Hungarian opposition parties only want to have liberal theaters and arts that are under their full control.
Yesterday’s debate in parliament over theater financing was a clear indication of how deeply confused opposition MPs are in their interpretation of Shakespeare’s words, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
While this time they refrained from more violent or egregious acts during the debate, they still decided it was a good idea to don black theatrical masks. But this very action only served to illustrate that instead of reasonable debate followed by a traditional vote, they are only interested in mounting yet another show, a show that has nothing to do with either democracy or the issues being discussed.
In what little debate that occurred, they clearly demonstrated they have no idea what they are talking about.
The bill does in no way give Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler the exclusive right to appoint theater directors, nor does said bill disband the National Cultural Fund, the main body deciding on central budget subsidies for culture in Hungary.
The opposition find it revolting and unacceptable that the state should have any say in the appointment of directors at the institutions partially or entirely financed by the state, while at the same time they consider it only natural that the opposition’s mayor in Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, has free reign in appointing the management of the municipality’s theatrical firms.
While shouting about dictatorship and censorship, they apply the well-known double standards of the left-liberal side.
The truth is that the new system is both transparent and equitable. It simply cannot be that the government which finances these theaters to the tune of hundreds of millions of forints should have no influence on how they are run or even verify their books.
The other obvious thing is that the left-liberal side is fighting to maintain its exclusive reign over culture, largely inherited from the communist times and has no intention of allowing alternative views to be staged.
In their interpretation, culture should only be supported and defended as long as it serves their interests while democracy simply means their opinion is paramount.
Title image: Opposition MPs don black theater masks during the debate of the financing bill (Magyar Nemzet/István Mirkó)