Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Blank Slate

The leader of Jobbik, Gábor Vona (centre, back, plain clothes) among his 'troops'. He says he will enter parliament in uniform.

The emergence of the far right is all the fault of the liberals and the left, says the reliable old right wing Budapest Analyses, arguing:

In Hungary, the right-radical party Jobbik emerged from a virtual blank slate over the last couple of years, to some extent with the covert support of the centre-left government, which needed a far-right menace to justify its constant war cry of the rise of a fascist danger. It probably never considered that this could become a self-fulfilling prophecy and that the far right would escape control, as appears to have happened. Jobbik has established itself as a real player on the political scene, gaining 14.7 percent in last year’s European Parliamentary elections on a relatively low turnout and gaining 16.66 percent in the April elections to the Hungarian parliament, nearly overtaking the burnt-out left.

It used the threat of it and thereby created it, where it simply did not, could not, never did, exist. There is no wolf at all, or virtually no wolf, but then you cry wolf, and create the wolf. There never was a MIÉP, never a Csurka, never a march of blackshirts through Budapest in 1995 that I myself saw. Csurka was never a member of parliament. It wasn't black shirts but a blank slate I was watching.

Now one in six Hungarians have voted for fascists. That was the fault of those who told you there were fascists. If they hadn't said there were fascists, there wouldn't be fascists. They wished the fascists into being. There was just a blank slate before.

This is not the product of nationalism, xenophobia, racism and history. It is the product of people who have been fighting nationalism, xenophobia, racism and history. Had they not fought these things, they would not have existed. Nothing exists on a blank slate. Not even on a virtual blank slate. Only virtual things.

So now the right have the field to themselves. How pleased they must be to have the left burned out. Burn their books next, I say. Let's make a blank slate of them.

In Budapest it is only one in ten who voted for Jobbik, meaning nine in ten didn't, and a new Green / Liberal party outpolled them. It's something.


Paul Hellyer said...

I must admit that the thought crossed my mind that perhaps the 'failure' of the MSZP, and it allies, to provide competent (i.e. non-corrupt) governance contributed to the rise in support for the far-right. But then if one applies the 'victim-provoked-me' test, then clearly this analysis fails. I can remember in the late 1960's and early '70's when the debate on rape was taking place in the growing feminist environment, many (men) claimed that women were responsible for rape because they dressed 'provocatively'. It was all their fault. Likewise, we find that some elements in the Catholic Church blame sexual abuse on the victims themselves (see http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_14332.shtml).

The view that the rise in the far-Right in Hungary is due to the inadequacies of the ruling elite needs to be called out for what it is: a canard; an abhorrent attempt to place the blame for misfortune at those least responsible.

George S said...

I don't doubt that the corruption and incompetence of the MSZP was a factor, Paul. I just point out that it wasn't MSZP that produced the phenomenon out of something that didn't exist before.

This is Fidesz distancing itself, isn't it? But it can only do so by blaming someone else. It is not as if Fidesz ever played the nationalist card, is it?

The question is where the MSZP vote has gone? Presumably to Fidesz rather than Jobbik. I shall wait to see.

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Poet in Residence said...

There'll be even more bovver at the soccer matches along the Donaulands. I'll not be buying a season ticket.

George S said...

Nice to see you back, Gwilym. I hope things are, in general, well.