methods should be applied to this end. As for destroying the mandatory private pension funds, that was a great and clever move which serves the interests of the country in the long run, etc.

        • Viking

          Leto says:
          January 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm

          MNB governor Andras Simor should be gotten rid of as soon as possible and some more methods should be applied to this end. As for destroying the mandatory private pension funds, that was a great and clever move which serves the interests of the country in the long run

          Well, I hope you get that message across to Brussels then
          a) The independence of the MNB is enshrined in at least one of the EU-treaties Hungary signed up to, so breaking that will cause great loss to Hungary’s economy

          b) The European Court of Justice will most likely deem the action of “destroying the mandatory private pension funds” as illegal and demand that people get everything back

          “great and clever move which serves the interests of the country in the long run”…

          And leaving the EU does not work on the The European Court of Justice, then it belongs to the Council of Europe, a 47 member state strong organisation and leaving that is a bit more strange

          • Viking

            And actually we have this article from portfolio how exactly this decision to keep the interest-rate is important to Orbán:

            “assuming that the ‘fault line’ is in fact between the new and the old members, today’s rate decision does not reinforce the government’s negotiating position at all in the IMF/EU bailout talks when it will need to demonstrate how important the central bank’s importance is for the cabinet”
            (-http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/hungary_mpc_sheds_light_on_decision_to_hold_rates.23678.html)

            One more coffin in the nail
            This will make it even harder to come to a quick resolution for Hungary with the EU/IMF about loans

            And the lower interest-rate will make the forint less worth and increase the debt-rates the Hungarian State must pay, so it is all working against Orbán, but ‘leto’ just loves it, because Orbán is in control…

            Yes, busy on the scrap-yard looking for more nails

        • Leto

          I opine that the Orbán government should study much more thoroughly how the postcommie MSZP-SZDSZ government made MNB governor Ákos Bod-Péter in the early 90’s.

          • Leto

            made MNB governor Ákos Bod-Péter resign

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm

            I opine that the Orbán government should study much more thoroughly how the postcommie MSZP-SZDSZ government made MNB governor Ákos Bod-Péter in the early 90′s

            Hungary joined the EU in 2004, so any tricks before that will hardly work in today’s world

            You know, just because MSZP stole an apple and got away with it, does not mean Fidesz can steal apples unpunished

            What one can learn from this event in 1994 is that the MNB’s independence must be guaranteed, then the tradition in Hungary is that the MNB is not independent, as this and other cases show

        • Curious George

          The expropriation of pensions was a big, big mistake. It only forces pensioners to be totally dependent on the state, and makes Hungary assume a higher financial liability in perpetuity. Resulting outcome – higher taxes until the expense gap is covered, or else lower pensions.

          • Leto

            No, it was a good move in the long run. Under those rules, the state mandatorily redirected a part of people’s pension contributions, given the convenience of a big assured clientele, to mostly wasteful private companies. Sure, this provided good salaries and all sort of benefits to board members belonging to the postcommie MSZP-SZDSZ networks, say trade union leaders of MSZOSZ, etc. But the point is this alone created a big hole in the budget each year which had to be financed by treasury bonds, bought partly by these freak funds, etc.

            Now people have the option of paying in private funds or not. Voluntary private pension as opposed to mandatory pension. How come you don’t love the freedom of choice in this case? :D

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

            Now people have the option of paying in private funds or not. Voluntary private pension as opposed to mandatory pension

            Lying again!

