Kövér is the president of the party while Orbán is „just” prime minister!
Last weekend the decision-makers of the FIDESZ, in compliance with the expectations, had divided the prime ministerial and party-presidential assignments. After this they elected László Kövér to be the president of the FIDESZ by unanimous votes. True that all participants of the media gave news of the happenings but the first reports were pretty abridged. It was partly due to that the bygones were known in advance, this way nothing unexpected happened besides its accomplishment. And as for the analysis of the new situation, we still have to wait a little more for it. Nor I would like to touch upon this by my writing. Because I had already written about what I expected at the time of the first news and a considerable time was needed to see what would come next. Now only László Kövér’s person and personality are interesting for me.
I got to know László Kövér at the end of the eighties as one of the members of a young and new politician generation and a circle of friends. They were beaming with energy, will to act and it was imprinted on their faces that „..we want and will prove something!”. To me it was extremely sympathetic and I felt myself near them even with my age of thirty-odd and more experience of only a few more years. I have talked about it in several writings of mine already that during the nineties, independently of my intention, I became a bit estranged with the members of this circle of friends. It was mainly the style that was unacceptable for me and I was „more forgiving” with the certain people. But I felt and knew that their infallible order of values knew the term of forgiveness much less if the apparent or real mistake was made by some outsider. This way I could learn it that they had a much worse attitude to me than what remarked my judgement of them. László Kövér, though he was one of the elected leading people of the FIDESZ, still came to the front rarely. And he remained acceptable even in spite of his personality, his sometimes a bit „rough” manners.
But the final result of the 1998 elections resulted in essential changes in László Kövér’s case in addition to numerous other politicians’. The politician, who is safely „acceptable” in spite of his faults, got a significant chance when he could rise to be an important political and governmental leader. The chance also changed that requirement-level which the same man had to be up to. The previous, sometimes unpolished sometimes rather ill-mannered – speech is much less acceptable further on. The very same sentence from a public figure can be hard criticism but from someone wielding power it is already, just because of the significant change of the means, a threat.
Unfortunately the notion of László Kövér in me is changing into the wrong direction month by month. It was the end of October 1999 when I wrote my thoughts down last, following his unacceptable parliamentary speech as secret minister. The FIDESZ took a stand for its minister that time (too!). And now we can know it that they did not do it only as a question of loyalty but they also agreed with his say. This conclusion can be drawn by that a few months later they found him the most suitable person to be the president of the party. I would like to quote from that writing of mine:
„ .. It is fundamentally right and a usual thing in politics that a parliamentary faction takes a stand for its minister. It is true even if the minister has made a grave mistake by his statement. But it is by no means all the same what solution they choose! István Stumpf, the Minister leading the Prime Minister’s Office, had founded a school as a political scientist following the change of regime to help the development of a new and young politician generation with a democratic frame of mind. I do not know that which and how many politicians of the FIDESZ were the students of this school but nowadays it seems to me that not enough.
Minister László Kövér, who is a jurist in view of his qualification, called all of the older politician generation of the MSZP traitors – because of their activity in the past – publicly for the Parliament and the viewers of the television. This assertion is not only politically a serious mistake but it is surely also unlawful. In this writing of mine I do not want to decide whether a minister should be dismissed because of this. We could list the examples long when prime ministers, ministers and leading politicians had certainly resigned their posts because of less than this or almost similar cases. Nor the series of those cases would be shorter when a country with so well-developed democracy had disregarded statements much more serious than this without special consequences. As for us, we would like just think it of ourselves that our democracy is already developed and the social processes are consolidated. Hungary is now the society of the transition where we have to make fundamental changes in our history, legal system, institutions and heads in the midst of serious tensions and within a historically short time.
