Batshit-Crazy in Budapest

UPDATE2:  Ultra-rightwing protestors clearly implicated by television coverage on (00:53-1:11).  More questions than answers at the moment, I’ll have a more coherent update up either here or on PubliusPundit asap.


It’s late and I don’t have all the news yet, but today’s news…

I thought my musings on Hungary would wind up being largely irrelevant to big happenings in Europe.

What did I know…

First, Gyurcsány makes what is probably the most politically courageous speech of his life — or the most brazenly foolhard address in the last two years… “We lied, morning, noon, and night for 18 years,” he thundered, in an obscenity-laced tirade by and for the Socialist party meeting, and not meant for public consumption — condemning the Socialists and everybody else in Hungarian politics since the original “revolution.” has three pages of translated excerpts.  This would be front-page stuff in the US.  In Hungary, this is politically unthinkable stuff… speeches like this simply Do Not Happen.

It got leaked, perhaps intentionally.  And the Hungarians went bat-shit.

“I believe it can be done. I think there will be conflicts, yes. There will be rallies, yes. They can go ahead and rally in front of the Parliament. Sooner or later they’ll get bored with it and go home.”

Well, kinda.  Apparently he didn’t really gamble on Fidesz, whose rally in front of the Hungarian Television Building (the site of many bitter political struggles for media control)… although asked to “act constitutionally,” they went a-rioting, beating riot cops, burning cars, the whole nine yards.  Crowd control definitely appears to have been an issue, with cops tear-gassing protestors before the whole thing went sideways (and without actually getting my feet on the ground in Budapest, there’s little way to tell whether or not it was excessive, as the primary actors on both sides are sure to portray themselves as harmless lambs at teh mercy of.. well, you get the idea — as noted locally, the cops aren’t about to let live media feeds of this stuff out if they can help it). has a gallery here, and one more showing the violence directly, as well as a foreign-press-reaction page.

Police have been called into the capital from all over the countryside, as it is obvious that the police on hand are completely unable to contain this.  I don’t think anybody expected it, either:  this is not, let me repeat that in boldface, NOT typical Hungarian behavior, by any stretch.  Since 1956, Hungarians are much more prone to drinking tea or wine and complaining bitterly… not burning things in the street.

As of 6:30 a.m. Budapest time (call it 12:30 US East Coast), Index’s correspondents noted about seventy people still on the Kossuth Square, and circulating rumors of somebody having died a “heroic death.”


One can understand the Hungarians being pissed.  It’s well-known that FIDESZ is out to screw folks one way, the MSZP another… the smaller parties have had their shot and blown it too… and meanwhile, nobody is doing more than paying trivial lip-service to relieve the taxes that every Hungarian knows is crushing their livelihoods, as the government attempts to squeeze more blood from a stone to pay for social programs.  Having direct confirmation of what everybody knows… a.k.a., the politicians are liars, appears to have played a bit of Pandora’s Box.

More in the morning as I try to keep up with it. Oh.  And, as always, for English-language snarking, Pestiside has by far the best commentary. Oh, and just for good measure, they skewer the BBCGo Pestiside.  Of course, I like pretty much anybody who skewers the BBC as a matter of principle, but Go Pestiside anyway!

UPDATE:  Soccer Hooligans did all this?  And are bussing in more fans by the hour?  You know, looking at images last night, I *did* think to myself “they look like a bunch of typical drunken soccer thugs.”  But I didn’t dare say that one even to my wife… now?  The two soccer clubs of worst repute take on the government?  You’ve got to be kidding.  What is this, the freaking Byzantine Empire, only instead of Reds, Blues, and Greens, we have the Ferencváros Green-Whites and the Újpest Purple-Whites?


Leave a comment


  1. Soccor hooligans? I… don’t know what to think of that… other than what you said already… and what Bill Hicks is saying in my head… 🙂

  2. The links to the Portfolio transcripts are enlightening. For a second there I thought I was reading a Kinky Friedman interview!

  3. 0jr

     /  August 14, 2014

    Pestiside has by far the best is run by anti Hungarian dirty commie jews that say any and everything anti Hungarian

  4. 0jr

     /  August 14, 2014

    they flew in bat shit crazy mossad agents from jewland to put down the riots like the dirty commien jews did in 56 when they calledin the gd russkies to crush the revolution the guy is a dirty commie jew


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