And so to 26 May. 15 years ago on 26 May 2006, a recording was released in the Hungarian media which blew a hole in the then government. The recording, made in the Hungarian government’s holiday complex at Balatonőszöd, blew the lid off that which we had long suspected. In the notorious recording, the then prime minister, Gyurcsány admitted for the first time that his government had done nothing:
“I almost died with the strain of having to pretend for a year and a half that we’d been governing.”
Further, he himself confessed to being stunned at the mess that they’d made of things, and that his government, an alliance of the socialists and liberals, had resorted to tricks in the hundreds in order to paint a better, if wholly unrealistic picture of the state of the country.
Addressing the socialist party faithful, and believing that he wasn’t being recorded, Gyurcsány revealed what he truly felt about the country: “this fucking country,” and reached a depth of cynicism that sullied the reputation of all politicians: “There’ll be demonstrations. Sooner or later they’ll get bored and go home.” Has there ever been a more shockingly cynical politician than this man who rose from the depths to marry the granddaughter of one of Hungary’s most despicable stains? No. Is there a worse candidate for any role in public life than this disgrace of a man who resides in the luxury his wife’s communist family secured, including the villa which was ‘nationalised’ from a Jewish family to enable the communist Apró family to lord it over the populace? No.
And yet the tricks that his wife learnt at her grandfather’s knee continue to exercise their seemingly irresistible charm on the modern-day occupants of that ‘appropriated’ villa.
Typically, what with this anniversary being a sour reminder of the wanton damage that communists and liberals unleash whenever allowed near power, there was media interest in the 26th. This media interest was not unexpected, but there were some startling insertions from the very people who should have kept their heads down.
Gyurcsány’s response to the news when it broke was to put a spin on it which left tornados in the shade. Defying all notions of logical thought, to say nothing of furthering the concept of himself as nothing other than a psychologically-damaged pathological liar, he claimed that his leaked speech had been the most honest thing in Hungarian politics since the change of regime. Perhaps so, but it was wholly unintentional, given that the recording was not condoned. This outrageous, insulting claim of ‘honesty’ loses all meaning from the start. The speech was never intended to be heard outside a select group. The idea was to hide the truth, not expose it. The claim of ‘honesty’ is as dishonest as the man himself.
For those unaware of the earth-shattering consequences of the recording, the leaking of the recording (on 17th September later that year) led to demonstrations which echoed the political demands that the government resign and call new elections. In place of acquiescing to those demands, the socialists and liberals closed ranks and acted as though nothing had happened. Denied justice at a political level by tactics reminiscent of communism, anger on the streets increased, leading to an attack on the state television building in the centre of Budapest. The cynical response of the government was to allow an underprepared and underequipped group of police to be visibly seen to take a beating at the hands of a mob of anti-government thugs.
This response gave the government a means of justifying the police terror which followed. On the 50th anniversary of the start of the Hungarian 1956 uprising against Soviet rule the police were issued with orders to strip identification from their uniforms and hide their faces behind the balaclavas they had been issued with. They duly did so and, emboldened by the anonymity they were afforded, struck out to avenge the beating delivered to their colleagues days earlier. The police forced troublemakers on the street into the crowd which had gathered to commemorate the events of 50 years previously at an event organised by the largest political opposition group, Fidesz. Having herded those intent on confronting the police into the 100,000-strong crowd of peaceful Fidesz supporters, the police then unleashed hell indiscriminately.
All of this has been documented. As a result of the radio conversations between police officers being released into the public domain, we now understand that Gyurcsány and his government exploited the lack of resources afforded to the police attempting to defend the state television building in order to give them some perverse justification for sending in unidentifiable policemen and women. These policemen and women, anonymity guaranteed, duly exacted a wicked revenge on their compatriots.
But that’s not how the Leftwaffe would like it remembered. Rather than having the sense to let sleeping dogs lie, Gyurcsány and his communist wife brazenly stood up to be counted as the media closed in on 26 May 2021. Dobrev, exhibiting all the rather dubious abilities of a woman trained to lie from a very early age, appeared on a marshmallow-soft, lower-than-low-brow talk show whereupon she stated – with no concern for either the afterlife or reincarnation – that she was “immeasurably proud of the Őszöd speech”.
Having stunned all those who heard her utter those words, she then followed up with an even more disingenuous remark, stating that during the disturbances on the streets of Budapest in 2006 more police were injured than protesters. She had the audacity to lie that when heavily-protected police officers armed with, amongst other things, tear gas, rubber batons, extendable steel batons (the use of which is restricted and dependent on evidence of potential terrorist activity), rubber bullets, and more, wantonly attacked unarmed civilians, they came off worse! That is an atrocious thing to say, wholly inappropriate in addition to being an obvious untruth. But that is the way of Dobrev and Gyurcsány. They lie. It’s like the old joke: How can you tell when Gyurcsány is lying? His lips move.
Not to be outdone by his wife’s outrageous falsification of the facts of 2006, Gyurcsány foolishly entered the fray himself.
When the Prime Minister’s Facebook page posted a reminder of what had happened 15 years previously, Gyurcsány, lacking the moral character which would have ensured that the whole, shameful episode never occurred, couldn’t stand the reminder of his darkest hour.
Truly, ‘embarrassing’ as a word barely scratches the surface of the feelings all well-adjusted people experienced on hearing Gyurcsány refer to the Prime Minister as ‘bruv’. The situation is not that of a generation removed using the slang of the day. No. This is not your granddad or grandma putting a baseball cap on backwards and making hand signs. No. That, a generation removed, has the power to amuse. This doesn’t.
Obviously stung by the Prime Minister’s open question posted on social media:
“Where were you when you first heard the ’Őszöd speech’?”
the disgrace of a man who once, unbelievably, was the prime minister of, to quote his own words, “this fucking country”, felt the need to lash out at anyone who dared to draw attention to his leaked admission of guilt regarding the lies, the tricks, and the falsified data with which his government secured a second term. Gyurcsány has now repeated his interpretation of the events of 2006 so many times that he now truly believes the figment of his imagination which he has tried so very hard to make others believe.
Recorded stating that the opportunities for manoeuvre are limited due to the fact that “we fucked everything. Not a little, but a lot,” Gyurcsány and his wife would now like people to believe that when he uttered the infamous words “No other country in Europe created such a fuck-up as we did,” Gyurcsány was not, in fact, referring to the government he took over, mid-term, in 2004. His predecessor, Medgyessy had fallen victim to the machinations of Gyurcsány’s wife, Dobrev, cabinet chief to the prime minister at the time. According to Gyurcsány and Dobrev, the line “No other country in Europe created such a fuck-up as we did” refers to the failures of the Hungarian political elite since the change of regime in 1989-90.
That’s so pathetic as to be ridiculous. The only thing more pathetic, of course, is Gyurcsány himself, isn’t that right, Bruv’?! Wassup G?! There’s bare people here inda house with me, Feri! Sweet. Sound. Chill man, it’s wicked, innit?! What you saying, Broski?!
Down with the kids? In terms of true embarrassment and cringeworthiness, Gyurcsány picks up where Ali G left off.
The embodiment of the dross of Hungarian politics, this is an individual who’s begging to be resigned to the dustbin of history once and for all.