But I would like to assert that we have already reached, respectively had to reach, to be able for more in handling the made mistakes. It would have been the most sympathetic to me if László Kövér had have apologized for his generalizing assertion at the same forum. Remarking that he was concentrating on another part of the debate and that was why he drafted badly instead of his actual will. Also this would have been followed by a small altercation nut in this case „they have to dismount from the dead horse”. But of course the politician is not always such „a man of grit”. This way even that would have been acceptable if he gave his words, not interpretable in many ways however, a well-bred explanation with a new „particular” content. Though nobody would believe it but it is also impossible to prove what he means by his own sentences. This way he could have averted the reasons claiming for his resignation by the new content. And instead of the embarrassing minutes of apology it is enough to say just that I am sorry if my words were mistakable, next time I will take care of the unmistakable draft. This solution is less elegant but „politician-like”. But it is a serious mistake to stick to the „inferior” sentences and to go too far with them because of self-respect. For example the business man sticking to the inferior goods will surely become bankrupt sooner or later. It is senseless to draw a comparison between the assertion and for example the assertion of Péter Kiss (MSZP) in which he compared the style of the Orbán-cabinet to the style of the Gömbös-cabinet. Senseless, because it was the style what Péter Kiss compared and he did not call the members of the FIDESZ criminals, fascists. Senseless, because nor Péter Kiss’s assertion was felicitous and at that time they definitely protested against it. This way the comparison means that according to their own one-time protest, László Kövér has made a mistake now. That turn beginning with a government spokesman’s statement that the claim of the opposition for making a minister resign means that they would like to intervene to the forming of a government „prematurely”. Even the mere listing of those cases would fill pages when the politicians of the FIDESZ claimed for some minister’s resignation from the opposition side – often with good cause. It is conspicuous of the young politicians of the FIDESZ that they suffer from forgetfulness which cannot be explained even by their age. Now the young age has to be a chance and a duty for them to the high level politics. If it does not work yet then it is usual for the youngsters to start or continue their studies after their daily work on the evening or correspondence courses of the political school formerly considered high level by me and linked with their own minister’s name.
My final remark:
It never can be too late to apologize! . says an ancient adage.” .. That was the quotation.
A few days after my one-time writing László Kövér was received by János Bethlen in the program of the television (MTV-1) entitled Hétóra. Besides many other things he stated about himself and his criticized sentences. He did not really choose the solution I suggested but his sentences had remarkable contents. It was the most important positive thing to me that he partly blunted, this way comprising also the sympathizers of the MSZP, the generalizing part of his sentences. And he apologized to the ones belonging to the „wider” circle for his possibly mistakable drafting.
It can be considered even as positive when, stating about his own style, he admitted that it was mostly rough and sometimes more outspoken than usual in the society. He said he was such a one and he had to be accepted so. It was just this sentence what became instructive, warning to me. It is that thought in the case of which it matters in what environment the it is said. In my opinion from a political critic it is part of the freedom of thought and speech. If I do not like it then I do not listen to it. Or I listen to it and dispute either its content or its style.
Not the same for a member of the government and a leader of politics and power, who participates in directing the country. It is unacceptable of him to produce the sense of being threatened and juridical insecurity by the nature of his speeches, and not only in the ones just involved in the speech. Because in democracy undertaking these assignments contains not only rights but also obligations which have to be accepted by the elected one from this point. Because without this the style transgressing the social standards, the rough drafting are not only insulting. They also cause the sense of being threatened, juridical insecurity in the ones professing different values. And it can cause fear. And it can cause serious infringement upon the constitutional rights of others. It is important to know that the people, who are resolutely outspoken and other times draft roughly and are „infallible” at the same time, are dangerous. And they are also unsuitable to be leaders, decision-makers even if the most of their aims however are acceptable. And even if, according to their own belief and conviction, they themselves wish to do for the better, though in their own style.
Of course it is possible that I see it wrong, that I misunderstand that intention with which the new elected president of the party started his work. The political opponents’ (László Kovács and/or Gábor Kuncze) aversions, statements qualifying the speech and then the press statements of the new president of the party arousing fear and hatred do not have to be absolutely accepted. Because these sentences can be biased, politically motivated etc. Biz it still would be good to avoid it even in their case. That is why today I paid attention to the reactions of my friends out of the circles of businessmen, scientists and simple employees. Whose lives do not connect to any of the political trends and the politics is not a part of their days. I myself abstained from forming an opinion and listened to their reactions produced by the parts of speech published in the television news. There was no exception in that respect that the content of these parts of speech was „too much, too hard” for my friends and acquaintances.
Also the content of László Kövér’s speech was remarkable. Every writing stressed those words of the president of the party where he stated it drawn point by point that only the FIDESZ had real nation-saving ideas of solution. This assertion awakes at least bad memories in those who are a bit more widely-read in history. The speech was obviously offensive for the opposition but surely impolite towards the members of the coalition.
I consider it as a sign that it was the people of the Kisgazdapárt making statements who gave the elected president of the FIDESZ a lesson of rhetoric. They gave utterance to their pleasure because by the content of László Kövér’s speech the FIDESZ recognized those nation-saving values, tasks which they had as early when the FIDESZ did not even exist yet.
The young president of the party should notice the following as soon as possible. The world does not find an entire party in our immediate vicinity acceptable to the government of a democratic country. In spite of its indisputable social voter-basis, because their earlier speeches are remembered and considered as arousing hatred and fear. .. Maybe we should not get this far!
January 31, 2000 János Palotás