Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I don't blame you for focusing on the positives, but I would have hoped to have seen quicker and more coherent development of opposition perspectives across a range of different issues.

Take for example HAT - Hálózat a Tanszabadságért. I'm a supporter - I've dedicated time and effort to help them. Yet it is only the Órban-Hoffmann reforms which unites me with a representative of, say, the Waldorf School Network, or the Hungarian Association of Private Schools. The debate is many miles away from a discussion about access to quality of education for all - which would contract any private school agenda, and would effectively mean the end for the elite grammar schools as they are. HAT and other opposition groups are not just apolitical, it is almost as though they are in isolation from shark-infested political waters. It means that the chance of a profoundly radical agenda is truly unlikely - or if it does happen, it might be something like educational vouchers for all - after all, that would be the most 'free' system, right? And maybe there would be a few members of HAT, who like the sound of that ultra-liberal solution?

Gyurcsány's Demokratikus Koalicio groupings are really prominent at all of these events, certainly were at the Szolidaritas demo. Now this group is quite open - it really, really does want to privatise healthcare... I think the LMP is right to engage with Szolidaritas, I've always thought self-organisation was a way to oppose this government, but there has to be coherence... if there is no coherence, if there is no opening up of some fundamental thinking about a new model of citizenship and economy, then it might be better in the long-term if political organisations were more directly involved, whether new or old.

At the risk of sounding a total killjoy, I think reclaiming the language of Hungarianness by wearing a tricolor is a start, but it's also the easiest bit. The hardest bit is confronting the Hungarian middle class with their Dorian Gray-type image, an image which is well-buried in the attic of the bourgeois psyche. For me the Hungarian opposition are often too cute and cool by half - damn, we want to be liked. And sure, we do like ourselves, as we consider ourselves nice, but this can be at the expense of responsibility, at the expense of the hard graft of making it really, really uncool to be a fan of Adolf Hitler or even Miklos Horthy, and identifying the way, as you say, class interests have reestablished themselves in the most bitter and toxic forms imaginable.

by car05 on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 09:09:09 AM EST
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