Rights and obligations. These are ideas that we’re all aware of. Of late, with the encroachment of ‘liberal’ ideas regarding how society needs to be developed, there’s been a sense of the balance between the two becoming upset. With the liberal warriors of the European Parliament fighting to remould society in their own, personal image, we’ve seen far more weight given to rights, whilst obligations have had their importance lessened.
Now, to some extent, there has always existed a sense of a shepherd and sheep relationship between all elected governments and the citizens who elect them. Governments have traditionally decided, for example, that, no matter what the people think, the death penalty, once abolished, will not be returned to the statute books. This view tends to be at odds with the views of the general population of any given country. The voters tend to think that capital punishment is a good idea, either as a deterrent, or as a final punishment for the worst segment of society. But it doesn’t matter. It would take a huge shift in politics in Europe to have a country reintroduce the death penalty.
The EU, for one, is strictly against the death penalty, and would rain down Hell upon any member state that attempted to reinstate the ultimate state punishment. In fact, the EU is so sensitive and generally jittery about the whole issue that even mentioning it is enough to stir up the hornets’ nest of the permanently outraged Leftwaffe. In 2015, the Hungarian prime minister mentioned that freedom of expression and freedom of thought made it imperative that sensitive subjects, like the death penalty (which was abolished in Hungary in 1990) should remain open for discussion. That was enough for the standard bearers of liberal outrage to go into overdrive. Guy “the tooth fairy” Verhofstadt came close to having an apoplectic fit…another one.
More recently, the rights of convicted criminals have moved into the spotlight. Certain unscrupulous lawyers stumbled upon the idea that they could get the EU to assist in punishing the Hungarian government whilst getting rich in the process.
Typically, the EU has laid down the rights of convicted criminals, missing the point that perhaps the rights of convicted criminals should be located lower down on the list of things to do.
Hungary fell foul of the EU’s commands about how many m2 a prisoner was expected to have. Honestly, is this the most earth-shattering item on the agenda? Compensating convicted criminals because their new living quarters are slightly cramped? Surely this is one area where the EU has again lost touch with the general population of member states.
And this is where we see the dividing line between the West and Hungary. In the West, people have been so successfully brainwashed by the liberal elite that they no longer stop to consider whether it’s at all reasonable to spend even the shortest amount of time considering the privations of convicted felons. In Hungary, thankfully, that is not yet the case. In Hungary people were outraged to hear that the state had been ordered to pay compensation to convicted criminals. And why wouldn’t they be outraged? Convicted criminals, with the assistance of unscrupulous lawyers, are securing judgements in the European Court which result in taxpayers’ money being given as a reward to those who are meant to be punished. The idea is absurd.
And the government agreed with the people’s opinion that this is indeed an absurd idea. So, in contrast to what would be expected to happen in the West, the Hungarian government launched a national consultation. Again, not something you tend to see in the West.
In Hungary, the government maintains contact between the policies it pursues and the opinion of the majority of the country by regularly asking citizens to state their opinions.
The public’s outrage was duly represented in the national consultation. Those members of the Hungarian public who stated an opinion laid down that they didn’t want to see convicted criminals profit while their victims struggled on with ruined lives. The Hungarian public stated that their sense of justice was offended by these compensation cases, and the Hungarian Ministry of Justice duly began work to close the loopholes.
New annexes and extensions were constructed at Hungarian prisons to ensure that no claims for compensation could be lodged on the basis of not enough square metres falling on individual inmates. Then, a bill was submitted to parliament to bring to a close the so-called “prison business”, which had cost Hungarian taxpayers in excess of HUF 10bn over the past three years. With the new bill, payments related to compensation due to prison overcrowding will be redirected to the victims of crimes as opposed to the perpetrators.
This is where the West differs from Hungary. In Hungary, the government asks the opinion of those who put it into power. Not just every 4 years, but far more regularly. In the West, governments, ever more wary of offending the liberal elite that stand poised to attack all those who step out of line, seek to alter the relationship between populace and parliament. In the West, it really is a case of shepherds leading sheep. Thankfully, over here, we exist in a far more enlightened society.
Convicted criminals are meant to be punished. That is one of the building blocks of our societies. The liberal elite in the EU seek to erode that in addition to other building blocks of our societies. It shouldn’t take a genius to work out what that will eventually lead to. Hungary continues to buck this Western trend. Break the law and you will be punished. And if some sly lawyer finds a way to play the system so that the criminal element benefit from crime, then you can rest assured that, with its finger on the pulse of public opinion, the Hungarian government will set its own lawyers the task of battening down the hatches.
In Hungary, unlike in the West, things still work the way they should.
We all have rights, but in Hungary, the government hasn’t forgotten that it also has obligations.