Gábor Vona. A man with a mission. Yet again.
Gábor began his career, way, way back in the day, in Fidesz. There, however, he found no satisfaction, and so, like any young Turk would, he struck out on his own, becoming the leader of Jobbik.
At the time, Jobbik was the radical rightist alternative to Fidesz. In the early days, Fidesz were scorned by Jobbik supporters for not having the desire to radically tear down society and then rebuild it as a better version of itself.
Jobbik’s ideas on how to redefine Hungarian society at this point in time mainly involved putting uppity gypsies and Jews back in their place, knocking these increasingly-arrogant trouble-makers down a peg or two.
That is, of course, the antithesis of what Jobbik declare to be their goal nowadays. Jobbik have sought over the past few years to transform themselves from a party of the radical right, a party connected forever in people’s minds as the jack-booted, far right of the Hungarian political scene, more likely to raise a fascist, stiff-armed salute than a smile.
From this raucous start, having achieved representation in parliament, they began to change into “The party which says ‘Not that!’”
An odd idea, and one which confused many when Jobbik began to advocate this wholly one-dimensional political tactic, it’s nevertheless amusing to see that Jobbik’s tactic has now, to a large extent, been adopted so comprehensively by the Hungarian Left, that it now forms the exclusive oeuvre of left-wing opposition in Hungarian politics. But, let us not forget: it was Jobbik that started the trend, the trend of never offering anything in the manner of constructive criticism, let alone independent, developed ideas. Jobbik’s response to everything the government did was to dismiss it and reassure the public at large that “Jobbik wouldn’t do that!”. And that’s as far as they went.
We never heard what it was that Jobbik would do.
All we ever heard from Jobbik is that they wouldn’t do what the government was doing. When pressed on what they would do, the reply was always the same. A snort of derision, and the standard statement: “Not that!”
It was all sadly clear that this was smoke and mirrors, nothing more. Jobbik’s presence in parliament was becoming ever more cynical, turning Jobbik’s parliamentary faction into little more than an exclusive private members’ club. A lucky group of ne’er do wells, having secured election to parliament, were content to live the easy life with monies and funds provided by the state. Jobbik took their foot off the accelerator and coasted.
About this time, Gábor Vona underwent a change. A rather radical change, certainly a radical change that Jobbik’s support-base didn’t see coming. Vona started to turn away from the right-hand side of the political spectrum, and plotted a course which led towards the Left.
Vona began to criticise the Hungarian government from an increasingly left-wing point of view. His prediction of becoming prime minister in 2018 fell flat. He fell on his sword, and leadership of what remained of Jobbik eventually ended up with Péter Jakab.
Vona left the political scene, and began to lie low.
Jakab enthusiastically, almost deliriously started to run, with Jobbik in tow, in the direction that Vona had last indicated. At this point, it became clear that Jobbik were, in fact, intent on turning themselves inside out as a party to become that which had been the diametric opposite to what they had initially desired.
Jobbik have, by now, completed a 180° turn. Now, they forgot harsh words of ‘never with you!’, and began a mating dance to woo the Leftwaffe.
Unable to ignore the voices of those who recall what Jobbik originally proclaimed itself to be, Jobbik have undertaken to walk a rather strange tightrope, desperately seeking to convince themselves that, as regards cake, they can both have it, and eat it. It’s not, it must be said, a pretty sight to observe. Whilst straining every muscle and sinew to prove their new ‘red’ credentials to the motley band of illogical fools to be found inhabiting the Hungarian left-wing, whilst doing their best to add their voice to the chorus of anti-Hungarian, anti-vaccine sentiment which seems to form part of the acceptance procedure, not only have Jobbik elected to try and keep what few original supporters they still have on board, by fielding the odd anti-Semitic candidate, but they’ve been obliged to call on their new Leftwaffe friends to back them up in this hopeless endeavour.
The result resembles nothing less than a badly-mauled gazelle.
And now, to add insult to injury, Vona has poked his head up above the ramparts of where he was lying low to spit in the faces of those who took his lead.
Vona has decided that it’s time to re-stake a claim in the political arena. Tired and bored of his ‘career’ as an ‘influencer’ (whatever that means), Vona has thrust himself back into the cut and thrust of Hungarian political life.
In a recent radio interview, Vona revealed, or admitted, that which we have all recognised for years now: that Jobbik’s support can now only be drawn from the disenchanted that presently support what remains of the Hungarian socialist party and people turning their backs on the pathological liar ‘Fletó’ Gyurcsány.
Regarding the party he once fronted, he was scathing. Vona is of the opinion that Jobbik at present lack a political vision, engaging in a campaign to highlight the inequalities that exist between rich and poor. This campaign has mainly resulted in ridicule for Jakab as a man who, despite taking home several million a month, propagates the idea that he, too, like the voters at the bottom of the tree, lunches on dry crescent rolls and the cheapest processed meats available.
Vona’s assessment of the political scene, especially regarding how Jobbik feature in it, is considered and accurate.
There is, however, one prominent fact that Vona has elected to ignore. A fact so prominent that its omission is akin to a man in a room full of elephants electing not to notice their presence.
For all Vona’s accurate and considered assessment of both the position and the chances of Jobbik in Hungarian politics today, he is attempting to rewrite history.
Jobbik may presently be nothing more than a joke party, a party forever reasserting itself as one with no principles. A party which wholeheartedly pursued an act of betrayal against its supporters.
Jobbik is, undoubtably, all of these things, but Vona is now intent on denying his role in Jobbik’s development. Vona started Jobbik on this path. Vona was the Jobbik leader who decided to turn the ship around and sail towards the Left. Jakab may have made a pig’s arse of Jobbik, post-Vona, but it was Vona who set the direction, it was Vona who willingly sowed the seeds of self-destrucion.