This poster's slogan "Only FIDESZ!" has been changed to "Zsidesz" - sort of "JewDESZ" from the Hungarian word for Jew: zsidó. Again, probably the work of Jobbik supporters. Jobbik came to prominence on the basis of antisemitic and anti-Gypsy rhetoric, and gained wide support for their formation of a paramilitary wing, the Hungarian Guard (Magyar Garda) which has been outlawed, but immediately returned unpunished. I would like to say, that in showing these photographs, this does not mean that the majority of Hungarians express these kinds of views. The Jobbik Party are expert in using an advanced understanding of negative communication strategy to gather support among a percentage of Hungarians who are both frustrated and ignorant enough find their extremism attractive. March around in uniforms closely reminiscent of the Nazi era Arrow Cross, use a flag closely copying that of the Arrow Cross, and then tell your supporters that the Jews Who Control Everything have commanded their press minions to label all Hungarians 'Nazis.' Classy. Real classy. But, for about 20% of the populace, very effective.
This poster is one supporting the MDF, the center-right Hungarian Demorcratic Forum, which was the ruling party in the first post-communist Hungarian governemnt coalition after 1990. The graffitti labels the young man as "faggot" the young woman as "lesbian" and MDF candidate Lajos Bokros as "Jew." And for good measure, it adds "+SZDSZ boo!" The SZDSZ (Free Democrats) was the liberal party that had its roots in the intellectuals who published anti-communist samizdat literature in the 1970s and 80s. They are not really even running candidates in most districts, and we only saw one poster for SZDSZ in all of Budapest:Now, is that the saddest looking political poster you have ever seen or what? The SZDSZ may be the saddest of all the poltical parties in Hungary. Their party split over the rigged election of their own party leaders, and they sat quiet while their coalition partners, the Socialist MSZP, looked the other way while tolerating internal corruption on a scale that would make even a New Jersey congressman blush to see. Then, basically, they gave up. They stopped getting out of bed and walked around their apartments in pajamas all day and never went out and started drinking margaritas at noon. Sad. Especially for a liberal political party. So sad.
Here's another MDF poster defaced by literal mudslinging. In Hungary we sling mud the Old School way. With mud. Of course, there is the spanking new party called "Lehet Mas a Politika" ("Politics can be different") and of course, having come out of nowhere with no background, nobody is really sure what they support. This poster says "cleaner city air" but could just as well be advertising a return to WWI gas warfare. Politics can be clueless as well.Of course, tarring your opponent with the label "I am an Alien Vampire Intellectual" really addresses the pressing issues in a time of economic crisis. The graffitti says "THIEVES!" and is signed "kuruc." Kuruc is the web portal for all things Hungarian neo-nazi, and is closely allied to the Jobbik Party - I won't link to it but you can find it on the web. If you read Hungarian be warned that it is really rather repulsive in a way you don't even see on many English language neo-nazi sites. But, the opponents of Jobbik are able to give as good as they get:
The Jobbik poster slogan is "Radical Change" which has been covered with the slogans "Rotten Nazis!" and "The Gypsies should work! The Arrow Cross should hang!" Note the Hitler moustache, a perennial favorite in any Hungarian election regardless of political viewpoint. No mincing words here! Another Jobbik poster in Zuglo also got the direct treatment:
This was across the street from the defaced "Faggot/Jews/Lesbian" MDF poster, meaning the defacer of both was most likely a FIDESZ supporter. Jobbik has been using the old slogan"In the Name of the People" which was actually one of the old Stalinist era Communist slogans. Go figure. You live, you learn. Here the "people" has been replaced with "your mother." Again, the ever useful Hitler moustache makes an appearance but now it is used to deface the poster of a party that Hitler would most likely approve of. It looks especially fetching on Dr. Krisztina Morvai, a very outspoken Jobbik leader (although she is not even a member of the party) and EU Parliament representative. No, I do not like her. At all. And no I will not use this space to explain why, although I heartily urge those who enjoy carnival freak shows to google her name and learn more about her - youtube has some particularly good moments from her in English. The end.Here are Jobbik activists manning a soup line outside of the Bosnyak market in Zuglo on Saturday. As I was taking pictures a van pulled alongside of me, and one activist cheerfully offered me a handful of posters to me to put up. I gently declined and he sped off with a chirpy "Szebb jövő" - the greeting of the party which translates as "Better Future" but can also be heard as something less positive, depending on one's view. I always wondered what it must have felt like to be a Jew in East Europe in 1939. Now I know.
Now, this is Hungary which is a place where irony and sarcasm are taken to new heights. "So, OK, where the hell is the fucking advert" and another placard that has been seen all around Budapest that really sums up the way a lot of Hungarians feel about the choices in this particular election campaign: