So, the UK now has a Tory prime minister and basically a Tory government. (On a side note, I discovered yesterday that I am older than both halves of Britain's new conjoined prime-ministers. This is obviously the next stage in feeling ancient, after many others - being older than some professional footballers--> being older than all tennis players--> being older than all professional footballers--> and now being older than not just the PM but the mini-me version too). Who knows how it will all pan out, but looking at the cabinet it looks very dicey. Have you seen Michael Gove's views on education for example? Shudder)
And Romania has a government which seems destined to shatter even the Thatcher government's worst excesses. See Bogdan's comments adding to my post on Monday for more details.
However, these two countries pale into insignificance when we look at Hungary. Like the UK, Hungary also recently had a general election, and like the UK it previously had a very unpopular sort-of-but-not-really-left-wing-party in power. However, whereas in the UK the mainstream right-wing party didn't really take full advantage of this, in Hungary they (FIDESZ) swept to power with a huge majority. Now as I think I've said before I think FIDESZ are a pretty dodgy bunch, with a number of dodgy people involved (not least their leader Viktor Orbán).In common with many other mainstream right wing parties they tend to play the "we're not racist, but" game - not being openly racist or having openly racist policies, but not really speaking out against racism (and as we'll see in a couple of paragraphs time, there is a lot of racism in Hungary that really needs to be spoken out against).
In theory FIDESZ's election ought to be reasonably good news for people round here since they do tend to go in for the "let's support our poor oppressed Magyar brothers isolated from us by the evils of Trianon" rhetoric, and in previous periods of government they funded a fair amount of activity here in Székelyföld. Though with Hungary as bankrupt as everywhere else in Europe seems to be, such financial support looks a bit further off this time. There is a suggestion that as they have such a huge parliamentary majority now which allows them to alter the constitution, that they will resuscitate the attempt in 2004 to award Hungarian citizenship to ethnic Hungarians from outside Hungary. Personally I think that if they do, everyone here ought to reject it, since (a) in theory now both countries are in the EU there is basically no difference which passport you hold; and (b) it seems like it would just play into the hands of hardcore nationalist Romanians who think Hungarian Romanians should "go back" to Hungary. I can imagine it might open doors for Hungarians in Ukraine or possibly Serbia, but for people here it just seems like a poisoned chalice. Still it's not really for me to say. The other possible effect it might have here would be to shake up the Hungarian Romanian political scene, since FIDESZ created and supported the MPP, a party which appears to have all but disappeared recently, and which provides a more right wing nationalist alternative to the nationalist soft right RMDSZ (UDMR) party which represents the Hungarians in Romania (and hence runs essentially a one-party state here in Harghita County). Who knows what will happen there. [One question that does arise with the possible award of Hungarian citizenship to Hungarians from outside Hungary, is that anyone taking the passport will have to have a vote in Hungarian elections, and of course those that accept the passport will likely to be predisposed to the party that gave it to them, which means that one could see the whole thing as a cynical vote buying grab]
The really big disaster of the Hungarian election though is the rise of Jobbik. Now people on the left often (and occasionally with good reason) get criticised for calling anyone on the right a "fascist" or a "nazi", and it is clear that these terms are extremely overused. But Jobbik are genuinely a Nazi party. By that I don't mean they have strong views on immigration or integration a la Le Pen or Bossi for example. By that I mean they are openly anti-semitic, vehemently anti-Rroma with the threat of violence against that community never far from the surface, aggressive, racist bastards. They even have their own paramilitary force the Magyar Gárda, who have been likened to Hitler's Brownshirts. (As an aside you will see from that article, FIDESZ have been pretty complicit in Jobbik's rise).
In this election Jobbik got 16.67% of the vote, which translates into 47 parliamentary seats (just under 7% of the whole). Next to figures like that Thatcherite politics in Romania and the UK seem like merely a small problem.
The only positive to come out of the election (and I mean the only positive) is that a 4th party (basically a green party) called "Politics can be different" (LMP) got 7% and 16 seats.
Some references in case you want to immerse yourself further in this deeply depressing set of results:
Hungary Lurches to the Right (Der Spiegel)
"Hungary has turned into a grubby hive of nationalism" (Der Spiegel)
Hungary party to follow European extremism's move away from fringes (Guardian)
Head of far-right Hungarian party Jobbik vows to wipe out ‘Gypsy crime’ (The Times)
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