“Together, we left the party”… in 1993!
I appreciate the author’s perspective, but what’s the value here? She’s a politician in the opposition who openly admits that she’s hated Orban and Fidesz for 30 years.
The author holds a graduate degree from Tufts University in America and is a long time EU bureaucrat. Whether you call this the “professional managerial class”, the “laptop class”, the “email caste” or the “globalist elites”… she’s absolutely a card-carrying member. Of course someone with this background hates Orban! She just regurgitates the same criticisms we hear from every other “EU / PMC / laptop class / globalist” Orban hater. She brings nothing unique to the table here.
Unherd should go find a Hungarian, blue-collar, factory worker who barely graduated from high school and ask his opinion. It might not be in such fancy language, but in terms of understanding Hungary, it would be far more valuable.
Are you saying that what she has accused Orban of doing is lies? Do you believe he hasn’t rewarded loyalists with large amounts of EU money, or that his policies appear to have altered largely on opportunism rather than any deeply help beliefs?
If you disagree with what is written in the article, then address the points made. Simply personally attacking the author rather than what she has wrote is the kind of tactics one normally associates with the woke left
Surely on different than what happen on the left all day every day.
Isn’t it the clarion call of the left vote for us an we will take money from other people, and borrow more, and give you loads public sector jobs and free money
Are you saying that somewhere in this world, politicians and bureaucrats never tell lies? Do you believe that political systems exist in which party loyalists, of whatever stripe, never get financial favors from their friends in high places?
Speaking for myself, I have found it quite refreshing to hear characters like Orban tell the bloated EU establishment with its Woke ideals to go pound sand.
Of course I’m not saying that, my point was that if you’re going to accuse people of lying, then explain which points you believe to be incorrect rather than lazily attacking their character. To me it’s no different than the woke yelling F@C1ST at everybody who has a different view to themselves.
I also don’t find Orban refreshing. Corruption isn’t ok just because it’s committed by a politician who is more aligned to my views than others. I dislike the EU and voted to leave, however I don’t believe that given the choice Orban would do the same despite his posturing.
Hear! Hear! There seems to be more and more Unherd commenters who believe we should only get articles by writers that they agree with,
What she has accused Orban of doing seems to be more of opinion shaped by her own political views, is the problem.
For instance “His shift to the Right places him in a political camp made up of Eastern autocrats, Donald Trump, and the European hard-Right”
In contrast, somehow, what’s happening to truckers and farmers in Canada or Netherlands, the refusal to accept Brexit, the hatred for parties for merely expressing opposition to mass immigration, are all signs of a healthy non autocratic democracy.
If you click on the link evidencing “Fidesz has heaped pressure on the independent judiciary”, it’s a Guardian piece with their usual “investigative ” reporting.
Should we believe evidence from the Guardian from a bitter anti-Orban opponent?
I was once having a drink with some colleagues from Poland and Hungary. They were software developers working in the finance sector in London. I was (pleasantly) surprised about how sound their politics were. To a man, they were in favour of Pis and Fidesz, anti-mass immigration and pro-traditional values. So I would guess Orban’s support is wider than just factory workers.
This.The more I see Orban critics and where they come from, the more I find him to be lovable.
Orban is the guy that preserves Hungary from Brussels rule. They hate him for that. Hungarians elected him for that. And re-elected him. As for the idiot author writing “Fidesz won a landslide victory, which Orbán saw as a personal mandate giving him free rein to rewrite the rules of government” : yes, that’s exactly what a landslide victory is.
No it’s not, it’s the antithesis of what a democratic election should lead to. Winning a majority of any size most emphatically does not entitle the victor (no pun intended) to change the rules in an attempt to pull the rug from underneath future opposition. Failing to understand that is failing to understand the democratic process. Orban clearly understands what he’s doing and why, but lending him support by seeking to distort democratic norms is politically illiterate.
“What do Hungarians make of all this?”
They elected him. Nobody elected the EU Commission.
The article does make the point, though, that Orban controls the press and the political machinery, which is quite helpful in getting elected. That rings a bell with me when I think of how the EU Commission is appointed – perhaps that explains how they are able to get on with each other?
Hmm. I wonder if there’s any other country where a political party controls the press? It’s on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t come up with the answer.
Yes, where is that? Usury … Sassy … Amerto … Merick … it’s on the tip of my tongue too.
Given the performance of our own craven press over the last 3 years, we’re in no position to criticise another country.
“Orban controls the press and the political machinery”
Have you heard of this country called the United States?
But consider Iran where the government controls … everything. That might work for a while but eventually people break free. Nope, it seems to me that if the Hungarian people didn’t like Orban they’d throw him out soon enough.
Of course, but ‘eventually’ is doing quite a bit of work there, isn’t it?
and? the EU commission is run by the governments of the EU, which are elected. if you want all that EU cash, you play by the rules
I don’t get the hatred of Orban. The guy won a free and fair election – that brings the total to four now. Surprise victory says the author. Really? He won with 53% of the vote, compared to 35% for the opposition.
