A conservative columnist accuses the Left of provoking its own demise and thus must blame itself for Fidesz’s power monopoly.
In an “open letter to the Left” on the Heti Válasz website, András Bódis finds it sad that PM Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has no credible challenger in today’s Hungary. He describes as ‘pathetic’ the left-wing choice for mayoral candidate in Budapest at the forthcoming municipal elections. The Left has accepted the nominee of its weakest party, Together-PM, in the person of the former leader of the Socialist Party pensioner’s club. He describes the man, Ferenc Falus as a grey personality with no appeal to the masses of voters.
(In the print version, Heti Válasz portrays Dr Falus as an entrepreneur who runs a home nursing enterprise and has used his political connections in the past to be appointed first manager and head physician of a Budapest hospital, then Surgeon General. In addition, although he plays no role in Jewish public life, he heads the Jewish Relief Agency which spends billions of forints per year, most of it on home nursing. Radical opposition commentators accused Heti Válasz of playing the racist card. )
Bódis does not deny the leftist claim that a virtual one party system is in the making, but retorts that it is being caused by the incurable incompetence of left-wing leaders. Today, he continues, people who want to achieve anything, either for their communities or for themselves, have to fight it out within the “Fidesz system”. The Left has lost its constituency and is unable to offer either support or protection. It does not even represent “the angry ones” any longer – they have been “taken over” by far-right Jobbik, whom Bódis “for the moment” takes even less seriously. He welcomes the debates now openly developing within the Fidesz camp, calling criticism by professors and journalists “a liberating experience”. “More and more people are shaking off the chain of self-censorship and of silence”, he writes, but warns the Left that none of them will turn against the government “for your sake.” “To be in cahoots with you would be even more embarrassing than tolerating the whims of the rulers”.