            Voluntary Private Pension Funds was always available, that is *nothing* Orbán created and most people cannot afford the 3rd Pillar

            Orbán stole the 2nd Pillar and for that He will be prosecuted with the new laws that He has introduced, as the thief He is, but first after He has brought this country to default, partly because the State Pension will kill off the Hungarian economy for the next 20 years

            It is also likely that the 3rd Pillar will be heavily taxed in Hungary in a few years when you start to take it out, so I would strongly recommend anyone getting a foreign insurance outside Hungary

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

            Now people have the option of paying in private funds or not. Voluntary private pension as opposed to mandatory pension
            —-

            ‘leto’ is of course lying even more, then the payments for the 2nd Pillar has not disappeared. The employees are still paying those money, which they can now not have any influence over, then it is Orbán who decides everything
            Before people could chose who to trust for their pension 2nd Pillar, but not now
            And it did not become cheaper, just less freedom

            The only more freedom we see in Hungary these days are the freedom to spread lies like ‘leto’

          • Curious George

            @Leto – I don’t like banks, bankers & insurance companies to manage my investments because from my experience, there is little accountability, but more excuses. In general, I agree with what you say has happened in Hungary. However, people could still make the decision of where to put their money. Hence, the ultimate responsibility lies with the owner of the funds to select the best fund for himself.
            My reason for limiting choice here is mainly because I’m more concerned about the state, and its ability to operate effectively. The transfer of funds to them puts the entire liability for the pensioners future well-being on the state. I think this will be increasingly difficult for all countries as they face increasingly greater competition, and decreasing revenues in the future. Hence, I feel citizens must accept at least partial responsibility for their own future well-being.

          • Leto

            @Curious George:

            Ah, now you’d want limiting choice… What about your pro-choisim? State pension was mandatory before and now, too. Mandatory private pension (“second pillar”) forced people to invest in private companies. Now they can choose if they want to invest in private companies or not. The freedom of choice has increased.

          • George the Curious One

            @Leto – I’m all for more market choices, but allowing a citizen to be less dependent on himself and more on the state never be on the menu. Impose higher standards of responsibility on the pension companies, if need be – eg minimum real return guarantees (5%?) for pension investments. Let them prove their financial mettle to earn the right.
            Btw, speaking of market choices, what’s the deal with not being able to change your car insurance company except at the end of the year? Did the insurance companies pay off someone to have this stupid rule?

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

            Now they can choose if they want to invest in private companies or not. The freedom of choice has increased

            ‘leto’ continues to lie!

            The 3rd Pillar has existed since the beginning of the 90s. That is the totally voluntary Private Pension Savings any individual can start and stop with at any time. It does not even need to be inside Hungary.

            One of the bigger since Fidesz came to power is though Fidesz old Central Bank Chief Jarai’s company Pannonia, so here where ‘leto’ is aiming for. Pannonia made some exclusive deals with the Hungarian State to manage some of its funds, now when Fidesz is in power
            ‘leto’ is mixing up Fidesz looting the State with that the choice has increased

            ***Choice has not increased, it has been limited***

            If Fidesz *really* was worried over the way the Private Pension Funds handled their obligations according to the 2nd Pillar (Mandatory Personal Pension Fund), the State would have had no legal problems to apply different laws that regulated this work, like
            * a mandatory clear declaration of costs for everyone to see which Fund was cheapest according to set up rules how to calculate the costs,

            * a transparent way of declaring how much the Saved Pension has increased/decreased,

            * an easy possibility for people to swap their savings to another Fund Manager, who has a better track record and lower cost

            * the State can start their own 2nd Pillar Fund Management Company, which then would be so much better…
            As long as tax money is not use to finance/support the operation, this is totally OK

            But did Fidesz do anything of this?
            No, Fidesz just totally removed the 2nd Pillar, stole what people had worked together and transferred it into the 1st Pillar (‘State Pay As You Go’-system). This type of ‘fund’ is no fund, it is just an item on every years State budget. It is something that ups the Hungarian State deficit and will be a very big cost in the future

            The 2nd Pillar had been working since 1 January 1998 and was expected to be totally ready 2013. That is how long it takes to build up a system like that

            Fidesy destroyed it in a couple of weeks and now caused a major cost for Hungary for the coming 20 years ahead, until a new 2nd Pillar can be built up again

            And, always remember, this money (2nd and 3rd Pillar) always belong to the workers who pay into them, *never* to the State, which is another lie that ‘leto’ like to spread
            * The 2nd Pillar is money forcible deducted from peoples gross wages

