The filth and the fury: Hungary’s Fidesz ramps up the hate for 8 April election
By Bernard Rorke
Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán chose the 15 March national holiday to send out a threat to exact moral, political and legal revenge against enemies who are “different to us”, who are covert, base and crafty.
In terms widely interpreted by human beings as antisemitic, he claimed Hungarians now face an enemy that is “not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world.”
“Africa wants to kick down our doors”
In this ranting delusional address to the nation, Orbán declared that Hungary and Europe stand at the “epicentre of a civilisational struggle” because the continent faces an invasion where “Africa wants to kick down our door”.
Brussels, according to Orbán, wants to support and organise the migration of tens of millions from Africa and the Middle East, “to dilute the population of Europe and to replace it, to cast aside our culture, our way of life and everything which separates and distinguishes us Europeans from the other peoples of the world.”
For the forthcoming election, Orbán dismissed the “anaemic little opposition parties”, because the real battle is to be waged against supra-national anti-democratic forces, the network of “professional hired activists”, troublemaking protest organisers and a chain of NGOs financed by an international speculator, summed up by and embodied in the name “George Soros”.
A couple of days later, Orbán openly stated that beyond the current raft of restrictions imposed on NGOs, “the important task of the next years will be the ejection of the Soros Empire from Hungary.”
This aggressive racist and authoritarian rhetoric comes just a couple of weeks after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein denounced Viktor Orbán as one of Europe’s xenophobes and racists who have “cast off any sense of embarrassment”.
Repudiating objections from the Hungarian government, the Commissioner reiterated his damning verdict of Orbán, and described a recent speech by the prime minister, where he spoke of not wanting “our” colour mixed with others, as “a clear-cut statement of racism … an insult to every African, Asian, Middle Eastern or Latin American woman, man and child.”
Hungary’s ‘internal migrants’
Days later, Orbán managed yet another hate speech on the election campaign trail in the city of Miskolc. This time, the target was Hungary’s own Romani citizens. A video was uploaded to Orbán’s own Facebook page where he says the following:
“There was a time when people from the outside en masse immigrated into this city. And you remember what happened. The people of Miskolc experienced what happened then. … Yet those people who moved to Miskolc came from the territory of Hungary. Now you imagine what will happen when people who in their culture, customs, and views are completely different from us arrive from outside of the country.”
Officials confirmed that the prime minister was indeed referring to Miskolc’s Roma community, which has long endured segregation, discrimination and forced evictions.
This is not the first time the prime minister equated Hungary’s Romani population with the Syrian refugees, likening his fellow citizens to a historically inherited burden. The Miskolc speech made it clear that, for this election campaign, Orbán is prepared to play the “Roma race card” without any scruples.
The Viennese video: Muslim migrants “dirt, filth and impossible urban conditions”
Days afterwards, Orbán’s chief-of-staff János Lázár stoked up international controversy when he posted a bizarre racist video from Vienna on his Facebook page. In the video shot in a city neighbourhood, Lázár warned that migrants were responsible for pushing “white Christians” out, and that this is what Budapest would look like in 20 years “if opposition parties let the migrants in.”
Facebook removed and then later reinstated the video, saying that it was making an exception to its usual ban on hate speech: “Exceptions are sometimes made if content is newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest.”
In the video, Lázár claimed that migrants had made the streets dirtier, brought crime and poverty with them and warned, “If we let them in and they will live in our cities, the consequences will be crime, impoverishment, dirt, filth and impossible urban conditions.” He followed this with the racist and lying assertion that “There are a great number of schools in Vienna where there are no white Viennese children left, only the children of Muslim immigrants and immigrants from the Middle East.”
Orbán – the “increasingly delusional” racist
Orbán’s ranting about biological sustainability and ethnic homogeneity goes way beyond run of the mill anti-migration populism.
There is little run of the mill about Orban’s illiberal concept which thrives on the friend-enemy distinction and a racist dehumanising of those designated as the enemy on the grounds of their ethnicity, religion, or nationality.
To spread hatred and fear, Orbán’s propaganda ministry orchestrated six massive advertising campaigns in December and January, at a cost to Hungarian taxpayers of US$ 16 million, with the “Stop Soros” campaign costing taxpayers almost US$ million alone.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein accurately described Orbán’s racist rhetoric as “increasingly delusional”, explaining that he has “managed to portray Muslims and Africans as an existential menace to Hungarian culture – a threat he alleges is masterminded by the Hungarian-American financier George Soros.”
Fidesz is still a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament. The EPP purports to be committed to Europe as a “continent of values and human dignity” and its stated core values are “responsibility, respect, solidarity and justice” and EPP chairman Manfred Weber’s stated belief is that “extremism and populism must be eliminated in Europe.”
The Hungarian regime has now planted itself firmly on the far right of European politics and Orbán’s promise to take revenge on his opponents after his April election victory should place him far beyond the Pale of what passes for mainstream European conservatism.
The EU Commissioner stated that to hear such speech “unabashedly expressed by the leader of a modern, European Union country should outrage every one of us” and that it is time to stand up to bullies of Mr Orbán’s ilk.
In his words: “the increasingly authoritarian – though democratically elected – Viktor Orbán is a racist and xenophobe.”
Of this there can be little doubt. It is indeed time for the European Union to stand up and time for the EPP to desist from providing cover for Europe’s toxic little tyrant.