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Hungary’s Open Letter to Boris Johnson

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Mária Schmidt & Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

688 words

Following the Hungary-England football match in Budapest on Thursday, September 2, during which racist abuse against the British team was reported, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson posted a tweet [2] in which he expressed that it was “completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary.” He then called on the FIFA football association “to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.

The British Prime Minister’s comment was taken badly by some of the Hungarian public, and even members of the government reacted. Indeed, the atmosphere quickly deteriorated after the political — and now ritual — kneeling in favor of the extremist BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, which was seen by the Hungarian authorities and the overwhelming majority of the Hungarian public as a provocation.

Among those who reacted was the influential Hungarian historian and businesswoman Mária Schmidt, who is close to Viktor Orbán and heads several political and historical research institutes in Hungary.

We translated her open letter, which was published on her Facebook page [3] on September 3, 2021:

Dear Prime Minister,

I am shocked by your insensitive post condemning Hungarian supporters for their alleged racism, which demonstrates the usual British colonialist attitude. The British football players came to our capital as guests, and they infuriated Hungarian supporters with a gesture that we feel is a hypocritical move. For centuries, the British have colonized many parts of the globe, and to this day they run an elite world based on a caste system. We have never colonized anyone. This is why I advise you to play this kneeling in a country where there is a demand for it. With your deceitful and ostentatious gestures of British moralization, you do nothing to undo or redeem what has been done.

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And you didn’t even yet mention that we Hungarians have never received anything good from the British. The responsibility for Trianon, as well as for the whole misguided and criminal Treaty of Versailles, was shifted by the British PR onto France over the last hundred years, but by now nobody thinks that the leading power of the world at that time, the British Empire, was ordered around by the ruined and fallen French. In 1918, the British blockade starved nearly one million Germans to death after the armistice, which would be a concern for the Germans if only they had any courage. I am just pointing out that we know about this. Just as we know that during the Second World War, millions of Indians were starved to death because their grain was taken away from them in order to give it to the superior British. Of course, you have no problem with Churchill’s racist justifications, otherwise you wouldn’t hold him up as your role model. We will never — I repeat, never — forgive you for dividing up our region together with Stalin on a cheap piece of paper in the autumn of 1944, pushing us over to Asia!

But let’s get back to football. In the European Championship final, the British were, as they have been for decades, a bunch of scumbags. They beat up several fans, and their black footballers, who missed the penalties, were subjected to racist attacks. Neither Prince William or you, who were present at the game, congratulated the victorious Italian President, which is really a boorish thing to do. So is booing the Italian national anthem. The defeated English did not wait for the result to be announced and did not pay their respects to the winners. London was puked on, pissed on, and littered by the football fans. They broke through the cordon and rushed in without tickets, all of this in pandemic times, without any controls. They behaved as usual. I am still waiting to see what punishment they will receive, because we will of course be disciplined in an exemplary manner.

Boris Johnson, you’re at the head of a small, decaying country. Get on with it and clean your own house. You’ve got a lot to do.

Mária Schmidt

This translation [6] originally appeared at The Visegrád Post [7].

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