            * The 3rd Pillar is money people pay in voluntarily from their disposable income

            Given the grip and disaster Fidesz has built into the Hungarian State economy for the next 20 years I personally strongly recommend any one to build up any pension-saving far away from Hungary, because this will not work here

          • Leto

            @Curious George:

            Forcing someone to pay for some private pension fund is definitely means LIMITING their choice. The “third pillar”, that is voluntary private pension funds was there before 2011 and it’s still there if one wants to invest in a private pension fund. Voluntary means that you decide if you want to take part or not. Mandatory means you’ve got no choice and you have to take part. Please stop arguing for that removing *mandatory* private pension increases choices…

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

            Please stop arguing for that removing *mandatory* private pension increases choices…

            Yes, please stop that ‘argument’, then it is just a Fidesz-lie

            Mandatory payments to the 2nd Pillar still exists, but now the Hungarian State keeps that money and plugs its budget with it. For the end-user, the wage-worker who is suppose to get out a pension in the future, is now totally dependent on the 1st Pillar:
            * The State ‘Pay As You Go’-system
            The part of the 3-pillar system that pays out the minimal State Pension

            Very few Hungarian wage-earners have any disposable income over to invest in the 3rd-pillar, the voluntary private pension funds (preferable abroad)

          • George the Curious One

            @Leto – you’re quibbling on semantics between mandatory & voluntary. Why don’t you just define the Hungarian pension system as having 2 parts
            a. State – ca.70% (or 100%) of a base figure
            b. Private – proceeds of what they have invested in the funds
            Wasn’t the expropriation carried out in such a way that those who wanted to keep their Private pensions were told that would lose their State pensions (which they had already paid into)? I don’t consider this as giving people more “free choice”.
            What I agreed with you in my previous post was that pensions funds had too many vested political interests, and little accountability. This situation is easy to correct. In several countries, pension funds are regulated that they need to show positive returns for several years, and have to guarantee a minimum return before they accept retirement savings.
            I spent most of my time in different parts of Russia from 95-97, and I saw a country unable to pay even the most meagre pensions($30-50) to an elderly population who had put their entire lives into the system. No, I agree with Viking that no one should be totally dependent on 1 leg, especially in a country which was/is unable to maintain financial discipline

          • Leto

            @Curious George:

            No, it’s you who avoid a basic fact here.

            First a bit of clarification of concepts:
            mandatory = you’ve got no choice, you’re compelled to do it
            voluntary = you’ve got a choice, you can decide yourself if you want to do something or not

            First pillar (state pension): mandatory
            Demolished second pillar (private pension): voluntary
            Unchanged third pillar (private pension): voluntary

            This is quite simple, isn’t it?
            I understand you try to bring in all sort of other aspects in this discussion so that you’d be able to avoid to acknowledge the obvious fact you’re actually advocating limiting choices and forcing people to invest in private pension funds.

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

            First pillar (state pension): mandatory
            Demolished second pillar (private pension): voluntary
            Unchanged third pillar (private pension): voluntary

            This is quite simple, isn’t it?

            So why is ‘leto’ lying then?
            There is no:
            “Demolished second pillar (private pension): voluntary”
            It is still there, but the State takes the money, there is nothing “voluntary” with having your money confiscated every month

            Just check up how much of social contribution goes off you pay-check every month – where is this “voluntary”?
            The Company *must* deduct this cost (2nd pillar) as before and send it to the State (as before)

            The only difference is that the State does not pay it out to the Private Pension Funds, as the State did before 2011

            ‘leto’ has read his copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ thoroughly:

            But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.

