Gyurcsány and his magic bottles

There's a special genie hiding somewhere in one of these bottles!

This is getting beyond a joke. This is getting silly. But isn’t it still vaguely amusing? Well, yes, on occasion, but that’s not the point. This is not what the de facto head of the motley bunch of misfits that make up the opposition is meant to be like!

Yes, once again, it’s Fletó who’s been plucked from the petri dish, it’s Fletó we’re peering at, trapped between two slides under the relentless, all-seeing eye of the microscope. And we can see what he’s up to: he’s looking for the genie of the lamp.

Fletó’s been looking for the genie of his own, particular personal lamp for years now. In his case, of course, it’s not hiding in an old lamp that could do with a good clean, but rather, according to Fletó’s insider information, it’s at the bottom of one of a flask. And when I say ‘insider information’, I’m not referring to the insider dealing which enabled him to make a fortune overnight with scant regard for morals and the laws of man in the legislative chaos that followed the fall of communism. No, this is the sort of insider information which only Fletó hears, the ears of most of us are deaf to the tantalising whispers of this insistent genie.

Far be it for anyone to mock…I’m not, after all, one of those who advocates that you should be slaking your thirst with H2O as I seek to drown myself in a vat of sparkling wine, but, we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about a man who’s almost continually in the spotlight. What’s more, when he’s not in the spotlight he’s doing his damnedest to drag the spotlight over to where he’s standing.

The oddest aspect of the whole sorry affair is that Fletó’s hiccupping career hasn’t been derailed by his never-ending search for the spirit within the spirits and the jinn in the gin.

There have been hiccups aplenty but, like some sort of deranged, lit-up juggernaut, he somehow stumbles and rumbles on, sweeping and dragging all other elements of the opposition under his hiccupping, fuddled influence.

But, there’s a question lurking at the back of everyone’s minds. That question, of course, is how long he can maintain things. Similarly to the rest of us, he’s not getting any younger, and his tolerance seems to be slipping. Either that, or his search for the genie has intensified of late.

He’s getting to the stage where he’s becoming ever harder to take seriously.

This, let’s not forget is a man who has fallen from the heights. This man was the Prime Minister of Hungary. This man was on top of his game in years past: he employed monumental guile to depose his boss Medgyessy and steal the top job. There’s no way that he could pull a coup like that off today. He’s just not in a fit state: that coup couldn’t have been achieved by a man who spent his days gazing into the hallucinatory world that can be found within the confines of a bottle.

Who can state with any real certainty when Fletó lost it? All things considered, it’s not important when the fight was lost, merely that the loss thereof has resulted in such a spectacular freakshow. Here we have a man who is full of the Christmas spirit. The only trouble, of course, is that he’s full of the Christmas and all other seasonal spirits, all year round.

Fletó’s his desire to communicate with the jinn has, of course, not gone unnoticed. Let’s not forget that this is a man who actively, wantonly desires the limelight. As such, his desire to take centre stage, combined with his unending wish to communicate with the spirits have led to some remarkable exhibitions.

And these exhibitions haven’t done him any favours. Any attempt at a meaningful message has fallen at the first hurdle, as things descended into the surreal.

One of the most notorious examples of this comes from the press conference which Fletó hosted after the announcement of the results of the 2018 national elections. All of Fletó’s fury, indignation, and outrage at the unfairness of the elections evaporated like surgical spirit from a cut as he stumbled, losing his footing mid-sentence, before finally lurching into a freakish set of words regarding snakes.

Intoxicated by his own umbrage and more besides, he started strong, vexed at the fact that by his account the elections were neither fair, nor free.

Then came a sentence, which was presumably intended to describe the lines of voters snaking around buildings, waiting to enter and cast their votes. This sentence couldn’t take the pressure, broke down under the influence, and the whole thing descended into farce:

And so the press conference was an utter waste of time, a lost chance. Amusing as it turned out to be, politically, he didn’t land even the lightest blow. Trying to regain speed after the entire audience had had a giggle, he hadn’t a hope. Nothing was remembered other than the ‘snakes’.

And that wasn’t an isolated incident. Much more recently, ploughing his new furrow; that of desiring that we all try to get along (with the exception of Vidnyánszky Attila who should be run from town like a common pygmy, according to Fletó), we were treated to a piece of surreal performance art as Fletó addressed parliament.

Stumbling over his words, tripping over his tongue, he teetered and tottered through his speech, fumbling for the words to put his message across. As part of his performance, he included a special feature whereby he suffered multiple instances of technical malfunctions when his microphone determined that it didn’t intend to stay put on his lapel. All of this added further interest to the show.

But the microphone was the least of his troubles. The slurred speech was far more revealing and disturbing. The swaying. The rambling. The confusion. The lack of conviction. The evident sadness. Whatever this man once was, he is no more.

What we see here is a man who has fallen. What we see here is nothing less than pathetic. And yet, this is the man who has managed to line up all the other misfits behind him.

That fact is more than pathetic. There’s only one message that we can draw from that fact: the Hungarian ‘opposition’ apparently do reside in a parallel universe.