Thursday, 16 June 2011

If this is the future Europe, be very scared

It was only 8am on the Jokai Ter in downtown Budapest, but already uncomfortably hot. I caught sight of a half-naked and barefoot young woman a few metres away and deliberately didn't stare. Too late. She'd clocked me and approached with a few incomprehensible Magyar words. "Sorry, I speak English only" I responded. "Oh Aye, me too!" she responded, and asked for a ciggie. She turned out to be a 'party organiser' from a small village outside Edinburgh. "I drink for a living" she said, and I thought she might want to consider a career change, given that she'd mislaid her mobile, handbag, shoes and a good proportion of her clothes the previous evening. I gave her another ciggie and off she went to try to find the apartment she'd ended up in. The looks of frank disapproval from passing Hungarians made clear that they didn't welcome Budapest being a party city at all. Unless the party is Fidesz, of course; with a two thirds majority in Parliament, this is the party of "a new social contract based on the pillars of work, home, family, health and order". It's like National Socialism but without the drinking and smoking and with the bierkellars all turned into gyms. I made sure I wasn't smoking near a bus or tram stop - an offence in Budapest that will earn you a £100 fine.  

Budapest is EU city central. The circle of stars flies everywhere on every ter, utca and korut (square, street and avenue) and you can't travel far without finding a building project hoarding proclaiming it as EU funded. The streams of cars could be on any road in Europe; the same mix of vehicles, most under ten years old. I wondered if the EU wasn't actually being run for the benefit of the motor manufacturers. The retail multiples were also the same as throughout Europe - Tesco, Subway, Dolce et Gabbana, Starbucks, Gap, Debenhams (yes, really, all of them) - and only the rail infrastructure gave a taste of the old Soviet Hungary that vanished after 1989, with heavy, massively over-engineered locos and rolling stock running on suburban stopping-lines, stations still with their post-war makeovers and undeveloped stations still free of terazzo floors and tie-rack booths. Though Lenin's statue has been removed from Dozsa Gyorgy utca, other hideous monumental soviet public art remains in place, not at all incongruous in the new Hungary. 

And yes, I really did pick up a feeling of threat. Not on the streets, at any hour - the people have picked up the 'order' part of the new public mantra with enthusiasm, and even beggars were invisible. It was the thought of the EU being dominated not by the naive, intellectually flabby well-wishers of the liberal left but by the right with a core remit of "work, home, family, health and order". And that's really scary. 


Friendly travel advisor said...

Go for afternoon tea to the Marriott hotel coffee shop by the river for all-you-can-eat cream cakes and coffee/tea - and all for the price of a Parisian lollipop.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't scare me at all. "work, home, family, health and order" is a country mile better than the Islamisation of the EU (and in particular Britain) that is being allowed to go on right now.

Hungary was declared a Christian nation in AD 1000 and has held the line against the Ottoman empire since then. If we'd have had the "work, home, family, health and order" brigade on our side sooner (i.e. decades ago) then we would not have the Islamic no-go ghettos mentioned in your other previous posts. Nor would we have the simpering, appeasing, apologists that pass themselves off as our politically correct political masters.

Stone-age Sharia? Or "work, home, family, health and order"? I know which colours I'll be flying when the war starts.

Coney Island

Stewart Griffin said...

On the other hand, Viktor Orban has a flair for annoying the EU:, which is always an admirable trait in a politician.

Raedwald said...

Ah, CI, perhaps I suffer like Palmerston from being a conservative at home and a liberal abroad; indeed, I constantly advocate the virtues of work, home and family on here.

What frightens me is a powerful central State - the EU - imposing 'health' and 'order' upon me. Order that means not criticising the government in media or on blogs (Hungary already has a 'loyal media' order that empowers the government to regulate any media critical of the State). And 'health' that may mean the State confining me to an institution to 'cure' me of smoking.

It's the stuff of nightmares.

Anonymous said...

Raedwald, I often used to wonder how the German's were taken in to lend their support to Hitler's National Socialism. Not any more - the EU's aims are pretty much the same, but without the gas chambers.

The gas chambers aren't necessary (yet)- we have the NHS to get rid of the ill, the aged and the infirm.

English Pensioner said...

I too worry about the direction that the EU is going, and to me it has too many of the characteristics of mainland Europe's not too distant past, in particular Hitler in Germany and Napoleon in France. Many of the EU diktats could easily be attributed to either of those leaders, the only difference, so far, is that you don't get sent to a concentration camp or get guillotined for disobeying them.

Flying Tiger Comics said...

The unease you feel is the Invasion of the Body-Snatchers feeling any normal person gets when in a neo-fascist state.

Just as islam is destroying europe by stealth when it is weak and overtly when it is strong, so fascist gleichschaltung operates to "coordinate" everyone until the takeover.

Islam is essential to gleichschaltung- it is the hegelian threat to drive europeans into the open arms of the hitlerian dream of europa, united from calais to athens, with autobahn and brass bands and scary young people doing calisthenics to those old marching songs...

...and off in the distance behind the trees- what is that? Some sort of work camp? A hospital?

Hard to see from where we're standing.

But getting closer every day.

"In the SS, one met a better class of people."

-Walther Schellenberg, officer in the SS & SicherheitDienst

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the rogue apostrophe in the previous comment. I can spell and construct grammatically correct sentences - sometimes I just type too quickly.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, the wail of the muezzin or the Horst Wesse...........?

Rock and a hard place.

Gallovidian said...

The continent would be quite happy being a managed state, let them get on with it and not interfere, participatory democracy is good for us but not necessarily for them.

We must leave the EU, but with a nice neo-fascist ascendancy in Europe it will be a good place to go on holiday.


John Page said...

I wonder how Hungarians felt about their facist regime (under Horthy, or do I mis-remember)?

Raedwald said...

John - interesting question. Not sure about Horthy, but the old HQ of the 'Arrow Cross', Hungary's Nazi Party, is preserved on Andrassy St and pointed out to visitors. My guess is that Jobbik, the far-right party, and it's paramilitary Arrow Cross clones the Magyar Garda, strongly attract say a 10% - 15% following. Likewise the Communists and the far left. I reckon the bulk of the population in between are just after better living standards, consumer goods and are inherently both Catholic and conservative - and for whom the Fidesz message resonates.

Curiously they seem to reserve a greater dislike for both Austria and Russia than for the Third Reich - despite Hitler condemning their capital to the horrendous 100 day siege, the scars of which can still be seen on the buildings.