            From “War Propaganda”, in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925), by Adolf Hitler
            -

          • Leto

            I made an obvious mistake because of copy-pasting.
            This is the correct summary of the options we’re discussing:

            First pillar (state pension): mandatory
            Second pillar (private pension): mandatory (demolished)
            Third pillar (private pension): voluntary (unchanged)

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            January 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

            I made an obvious mistake because of copy-pasting.
            This is the correct summary of the options we’re discussing:

            First pillar (state pension): mandatory
            Second pillar (private pension): mandatory (demolished)
            Third pillar (private pension): voluntary (unchanged)

            There is no “obvious mistake” here, then you continue to claim that the 2nd Pillar has been ‘demolished’ – So why do you still need to pay into it?

            The truth is that the *Accumulated Funds*of the 2nd Pillar has been stolen and the forced payments to it still continues, are withheld by the Fidesz Government

            And that is what ‘leto’ calls ‘increased choice’…

            If it has been ‘demolished’, we, the Hungarian wage-earners, would have no need to pay into it

            A certain Adolf and his ideas of rhetoric comes to mind

          • Szabad Ember

            @Leto

            “Mandatory private pension (“second pillar”) forced people to invest in private companies.”

            You probably already know this, but would never bring it up, because it debases your entire argument about how Fidesz has done the right thing with pensions; something over 80% of the funds in the previous pension scheme was not invested in “private companies”, but in government bonds (as stipulated by law). Most of what was nationalized was actually just a giant shell game, or accounting trick, which resulted in Fidesz taking the promise of the government to pay a fixed amount of money to pensioners at a specific time and turning it into the government having to make no promises about the money it had been loaned by future pensioners. In other words, with the previous system, the government was legally obliged to pay back the bonds, and now they are legally obliged to do nothing at all, and can just decide to lower the amount paid out as pensions to whatever it chooses. Where’s the choice in that for workers, exactly?

            On a side note, at least you’ve stopped insulting people and started trying to rely on logical policy arguments, even if they are disingenuous and misleading. Progress!

        • Viking

          Actually today another typical Fidesz-supporter outed himself as anti-Orbán in an interview in pro-Fidesz Heti Valasz:
          “Hungary risks making its economic policy ineffective as trust in the government among financial investors, companies and households declines, said Istvan Hamecz, head of the fund management unit of OTP Bank Nyrt”
          (-http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-24/hungary-risks-losing-policy-control-as-trust-melts-hamecz-says.html)

          ““If the government doesn’t manage to restore trust quickly and return to a good equilibrium of trust, then the situation may fast degenerate,” wrote Hamecz, a former central bank chief economist, adding that his comments were based on conversations with company executives and individual savers”

  • olga

    Re: I freely admit that I attack both of them, but I only do so when they attack me or others. I especially am disgusted by justasking’s unwillingness to be fair or respectful towards others, even when those others are just airing their opinions . “

    Are you kidding me? Singling out JA is ridiculous and unfair considering the number of people going completely nuts and becoming viscous because they disagree with their others’ opinions – if there were rules to enter this ugly sport for posting mean and uncalled for personal attacks , she would be eliminated in the first round.

    If you want recent examples of baseless ugly attacks, I would like to call your attention to Mr. Many Names’ relentless bullshit against poor Sophist who had enough class not to respond in kind.

    Re: “Leto, on the other hand, is just a self-admittedly biased jerk who is incapable of reasonable discussion. He is only here to spout the party line, for which he probably gets paid by Fidesz..:

    I must have missed the post where he called himself a biased jerk but I personally don’t see anything wrong for one person on this website to be a cheerleader for FIDESZ / Orban considering 2/3rd of the majority voted for him and all those negative opinions notwithstanding , I am yet to read a name or a party that would be able to give Orban and his party a run for his money.

    If Leto gets paid , is it more lucrative to champion FIDESZ or for bashing them? I am willing to do both for the right price – no scruples :))

    Re the Parasite of BP and the confused one who thinks he loves Hungary while moving to Switzerland : They criticize Hungary and its people and don’t restrict their venom to present day politics, in fact Vona would be proud of them if they would only change their targets of hate to J*ews and/or the Roma.

