It takes a nation to protect the nation
On the day of the 2010 Hungarian parliamentary elections, if you made a Google News search using the term "Jobbik" you found approximately 200 articles that mentioned the Movement for a Better Hungary, internationally. It took some time to read them all, but when you did, you discovered that they each had a common feature; and it might not be the one you think.
Not a single article, without exception, quoted even a solitary sentence of the Jobbik manifesto. Either the English language version which the press had two months to scrutinize, available here, or the Hungarian original published three months prior to the polls. Not a sentence, not a phrase, not a word. Not one.
How on earth did the journalists who wrote such material intend telling their readership the reasons why twice as many Hungarians voted for Jobbik in 2010, than they did, less than a year before that? (855,436 votes in 2010 versus the 427,773 we took at the European elections in June 2009) The truth is, that they had no intention of doing anything of the kind.
The best illustration of why the international press behaves how it does with respect to Jobbik, is in an article from that day in the Scotsman newspaper. It began, “The scenario is classic. Hungary's economy is in crisis, its large Roma minority is an easy scapegoat, and a far-right party blaming ‘Gypsy crooks’ and ‘welfare spongers’ is set to be the big winner.” Of note is not the plain rubbish written in the second sentence, but rather, what was written in the first.
What is this “classic scenario”? Quite simple really. Central Europeans + Economic Downturn = (or rather, must and can only equal) Hateful Extremists and persecution of minorities.
People don't behave like this anywhere else mind you, only around here. Take a few pennies out of a Hungarian's pocket, and he turns almost immediately into a slavering ultra-nationalist who on the way back from clubbing a local Gypsy, will pause only to hurl yet another brick through the windows of his nearest synagogue.
This scenario is too tempting to avoid, and too easy to question, writing anything else that might actually address the problems and concerns of Hungary and the facts about Jobbik, is of course, much too much like hard work.
It can’t possibly be that Jobbik is the only party dedicated to tackling the endemic corruption that costs Hungarians 3 billion Forints every single day. No! We must be extremists.
It can’t be, at all, that Jobbik is popular because it was the only Hungarian party to raise such taboo subjects as renegotiating the national debt, extending our arable-land sale moratorium, or questioning the role that unrestricted cowboy-capitalism has played here. No! We must be anti-Semitic.
Jobbik’s success in rural Hungary can’t have anything to do with how we suggested both tackling the crime that exists there, through a Gendarmerie, and tackling the causes of that crime through educational and social-security reforms. Not to mention how we promote the restructuring of the agricultural sector to be the rural economy's backbone. No! We must be anti-Roma racists.
And as for our opposition to how Hungary’s parliament signed the Lisbon treaty a day after it was issued, and before it was even translated into Hungarian; or the fact that we stress the interests of the persecuted Hungarians living in the countries which surround us; or how Hungary’s once great cultural output has disappeared, and our television screens are now filled with the cheapest possible remakes of the tawdriest examples of foreign programs imaginable. No! We must be xenophobes.
Business as usual it seems. Regular readers of jobbik.com will of course be familiar with the realities, but perhaps it would wise, considering the huge surge in traffic and press attention that has happened since the elections; to recap.
THE FACTS: You might as well, with the same level of plausibility, say that we are Neo-Pagans, Communists, funded by Mossad, controlled by Tehran, Third-Positionists, directed from Moscow, influenced by Al-Quaeda, or, really, a money laundering operation for an international cartel of bank robbers. Yes. All of this patent nonsense has been reported, quite seriously, in the Hungarian press. The reason why you will not have read it from international media, is of course that this brand of nonsense would not fit, the aforementioned “scenario.”
Jobbik in fact, has the best democratic credentials of any party in Hungarian politics. As a grass roots political organization, founded by Hungarians, it is unique in post-War and post-"regime change" national politics. Jobbik introduced its 2010 parliamentary manifesto to the public, over a month before any other party. Which was produced as a result of a six month nationwide consultative exercise with the Hungarian electorate, allowing the public to directly influence, and question, the content of our national political program. In addition, in the interests of international transparency our manifesto has been translated into English. No political party, in the entire history of Hungarian democracy, has ever done any of this.
