Conservative pundits see their long-held views validated by the recent U-turn of some left-wing parties on the issue of Roma and criminality. Other pro-government commentators consider that by nominating a law and order candidate for the mayor of Miskolc, the Left have proved once again to be their own worst enemy.
By endorsing Albert Pásztor, the former police chief of Miskolc in their bid for the mayor’s office, the parties of the Left have painted themselves into a corner, writes Gergely Kiss in Magyar Nemzet (print edition). The two left-wing parties behind Pásztor, MSZP and DK, he says, are doing everything they can to whitewash their candidate, who became infamous in 2009 for his controversial statements about the Roma and criminality (see also BudaPost July 9). But in their attempt to do so, the two parties place themselves on the same platform with Jobbik, a situation that was unimaginable until recently. The absurdity of this setting demonstrates, in Kiss’ view, that Leftists in Hungary are still prone to self-harm.
The traditional voters of the left-wing parties are as prejudiced against the Roma as the right-wing electorate is, claims István Forgács on Mandiner. It was only after the general elections of 2014 that somebody in the MSZP dared to declare that the party partly owes its electoral defeat to its inability to tackle issues of law and order, the conservative Roma author believes. In his opinion the left-wing parties are being offered a historical chance to confess to being hypocritical when blaming the Right for thoughts they also shared in secret. It is time for useless orthodoxy to be replaced by realism and pragmatism, it is time for the Left to open its eyes to everyday reality, Forgács declares, otherwise the series of defeats will continue.
In Magyar Hírlap, Zsolt Bayer believes that the current change of heart is not surprising, for the contemporary Left has been characterized by selfish pragmatism from its inception: in the 1980s its representatives betrayed their Socialist ideals in order to transfer their political and economic privileges into the new regime. In the first two decades after the regime change, Bayer writes, these leftists have shrouded the misery and hopelessness of the Roma in the language of human rights, and ostracized anyone, including Bayer himself, for stepping out of the accepted frames of discourse. In a passionate conclusion, the conservative columnist labels the representatives of the Left ‘unprincipled, sly, and self-interested thieves’.