    Once the Parasite established that we are all the scum of the earth for just being Hungarian, one would think he could move on and return to Utopia because that Hungarian table cloth will not ward off the evil. Being the amazingly kind altruistic human being that I am, I worry that he might drown in Forints or Euros so a speedy exit ought to be a win-win for us all.

    Regarding the Canadian Conservatives being similar to the Amperican Republicans, please find the following article on the Internet: “Canadian Conservatism Parallels US Liberal Democracy “ by Emily Cinats.

    I consider myself much closer in my political thinking to Viking, and every Lefty on this website than I do to Leto and JA provided they are not the “ultra Left” because I am against ultra anything ; it causes blindess.

    (exception to Left wing thinking is my disgust of gratuitous baseless insults leveled at my country and its people) Moreover I don’t buy into “you are either with us or against us” rules.

    I don’t think Orban is as bad as the Orban-haters make him out to be and the true test to his re-election will be (a) the status of the Economy (b) the credibility of the person and the party running against him.

    If I were voting next time around and my family was doing better employment wise and financially, I would vote for Orban, Christian values notwithstanding. I would not be surprised if gay couples would trade the right for a legal marriage for good jobs

    About JA’s grammar – I don’t know about you, but I don’t reread my posts otherwise I would not be able to get my work done. I write a lot of business letters and I actually don’t catch some horrible grammar and spelling mistakes even looking at them on the screen , I see them once I print them and cringe. So if you don’t make mistakes , don’t read your own postings before pushing that send button and still have good grammar, then that’s something I envy because It’s a skill I don’t have but would like to.

    • Szabad Ember

      @Olga

      Thank you! I am refreshed and gladdened by your response and its tone. I wish you could see how different the tone employed by JA is.

      Leto specifically mentioned in a long-ago post (October or November, I think) that he does disagree with some things that Fidesz does, but would never write them here. I think that amply shows that everything he writes is untrustworthy, since he is a cheerleader for Fidesz.

      I admit that I usually don’t have the time to read the comments on this site, but when I do, I try to respond to the ones that I feel are unnecessarily cruel. At the top of this thread, I read the following response to I Love Hungary’s “that’s rare in the Hungarian History that I have studied”:

      “In 1200 years, there has got to be more than a couple…don’t you think? Maybe…maybe look into those thingymajigs…you know…that small rectangular shaped item…the one with the hard shell.

      Bahw? No! Booo’s? No! Books? Does that sound about right to you? At any-rate…stay away from Wiki for a bit.”

      JA could’ve made her point in a much more mature, reasonable way, but chose to belittle and ridicule him. I find that to be bullying, and I always try to stand up to such behavior. I like Sophist, and if I see anyone treating him/her in the same way, I will leap into the fray, I promise!

      As far as I know, in Hungary only Fidesz pays people to spread their lies on the web.

      Fidesz actually only got 53% of the vote, not anywhere near the majority of eligible voters, which translated into the 2/3 majority in Parliament. They have since refused to get the consent of the people (via a referendum or anything else) for completely changing the system of government, something which would be impossible in those constitutional democracies with which I am familiar. The day I heard that they were going to take the “Republic” out of the name of the country, I realized that their true intentions were to subvert democracy, and nothing they have done since has given evidence to the contrary.

      I also don’t like the way that American in Budapest and I Love Hungary state their opinions, and have indicated so more than once on this site. They do make some valid points, though. Countering their points with childish sarcasm must make JA feel better, but it doesn’t further her cause, in my opinion; it just makes her look worse than them. Why can’t she counter them with logical, supported arguments? Or point out their bias? Or at least tell them they are hateful jerks and leave it at that?

      Also, she once wrote that the discrimination against Roma in this country is equivalent to that felt by Hungarians in Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania. My very good Hungarian friend is from Slovakia, and I know many ethnic Hungarians from nearby countries; I have even visited and lived with Hungarians deep in Transylvania; none of them has ever described anything as bad as what I’ve seen and read regarding treatment of Roma here in Hungary. If you’re so worried about minorities, you should ask JA about the exchange I’m referencing. It’s very illuminating, and I think it shows her real feelings towards people she dislikes.

