Monday, 11 March 2013

EU's Hungarian lies

The EU has been flexing its bully-boy muscles again to Hungary. The Magyar refusal to toe the Berlaymont line has in the past led to outright threats of fund-cutting, and little Herr Von Rumpy is now set to wag his finger again at Budapest. The issue is Orban's action later today in ignoring Hungary's constitutional court to get new laws through. The new laws he's trying to pass are being presented in the Euphile press as 'radical' and 'right wing' but are really nothing of the sort. 

Firstly, he wants to fine or jail homeless people who live in public spaces. Um, exactly like our own Vagrancy Act of 1824, in fact. But without the 'vigelante' element of s.6 of the Act, which allows any person without warrant to arrest any person "wandering abroad, or placing himself or herself in any public place, street, highway, court, or passage, to beg or gather alms, or causing or procuring or encouraging any child or children so to do... every person wandering abroad and lodging in any barn or outhouse, or in any deserted or unoccupied building, or in the open air, or under a tent, or in any cart or waggon; every person wilfully openly, lewdly, and obscenely exposing his person with intent to insult any female; every person wandering abroad, and endeavouring by the exposure of wounds or deformities to obtain or gather alms; every person going about as a gatherer or collector of alms, or endeavouring to procure charitable contributions of any nature or kind, under any false or fraudulent pretence every person being found in or upon any dwelling house, warehouse, coach-house, stable, or outhouse, or in any inclosed yard, garden, or area, for any unlawful purpose"

Secondly, he wants to ban paid political advertising on private radio and TV stations. Exactly like the UK, where the ban extends to matters of political controversy and to printing and publishing by third parties. Or like, er, France, Ireland and Belgium, all of which have absolute bans on paid political advertising on TV and radio. 

Thirdly, he wants to compel graduates who have received State scholarships to work in Hungary for a number of years after graduating. Now we don't have a law against this but perhaps we should have. Just as our newly-qualified nurses and doctors depart for the US and better pay as soon as they can, after getting long years of state-subsidised education, so those from eastern Europe do likewise. 

There's much to be critical of in Hungary, but I don't think these three laws are amongst them. The real issue is a constitutional court loyal to Brussels blocking an elected government ready to defy Von Rumpy. And as Peter Frankopan in the Guardian reminds us this morning, the Byzantine Empire had its own Von Rumpy - and knew how to deal with him;
Those responsible for the crisis were shown no mercy. The Herman Van Rompuy of the time, a eunuch named Nikephoritzes, was lambasted by an angry population faced with price rises and a fall in the standard of living and was eventually tortured to death.
We wish.


Ian Hills said...

I love this quote about van Rompuy -
"he bestrides the European stage if not like a colossus exactly, at least like the spread of fungus on a damp wall."

Anonymous said...

Whilst I remember hanging being abolished for treachery, there must be some sort of punishment for it?

But I reckon that a "constitutional" court that executes the bidding of a foreign power must attract some kind of sanction...


Anonymous said...

I really don't get why Hungary joined up in the first place - are they still frightened of the Russians?

Anonymous said...

Thirdly, he wants to compel graduates who have received State scholarships to work in Hungary for a number of years after graduating. Now we don't have a law against this but perhaps we should have.

Pure National Socialism - Fascism, if you prefer. Governments are repressive enough without taking powers to do this sort of thing; and how on earth would one ever enforce it? Impound passports? Lock up dissenters in a new generation of gulags? Assign them to jobs in Merthyr Tydfil?

Much as I may agree with a lot of what you say from time to time, this is well beyond the pale.

If graduates from the UK want to move to better their life chances so be it. That's the joy of living in a country with freedoms. If the age 50+ generations hadn't screwed the country sideways and left limited opportunity for the younger generations coming along, perhaps they wouldn't feel they should leave.

Spencer Smith said...

Well said formertory. Seems like a depart from the usual style I've gotten used to reading on here.

Edward Spalton said...


Most certainly they are wary of the Russians. Don't forget that the Russians intervened on behalf of the Austrians in 1848 as well.

When somebody mentioned to the Austrians how grateful they must be to the Russians, an Austrian statesman (I forget which without stopping to look it up) remarked
"Austria will astonish the world with the depth of its ingratitude" -
- and went to war with Russia in 1914
for no very good reason.

Edward Spalton said...


The Irish government adopted a similar policy in the Sixties to very good effect. High flying students were funded to go to the very best internationally recognised universities - with a requirement that they returned to work in Ireland.

On their return, they quickly went up the management structures of Irish companies which had previously worked on "dead man's shoes" for promotion.

By the late Sixties/early Seventies these young Turks were in top management positions and served the Irish economy very well indeed.

Anonymous said...

Edward Spalton:

I didn't know; thank you. It sounds like an absolutely excellent idea to me. Far too imaginative for the deadbeats running our country just now, and far too much for the "no one must fail" socialists who seem to comprise the bulk of the population these days.

However, I assume the State's offer was accepted by star performers on an informed and completely voluntary basis?

No problem with that here!

Ian R Thorpe said...

The E U punished Ireland for voting the wrong way in a referendum and they will keep punishing hungary for electing the wrong leader is a general election.

That's democracy 21st century style.

Anonymous said...

That's democracy 21st century style.

Give em a vote but no need of taking heed of said vote - is that understood tovarich?

Democracy - there is no demos, we are just 'units'.

Anon 2 said...

And as Peter Frankopan in the Guardian reminds us this morning, the Byzantine Empire had its own Von Rumpy - and knew how to deal with him Therein lies the crux of the problem: we just don't think we have a right to deal with anything -- let alone knowing how to do it.

I've never seen anything so pathetic.