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The 3rd mentions Tamás Kolosi by name. He is the head of economy researcher, think-tank and later pollster Tárki, which started out in 1985, became a Fidesz supporter/subsidy receiver in 1998-2002, then switched sides, and was certainly pro-Gyurcsány. However, I don't recall direct ties to SzDSz (but I may have missed them). That paragraph also mentions a turning away of big capital from MSzP; in 2005, she was more specific and wrote that big capial turned to Fidesz. As to whom she may think of, I think these two:
My view of SzDSz at the time was more as useful idiots for big capital than paid tools. If you look back to 1989, SzDSz still had a strong social-liberal wing (including Ottilia Solt who died in 1997 and Erzsébet Szalai herself), and civil rights were their main platform until Bokros. Around 2002, it was my feeling that the party leadership drew all the wrong conclusions from the far-right attacks (well that begun with the promotion of Gábor Kuncze back in the Horn era): they almost completely abandoned civil rights as signature theme and switched to a completely neoliberal economic platform,hoping to win the entrepreneur votes Fidesz gained. This was on full display in 2006 when they campaigned for a flat tax (something former SzDSz leaders forget to mention now that Fidesz ruined the budget with the same), and the party suicide was sealed when they saw their saviour in a spineless and uninspiring neolib and former yuppie businessman promoted under Gyurcsány, János Kóka, and made him party boss in 2007.
With all that said, I'm not saying that all of SzDSz was merely useful idiots back in the Medgyessy era: I'd count then economy minister István Csillag as the main placeman for big business. And he was indeed the key to Medgyessy's resignation (Medgyessy wanted to replace him but SzDSz threatened a break). I thought you may have read of that in an earlier article.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
Kuncze was a kindof hero to a certain type of polgari ember. A friend of mine once remarked that all 3 main political parties in the UK could safely exist in the SZDSZ and Kuncze was very much in the mould of a UK Tory for me, with the same sense of self-confidence and overall self-satisfaction. The legacy for Hungarian politics is that more muscular forms of social liberalism only briefly registered with the electorate, if at all, as MSZP politicians have proven either incapable of communicating on a cultural level, or have played dog-whistle themselves (eg Szekeres comparing Trianon to the Holocaust).
I've read that corruption and the SZDSZ had a relationship that really got going in the mid-1990s, some rumours about the Ujpest local government, perhaps? Of course, Fidesz produced the big Wikipedia to document some of them, including the Strabag affair, etc. In any case, I've also heard hair-curling allegations against senior MSZP politicians going well beyond simple financial misdemeanours - whether or not it was an attempt to prove that shit sticks, I will never know, but I've never looked at these people the same way since.
All of this has made LMP's job a difficult one - I note that you think there's a chance that LMP would support a Bajnai candidacy - is that where they will end up, do you think? I'd be very surprised, but I don't know how the internal battles are playing themselves out. One thing in Hungarian politics - it seems that the smaller the party, the greater the internal divisions...
very much in the mould of a UK Tory for me
I must admit I don't even know if the stereotype I think Kuncze embodied and was chosed to embody (jovial countryside bourgois with two feet on the ground, as such a counter-point to the liberal stereotype of the dour cosmopolitan intellectual speaking from an ivory tower) has any parallel in British political life (the FDP would have [had] elements like that in the German system which I know better). That sense of self-confidence and overall self-satisfaction... is a more widely shared (and transmitted) attitude over here :-(
some rumours about the Ujpest local government
I'm not sure what you mean, because there are several rumours about the local government of Újpest [for others: a quarter of Budapest], most of them centered on mayor Tamás Derce (and I note I could add one myself). However, Derce was an SzDSz member only until 1994, and gathered his infame in the following time. (There were other, true-blue SzDSz mayors who were implicated in corruption affairs, the mayors of districts VIII, XIV and XIX. However, they were juniors compared to MSzP moneybaggers like Boldvai, Schmuck, Zuschlag, Hagyó, or possibly Csintalan who switched to Fidesz.)
whether or not it was an attempt to prove that shit sticks, I will never know
At one point I gave up trying to figure out what is genuine corruption scandal used by Fidesz media and what is minor irregularity blown out of proportion or baseless smear created by Fidesz media (but there were certainly all of those). I did note, however, that they haven't been all that successful in proving allegations before court even after their takeover, for example against Gyurcsány (and they really tried: I saw an email to my higher bosses with my own eyes in which a ministry guy asked for any information on business ties with the companies of Gyurcsány).
I note that you think there's a chance that LMP would support a Bajnai candidacy
Who knows where LMP will go now, after this amateurish display of internal divisions and spiteful reactions in public. (Now resigned leader András Schiffer says there was no support for his idea of an independent party line, well I'd rather call what LMP tried in the first 18 months a sad excuse for triangulation rather than independent party line.) But, Schiffer's attacks against Gyurcsány were not ideological but mainly along the 'moral' line in connection with the "we lied" speech (naively enough to be a useful idiot for Fidesz in approving quite politicised and biased parliamentary reports, for example on the 2006-7 police violence) and for a specific instance of alleged corruption, same with the Socialists, and Bajnai is IIRC not even a member. That's not a strong enough basis for the future rejection of a PM Bajnai or a government with the policies represented by Bajnai for me.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
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