Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Some people don't like to be lied to by their leaders.

All night riots swept Budapest up in chaos after the tape of a speech by Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany to political insiders was leaked to the press on Sunday. In the speech, the prime minister admits he had been lying to the public in order to gain re-election.

Protests against the Hungarian government turned violent last night as police used water cannon and tear gas on crowds demanding the resignation of prime minister.

BBC carries a transcript of the tape of Bush's Gyurcsany's speech:
If I am honest with you, I can say that we are full of doubts. That torment and anguish are behind the self-assurance. I can tell you exactly that all that we are doing will not be perfect...

We did what we could in the past month. We did whatever was possible to do in secret in the preceding months, making sure that papers on what we were preparing for would not surface in the last weeks of the election campaign.

We kept the secret, while we knew and you did too, that if the election victory comes, we will have to seriously settle down to work and that we have never had such a problem.

Since last summer we have been preserving our political unity and, behind it, our professional political unity as never before in recent years...

There is not much choice. There is not, because we have screwed up. Not a little but a lot. No country in Europe has screwed up as much as we have. It can be explained. We have obviously lied throughout the past 18 to 24 months. It was perfectly clear that what we were saying was not true.

We are beyond the country's possibilities to such an extent that we could not conceive earlier that a joint government of the Socialists and the liberals would ever do. And in the meantime we did not actually do anything for four years. Nothing.

You cannot mention any significant government measures that we can be proud of, apart from the fact that in the end we managed to get governance out of the shit. Nothing. If we have to give an account to the country of what we have done in four years, what are we going to say?

Naturally, the government's work is not constructed nicely, calmly or scrupulously. No. No. It is being prepared at a mad break-neck speed because we could not do it for a while in case it came to light, and now we have to do it so desperately that we are almost at the breaking point. And then we end up falling over because we cannot keep up the pace. This is the situation. In the meantime, we still have to come to an agreement with the free democrats because we still have ministerial problems - you know.

Look. The point is that there are no options in the short-term. [Finance Minister] Jani [Janos] Veres is right. We can dither a little longer but not much. The moment of truth has arrived quickly.

Divine providence, the abundance of cash in the world economy, and hundreds of tricks, which you do not have to be aware of publicly, have helped us to survive this. This cannot go on. Cannot. And of course we can ponder for a long time, and a shitload of analyses can be carried out as to how each social group will be affected, this is what I can say to you.

We cannot continue analysing for weeks, guys, we cannot. We must tell on the first day what needs to be done to ensure that an adjustment can be made this year and that certain tax regulations can be implemented on 1 September...

Guys, we are not perfect. Not at all. We will not be either. I cannot say to you that everything will be fine...

The team to which you have entrusted the leadership of this side is roughly capable... is able to define a programme. There may be another team that can do something else. We cannot, we cannot do anything more or better than this. We will not be capable of it.

Even if we work ourselves into the ground. We are doing a great and decent job among ourselves. We must do it. I am not talking about the New Hungary, developments, Hungarians beyond the border, relationship with churches, or another thousand things because these are not the most important things compared to the big picture.

We will have substantial, significant, and profound proposals on each. One or two will be surprising. But compared to the whole, which we have to decide among ourselves, this is not the most important one. Reform or failure. There is nothing else. And when I say failure, I am talking about Hungary, the left wing, and I very honestly tell, you, about myself, too...

I will only repeat this once at most: it is fantastic to be in politics. Fantastic. It is fantastic to run a country. Personally, I have been able to go through the past 18 months because one thing has inspired and fuelled me: to give back its faith to the left, that it can do it and it can win. That the left does not have to lower its head in this bloody country. That it does not have to shit its pants from Viktor Orban [chairman of opposition Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Alliance] or the right, and it should learn to measure itself against the world, rather than them.

This gave me the faith that it is worth doing this. It was a great thing. I loved it. It was the best part of my life. Now the faith comes from the fact that I am creating history. Not for the history books, I do not give a shit about them. I do not at all care whether we or I personally will be in them. I do not at all care.

Will we do something big? Are we going to say: goddammit, some people have come who dared to do it and did not get preoccupied with how they would deal with the travel expenses, fuck it.

Some came who did not bother whether they would have a place in the county government, because they understood that this bloody country is about something else. They can understand that it is worth being a politician here at the beginning of the 21st Century because we can create a different world. Only for this. Livelihood can be found in many other ways.

I know that this is easy for me to say. I know. Do not keep bringing it up against me. But this is the only reason it is worth doing it. I almost perished because I had to pretend for 18 months that we were governing.

Instead, we lied morning, noon and night. I do not want to carry on with this. Either we do it and have the personnel for it, or others will do it. I will never give an interview at the end of which we part with each other in argument. Never. I will never hurt the Hungarian left. Never.
Last night, I had the strangest dream...