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LMP leader accused of ’double talk’ on Roma

January 10th, 2013

An independent blogger defends LMP leader András Schiffer from liberal critics who accuse him of double talk in connection with anti-Roma racism.

Reacting to a newspaper article widely criticised as racist hate-mongering (See BudaPost, January 9), LMP leader András Schiffer condemned the author, but said he understood those village dwellers who are intimidated by criminal family gangs, “with the police observing the scene through binoculars.”

In its unsigned editorial, Magyar Narancs immediately retorted that Schiffer was using “double talk” – playing for a racist gallery, while paying lip service to the principle of human rights.

Fent és lent (Above and Below), an independent news blog, suspects political motivation behind the criticism (Schiffer has held his party away from the opposition alliance under construction in view of the elections scheduled for next year – See BudaPost, November 24, 2012.) He accuses Magyar Narancs and left-liberals in general of having involuntarily played into the hands of the extreme right wing, by declaring Hungary’s grave and widespread racial problems taboo. “Can we deplore people who are unhappy at the sight of the widespread stealing going on round them?” the blogger asks. “Especially if they have to choose between two answers: anti-Gypsy hate-mongering or explanations from clever city dwellers that what they see is just a product of their imagination”. Fent és lent suggests that that is exactly why the radical right-wing Jobbik party is so popular in areas where racial conflicts are frequent.

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