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Poverty and the Holocaust among the campaign topics

March 6th, 2014

A pro-government commentator accuses a leading liberal writer of putting his talent at the service of the opposition campaign, and of turning Jewish Hungarians and the poor into weapons in electoral battles.

In Magyar Nemzet, Ottó Gajdics polemicizes with writer Lajos Parti Nagy, a fervent critic of the government, who has been running a weakly satirical column in Élet és Irodalom poking fun at the government side for the past three years. He blasts Parti Nagy for his latest televised interview in which the writer said that “a handful of utility tariff fighters keep on lying about the promised land, while the stomachs of the majority are empty”. Gajdics accuses Parti Nagy of despising poor people for whom the utility tariff cuts of the past year have produced a tangible increase in their real incomes. Another statement Gajdics rejects is Parti Nagy’s announcement that the “Penmen’s Association” (an organisation which seceded from the Writer’s Union they accused of tolerating anti-Semites among its member) has returned the grant it won within the framework of the Holocaust Memorial Year, because they believe that the project is intended to serve the government’s propaganda purposes. (See BudaPost, October 2013 through February, 2014) Gajdics argues that Parti Nagy thus admitted that their stance was part of the electoral campaign, and finds it sad that a talented writer should put his pen at the service of political parties. He criticises even more vehemently Parti Nagy’s accusation that the government virtually ejects Hungary’s Jews from the national community, when its representatives speak about their Jewish compatriots, meaning that they belong to another entity. Gajdics believes, on the contrary that leading government personalities use that term in a context of love and fraternity, just as it is customary to talk about “our German or Slovak, Calvinist or Catholic compatriots”. Gajdics finds it repugnant that someone would use the victims of the Holocaust and the poor of the country as human shields in an electoral campaign.