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Party materialism

June 13th, 2011

What is at stake in the struggle for the leadership of the Socialist party is not so much which ideological line to follow, but rather who will control the financial and organizational resources of the party, a right wing commentator suggests.

When former party chairman and PM Ferenc Gyurcsány addresses the party congress this week-end, some will applaud and some will boo, “but the majority will be skulking. Skulking and keeping a watchful eye on each other. And those are the ones who will make the difference”, writes Gyula T. Máté, an editorial writer at Magyar Hírlap.

The local party strongmen have always chosen the national leader on the basis of material considerations. Being elected to Parliament is not bad, but pales into insignificance beside having an influential post in local councils where corruption is less exposed to the public eye. The Socialists, however, are fully aware that they won’t be able to defeat Fidesz for the foreseeable future, therefore the posts that can be won are limited in number. What does remain to be conquered is “control over the party’s real estate, party foundations, the party infrastructure and, last but not least, its media and entrepreneurial hinterland”.