      I disagree mightily with your assessment of Orbán’s impact on the Hungarian economy and his true nature (he and his family were poor before he got into power, and were rich after he left), but I fully agree with your dislike of extremism and the “you’re either with us or against us” George W. Bush Doctrine. Furthermore, I greatly respect you as a person, and wish that we had more common ground in the area of public policy. I will read that article by Emily Cinats; perhaps I have missed something.

      I do read my postings before pushing the send button, because I want to make sure that I have made my thoughts clear. I also care about maintaining an accurate public image of myself; that is why I keep the name-calling and vitriol to a minimum. I am scared of damaging the reputation of those with whom I agree, and want to leave a good impression on the undecided folks who are reading these comments and forming their opinions of what kind of people support each side in the debate. For that reason, I am actually glad that JA and Leto act the way they do, despite the fact that I wish they (and all others who act this way) would stop; I am torn between the goal of retaining democracy in Hungary and my desire to see decency reign in all parts of western civilization.

    • Szabad Ember

      @Olga

      I have read the article by Cinats, and am struck by the line “although he once endorsed private healthcare, he is the only national Canadian leader to use solely public healthcare.”

      That is clearly a case of a tactical decision to bow to the overwhelming popularity of universal healthcare among Canadians, rather than a genuine ideological choice by Harper. That’s like Romney being for government health care while governor of Massachusetts, yet being against it now that he’s running for president. Harper, like Romney, will do or say almost anything to gain power, where he can then show his true beliefs through slow but steady changes in policy.

      Later in the article, this is exactly what is suggested: “From this analysis it appears as though Canadian conservatism wants to grasp onto a more right-wing, conservative view of healthcare…” Given another 10 years of Conservative government, public health care will be hollowed out in Canada, too, I bet, regardless of Harper’s claims.

      I would need a lot more than this article to agree with you, sorry.

  • olga

    @ Szabad Ember – the above reply was for you.

    @ To all Orban haters, please read the full article in M & C “Hungary divided by passionate split over Orban’s leadership By Gregor Mayer Jan 25, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    One paragraph summed up my big fear about the anti-Orban crowd and I know it can happen unless by some magic a viable Centre-Left party with a decent leader emerge:

    “While his supporters are prepared to ignore this evident contradiction for the present, if this faith in Orban fades, the right-wing extremist Jobbik party is waiting in the wings. ”

    That’s my nightmare scenario for Hungary

    • Viking

      olga says:
      January 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      That’s my nightmare scenario for Hungary

      I do not believe in the Orban approach:
      * ‘Lure the right-extremists to me and I will pacify them’

      Better to take the fight up-front, instead of luring people with nationalistic slogans, if you really do not mean them

      If Orban means what he claims, what is the difference?
      Or as the current Budapest Mayor, Istvan Tarlos, stated before the General Elections in April 2010:
      * Fidesz and “Jobbik” have the same goal, just the means differ

      So, what is the difference?
      How can you have the same goal as the brown-shirts and call yourself a democrat?

      • MagyarViking

        This one is just in, but gives an interesting insight in one part of what I mean is no difference between Fidesz and “Jobbik”:
        (-http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=418806&c=1)

        “An unexplained delay in the appointment to a college professorship of the son of a prominent political opponent of Hungary’s government has added to fears that academic freedom in a European Union member state is being curtailed.

        The historian György Majtényi had been selected by the faculty board of Eszterházy Károly College in the northeastern city of Eger for promotion to a full professorship.

        Under Hungarian law, however, professorial appointments at state institutions are formally in the gift of the government and must be signed off by the prime minister. And when a list of 64 professorial appointments was gazetted shortly before Christmas, the 37-year-old’s name was absent”

        “Soon after taking office, the government announced an investigation into a group of left-wing philosophers whom it accused of having lived luxurious lifestyles on the back of research grants that had been awarded “corruptly” by the previous socialist government.