Jobbik is a bottom-up political party, funded entirely by Hungarian people, in which it is the membership of, and sympathizers with, our 257 local party organizations that define and decide the party’s direction and purpose. Of the three other parties now voted into parliament, the winners Fidesz are a product of the largesse of the Soros Foundation, our direct opponents the MSZP were originally an import from Soviet Russia, while LMP is almost exclusively funded by an American national and multi-millionaire. To say nothing of the fact that both Fidesz and the MSZP are now under criminal investigation for concerted abuses of Hungarian electoral law.
As for Right-Wing political extremism, all the fundamental constitutional changes that Jobbik proposes are marked out by the desire to give less power to a centralised political elite, by giving more power to the people. Almost every major measure we propose, has an established contemporary precedent in one or more other European countries. We always have, and always will, be nothing more than a Christian conservative nationalist party. And the nationalism we promote is directly comparable to that accepted as the norm, by all parties in countries like France or Ireland. In terms of political policy we use nationalism not as an ideology, but as a tool for testing the usefulness of particular policy alternatives. (Feel free to read our manifesto and find out for a change what it is that we do actually stand for!)
One such policy deemed to have failed this "test of the national interest" is political correctness. The way we reason, is that Hungary has no hope of dealing with the problems it faces, in the crisis it is in: if it may not even name what these problems are. Of the crime that is the second most pressing issue in Hungary today (after the economy), the three most significant elements are, in descending order of importance: political criminality, corruption and gypsy crime.
THE FACTS: Firstly, no one in Hungary, with the possible exception of the politically ambitious and cosmopolitanly self-conscious news presenters, refers to Hungary’s Roma population by any other way, than with the word “Cigány.” Which translates into English as “Gypsy.” This includes of course the Gypsy population themselves. Second, have you noticed how all the news reports that refer to, and condemn, Jobbik’s supposed “rhetoric” never actually quote any of it, to let you judge it for yourself?
Predominantly resident in the North and East of Hungary, the Gypsy population was primarily employed in the manufacturing industry in 1989. The complete destruction of this industry, that came hand in hand with the change, has produced a situation in which significant communities of individuals have not seen work, for some two decades. It is this, the socio-cultural economic circumstances of such people, that has led to the predominant commission of certain types of crimes; and it has nothing at all to do with their ethnic origin.
But it is strange that all those who express outrage at Jobbik’s use of the term “gypsy crime” to describe this truism, never mention that when such Roma populations emigrate in significant numbers to countries like Canada, Italy or Northern Ireland; the communities they come to, suddenly find themselves victims of precisely these forms of criminality. Or is it supposed that their shameful racist Hungarian neighbours somehow move country with them?
Mirroring its approach to tackling political wrongdoing, and corruption (which both take up significantly more space in our manifesto) Jobbik has suggested an approach to tackling gypsy crime that deals with both its cause and its effects. The combination of a dedicated rural police service, or Gendarmerie, on the one hand; and social security and educational reforms on the other.
All such changes would be totally colour-blind and would apply to all.
Again, the mention of the term "Gendarmerie" has created consternation in some circles. But the fact is, that the policy of all parties in Hungary now mirrors that of Jobbik’s in this matter; except, that they do not include our social security and educational provisions. All parties now recognize the need to create a dedicated rural policing service, they simply omit to calling it by the name it has in every other country in the world.
This is what Jobbik does, bringing into the public eye the problems that the Hungarian political establishment would much rather sweep under the carpet, and compelling them into taking action. The Hungarian Guard has been a significant help in highlighting the problem of Gypsy / Magyar coexistence in Hungary, and prompting the political sea-change that has taken place.
THE FACTS: A paramilitary who is armed with nothing more fearful than a handkerchief is not worthy of the name, indeed any person who tells you such a person is a "paramilitary" or a member of a "militia" is telling you a deliberate lie. The carrying of any form of weapon whatsoever results in immediate summary expulsion from the Hungarian Guard.
We would also urge you to be suspicious of any press piece which in its hurry to lambast Jobbik, for its closeness to the Guard, conveniently forgets to mention that Fidesz, forecast to win today's elections by a landslide, have discussed at length the wisdom of establishing a practically identical “National Guard.”
What the Guard is, is an expression of the desire for public service, still latent for many Hungarians. It is a response to a society that has been produced in Hungary by the 20 years post-1989, in which our political leaders have promoted a selfish free-for-all and called it freedom. Also, it is a declaration that no Hungarian government has the right, to be so caught up in its own enrichment through corruption that it is thoroughl