Hungary, as every bien pensant knows, is beyond the Pale these days, mostly due to the decision by the Hungarian government not to facilitate the promotion of transgenderism in state schools. Of course, that is only the latest of the offences, as perceived by the establishment, to have been committed by Viktor Orban,
Chief of these is that Hungary has declined to comply with the EU’s demand that member states open up their borders to illegal immigrants – and has refused all-round to toe the Commission line. Their soccer team also caused a furore in the liberal/left media when they rejected demands to kneel in homage to the far-left Black Lives Matter movement, pointing instead to the ‘Respect’ badges on their kit.
Not that Hungarians are too bothered by any of this. The failure of their Western European friends to come to their assistance when the Red Army invaded to crush the anti-Communist revolution in 1956 is not forgotten. Indeed, one suspects that Hungary’s boldness in defying the Brave New World is another black mark as far as a considerable section of the left is concerned.
So it must not have come as a major surprise when the Irish Times refused to carry a paid advertisement from the Hungarian Government. The statement, signed by Viktor Orban, sets out Hungary’s objections to the increasing encroachment of the EU on national sovereignty as it becomes a super state.
Specifically, and this relates to Hungary’s falling foul of the desire to force it to comply with ideologically driven legal decrees, Orban bluntly states: “We say no to the outsourcing of the rule of law.”
The Irish Times is of course perfectly free to refuse any use of its pages. It also recently refused to publish a letter from the Ireland Israel Alliance setting out a different set of facts regarding the recent military confrontation with Hamas.
However, the Irish Times seemed to have no problem publishing a full page, 1500 word, advertisement which amounted to a propaganda piece from the Chinese Communist Party celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of that organisation in 1921. The article, an advertorial which cost up to €34,000 according to the paper’s rate card, was placed on a prime spot, page 5, of the paper.
The Editor obviously took a bit of flack over this and responded with an op-ed in which he referred in passing to the unfortunate series of mass murders through collectivisation and the repression of the Uighurs and Tibetans, but managed to avoid using the word genocide to describe what is actually taking place.
And, of course, none of that according to the Irish Times, ought to distract from the “extraordinary journey” and the progress made in life expectancy and education in China. That seemed to imply that these were unique attributes to the Communist state rather than a pretty much universal phenomenon over the past 70 years and more.
Most countries in Asia and elsewhere have improved their living conditions of their people in the same time frame – without mass murder, slavery and the creation of the most perfect totalitarian state in human history.
All of China’s crimes, which most historians agree cost the lives of tens of millions of people, it seems, pale into insignificance compared to the Crimes against the Woke committed by the democratically-elected government of another European state.
Hungary is not violating any recognised legal rights in deciding by refusing to include transgenderism in the curriculum, an ideological dogma that has absolutely nothing to do with the needs of school children.
Hungary has escaped the horrors of Marxist terror to which it and other eastern and central European countries were subjected to under Soviet domination that came to an end in the late 1980s. Clearly, many in the Irish elite seem to consider Communist totalitarianism as a minor faux pas in comparison to not allowing the promotion of gender dysphoria to young children.
The Hungarians, meanwhile, have an appreciation of the historical parallels between our country and theirs in relation to attempts to escape the shackles of Empire – which could be said to be ongoing in the case of Budapest, while the Irish elite have simply switched affinity.
Arthur Griffith’s most famous piece of writing was the Resurrection of Hungary. In the book, published in 1904, Griffith compared the attempts by Hungary to escape from Habsburg control to the Irish struggle for independence. That was commemorated by the Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Manno who last August laid a wreath on Griffith’s grave in Glasnevin cemetery.
Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Manno (left), Glasnevin Trust Deputy CEO Mervyn Colville, and Dr. Nikolett Egeni, Deputy Head of Mission, lay a wreath on the grave of Arthur Griffith, first President of the Irish Free State. Credit: Hungarian Embassy on Facebook
That clearly didn’t impress the Irish Times who refused an advert from democratic Hungary while happily printing one from totalitarian China. Even those who might be critical of Orban should acknowledge the hypocrisy here.