        No charges have been filed as a result of the investigation into such prominent scholars as the Marxist philosopher Ágnes Heller, an émigré who is Hannah Arendt professor at the New School in New York, although the probe continues.

        “Police have been seizing monographs on Plato and trying to establish if they constitute original work,” says Péter Radó, a sociologist specialising in education policy”

  • MHL

    @ Olga/Ogre “If you want recent examples of baseless ugly attacks, I would like to call your attention to Mr. Many Names’ relentless bullshit against poor Sophist who had enough class not to respond in kind.”
    I note that you have gotten yourself back into the “ogre” mode again!
    What you have been posting lately is utter drivel and only serves to underscore that you have come to consider this site as an extension to the hairdressing salon where you indulge in the usual backstabbing and gossip-mongering perversions that highlight that evil streak that I know has always been a feature of your character.
    I respect JA, and Szabad Ember, and Sophist,who, as a fellow Brit, has my utmost respect in spite of the mischievous exchanges recently.
    However, you are one sick lady, and need help!

    • Szabad Ember

      @MHL

      Please, let’s try to play nice! I don’t respect Olga’s opinion as much as I used to (or much at all, actually), but she has usually tried to be decent, and is much less prone to attacking people than JA (or me, for that matter).

      As she says further down, it takes class to not respond in kind; sometimes it’s good to fight back, but with Olga, I think it’s not necessary. She is not a mean-spirited person, and usually employes some wit and creativity when she wields her poison pen.

      The poetry is a nice touch, though!

  • olga

    MHL

    re: I note that you have gotten yourself back into the “ogre” mode again! ”

    There was no “going back” required ; Once and Ogre always an Ogre and Ogres have radars enabling them to sense the “you can dish it out but can’t take it” syndrome

  • MHL

    Boszorkány aka the ogre:
    That’s what you always maintain as a lazy and easy way to maintain your delusions of having some sort of an education and a sense of fairplay as an ex-social worker and practicing liberal read: communist with a conscience!
    I cannot remove the totally boring and predictable label from your CV because I must always tell the truth!
    Never mind. I’ve still got that flame burning, and my heart a-flutter, even though your vindictive perambulations seek to do me harm. Csokolom xxx
    BTW. Hope your Hungarian lessons aren’t being sacrificed at the altar of these vitriolic outbursts!
    He said… “I look for butterflies
    That sleep among the wheat:
    I make them into mutton-pies,
    And sell them in the street.
    I sell them unto women,” he said,
    “Who sail on stormy seas;
    And that’s the way I get my bread
    A trifle, if you please.”

  • olga

    @ MHL

    I shall try my very best to stay focused on Hungarian politics just like you and will refrain from posting nonsensical poems – soon

    \Just the place for an Ogre the Bellman cried,
    As he landed his crew with care;
    Supporting each man on the top of the tide
    By a finger entwined in his hair.
    \Just the place for an Ogre! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for an Ogre! I have said it thrice:
    What i tell you three times is true.\

  • MHL

    @ Olga.Never one to miss an opportunity to take a side-swipe at a fallen man? Nevertheless, I still hope that you are concentrating on your Hungarian lessons?
    I am always intrigued by your views on Jobbik, Magyar Garda, and gypsies, etc. You know, Hungarian politics!
    I take the Blikk newspaper which has nudes on the front page, sport on the back page, and the racing card inside.
    I do not take myself as seriously as the hairy godmother of lost causes in the guise of a liberal cure-all with a tendency to believe that everything I do, think, and say is “vouchsafed” by God!
    I am as insecure and vindictive as many on this site but, I have been here for 3 years and enjoy the pastime.
    Szabad Ember. Please do not feel it necessary to make any provision for your erstwhile friend. I have been beaten about the head by her many times and I can only expect the same for the future.
    I was impressed by the very articulate way you delivered many of your posts recently. I only wish I had the patience to do likewise. I am an “extemporaneous hothead” as Olga is always quick to point out. Best wishes.
    BTW Olga. Post as much poetry as you like – nonsensical, free verse, heroic, ballad, Ode, Villanelle:
    “And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

