A triumphant fanfare of sneers was the reaction of the Leftwaffe coalition that took over control of Budapest’s 9th district following the local government elections of 2019. The supercilious nature of the new mayor and her rag-tag gang of mates who now occupy the local council building has always been at the fore. That’s a problem in that these people are meant to be servants of the district, something they most decidedly are not.
Whilst nobody begrudges the fact that the celebratory excesses of the Leftwaffe –having finally succeeded in securing power in the 9th – did reveal a petty nature more usually witnessed in school playgrounds, it’s what came next that has soured things. Since their entry into power the local council have done little other than tear at the very fabric of what a local government should be. In lieu of spending wisely, they have frittered money away on projects which serve a very small minority. The 9th district is not the land of millionaires, there are plenty of people residing in the district who need assistance, assistance that was previously provided for them by the local council.
The Leftwaffe coalition that won over the voters of the 9th did so, to a large extent, thanks to the charges of corruption that they continually launched against the leaders of the council. At times it seemed that they’d all undertaken a pledge to begin every sentence, no matter what, with a broken record announcement relating to car parking and corruption, wholly ignoring the fact that this charge was proved false in a court of law.
This is the same tactic that the Leftwaffe have pursued for years regarding the governments of Viktor Orbán:
unable to gain a foothold of note with the populace, the Leftwaffe have opted for a droning campaign of accusations of corruption.
And it’s clear why the Leftwaffe have chosen to opt for this tactic – it’s a win-win strategy. Accused of something that is patently untrue, the accused has two options, either allow valuable time and resources to be diverted to establishing the fraudulent nature of the accusation, or try to ignore it. The trouble is, of course, that if you stop to deal with the accusation, you’re liable to become bogged down in a veritable quicksand of further accusations as your accuser gleefully recognises that they can divert and confuse your energies with this basic tactic of lying. Ignore the accusation, however, and your accuser will carry on telling anyone who wants to listen that “it’s obviously true because there’s been no denial.” In a perfect world people wouldn’t deliberately try to derail governmental progress by conjuring up lies, but we don’t find ourselves in a perfect world.
In a perfect world, or something that dreamed of moving closer to the ideal of perfection, local governments would recognise that they are servants of the people, placed into positions of relative power in order to improve the lot of those who reside in a particular area. Whilst not suggesting that the previous local government was perfect, at least they saw it as their duty to try to improve the lot of all residents of the 9th. This ‘new’ lot, elected in late 2019, appear to have decided on a different approach. Their approach combines virtue signalling with the slow but sure retraction of funds that people used to be able to depend on. Virtue signalling doesn’t come cheap, and the incumbent mayor, a woman whose party was so lacking in popularity that it simply ceased to be, has aligned a bunch of jokers and misfits behind her who enthusiastically snigger at the idea of spending vast sums of money on art projects, whilst shutting off the supply of funds to the needy.
As a result, we have been subjected to such inane provocation as the unveiling – on the undeniably holy day of Maundy Thursday – of a rainbow-coloured, 3-D printed statue of the Statue of Liberty on one knee, her fist raised in the defiant black power salute. Wonderful, truly magnificent: a piece of ‘art’ which ticks all the liberal boxes – black lives matter, black power, the entirety of the community who define themselves in every shade of ‘non-heterosexual’ possible. In case some of the more intellectually-challenged liberals didn’t get it straight away, the reworked Liberty was holding a tome in her left hand which bore the legend: “Black lives matter”. No excuse for not knowing what’s important in the centre of Budapest now, is there?
Typically, the provocation that the statue embodied resulted in a furore of sorts. The statue, intended to be displayed in public for a two-week period was initially boarded up, then uncovered before being spattered in white paint prior to someone knocking it off its (literal) pedestal and smashing it to pieces with a hammer. But that only was a minor inconvenience. The ‘artist’, if we are to condescend to award him such a title had already revealed the fact that his ‘artwork’ only cost a few quid to print and then glue together, and stated that he was ready to send a few more rolling along the conveyer belt. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. But what he revealed in essence was that millions of forints had been paid to him for nothing. Millions of forints which could have been better used by funding programmes for Roma kids, for example. But no. The traditional summer camp possibility was shut down as the local council decided to give those particular weeks to someone else. So much for solidarity with those in need.
Smaller posters were given places free of charge by the advertising company, which means that they were displayed in places where there were no current posters. That means, in effect, that they were put up in places, including outside the district, where everyone in the world realises that it’s a waste of time. Great. Not to mention that the artists received nothing, artists that could apply from all over the country, not only the district. Now, how does that benefit the 9th?
All that money could have gone to support the people of the district. With that money, the local government could have continued the last local government’s initiative of “ham money”, providing a few thousand forints for the elderly and the needy at Easter so that they could treat themselves to a traditional Easter ham. But no, that’s not what this local government does. This local government continues to regard itself as nothing less than a tentacle of the Leftwaffe, working hard not for the people of the district, but for the hopeful election of the opposition in 2022.
The poster campaign for this year has yet to be organised. Given the veritable artistry involved, for anyone with an ounce of sense that means that the poster campaign from the local council coffers will be held back until the last minute, whereupon a political message, disguised as modern art, will be revealed in prominent places in the district, to encourage people to vote the incumbent government out.