I have been thinking a lot whether to reply to János Széky’s open letter to Ferenc Gyurcsány, in which the author writes the former prime minister off as a ‘failure’ and in which he advises Mr. Gyurcsány to step back from frontline politics. The author’s condescending use of ‘dear Ferenc’ makes it questionable whether a reply is worth the ink, since I am not aware that these two men are on friendly terms. What I find appalling is the fact that a prestigious weekly, like the ÉS doesn’t feel the need to substantiate its allegations. Even worse, it seems that it is the accused and not the accuser who must justify himself. I think that the period from 2002-2010 has not been properly assessed yet. It is clear that the reason MSZP got annihilated was a perception on the part of the wider electorate, who thought that some socialist backstabbed their own leader. If we take the fact that only an additional eighty thousand votes could have averted the two-thirds majority of Fidesz, the moral consequences that some socialist MPs should draw from this case is even more staggering. In his letter, János Széky states bluntly that Gyurcsány’s premiership was a failure. This allegation is as ridiculous as is untrue. As far as I can recall, Mr. Gyurcsány was well received in, and was an appreciated member of the international community. At home, he introduced a row of vital reforms in the sphere of healthcare and education. Inflation and unemployment were lower. There was a just tax system, which contributed to higher birthrates. It was Mr. Gyurcsány who tried to implement a new party financing system that would have made financial matters a lot more transparent, and it was him, who did not put his own cronies into vital positions. Is this why he should feel ashamed? But we can approach this question from another angle. Does Mr. Széky think that we can afford the loss of even one democrat who is opposed to the Orbán régime? Does Mr. Széky know that based on membership, the Democratic Coalition is the third largest party in the country? Why does Mr. Széky feel the need to rubbish a man, who, as the only former prime minister, took part in the “March for the Living, and took up solidarity with the cause of homosexuals? Doesn’t it bother Mr. Széky that, while he is attacking Mr. Gyurcsány’s democratic credentials, it is precisely the former prime minister’s party which was not allowed to have its own faction in the parliament? If I ever heard an absurd allegation, then it is Mr. Széky’s assertion that Mr. Gyurcsány is an impediment to a future democratic cooperation. I am not aware that the former prime minister is in the habit of sticking his nose in other parties’ affairs, nor I am aware of the fact that it is because of Mr. Gyurcsány’s ‘overwhelming personality’ that we cannot hear a word of Milla, 4K and Solidarity. It is not obligatory to cooperate with Mr. Gyurcsány; in fact I am still waiting for someone who can come up with better ideas! I cannot help but think that there is an inherent anti-Gyurcsány sentiment in the other parties of the opposition. Why else would they oppose and marginalize a party, which has Tamás Bauer, József Debreczeni and other prominent intellectuals in its ranks? By the end of his letter, Mr. Széky comes to the absurd conclusion that ‘dear Ferenc’ should come clean. Oh, really? Then why not dear Gordon, dear Péter, dear Viktor or dear Simicska-Puch for that matter? I think it is clear that Mr. Széky wants to exclude Mr. Gyurcsány from the democratic process. One doesn’t have to like Mr. Gyurcsány, and I am sure he doesn’t need anyone’s affections. All I am asking for, as I am sure many of us are doing, that a man be judged by his actions and on the basis of evidence. This Mr. Széky fails to do. That said I respect Mr. Széky’s opinion, even though I think it is inflicting huge damage on our cause. And I think that, reading Mr. Széky’s letter, Viktor Orbán is shaking with laughter.
Zsolt Gréczy, Élet és Irodalom, May 18. 2012.