She condemns him for being an authoritarian, yet the unelected EU feels perfectly justified withholding billions in Covid funding because they don’t like his politics.
The west has propped up authoritarian despots across the globe for decades, countries with legit and ghastly human rights abuses, yet Orban is some kind of threat to democracy.
The hypocrisy stinks.
Trump Derangement Syndrome
Farage Derangement Syndrome
Boris Derangement Syndrome
Truss Derangement Syndrome
Musk Derangement Syndrome
Orban Derangement Syndrome
I sense a pattern. It’s almost as if people who articulate ideas outside the accepted ‘liberal democracy’ consensus are ridiculed for their personalities rather than their achievements.
Coming up next – Desantis derangement syndrome. Book it.
Trump himself seems keen to be an early subscriber to that one.
I read a lot about Orban but I confess I hadn’t paid much attention.
I clicked the link the author provided to his speech in Texas, read his own words, and found virtually nothing in there to disagree with.
I’m sure I don’t have anywhere near enough information to judge, but the programme he outlined in that speech was pretty much spot on in its assessment of what is wrong with society and how it can be fixed.
An article by one of Orban’s political opponents entrenched in the EU political class is scarcely an Unherd article more a matter of repetition of the anti-Orban conventional wisdom.
Orban’s government has been in charge almost as long as the Tories have in Britain (both since May 2010). Compare and contrast. The Tories at best have been managerialists, they’re largely screwing up trying to reap a lot of benefit out of even their most populist policy (Brexit). Orban has been a true counter-revolutionary by comparison.
Absolutely, the so called Tories have been ABSOLUTELY pathetic, in fact a national disgrace. How such lacklustre, lickspittle cretins have got away with it for so long is simply staggering!
Sadly, off course Labour are even worse! (if that is humanly possible).
My girlfriend is Hungarian so I have some kind of insight that I can offer. Lots of people on Unherd sympathise with Orban but I think they are mistaken. Its one thing to agree with his rhetorical opinions about migration, EU, culture, etc. but its quite another thing to agree with the way his government works. The crux of the issue is that the government does not allow civil society to be left to its own devices, the parallels of its top down involvement suggest that it inherited the socialist statism that it purports to be against, albeit with a right wing flavour. Read about how the government strong arms the Church, or how they buy off liberal news outlets, fire all their journalists and put pro-party zealots in their stead. I also have a small anecdote from my gf who, with other Hungarian expats, was organising a graduate career fair in London for Hungarians. All was going smoothly until the government found out about it. They didn’t want to miss out on milking the gratitude of the Hungarian youth Nd so they organised their own London career fair on the exact same date (and with much more funding and PR support), thereby supplanting my gf’s fair and making all their hardwork feel wasted. Taking this sort of thing to the media isn’t really an option for them because that sort of exposure could easily harm their careers. Its a small, and some might say irrelevant example, but I would say that it’s indicative of the kind of government you have to deal with as a Hungarian.
I’ll admit, I don’t know enough about Orban and Hungary to make anything but generalized comments. What scares me about the left in the west is they control all the institutions – culture, academia, media, finance, big tech, judiciary, the public sector. Maybe the same thing is happening on the right in Hungary. It’s never healthy for a dogmatic belief system to dominate all the institutions, left or right. But political interference like that experienced by your girlfriend happens all the time in the west – every single day. The FBI and the DOJ have become political tools for the left in the United States.
the left control the media in the UK? have you heard of sky news, GB news, the daily mail, the telegraph and the sun?
IMO the Brits have a much healthier media ecosystem than North America, but is it not dominated by the BBC and the Guardian?
In North America, the media is absolutely dominated by the left. Canada has one centrist newspaper and the US has Fox News. That’s it.
To compound the issue in Canada, the media landscape has been so decimated by social media that the govt funded, left-wing CBC is now the dominant player. Is that not the case with the BBC?
Do a search for any news and see how many times those news sites get quoted at the top.
It’s invariably Guardian, NYT and BBC.
And I agree it’s a matter of opinion, but the Left biased media seems to more numerous, more shameless and more well funded (often by our tax money).
“the government does not allow civil society to be left to its own devices”
Whereas, enforced lockdowns and mandated vaxxes in the UK are some sort of Liberal regime? Everyone happy that granny died unvisited?
Separate albeit important issue. We are looking at Hungary here, however. And FYI , Hungary locked down hard and mandated vaccines.
Not a good report, thank you, I’d missed that.
Thanks for that insight. It’s worth far more than all the opinions in Comments which speak from a purely theoretical viewpoint.
Orban and Soros ought to get together and establish a University for Central Europe, to help Hungarians make peace and prosperity that Nagy and St. Stephen would be proud of.
I have long said that Hungary should be kicked out of the EU.You can’t have one foot in EU camp and the other in with evil dictators Putin andXi.No morals and corrupt.
Any leader that aligns himself with Putin and Xi has an evil streak