Poor, poor, Ritchie

In effect a deeply neoliberal government has done all it can to completely gut the Hungarian constitution and leave single party rule in perpetuity. In the process it is silencing the opposition, rigging the judiciary, stacking all government positions with its place-people, over-ruling local government and ensuring a flat tax system for the benefit of the rich in perpetuity.

This is totalitarianism back in Europe.

Apparently he doesn\’t actually like a Courageuous State in reality.

21 thoughts on “Poor, poor, Ritchie”

  1. I wouldn’t exactly describe Fidesz as a “neoliberal” party anyway – more like traditional conservative nationalists, which isn’t the same thing at all.

  2. Well, Murphy’s assertions were so vacuous:

    “A Courageous State is populated by politicians who believe in government. They believe in the power of the office they hold. They believe that office exists for the sake of the public good. They know what that public good is. They think it is their job to help each and every person in their country to achieve their potential – something that is unique to each person and which at the same time is a characteristic we all have in common. And they believe they can command the resources to fulfil this task – whether through tax or other means – and that they should command those resources so that we as a country can each achieve, both individually and collectively.”

    I dare say Cameron and Osbourne “believe in government” and “believe in the power of the office they hold” and so on. But of course they don’t agree with Murphy, so he would say they aren’t “courageous” despite meeting his definition.

    It’s pretentious guff that doesn’t bear even cursory inspection – it’s a long-winded way of saying a politician is a goody if he agrees with Murphy.

  3. If you replace “neo liberal” with another epithet, and delete the flat tax sentence, you’ve just described the Blair years.

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    You don’t need to delete “the flat tax sentence”. You just need to delete the words “flat” and “tax”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you’ll even need to delete “perpetuity”!

    I really do feel sorry for all the socialist “true believers” who voted for Blair the first time. They should have got the message by 2001, however, so my sympathy is rather limited.

  5. Hang on a minute.

    Didn’t Murphy complain yesterday that Brussels was trying to impose a permanent neo-liberal hegemony across the whole EU, by stopping them running up deficits financed by printing money?

    Now if I’ve understood it correctly, the Hungarian government is standing up to Brussels, trying to gain control of its central bank so that it can print money to finance its deficit.

    And yet somehow that opposition to the Brussels neoliberal hegemony is an extreme neoliberal act?

  6. Its worth reading the comments. “Laszlo Kiss” makes some pretty specific, detailed ‘clarifications’ to RMs post (and Krugman).
    RM’s response is just killer.

  7. Silencing the opposition, surrounding himself with yes-men and over-ruling people who know more than him about the subject under discussion. Wonder who does that?

  8. Gary, that’s good; vintage Murphy.

    To save us all having to go and look, “Laszlo” has posted 75 lines of detailed explanation of what is happening in Hungary.

    Murphy’s reasoned response?
    “Respectfully, I don’t believe you.”

    That’s it. Nothing on what he doesn’t believe or why he doesn’t believe it. It doesn’t fit Murphy’s narrative, so he doesn’t believe it.

  9. More guff from our favourite retired book-keeper. All that crap and a split infinitive too!

    My cup runneth over…

  10. the killer punch for me was when Laszlo explained that “rigging the judiciary” actually meant weeding out judges over 70 years old. I have no idea whether or not this is true but it does sound plausible.

  11. Having rummaged around the web, it seems the judicial retirement age is being reduced from 70 to 62 (the standard pension age in Hungary).

  12. there is a point when a judge has to have some kind of connection with the society in which he/she lives. Denning was an embarrassment to the legal system by the end of his tenure.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    Richard – “Having rummaged around the web, it seems the judicial retirement age is being reduced from 70 to 62 (the standard pension age in Hungary).”

    I assume Hungary has a system where judges are trained in a special school – it is a separate career path from being a lawyer. So if someone is 70 this year, he was born around 1941. Which means he would have started his training to be a judge around 1960 or so. And would have spent nearly all of the next thirty years working for the Communist government.

    Yeah. I can see why the Hungarians might want those people to retire.

  14. “Yeah. I can see why the Hungarians might want those people to retire.”

    …and yeah. I can see why the Murph might like them to stay on.

  15. And of course the govt of Hungary just confiscated everyone’s pensions. Not very neoliberal, but exactly what Ritchie advocates!

  16. dearieme…I thought FDR tried to pack the Supremem Court by normal methods. a Fascist would get a few judges killed and then replace them. Can we reserve the term “Fascist” for the use of violence to sway political life, rather than adopt the Left’s lazy definition of “something they don’t like”.

  17. I thought fascism was a system in which the means of production were nominally in private hands, but industrial policy was set by the government.

    That, and a heavy dose of nationalism.

    I suppose one could argue that by trying to create a new identity for the EU Superstate, the EU is becoming more fascistic.

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