A pro-government daily says the Szárszó meeting shows left-liberal circles lost their way because they are inimical to the concepts of nation and patriotism. The number one left-wing daily draws the conclusion that the Left is not able at present to defy the government or even to compete successfully with Jobbik.
On Saturday, left-liberal intellectuals gathered in comedian Tivadar Farkasházy’s Balaton-side cottage again. The so-called ’Szárszó gathering’ has been held annually since 1993 and the list of participants have not changed much over the years. (On last year’s Szárszó meeting see BudaPost, June 26, 2013 )
István Stefka, editor-in-chief of Magyar Hírlap sees this year’s Szárszó gathering as politically insignificant and contends that the participants themselves did not know why there were there and what they wanted, while the discussion was confined to wondering over PM Orbán’s success. Stefka quotes writer Tamás Ungvári – one of the participants – who said “At present there is no leader on the left but someone might suddenly appear on Hősök tere after a discussion in a college”. Ungvári, he gleefully remarks, must have referred to Viktor Orbán and his famous speech at the reburial ceremony of Imre Nagy, the PM of the 1956 revolution. Stefka concludes a leader is defined by faith, work and dedication to nation, and such human traits are only to be found on the “national(ist) side”.
In its front page editorial, Népszabadság remarks that infighting is still going on within the Left after the two crushing electoral defeats last spring, and the Szárszó people were not even able to be united in criticizing the Prime Minister, who has offered ample reasons for criticism. “For the moment, the Left is not in a position to represent an alternative”, Népszabadság continues, and remarks that as a result, a vast space is opening in front of Jobbik. The far right party has a nationwide organisational network, it has a goal, a faith, a message and a charismatic leader. “The risk that it will gain further ground is thus very real”. Népszabadság urges the left to find ways to attract people disenchanted with the government and thus prevent Jobbik from recruiting them.