Yes, it’s really come to this. A magazine concerned with politics and finance has published a story which reveals that not only does the Emperor have no clothes, but he’s seemingly ever more convinced that his birthday suit is, in fact, the best tailoring that money can buy. This is getting out of hand.
The article concerns the political ambitions of one of the ‘leading lights’ of the Hungarian Leftwaffe, Gergely Karácsony. Presently mayor of Budapest, but a man who is, as far as his job goes, barely there, practically invisible to boot. A dim ‘leading light’, to be sure.
The article which was published in The Economist is an odd hybrid of an article. Along with the standard implications that democracy in Hungary is not up to the task of defeating the present government (hence the title suggests the need to “...oust Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s strongman”), the article then points to Karácsony’s “dithering”. So, not the standard ‘kick-the-Hungarian-conservatives-in-the-teeth” article which we have come to expect from foreign media, but perhaps a more nuanced version.
Well, no. This is The Economist, a magazine that favours the Leftwaffe. In the article, it soon becomes clear that the use of the word ‘oust’ in the title was no mere slip of the keyboard. With language which reflects what the author thinks of us, we read that:
“For the first time in more than a decade, someone has a chance of booting Mr Orbán out.”
Lovely, a sentence dripping with sophistication and class. Well, no. Forget the references to Karácsony’s “dithering”, that apparent criticism is a distraction. As far as The Economist is concerned, Hungary, savage place it apparently is, exists in that strange area, East of Austria where people are European only in terms of geography, not politics. This is the standard imperialism that I recognise from my childhood. As a result of gaping inadequacies in the British education system, people are not aware of the history of their own continent. Having started off on an erroneous path, the mistakes are then compounded by the teaching of ‘political’ geography at which point anything East of Austria falls into a strange grey no man’s land where although we are geographically located in Europe, in terms of culture and politics, we are regarded as outsiders.
As a result, whereas in the cultured West governments are elected, in Budapest democracy doesn’t have the strength to deal with the strange ways of the Hungarians and so we have to ensure that leaders are ousted or booted out.
“The Hungarian method of grinding down democratic norms has been adopted elsewhere, from Poland to Bulgaria to Slovenia.”
Oh, but of course, anything to the West of us is a beacon of democratic light! Nothing undemocratic has ever been detected in the West!
Cultural imperialism, courtesy of The Economist.
Ignoring, or trying to ignore the brazen insults that The Economist once again feels free to toss in our faces, the article details how the Leftwaffe in Hungary have now combined forces to mount a challenge to the current government of Fidesz and the Christian Democrats (although The Economist appears to have not noticed the presence of the KDNP in government).
The Economist, having introduced Karácsony as a “former academic”, then oddly fails to condemn him for a most ill-chosen comment for which he paid dearly in Hungary. The comment in question was an attempt at humour, with Karácsony attempting to display his comedy chops. Trying hard to highlight yet another difference between Orbán and himself, Karácsony pointed out that
“He is short and fat, and I am tall and slim.”
Class, pure class. Surely, even The Economist would expect something more of an academic, even if he is from Europe’s no man’s land.
The Economist failed to see anything other than humour in the comment. Of course, had a similar comment dropped from the lips of Orbán then we all know the wailing and gnashing of teeth that would have resulted. Double standards abound, and the liberal arena of body shaming is no exception. In Hungary, whilst decrying people for speaking ill of gypsies, devotees of the Leftwaffe are quick to iterate their long-standing conviction that Orbán himself is of Roma stock. Like I said: double standards abound, confirmed by the fact that The Economist has no problem with a Leftwaffe politician stooping as low as to employ playground insults in the hope of getting a cheap laugh.
Such was the media furore regarding Karácsony’s ill-chosen joke that he was forced to issue an apology, admitting that the joke had backfired and had been in poor taste.
All of this leads us back to a question which remains quietly unanswered: what were the circumstances of the article? We can only assume that there was no direct contact between The Economist and Karácsony. Karácsony for all his “dithering”, and “natural meekness” which “... looks more like weakness to some voters”, is regularly ridiculed for his lack of skills. This is, after all, a man who failed his driving test five times. This is a man who doesn’t speak any foreign languages. This is a man who is wholly inept. This is a man who employs a staff of more than 40 to ‘manage’ him. There are 6 people who are responsible for his Facebook presence, alone. And meanwhile...well, since his election, Budapest has lost all of the inertia that the former mayor brought to the capital. Nowadays, Budapest – under the joke leadership of Karácsony – sees its essence as being a thorn in the side of the democratically elected government, spending all its time and energy on blocking or delaying projects just to spite the government.
So, given Karácsony’s woeful and embarrassing inability to learn a foreign language and The Economist’s description of Hungary as “A small, poor landlocked country with an impenetrable language...” it’s safe to assume that the two parties didn’t meet.
But that’s not relevant. What is relevant is that The Economist is encouraging people to think of Karácsony as something he’s not. In Hungary he’s regarded as a joke, but then The Economist wouldn’t know that, not having the balls to venture into no man’s land. Read The Economist’s article and the same old, worn lies resurface once more:
“In Budapest, home to one in five Hungarians, residents rely on still-vibrant online Hungarian media; in the countryside, pro-government radio and tabloids rule.”
That is nothing short of outrageous. Once again, the Hungarian Leftwaffe lie that IQ levels drop more the further you travel from a city is being propagated in the Western media. How dare they!
For the record, my internet service is faster in the countryside than it is in Budapest, and also for the record, try as they might, not even the (doubtless) suspicious Hungarian Nobel prize-winning scientists have succeeded in constraining TV and radio signals to within the city limits. Shame on you for even considering the idea. The Economist should hang its head in shame for the crime of publishing this dross. There’s a simple enough maxim that all journalists should remember: if you don’t know shit about shit, then don’t write shit about shit.
Someone needs to remind The Economist that spitting in the faces of those you look down your nose at doesn’t make you a journalist of note.