    • Szabad Ember

      @MHL

      Thanks, and I love that stanza! Poetry at its best…

  • olga

    @ MHL and Szabad Ember

    MHL re: “Never one to miss an opportunity to take a side-swipe at a fallen man” – is this the playground version of ” but she started it first” ?

    FYI Ogres have an aversion to over-sensitive males and poetry (ugh) ; they prefer communication in bullet points if possible or at least pithy clear sentences instead of hours of tedious discussions on what a Poet “really meant.” and symbolism. The Lewis Carrol poem I recognized, the last one I had to search on google to find out who the author was. Poor Sylvia Plath probably stuck her head in the oven from reading too much poetry; dangerous stuff

    About the Roma – since you are a Brit, take a look at yesterday’s article in theguardian: “Poor, abused and second-class: the Roma living in fear in Hungarian village”

    Totally one sided, no mention of the correlation between poverty and crime nor the victims of said crimes. It starts off with a family having 10 kids(!!!) but no matter how one sided the article is it’s not those 10 kids’ fault for being born.

    I feel relived not having to come up with any answers, knowing that people a hell of a lot smarter than I am really don’t have any answers either or at least the answers are light years away

    Szabad Ember ; Can’t really discuss how Canadian Conservatives are much more like the Dems than the Republicans due to the purpose of this website.

    However, Forbes Magazine carried a story titled “Understanding US Politics In Four Easy Bullet Points” ( beats poetry) so I only wish someone would do that for Hungarian Politics.

    Until then, this is my attempt to do so, but keep in mind I never claimed to have a clear understanding of politics in Hungary:

    * FIDESZ less than perfect but no viable opposition thus best of the lot
    * MSZP – Gyrcsany was a crook, abused his power for personal gain but no indication there was anything wrong with his platform and promises that “never happened”
    * JOBBIK – evil
    * LMP – sounds good but platform unclear and Hungarians seem to be as ready for an LMP gov’t as they are ready for gay marriage; all in due time

    • Szabad Ember

      @Olga

      You’re right, let’s not start talking about Canadian politics here.

      Pretty good summation, except that if Fidesz is hell-bent on the destruction of democracy, as I’m sure it is, then any of the others (except Jobbik, which is DEFINITELY hell-bent on the destruction of democracy) would be better, imho.

      Hungarians are more ready for gay marriage than you might think; it’s the extremely violent and vocal minority that seems to have a problem with it.

    • Szabad Ember

      @Olga

      I just read that article in the Guardian about the Roma and I have to say that I don’t how it is one-sided. I also don’t see how it avoids the subject of poverty being linked to crime and vice-versa; it very specifically mentions that the Roma are poor and were accused of petty crime. Besides, anyone who has read significant amounts of literature about the root causes of petty crime will already be well acquainted with its links to poverty, in almost every country and among most ethnic and linguistic groups. How would bringing those links up more explicitly have made this article more even-handed? I agree, though, that the writer should have included some interviews with victims of petty crimes in the village, if only to get a better sense of why the villagers voted in an extreme right-winger as mayor.

      How many poor Catholics have huge numbers of children, because of their faith? How many poor people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America do the same? Do you condemn them for having children? What if their government made it national policy to increase the birth rate, as the Hungarian government has, to the point that it actually pays people to have kids? Your problem with large families seems to be linked to the color of the skin of those families. I hope I’m wrong about that.

      Say what you will about Hungarian Roma being criminals; they will steal far less as a group than the thieves in government and their rich friends. Besides, nobody deserves to be terrorized in their homes the way the people in the article were, and with government complicity, to boot! Is this how minorities are treated in Canada?

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