The Secret Diaries of Viktor Orbán

Friday 7 December

With just over 16 months until the elections, we need some good news to cheer the voters. If my economics minister is to be believed, the fairy tale should begin soon, but just in case it doesn't...

So I chaired a brainstorming session of the junta.

"Anything we can do to warm the hearts of our voters?" I asked.

"Prime minister, you are a genius!" replied one of the other members of the junta.

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

"Warm the hearts of the voters... let's cut their heating bills. They will love us if we do that!"

"But we can't afford to cut the VAT on heating! It must stay at 27%!" I told him.

"No, we don't cut the VAT. We tell the energy companies to cut prices by 10%!"

"But the energy companies are private businesses!"

"So what. We are the government. We make the rules."

So simple! What a good idea. Maybe we will force Apple to cut the price of i-phones just before the election. We can force Tesco and Auchan to cut the prices of beer. The list is endless!!

Later I was discussing the idea with an advisor. He warned against it.

"If you require the energy companies to cut their prices, they will need to cut their costs. They may cut back on things like maintenance expenditure, which will lead to breakdowns. You won't be popular if the central heating breaks down in the middle of winter PM!"

"How long will it take before the heating starts to break down?" I asked him.

"I don't know. Probably two or three years!"

"Well that's after the election idiot!" I shouted at him.

Monday 10 December

Spent the day preparing the press conference to announce the cuts in the energy prices. People may be a little disturbed by a government interfering so directly in private markets. We have several good responses to that:

1. The energy companies enjoy astronomic profits. They should provide services like electricity and gas for free, as a public benefit. Not for profit.

2. Energy bills in Hungary have risen by 200% since 2002. We can blame that on the socialist government of course. (In actual fact the reason for increase is that the market price of crude oil has risen by 260% over that period, but why let facts get in the way of government propaganda?).

I was so looking forward to the press release, so I was absolutely incandescent when I heard that the University students were staging a very public anti government demonstration, complaining about our cuts to University places. They even closed Petõfi Bridge! I called the minister of the interior, and asked him to send in the tanks! Fortunately he didn't!

So all the good publicity that our heating cuts announcement should have made was lost.

Wednesday 12 December

We had a meeting to discuss our recent poster campaigns. The anti IMF campaign seems to have been a success, as we have had no calls from Washington since we launched that, so hopefully they will stay away.

We also discussed the recent anti Gyurcsány Bajnai poster campaign. One of our advisors was very critical of the campaign. He told us:

"Viktor, there is not such thing as bad publicity. Your anti Bajnai and Gyurcsány campaign will actually increase their profile and increase their popularity! People will see their faces and remember the good times again. They are delighted about the government funding their election campaigns. It also makes the government look childish. Hungarian people are more sophisticated than to believe such obvious propaganda. It was a waste of money frankly".

Well this man clearly does not know the first thing about politics. I've destroyed the only other conservative party, the MDF. I destroyed the liberal party, the Sdsz. I destroyed Gyurcsány's reputation. I will destroy Bajnai. Negative campaigning works.

At the end of the meeting we agreed to increase the budget for "government communications" (Fidesz propaganda) by HUF 700 million next year. This may be difficult when we are trying to find budget cuts of HUF 800 billion, but we can always cut an extra 700 University places!

FreeHungary; December 12. 2012.