Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html en-gb 30 Mon 21 Apr 2014 06:46:46 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=99#comment238 to the cool_brush_work clones:I am glad that the world has shaken your colonizing parasitic existence off its shoulders.Next I hope, we will not have to be measured with the same standards under one EU. Thu 06 Jan 2011 20:34:56 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=99#comment237 200 threnodio writes:Yes, Hungary should follow countries like Japan . . . ". . . get roundly thrashed in a world war, have the hell bombed out of them, triumphantly engineer an economic miracle and then destroy it with equal efficiency..."I take it your are talking about a country that has the 2nd largest economy in the world? Ah, how many countries would like to have such a 'destroyed' economy! Thu 06 Jan 2011 20:28:09 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=98#comment236 #236. At 7:27pm on 06 Jan 2011, Wallonia,#231 "No one in this blog (including myself)ever discuss causes, consequences and alternatives to the problems regarding Europe."I recall some earlier posts by yourself and still you go on about German exports. Have you still yet to realise that German exports to eurozone countries were paid for by loans from German banks, look at the exposure to these loans that primarily caused the Greek and Irish problems. Now tell us German exports are helping the eurozone when you ignore who is funding those imports in struggling countries. Thu 06 Jan 2011 20:17:58 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=98#comment235 So you are denying that the German exports to countries outside the Eurozone does not improve the economies of their trading partners inside the Eurozone.You deny also that the weakening of the euro does not help Eurozone exports.You really believe that the Germans dont have suppliers and make their goods and servicer out of nothing?And you object my presence in the blog by saying that i am boring.If you search for entertainment on this blog i really pity you. Thu 06 Jan 2011 19:27:29 GMT+1 AboriginalHungarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=97#comment234 228. At 3:31pm on 06 Jan 2011, threnodio_II wrote:'Your text is again misleading and manipulative.'You pointed out a very important issue. Banks were saved by IMF money. The IMF money was not used to buy medicine and save Hungarian lifes, IMF money was not used to feed the poor, no, the banks were saved and the banks sent the money back to their original countries. The IMF money did not even get warm inside a Hungarian bank server, it was gone. Who is going to pay back IMF money? It was not a gift. IMF does not do gifts. This is a loan that the Hungarian population has to pay back with interest. You again put your argument misleading. Not the Fidesz government and the only 8 months old leadership took IMF money and decided to save the banks. Now, the current government has to deal with it. ---------------------------------------------------------------------Your text:Really?"When the big crises broke out the Hungarian government paid for and saved those banks."With whose money? Did the Hungarian tax payer pay for it? You were clearly not subscribing to this blog when I mounted a vigorous defense of the Hungarian position in 2007/8 but you cannot walk away from the fact that the bail out of the banks was funded by IMF and ECB money and no amount of trying to sell the Fidesz position will change that. If you wish, I will argue politics with you until we are blue in the face but you cannot change harsh economic reality.I have already said that the government handled it well but they did so with borrowed money and there will always be a pay back time. Thu 06 Jan 2011 19:25:53 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=97#comment233 #233. At 6:18pm on 06 Jan 2011, Wallonia,Hello again QOT clone, who are you I wonder, "With the recuperation gaining momentum, it is just a matter of time before the improvement of the balance sheets of governments, banks and economies.", yawn, dormir, ronfler. Thu 06 Jan 2011 19:09:03 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=97#comment232 @ CBW"I can divine nothing controversial by Mr Hewitt; he has kept a fairly even line" My friend, you have a serious problem with regard to the betweenlines. Even him must be laughing at this remark. His job is controversy.I wonder, are you Mr Hewitt? Thu 06 Jan 2011 18:18:28 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=96#comment231 218. At 1:52pm on 06 Jan 2011, bubu wrote:"..by now Hungary and the hungarian government was compared to bacillus, pre- historic human and Fuehrerstaadt; I wonder what exotic disease Hungary will be called next. I can only hope that in the future BBC will check more carefully their sources and does not join the scare-mongrels in a storm in a spoon of water.Best wishes,Attila"I too wonder what Hungary will next be called because for sure, no one on the BBC News or indeed any contributor to this Blog has used the unpleasant 'names' You mention!?So far as I can tell the BBC News especially via its Eiropean Editor, Mr Hewitt has attempted to Report the various viewpoints that have arisen across the EU27 concerning Hungary as it takes rotating the EU Presidency. I can divine nothing controversial by Mr Hewitt; he has kept a fairly even line, only his Article references some within the EU27 who are opposed/concerned with the new Law on Media Hungary has introduced.It therefore follows some writing Comments on this Blog have also expressed concerns & others such as Yourself have ably defended the Hungarian standpoint. Thu 06 Jan 2011 17:09:18 GMT+1 Wallonia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=96#comment230 The Economics of Powermeerkat are very simplistic.About the Euro, its "relative weakness" is actually helping the post-crisis real economy of the Eurozone.We are seeing record exports of Germany to other markets helping countries that export to Germany, such as Spain, Italy, France, Ireland and others, improving the industrial orders of the region as a hole.With the recuperation gaining momentum, it is just a matter of time before the improvement of the balance sheets of governments, banks and economies.About the boat thing, let's not forget that the pessimistic achieves nothing. It s easy to be pessimistic and post pessimistic remarks about everything coming out of the EU, specially the Eurozone. No one in this blog (including myself)ever discuss causes, consequences and alternatives to the problems regarding Europe.This blog needs a good rational approach to the discussions.Just my point of view. Thu 06 Jan 2011 16:34:07 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=95#comment229 Orban seems convinced the opposition are stirring it with the EU for domestic gain.Although I did wonder at..."Hungary has sent a translated text of the law to legal experts in Brussels who will seek to clarify whether the terms comply with EU legislation."I thought 'we' employed an army of EU translators for this kind of thing? Thu 06 Jan 2011 15:57:47 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=95#comment228 Do not try and work out any reasoning/logic to the moderation process AboriginalHungarian. That is a ticket to a headache. Consider "Post Comment" as "Roll the dice" and you will be much happier. ^^ Thu 06 Jan 2011 15:51:26 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=94#comment227 'Your text is again misleading and manipulative.'Really?"When the big crises broke out the Hungarian government paid for and saved those banks."With whose money? Did the Hungarian tax payer pay for it? You were clearly not subscribing to this blog when I mounted a vigorous defense of the Hungarian position in 2007/8 but you cannot walk away from the fact that the bail out of the banks was funded by IMF and ECB money and no amount of trying to sell the Fidesz position will change that. If you wish, I will argue politics with you until we are blue in the face but you cannot change harsh economic reality.I have already said that the government handled it well but they did so with borrowed money and there will always be a pay back time. Thu 06 Jan 2011 15:31:07 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=94#comment226 Nice to see you are still hanging around out there Threnodio.Good to read the other opinions from Hungary...IE not TG.Bad as QOT...well almost. Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:59:38 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=94#comment225 220. At 2:05pm on 06 Jan 2011, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:216. At 1:46pm on 06 Jan 2011, TG wrote:"...Why does Hungary need the EU? ..."EUpris: Nobody needs the "EU" except overpaid "EU"-Apparatchics/Eurocrats and criminals like the ones who have murdered, gang-raped and filmed it, stolen in organised gangs, smuggled and sold drugs, organised prostitution, scrounged off our social security system around here and carried out ram-raids and posed as false policemen in Austria."ALL of the above sort of ghastly stuff occurs with or without an EU.Come on EUPris, it's way past time You argued on the case for an Independent England/UK based on the Un-Democratic and Un-Economic effects of this centralising, strait-jacket Brussels entity and not on spurious criminality!I base my anti-Schengen argument very largely on the 'open door' border policy that has enables widespread cross-border, International Criminal activity: However, the notion that 'gang-rape, 'ram-raids' & the like are a product of the EU's policies is about as sensible as the 'pro-EU' argument that England wants to return to 'Empire' - - both are daft at best, and extremely aggravatingly out-of-place at worst! Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:40:41 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=93#comment224 #221. At 2:08pm on 06 Jan 2011, AboriginalHungarianFor the British media rules you have to thank the previous Socialist administration who amongst other things turned the UK into the most surveillance orientated country after Russia in terms of the number of cctv cameras. Many in England believe that you can't sneeze without being caught on at least several cameras.As regards the fire storm unleashed against Hungary, this is simply because they dare to not want to curl up their toes and whimper in the corner to the Great European Empire mandarins. If they just give in and nod their heads and agree with the Paris-Berlin axis all the criticism will melt away, and any non-compliance with EU treaties will be overlooked as usual.Well done Hungary and their new Government, keep it up. Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:30:50 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=93#comment223 216. At 1:46pm on 06 Jan 2011, TG wrote:@ cool_brush_workWhy does Hungary need the EU?This is my new term of starting a discussion since you arrogant westerners have voiced your opinions."So, when a 'western' person (though how You know they are not also in Japan, Thailand etc. or what Faith they hold, only You can explain) gives their viewpoint that constitutes "..arrogance" on their part.Whereas, when You contribute Your viewpoint that is only fair, reasonable, logical and all those other finer points of debating.Hmm, strikes me You're being a tad 'arrogant' in Your assumption of what value is placed on Your Comments compared with anyone else. Still, please keep contributing because the blog needs diversity. Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:27:21 GMT+1 AboriginalHungarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=92#comment222 Gosh, In Hungary forums are not pre-moderated and does not take an hour to get message up on board. If this is a freedom that you are trying to protect from Hungary, that we are more free that you. Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:17:26 GMT+1 AboriginalHungarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=92#comment221 Why did cut and paste only the message I replied to and not my answer?My answer was:I personally know American guys and I can assure you about that you are not Public Enemy No 1. in Hungary. Normal simple people suffer in America just like in Hungary. There’s no difference at all. I saw a documentary about Detroit. It was heartbreaking.Your text:214. At 1:32pm on 06 Jan 2011, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:114. At 3:57pm on 05 Jan 2011, AboriginalHungarian wrote:"Well, I'm an American from the evil U$A.Public Enemy No 1. "EUpris: The "EU" is the Evil Empire.The "EU" is public enemy No.1Services are being cut in the UK whilst we are paying for the worse-than-useless van Rompuy Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:14:43 GMT+1 AboriginalHungarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=92#comment220 Thank you Testudo Fur. Your message is clear and fair.----------------------------------Your text:184. At 10:24am on 06 Jan 2011, Testudo Furor wrote:The New Hungarian press law is a compilation from different western EU countries press laws. Please read it! So if there is no free press in Hungary, then no free press in Britain or Italy.For example the hungarian Media Council is elected by the National Assembly by way of a two-thirds majority vote. Members of the National Assembly cannot be influenced in their decision.- The members of the convergent British authority OFCOM – including its chairperson – are appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport;- The chairperson of the convergent Italian authority AGCOM is appointed, in conjunction with the Minister for Communication and the competent parliamentary committee, by the decree of the President of the Republic based on the Prime Minister’s recommendation;I think this British or Italian rules are more "dictatorial" then the hungarian version. Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:08:32 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=91#comment219 216. At 1:46pm on 06 Jan 2011, TG wrote:"...Why does Hungary need the EU? ..."EUpris: Nobody needs the "EU" except overpaid "EU"-Apparatchics/Eurocrats and criminals like the ones who have murdered, gang-raped and filmed it, stolen in organised gangs, smuggled and sold drugs, organised prostitution, scrounged off our social security system around here and carried out ram-raids and posed as false policemen in Austria. Thu 06 Jan 2011 14:05:41 GMT+1 AboriginalHungarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=91#comment218 threnodio_IIYour following text is misleading and manipulative as not foreign companies had to pay the Robin Hood-tax. All foreign and Hungarian that reached a specific profit. So, there were many foreign companies that did not pay.Your text: As to the taxation of foreign companies, there are quite possibly legal issues in respect of EU companies but probably not for non-Eu businesses.As to the inward investment the following companies found good enough the new reduced company taxation that also has been introduced by the new FIDESZ government and which you have deliberately left out from your message:AUDI, BMW, OPEL, SUZUKIYour text: Much more importantly, Hungary badly needs inward investment and this was beginning to flow again quite nicely. Any measures which mitigate against a positive investment flow are misguided. It is that simple. A deeper investigation of this quickly reveals that there are clear targets.As to the obligatory private pension funds, you again deliberately and misleadingly omitted the fact that they accumulated enormous losses and they are under investigation for fraud and that they were obligatory. I repeat OBLIGATORY!!!!!Your Text: Recent changes in the pension regulations severely punish private pension funds in favour of the state system.Your text is again misleading and manipulative. When the big crises broke out the Hungarian government paid for and saved those banks. Without this enormous scarifies, today we could not talk about these banks, as there were already dead. Now, the tax they had to pay, as they managed to survive the crises is a very low % of the profit that they produced. Your Text: Taxation changes recently have also targeted banks and other financial institutions, changes in the way the insurance system buys drugs for the state health system seem to be similarly balanced. There is a simple fact of life that everyone seems to be ignoring. Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:56:15 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=90#comment217 BBC have not posted my initial comment so I rewrote bits, that may in some way were deemed inapropriate for the site and I broke the comment into to: second part:As for the other issue, that in case of national security issues the media sources have to reveal their sources and all the information they posses on the issue to the watchdog (according to the law the watchdog have to keep these information secret thereafter) is I think perfectly understandable and natural. I have not read the British terror-law, but I would not be surprised if in that law much more effective powers are given either to the government or to agencies over which the public have very little control. All in all after reading key parts of the law I am very disappointed by your coverage of Hungary and the Hungarian government. The law maybe imperfect and may dent media freedom but it definitively does not destroy democracy, pluralism in Hungary and it is in no way dangerous to Europe. Due to negligence you seem to have joined the choir of hysterical voices that ostracise a whole nation based on unconfirmed information: by now Hungary and the hungarian government was compared to bacillus, pre- historic human and Fuehrerstaadt; I wonder what exotic disease Hungary will be called next. I can only hope that in the future BBC will check more carefully their sources and does not join the scare-mongrels in a storm in a spoon of water.Best wishes,Attila Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:52:02 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=90#comment216 BBC have not posted my initial comment so I rewrote bits, that may in some way were deemed inapropriate for the site and I broke the comment into to: first part:Dear Gawin Hewitt,I am a bit disappointed by the uninformed coverage of the Hungarian media law in your blog. I am a hungarian living abroad and I learnt about this law mainly trough non-hungarian/foreign coverage, which I expected to be higher quality and less partial than hungarian media at least in cases where hungarian politics is concerned. I actually voted for the party that is in power now and brought the law. Nevertheless, I must say that I did not agree with all the changes the newly elected government made in Hungary. In fact some of their actions I clearly disapproved. After reading about the media-law in the foreign media, and also in the Hungarian media, my disapproval of the Hungarian government sky-rocketed until I actually read the most cited and criticised parts of the law. While I am not a lawyer and I did not read every detail of the law (it is a rather long and boring documents) it is very clear that the foreign and the hungarian media-coverage of the law contains incorrect statements. Most disappointingly, these incorrect statements are also spread by your blog! Probably we would all agree that what most democrats including myself would consider very disturbing in a media law if as you write a watchdog council would “impose fines on coverage it considers "unbalanced"”, which have to be “paid up-front before an appeal process can begin”. Such a law would indeed allow oppression of opposition voices. However, this statement about the law is simply not true. The watchdog council can only condemn unbalanced media coverage, it cannot impose fines in such cases. It can impose fines only in cases when a media source broadcast content that is deemed inappropriate for juvenile consumption or insults “human dignity”, to my knowledge based on Hungarian media sources this expression was taken from german media law and the text of the law orders the application of currently existing European practice for determining what is deemed offending, e.g.: porn on mainstream television during the day when kids can see it. This does not seem to be so much out of tune of European values. I lived in England and I have not seen much porn in English TV during daytime, but it could happen that I did not search for it very hard. Even when a media source is fined it by the watchdog, it DOES NOT need to pay the fine up-front, if it disagree with the judgement it can attack the decision on the court, which is not linked to the watchdog, and it has to pay the fine only if it loses the appeal. to be continued Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:51:11 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=89#comment215 @ cool_brush_workWhy does Hungary need the EU?This is my new term of starting a discussion since you arrogant westerners have voiced your opinions. Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:46:37 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=89#comment214 Dear threnodio_II (206),I absolutely agree with your comment. The point I was trying to make was not that the former leaders (lower, midle or high level) should be surgically removed from the society. This is impossible and clearly not desirable. The point is that just by existing and by not being able to change their brain content this network of people creates an imbalance on the Hungarian political landscape. A relatively fair democratic political competition is not possible unless at least two opposing sides have similar chances. I think right after the democratic change begin 22 years ago real balance was not created. The former “communists”, or it would be more correct to say the ideological and emmiotional club of communist party linked people never completely left power. In some ways 15-20% of the population is emotionally linked to this club, although most of these people economically and rationally did not benefited from the rule of the socialist elite. The drastic looking actions of the current governing party do try to address this imbalance, which of course destroys the status quo. The beneficiaries of the current status quo are naturally upset and loudly complain. Nevertheless changing the status quo is absolutely necessary because that is the only way to get rid of a situation that immensely disturbs a large part of the society because it is viewed as unjust. You wrote that Hungary handled the change to democracy well, but unfortunately the fundamental unjustice of the democratic change was not addressed causing a bitterness that can lead to the strengthening of really dangerous groups. Thus re-balancing the political landscape and re-balancing the society is a must.Is this this done too drastic way? Maybe. But the previous, mild approach apparently did not work, so a different method need to be applied which is coupled with reasserting national authority and with a more marked protection of imagined national interest. Whether the way this is done is actually within the interest of Hungary is another question. You raised perfectly valid issues in your previous comments regarding economy, about which I do not want to argue because they are legitimate points. Nevertheless, there is now one truth, not even in economy. Economy is not a real science, although it is full of math, it is full of psychology as well and we will need to wait and see what will be the results of the actions of the current government. This is not to say that we should stick our head into sand, and the government must be warned when it is in a real breach of a EU law, let it be media-law or economic law of the EU. But these warning should come when it is clear that a law was breached, as it stands I am not so sure that EU rules and the freedom of press were brutally violated in the case of media-law, they were certainly not violated to the extent that would warrant the current hysteric attack in the west.Best wishes,Bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:43:13 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=89#comment213 114. At 3:57pm on 05 Jan 2011, AboriginalHungarian wrote:"Well, I'm an American from the evil U$A.Public Enemy No 1. "EUpris: The "EU" is the Evil Empire.The "EU" is public enemy No.1Services are being cut in the UK whilst we are paying for the worse-than-useless van Rompuy Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:32:45 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=88#comment212 112. At 3:57pm on 05 Jan 2011, john wrote:"Dear EUprisoner209456731Let me telling you the majority of the EU lovers are people which do not wont a repetition of the last two wars in Europe please read of all the death just because people ad a nationalistic view.Second we are people which love our tradition and we are people which wont Europe to be Europe not the USA.Let us hope all Gods are blessing our EUJohn "EUpris: You tell them that more Americans died in their civil war than in WWI and WWII together. I think you can include Vietnam as well.You tell them that we were promised a referendum and we are entitled to have it.You tell them that the "EU" could cause a war in three ways:1) German and British supporters of "EU"-Dictatorship have told me that the UK cannot leave whatever happens, no matter if every citizen of the UK wants to and every MP elected supports that view. They might try to use force to stop us leaving.2) The "EU" is anti-American. It waekens the western alliance. That could encourage the Russians or the Chinese to attack.3) The "EU" is sick , arrogant, undemocratic, anti-democratic, morally illegitmate etc. Like Hitler , it overrates itself. It could well start a war "on our behalf." Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:28:22 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=88#comment211 TGMate!Reading Your comments I get the impression You're cery angry about some notion of wrongs done to Hungary by a variety of nations/peoples whatever.I think You're OTT referring to 'jewish' contributions, the 'english', the 'west' as though its some sort of blame-game: Why the hostility?Does it not occur to You this Blog is for people to express their points of view?By the nature of the World at large some of those views will be at variance with Your own.E.g. I can't stand the stuff QOT chucks in to the debate, it regularly annoys me no end, but he has a right to express them. Just as all of us do: What is more, though he is IMO wholly incorrect in almost every view he has ever expressed that does not make me right or him wrong.So it is with this debate on Hungary and the World... None of us have the final answer nor word: You have views which some don't agree with, from my experience of Japan in the 80s-90s differing views is a part of their culture - - can't quite see why You are so antagonistic toward any who view Hungary in a different light to You - - free expression via debate is the whole point of this blog. Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:26:19 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=87#comment210 Cause being hungarian is not limited to state borders, thanks to you guys.Foreigners have intervened long enough in hungarian matters.It is time Hungary manages itself the way it thinks it is fit. Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:14:25 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=87#comment209 #203. At 12:30pm on 06 Jan 2011, TG and #208,I think you are welcome to be in Japan, after all it lays claim to a very perverse form of sadism in it's culture and has a torrid history of what it has done in it's region. You may well feel at home there, that is your choice but that does not give you the right to voice the prejudiced viewpoints like that in your post #203, just remember you're a foreigner in Japan, what do they think of you behind your back? Thu 06 Jan 2011 13:12:52 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=87#comment208 #203 - TG"You will never be a hungarian . . "No, probably not . . but I do vote here, pay tax here and live here.Shalom my special agenda friend!Shalom to you too - though why everyone assumes I am Jewish is beyond me. I have no special agenda. I want to live as I have always done in a free liberal democracy with freedom of the press, democratic accountability, freedom of faith. I have over the years been critical of the UK when I have seen these rights eroded and I have no intention of stopping now.I though that was what we all wanted - perhaps I am wrong.Interesting though that someone in Japan should tell me I will never be Hungarian while the people who surround me treat me as part of the furniture. Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:57:48 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=86#comment207 @Crystal BallYou make my point.You think you invented the world and democracy.How small you people are. Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:48:42 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=86#comment206 Assuming that my previous comment 171 got somehow held up by mistake I paste it bellow.Dear Gawin Hewitt,I am a bit disappointed by the uninformed coverage of the Hungarian media law in your blog. I am a hungarian living abroad and I learnt about this law mainly trough non-hungarian/foreign coverage, which I expected to be higher quality and less partial than hungarian media at least in cases where hungarian politics is concerned. I actually voted for the party that is in power now and brought the law. Nevertheless, I must say that I did not agree with all the changes the newly elected government made in Hungary. In fact some of their actions I clearly disapproved. After reading about the media-law in the foreign media, and also in the Hungarian media, my disapproval of the Hungarian government sky-rocketed until I actually read the most cited and criticised parts of the law. While I am not a lawyer and I did not read every detail of the law (it is a rather long and boring documents) it is very clear that the foreign and the hungarian media-coverage of the low contains clear lies. Most disappointingly, these lies are also spread by your blog! Probably we would all agree that what most democrats including myself would consider very disturbing in a media law if as you write a watchdog council would “impose fines on coverage it considers "unbalanced"”, which have to be “paid up-front before an appeal process can begin”. Such a law would indeed allow oppression of opposition voices. However, this statement about the law is simply a lie. The watchdog council can only condemn unbalanced media coverage, it cannot impose fines in such cases. It can impose fines only in cases when a media source broadcast content that is deemed inappropriate for juvenile consumption or insults “human dignity”, to my knowledge based on Hungarian media sources this expression was taken from german media law and the text of the law orders the application of currently existing European practice for determining what is deemed offending, e.g.: porn on mainstream television during the day when kids can see it. This does not seem to be so much out of tune of European values. I lived in England and I have not seen much porn in English TV during daytime, but it could happen that I did not search for it very hard. Even when a media source is fined it by the watchdog, it DOES NOT need to pay the fine up-front, if it disagree with the judgement it can attack the decision on the court, which is not linked to the watchdog, and it has to pay the fine only if it loses the appeal.As for the other issue, that in case of national security issues the media sources have to reveal their sources and all the information they posses on the issue to the watchdog (according to the law the watchdog have to keep these information secret thereafter) is I think perfectly understandable and natural. I have not read the British terror-law, but I would not be surprised if in that law much more effective powers are given either to the government or to agencies over which the public have very little control. All in all after reading key parts of the law I am very disappointed by your coverage of Hungary and the Hungarian government. The law maybe imperfect and may dent media freedom but it definitively does not destroy democracy, pluralism in Hungary and it is in no way dangerous to Europe. Due to negligence you seem to have joined the choir of hysterical voices that ostracise a whole nation based on unconfirmed information: by now Hungary and the hungarian government was compared to bacillus, pre- historic human and Fuehrerstaadt; I wonder what exotic disease Hungary will be called next. I can only hope that in the future BBC will check more carefully their sources and does not join the scare-mongrels in a storm in a spoon of water.Best wishes,Bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:45:11 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=85#comment205 #199 - bubuI agree with most of what you say but with the following reservations:When you are a westerner who has lived in Hungary for a number of years, it is very difficult not to judge by western standards. I love this country and am very angry when outsiders criticise it unfairly but equally it would be absurd to give too much benefit of the doubt. It is a simple fact of life that countries with a history of evolving democracy over several hundred years will have very different perspectives from a country which has had 22 years to move from an authoritarian government of the left and a managed socialist economy to the sometimes harsh realities of market economics and a apolitical free-for-all. Actually, Hungary has handled this surprisingly well but there are systemic flaws and to ignore them is simply to bury your head ostrich like in the sand. Hungary should be solving these problems, not compounding them.As to the old style communists re-emerging as born again democrats, this is an interesting connundrum. My personal view is that to establish a democracy and then to exclude people wheo were associated with a previous different system is wasteful. There is a lot of expertise shared amongst these people regarding public administration, economics, social policy and so on. In some of the newly emerged democracies, thex have been pilloried and excluded. In others, there has been an attitude of letting bygones be bygones. Either way, they do now need to be elected and that is a significant move in the right direction. Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:45:04 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=85#comment204 Dear BBC,I do not understand what keeps you from posting my first comment:171 that actually describes the media-law to people who could be mislead by the incorrect description of the content of the law as presented by Gavin Hewitt and by other non-hungarian and hungarian media sources. If you are seriuos about maintaining a usefull blog you should not block informative comments that contain nothing offending, only the truth.Best wishes,Bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:43:18 GMT+1 Crystal Ball http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=84#comment203 146. At 11:12pm on 05 Jan 2011, TG wrote:@ cool_brush_workYou are not that cool my friend.Rather imagining how the worl would have look liked without Brittish colonialism, imagine how the UK would have looked like without all that stolen booties.You would be a 3rd world country with nothing to show.Once a thief always a thief.-----------------------------------------------------------------------TG is obviously not attending his history lessons!"Imagining the world without BRITISH colonialism". You mean no South American railway networks(still in use). India's education and political system, police force, judicial system and democratic principles (still in use).Australia and New Zealand established their countries on the back of Britain's Industrial Revolution, as did huge areas of the rest of the world! And what else did we give.....holding out long enough for an invasion of a Nazified Europe to be launched from our tiny little island. That alone guaranteed the freedom of billions, probably yours included!As for democracy, well, I suppose you believe that came from Mars!Crystal Ball Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:34:27 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=84#comment202 @threnodio_II You will never be a hungarian.You may elect socialist prime ministers whose first foreing trip is to israel, but you'll never be hungarian.Shalom my special agenda friend! Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:30:51 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=84#comment201 197. At 11:35am on 06 Jan 2011, TG wrote: "..You guys (the west) had 200 years of pillaging other cultures for their wealth.We (the esat) had 200 years of fighting just to vote in our country."AND,195. At 11:21am on 06 Jan 2011, TG wrote:"..Other than that, I dont care.I live my life in Japan for the last 20 years."Hmm, interesting viewpoint: So no qualms I take it about living in good old Japan, that stalwart of a century of "..pillaging" and "..reaping off.." the Far East not forgetting its "..culture" destruction in China-Manchuria-Korea!?But then I guess in Your view that's nothing like those awful British. Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:28:43 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=83#comment200 Bubu,You dont have to be apologetic to these people.Your argument is a fine work of art.Thank you my fellow Hungarian friend. Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:25:11 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=83#comment199 #198 - TG"Yes, Hungary should follow countries like Japan, to preserve national identity and independence . . . ". . . get roundly thrashed in a world war, have the hell bombed out of them, triumphantly engineer an economic miracle and then destroy it with equal efficiency and play host to expat Hungarians 20 years departed who claim to know more about Hungary and Europe than those of us who live here.Good idea TG! Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:19:50 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=82#comment198 Dear Galago and threnodio_II,it is clear from your comments that you view upon the reign of the previous socalist goverments with much more understanding than on the actions of the current government. Galago also assumes only bad intentions from the current government. This is a common problem in hungarian politics. Absolutely, no common ground and the depiction of the political opponent as the devil. It is sad that far too often Hungarians call for punishment for their own country, when their unliked political party is on power. Could it be that one of many aim of the present and the past governments was to improve Hungary as a democracy? Probably not many Hungarians would agree, but I do think so. Of course each government imagined to do this according to its own ideals. Some of the actions of the current governing party may seem somewhat drastic from outside. However one must note that this is a response to a handicap of the so called "right", which existed from the begining of democratic change in Hungary. Foregnier shoud keep in mind the circumstances: as democratic change began in Hungary 22 years ago, the former rulers, lower and middle leaders of the society, journalists and handlers of the former aconomy did not disappear. Many of them transformed themeselves into the new capitalists of the new society. I would risk the statements that many if not the most of the rich with economic power in Hungary are linked with the former "Comunist" ruling midle class or elite. Although the political power was initially lost by the former ruling elite for one electoral term they came back to power already after 4 years. The real descendent of the communist party remains at the center of a very loose network of ideology represented by influential media workers from the past and it is also at the center of a very loose network of enormous economic power. The hungarian right wing (only one part of pre-change opposition) had to compete against this network for power in the politics. How difficult this was is shown by the fact that in the last 20 years the right was only for 8 years in powers while the descendent of the former communist party ruled for 12 years. It was the totally inapt (not necessarily malovalent)governance of the socialist party in the last 8 years that allowed the return of the right wing to power. Considering the history of the last 70 year of Hungary it is understandable that there is incredible bitterness and disbelieve on the right wing that socialist(former communist party) can still hold on enormous power both in the civil society and in the parliament. It is also unbelievable for the right that the "socialist" network can make the socialist leaders of Hungary look more like democrats in the eye of the west. This bitterness certainly contributes to drastic looking actions on the part of the government. Do these actions do any good to Hungary? It is difficult to answer. They will help to balance the inequalities in Hungarian politics, and looking at what happens now, they may create new imbalances. But forigners have to keep in mind there is a lot to re-balance in Hungary. It is not good if the current government goes to extremes and it should be reminded in a decent voice, not hysterically, not necessarily publicly by politicians and only in very clear cases (the media-law is not a clear case as it stands, although it may be borderline). However whatever happens Hungary will have elections in less than 4 years and which will allow voters to redirect politics if they feel that the current government went too far. Those scare-monglers should keep in mind that the current party came to power by elections. It was tempted to start a rebellion 4 years ago but eventually it restrained itself and waited 4 years, although it believed, and I for one share this believe, that it was deprived of electoral victory 4 years ago by unfair manipulation of the electorate, which amounted to cheating on elections. The political power swing started at the extreme in Hungary it past the middle and now it may move to opposite direction, but eventually it will not go to such extremes as the ones where it started from and I hope over the years it will return to the middle. Only time will allow this to happen and hysterical foreign interference in a country that is very proud of its political independence will not be helpfull. Best wishes,bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 12:08:35 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=82#comment197 @cool_brush_workYes, Hungary should follow countries like Japan, to preserve national identity and independence.Period Thu 06 Jan 2011 11:38:50 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=82#comment196 Brussels has convinced me, Hungary should leave the EU.We dont have anything in common.You guys (the west) had 200 years of pillaging other cultures for their wealth.We (the esat) had 200 years of fighting just to vote in our country.I think we should leave the EU, and ask ourselves what we are worth of.If Kennedy would say "ask not what your fellow countries are worth of, ask what you are worth of to your fellow countries". Thu 06 Jan 2011 11:35:11 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=81#comment195 195. At 11:21am on 06 Jan 2011, TG wrote:"So is Hungary fit for the presidency? Well attacks from the west are certainly not helpful. "I was a pro-EU guy until this jerk from Luxemburg put up this qiestion.Other than that, I dont care.I live my life in Japan for the last 20 years."Darn!Japan has all the luck! Thu 06 Jan 2011 11:30:14 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=81#comment194 "So is Hungary fit for the presidency? Well attacks from the west are certainly not helpful. "I was a pro-EU guy until this jerk from Luxemburg put up this qiestion.Other than that, I dont care.I live my life in Japan for the last 20 years. Thu 06 Jan 2011 11:21:27 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=80#comment193 #189. At 10:46am on 06 Jan 2011, Leo_NaphtaI guess you have still to understand that the name of a political party means nothing, with the PR system the party's replicate like mad and claim to be all manner of things but most are just shades of the same tired corrupt old Socialism. There are few real conservative party's in Europe, all the rest are variations of socialist/liberal/Christian party's that all follow much the same policies. When a true conservative party gets power it is quickly identified by the criticism it invokes from the politically correct EU party's (both ESP and it's lookalike EPP). It would seem that this is the reason Hungary's leadership is being criticised, it is horror of all horrors a true conservative party and not a pseudo socialist grouping like the EPP. Thu 06 Jan 2011 11:13:17 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=80#comment192 #187. At 10:30am on 06 Jan 2011, galagoYour post sounds fine but for one rather salient point, please could you name which EU members states actually follow the EU rules and directives in their entirety. Judging by the ECJ court rulings the answer is none, therefore :-"Hungary's departure from EU norms, in relation to freedom of the media and tax laws which discriminate against other member states' corporations, call into question Hungary's fitness as a member state, let alone to assume the presidency."There exists no EU country that is truly fit to be a member state and if push comes to shove France is one of the worst. If Hungary is not fit then neither are both France and Germany. Thu 06 Jan 2011 11:05:52 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=79#comment191 Dear BBC,Why is it so that my comments(171,186, 190) take up to two hours to be posted, while others equally long comments take apparently minutes to be moderated. Is this a kind of cencorship? I guess it have an explanation, but I must say it is rather unfair.Best wishes,Bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:58:35 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=79#comment190 #177. At 09:29am on 06 Jan 2011, AboriginalHungarianWhich links get hit is somewhat arbitrary and none of us truly understand the logic sometimes, I've even had a link to an official UK government web site removed as unsuitable so don't worry too much. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:52:45 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=79#comment189 Dear threnodio_II,I think you did not read the media-law in its full extent.I realise that you read enough not to criticise the alleged parts of the law that elicited the hysterical attack from the west (such as fines for unbalanced coverage and fines that has to be paid up front). Probably you also know that the law does not contains these most criticised rules.Instead you complain about a what if situation when public emergency would require coverage of a disaster. Actually the law rules on these cases and if you read the law it would be clear to you that no media source would get fined or condemened for providing information on catastrophs/disasters that are of particular interest to the public. I am not saying that there are no ludicrous parts in the law, but the ones quoted by you and by the international media are actually either based on incorrect information or totally reasonable. I did not read the entire text of the law but the bits I looked at so far do not contain absolutely outrageous rules, although I might not necessary agree with all parts of the law.Best wishes,Bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:49:18 GMT+1 Leo_Naphta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=78#comment188 Ugh, you people do go on, don't you? Powermeerkat, I think I've found the source of your confusion. See, you keep going on about the 'Brussels Socialists' ... something that sort of confused me, especially seeing that only 6 of the 27 commisioners are part of the PES - most of the commission is made up of liberals - free trade liberals - and conservatives. I think what you've missed, is that the biggest European party is called: "European People's Party". I understand that you might associate the name with some of the more exotic communist movements from the 70's, but the EPP is in reality a congregation of European Christian-Democratic & Conservative Parties. They also hold most of the important 'positions' in the EU. People go on, and on, and on, about the 'socialists' and the EUSSR, but in reality, the EPP is - and has been for most of the time - the biggest party. Europe is hardly dominated by Socialist PMs & Presidents either, even Van Rompuy is a Christian-Democrat. In short, what's with all the deliberate misrepresentations & non-arguments?Oh, and I find it intriguing that the 'Hungarians' posting on this forum take the same audacity as most of the other contributors in assuming they speak for the 'majority' and for their 'nation'. A little humility please, because you don't sound like Hungarians I know, and I don't want to start the he's a BAD - nationality - game. We know where that line of thinking is going to take us, right? Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:46:49 GMT+1 galago http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=78#comment187 Testudo "The New Hungarian press law is a compilation from different western EU countries press laws. Please read it! So if there is no free press in Hungary, then no free press in Britain or Italy."If the Hungarian law is so similar to other member's laws, how do you explain the fact that several European governments, not to mention the OSCE have balked at the Hungarian version? Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:41:04 GMT+1 galago http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=77#comment186 Threnodio II, I agree with your points. However, Hungary's departure from EU norms, in relation to freedom of the media and tax laws which discriminate against other member states' corporations, call into question Hungary's fitness as a member state, let alone to assume the presidency. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:30:14 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=77#comment185 Dear Gavin Hewitt and moderators,I do not know why my previous comment (171) takes ages to be posted, when the comment deals with the subject of the article and the hungarian media-law in a moderate-tone (something that threnodio_II #179 rightly misses from many hungarian-hungarian political interactions).Let me repeat the main message: while the government of Hungary did make changes that further enhance the power of the ruling party, Hungary is far from being a dictatorship and hardly deserves the hysterical coverage in the foreign media. Having read the most criticised parts of the Hungarian media-law I must state that Gavin Hewitt was misinformed and he did not check carefully the the basis of his statements.Unlike what he writes the new media watchdog can not fine press because of unbalanced coverage, it can only condemn them. Thus, even if the law is not perfect, it can not silence opposition voices in Hungary. It can impose fines only in cases when "human dignity" is violated, although the term "human dignity" is a rather obscure and broad term, according to the law it has to be applied according to already existing European judiciary practice. To the best of my knowledge the term "human dignity" came from German media-law (I did not check the German media law myself, so I cannot be sure that my information is correct).In addition, it is not true that fines have to be paid up-front. The fines of the media watchdog can be attacked on a court and fines will have to be paid only if the court-case is lost. It is disappointing that the BBC, a media source that is proud of its impartiality, joined a smear-campaign against a small EU country and against its government based on unchecked and false information (see also comment 171 if it ever gets posted and comment 35 on the miss-representation of the law).Best wishes,Bubu Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:28:23 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=76#comment184 Re #179 & #182A very informative commentary Threnodio.I've refrained from the debate on Hungary's press laws as I really don't have any knowledge other than what I read in the press plus the translation of the Law that a link on here has provided.Your viewpoint seems more than adequate, so, doubtless to everyone's relief, I'll continue to refrain.Cheers & Welcome to 2011. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:27:39 GMT+1 Testudo Furor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=76#comment183 The New Hungarian press law is a compilation from different western EU countries press laws. Please read it! So if there is no free press in Hungary, then no free press in Britain or Italy.For example the hungarian Media Council is elected by the National Assembly by way of a two-thirds majority vote. Members of the National Assembly cannot be influenced in their decision.- The members of the convergent British authority OFCOM – including its chairperson – are appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport;- The chairperson of the convergent Italian authority AGCOM is appointed, in conjunction with the Minister for Communication and the competent parliamentary committee, by the decree of the President of the Republic based on the Prime Minister’s recommendation;I think this British or Italian rules are more "dictatorial" then the hungarian version. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:24:34 GMT+1 Testudo Furor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=76#comment182 The Hungarian Media was without modern rules and laws. The press and news web sites could do anything without responsibility. The old law based on 1986-law, which was made by communist dictatorship.For example.Now its a significant change to the rules of registration of printed press products since 1986, registration became easier, and the rules, under which the publication of journals could had been prevented by a material decision during the registration procedure, were eliminated. Moreover, no press product may be removed from the official register as a sanction in the future. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:09:32 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=75#comment181 . . . /continuedAs to the substantive questions:The remarks about the new press laws not being available in English and therefore out of bounds to non-Hungarian speakers are as pointless as they are offensive. Some of us do understand Hungarian.There are two points here. The first is that the imposition of what is, in effect, a quota system about the balance of content is entirely inappropriate. Imagine if you will that we had a 7/7 style attack on the subway. Would the press be restricted as to how much they could report because it is, after all, a criminal act? Would some of the content have to allocated to 'human interest' to balance the books? Silly questions, I know but the original proposition was ridiculous. If freedom of the press is sacrosanct, then they must be allowed to 'publish and be damned'. There are laws protecting national security and civil law which give redress to those who believe that they have been slandered. In a democracy, this should be enough. Much more to the point, the indecently large majority commanded by Fidesz puts them in a position in which they can fill posts almost at will. The idea that the Commission is independent in the sense that, for example, the UK Press Compalints Commission is, is frank laughable.As to the taxation of foreign companies, there are quite possibly legal issues in respect of EU companies but probably not for non-Eu businesses. Much more importantly, Hungary badly needs inward investment and this was beginning to flow again quite nicely. Any measures which mitigate against a positive investment flow are misguided. It is that simple. A deeper investigation of this quickly reveals that there are clear targets. Recent changes in the pension regulations severely punish private pension funds in favour of the state system. Taxation changes recently have also targeted banks and other financial institutions, changes in the way the insurance system buys drugs for the state health system seem to be similarly balanced. There is a simple fact of life that everyone seems to be ignoring. There is nowhere in Hungary - a Schenegen country - which is more than a couple of hours journey from another country. The prospect of many thousands of people simply popping over to Slovakia, Austria or wherever and depositing their fund where they think they are safe is not outlandish. Can Hungary really afford this outward trickle of hard currency?So is Hungary fit for the presidency? Well attacks from the west are certainly not helpful. There is no reason to suppose that the government cannot perform the required tasks satisfactorily. Much more importantly, the presidency is needed because, at least for the next six months, it will focus attention on a country which is, at other times, largely ignored and might concentrate minds wonderfully on whether a government with a large enough majority to change the constitution at will can afford the potential worst excesses while the world looks on. It is the end of the presidency we should be worrying about. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:08:34 GMT+1 galago http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=75#comment180 According to Hungarian news reports, the official English translation of the country's new media law deliberately left out some of the most contentious aspects of the legislation. This further highlights the right-wing nationalist Orban government's no holds barred approach to grabbing power by any means. Now we see that, in terms of their political culture and understanding of democratic institutions, Hungarywas not fit to join the European Union.In relation to the exorbitant, punative tax regime against large European corporations, the Hungarians are no strangers to killing the goose that lay their golden eggs. They did this in 1944 with their Jewish population and after 1948 with the entrepreneurial middle class. Foreign corporations, like Deutsche Bank and ING know how to hit back. In the end, only Hungary will suffer. Thu 06 Jan 2011 10:07:35 GMT+1 generalissimo66 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=74#comment179 This post has been Removed Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:56:41 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=74#comment178 #94 - Freeman#99 - WebAliceinwonderland #106 - generalissimo66Thank you. I suppose I cannot leave this column without comment after this.Reading the various responses from non-Hungarians, ones first reaction is degree of ignorance that exists about Hungary. Many posters seem to want to refer back to '56 as if it was the only event in modern Hungarian history of importance and only important because of the poor response of the west. This is naive and simplistic in the extreme. A direct intervention by the west would almost certainly have resulted in a European War and quite possibly a nuclear confrontation. The vast majority of Hungarians accept and understand this. People who post rubbish about Britain being too preoccupied with Suez to be bothered should be ashamed of this travesty of history.This having been said, reading through the Hungarian contributions reveals the size of the political gap in this country. The middle ground is virtually non-existent. Politics are polarised to left and right and these prejudices are so ingrained that marriages and families can be and are destroyed by them.At 116, AboriginalHungarian wrote:"I don't really like when people start talking about that who is Jew, who is not. I found it offensive and manipulative. Religion is a private thing."This is a classic example of what I mean. I could not agree more but when a political party in the run up to a general election distributes car stickers describing the capital as "Jewdapest", it becomes political. It is unavoidable and needs to be confronted. It simply is not good enough to say you don't like it.I notice also that the Socialist 'confession' of is being over-simplified again. In his infamous address to his party, what Gyurcsány Ferenc actually said was that the Hungarian people had been lied to about the economy by "the entire political class". In the furore which followed the publication of the speech, Gyurcsány gave an extended interview in English to Mark Mardell in which he repeats this very clearly. His successor, Bajnai Gordon was not a career politician but an economist. Painful though some of the measures were, Mszp were well on the way to meeting the terms of the IMF/ECB bail out. It is a fallacy to say that the government fell because of the 'confession' - although misreporting does not help - but because the economic pain was more than the elctorate was willing to take. There is a significant irony here. Long before 'austerity' had become the buzzword in the west, it was being applied by a socialist government in Hungary.I am also struck by the remarks about '56 but not a single reference to a remarkable moment when a Hungarian army officer walked up to the Austrian border with a pair of wire cutters and simply opened it. The whole Iron Curtain was gone in months. When Hungary are being the bad boys, they get the stick but when they do things of value and significance, it is largely ignored. Would Mr.Hewitt have been in the least bit interested in the new press laws had Hungary not assumed the presidency of the EU? I very much doubt it.. . . more Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:38:58 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=74#comment177 145. At 11:11pm on 05 Jan 2011, quietoaktree wrote:CBWhttp://library2.nalis.gov.tt/Default.aspx?tabid=249http://www.landofsixpeoples.com/news401/ns403112.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoolieThis is just too hilarious to not share: QOT cannot possibly have read the 3 references or he would never have published them!Having read all 3 of the above links provided by QOT I find each one entirely supports the factual Historic reality.The diaspora of Chinese was not as a result of the wicked British, but as all 3 links observe, because of, 1) the poverty & social distress experienced over generations within mainland China, (2) the recognition by Chinese of a way out of their deprivation was to be found in the much wealthier, job creating 'west' (across the World and not just UK Empire), and, (3) a reaction within China at key-political episodes, e.g. Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Communist civil war & take-over, the return of Hong Kong to Communist rule.QOT, if this is the standard of Your condemnation of the UK, please do keep it coming - - NOT ONE of the links attributed blame to the UK in the manner You seek to do - - NOT ONE did so because as I wrote at my #142, "...A fairly unique accusation even in QOT's repertoire of 'gibberish'!That Great Britain at no time in its Colonial History ever ruled China seems to have totally escaped his notice!"Sorry, have to stop... Giggle, guffaw... apologies... ROFL... Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:31:08 GMT+1 AboriginalHungarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=73#comment176 I don't feel being treated equally, at this forum!!!!!It is not fair that I keep getting my messages removed because I put weblinks. Others can do it without problems. This is a discrimination and BBC should be more careful. Other. I would kindly invite everybody to include specific text from the argued media law and not only write empty insults. The text is available in English. Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:29:48 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=73#comment175 158. At 01:41am on 06 Jan 2011, quietoaktree wrote:The blog hijackers are those who incessantly see the world through their red-white-and blue tainted spectacles."I 100% agree!I take it You will no longer attempt to turn every debate into a diatribe on the UK!? Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:13:46 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=72#comment174 146. At 11:12pm on 05 Jan 2011, TG wrote:@ cool_brush_work "You are not that cool my friend.Rather imagining how the worl would have look liked without Brittish colonialism, imagine how the UK would have looked like without all that stolen booties.You would be a 3rd world country with nothing to show.Once a thief always a thief."Hmm, how quickly the logic & reason departed Your contribution to be replaced with name-calling, blanket assertions etc.We were in part debating the role of the UK in World History, and for my part I was merely pointing out if You are just going to dump everythig at the door of the UK it's simply a 'lazy' Historical exercise bearing little or no relation to the factual reality.Nowhere on this blog did I write or refer to, "..imagining how the worl would have look liked without Brittish colonialism...", I think You must be confusing me with someone else.As for the, "..Once a thief always a thief." There again, it is a nasty catch-all phrase of no value to this debate. Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:10:26 GMT+1 generalissimo66 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=72#comment173 @ 111 AboriginalHungarian"I don't know the others, but Hungary and Poland definitely do not like to be considered banana republics"So we do. The main problem comes from our inability to make up for the lost time within the period of one generation. Hence the necessity to take more authoritarian measures against the corruption, the organized crime, etc. Some of those measures seem not to be enough popular in West Europe, especially when some business interests are concerned. For the time being the Hungarian PM is likely to be considered as a scapegoat by many people in West Europe who do not see the obstacles he has yet to overcome. I would add to the same list our PM, Mr.Borissov who has to clean up the Augean stables we inherited from the 45 year old Communist rule. Who is to blame? Mr.Orban with 66% majority in Budapest or Mr. Borissov with 50% majority in Sofia, or both?One thing is sure - both Hungary and Bulgaria will be much closer to the west standards after their rule is over... It is high time.Regards from Sofia Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:05:58 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=71#comment172 #165. At 06:44am on 06 Jan 2011, TG,"We dont need your kind of democracy, but you fail to understand.You'd rather change countries to your own image instead of trying to understand."You are espousing the same control freak kind of reasoning that you claim to dislike, your intolerance of alternative views and ideas has been shown in a number of your previous posts on this thread. It is you that need to understand and accept alternative views and values, your Hungary may have different values to the UK or Belgium or France but that does not mean some are wrong and some are right. Do you think Belgian people think of the time the Austro-Hungarian empire ruled them, not at all. Thu 06 Jan 2011 09:04:33 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=71#comment171 #163. At 05:38am on 06 Jan 2011, Malkava,Quite so, I could not agree more with your analysis of both TG and QOT, TG started out quite reasonably with their objection to the criticism of Hungary for daring to show signs of independence from the strangulation of EU control, but has then digressed to the point of absurdity. This reminds me of older threads before Xmas when QOT and a number of new names seemed to try and hijack this blog. The similarity of posts gave the opinion that maybe it was one person with multiple identities.Personally, I think Hungary are quite right to try and solve their financial problems themselves and keeping out of ECB and IMF control is a very valid way to do that. The fact that it has probably upset the control freaks in the EU just shows how dangerous the EU have become, they will pick up on anything now to criticise the Hungarians, no matter how pathetic their excuse, and the media law, which seems to be a copy of other countries laws, is just such an example. Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:55:58 GMT+1 bubu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=71#comment170 Dear Gawin Hewitt,I am a bit disappointed by the uninformed coverage of the Hungarian media law in your blog. I am a hungarian living abroad and I learnt about this law mainly trough non-hungarian/foreign coverage, which I expected to be higher quality and less partial than hungarian media at least in cases where hungarian politics is concerned. I actually voted for the party that is in power now and brought the law. Nevertheless, I must say that I did not agree with all the changes the newly elected government made in Hungary. In fact some of their actions I clearly disapproved. After reading about the media-law in the foreign media, and also in the Hungarian media, my disapproval of the Hungarian government sky-rocketed until I actually read the most cited and criticised parts of the law. While I am not a lawyer and I did not read every detail of the law (it is a rather long and boring documents) it is very clear that the foreign and the hungarian media-coverage of the low contains clear lies. Most disappointingly, these lies are also spread by your blog! Probably we would all agree that what most democrats including myself would consider very disturbing in a media law if as you write a watchdog council would “impose fines on coverage it considers "unbalanced"”, which have to be “paid up-front before an appeal process can begin”. Such a law would indeed allow oppression of opposition voices. However, this statement about the law is simply a lie. The watchdog council can only condemn unbalanced media coverage, it cannot impose fines in such cases. It can impose fines only in cases when a media source broadcast content that is deemed inappropriate for juvenile consumption or insults “human dignity”, to my knowledge based on Hungarian media sources this expression was taken from german media law and the text of the law orders the application of currently existing European practice for determining what is deemed offending, e.g.: porn on mainstream television during the day when kids can see it. This does not seem to be so much out of tune of European values. I lived in England and I have not seen much porn in English TV during daytime, but it could happen that I did not search for it very hard. Even when a media source is fined it by the watchdog, it DOES NOT need to pay the fine up-front, if it disagree with the judgement it can attack the decision on the court, which is not linked to the watchdog, and it has to pay the fine only if it loses the appeal.As for the other issue, that in case of national security issues the media sources have to reveal their sources and all the information they posses on the issue to the watchdog (according to the law the watchdog have to keep these information secret thereafter) is I think perfectly understandable and natural. I have not read the British terror-law, but I would not be surprised if in that law much more effective powers are given either to the government or to agencies over which the public have very little control. All in all after reading key parts of the law I am very disappointed by your coverage of Hungary and the Hungarian government. The law maybe imperfect and may dent media freedom but it definitively does not destroy democracy, pluralism in Hungary and it is in no way dangerous to Europe. Due to negligence you seem to have joined the choir of hysterical voices that ostracise a whole nation based on unconfirmed information: by now Hungary and the hungarian government was compared to bacillus, pre- historic human and Fuehrerstaadt; I wonder what exotic disease Hungary will be called next. I can only hope that in the future BBC will check more carefully their sources and does not join the scare-mongrels in a storm in a spoon of water.Best wishes,Attila Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:53:15 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=70#comment169 #158quietoaktree;"The blog hijackers are those who incessantly see the world through their red-white-and blue tainted spectacles. "So says the blog hijacker-in-chief. I suppose we are in for another year of bile, wind and pompous preaching from you about your "life experiences" again are we? Oh joy :( Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:52:49 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=70#comment168 generalissimo66 wrote:"Take it easy friend.Just imagine how this world would look like if the US falls apart. True, the main criticism goes directly to your rulers, but a few people dare even to imagine how to preserve the present status quo without you. It's not a fair play."The common reason that criticism coming out of Europe is mainly for America's "rulers" is bunch of nonsense. It doesn't take much, or too long, for any objective American or bystander to see that anti-Americanism throughout European countries is at best insidiously petty and antagonistic, something even Obama mentioned, and at worse commonly vicious and hateful towards America and its way of life. Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:44:21 GMT+1 generalissimo66 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=69#comment167 @122 Poermeerkat"Best to you personally and to all Bulgars!"Thank you friend. Same to you and to your countrymen.I am pleased to thank also Gavin Hewitt for the attention he paid to Hungary, though without expressing a very clear personnel assessment. All the East European newly admitted member states have similar problems they try to solve with or without Brussels. However the impact of the communist rule over the mentality of our politicians is still tangible. Kindly ask you to read my @ 75. Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:32:52 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=69#comment166 Hungarian scientific worker wrote:"Do you know anything about Hungarian emigrants, young friend? Let me list a few names: E. Teller (father of the American hydrogen-bomb)"That is not true. Other scientists and engineers contributed to creating the hydrogen bomb. There is no proof to suggest otherwise. Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:24:11 GMT+1 generalissimo66 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=69#comment165 @123 Powermeerkat"[Unless of course our European Continental friends decide that being a part of the "new improved Russian Empire" or of a Islamist Sharia-based caliphate is in their best interest.]"Official Brussels is likely to privilege the commercial & technological exchange with both Russia and Turkey (Russia is an important natural gas supplier whilst Turkey is a big market). However, when it comes to the mainland politicians to approve or not the adhesion of Ankara to the EU and the alleviations for entry visas for Russian citizens, they generally would manifest a very restrained attitude which is a prove that the crushing majority of the mainlanders do not want to develop a closer relations with Moscow and Ankara. Official London is an exception in its attempt to counterbalance the Brussels-Paris-Berlin ruling trio by encouraging Turkey to join the UE.(My personnel belief is that the EU will not go beyond the Bosporus and that except for some little entry visas alleviations aimed at the enlargement of the tourist flow from Russia to the member states, nothing else will happen. Satisfied?) Thu 06 Jan 2011 08:15:43 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=68#comment164 @ MalkavaWe the people who elected the government who has drawn up this media law!You the guys who invaded other countries in the name of democracy and killed a 100,000 in the process.We dont need your kind of democracy, but you fail to understand.You'd rather change countries to your own image instead of trying to understand. Thu 06 Jan 2011 06:44:31 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=68#comment163 This post has been Removed Thu 06 Jan 2011 06:15:01 GMT+1 Malkava http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=67#comment162 #160 TGThere are moments in your life where you simply have to take a step back and have a good laugh. This is certainly one of those moments."We all have to think like you, govern like you, feel like you, act like you.The world is getting tired of this western preaching, teaching from a high-horse mentality." If you could please place context into the 'we' and 'you' of your argument, perhaps I could actually take you a little more seriously.My guess is that the 'we' is a delusion that you are creating for yourself, in thinking that people support whatever flimsy, personal contention you may have. The 'you' is the unknown entity. You have no idea who or where to place blame. Seeing as you have no real grounds for argument, you deal in generalities. In other words "You" being "Not me". That sort of thinking lends itself well in the mind of a five year old, not an adult.Frankly, I could care less about what you choose to think, say, or do. That's for you to decide, and I nor anyone can control that. Ultimately, no one can be blamed on your present circumstances, but yourself.If the "You're not the boss of me!" argument is the best you can come up with, then my discussion is done with you. Thu 06 Jan 2011 05:38:21 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=67#comment161 powermeerkat wrote:Now Russians say "What is so great about this democracy, it feels the same to me or worse". MaudDib, the answer is simple:Russians didn't know any democracy in their history.So they believed that what was sold to them as democracy was a genuine Western style product.Whether in reality it's been simply a corrupted plutocracy with KGB/FSB mafia being actually in charge.____________Oh, we know. That is why it is so hard to obtain.May be the old recepie does not suit the modern times, that is another question.The legendary (here)(local) thing - "His Excellency Great Novgorod". Old city's name - addressed by other, less happy locals, with respect ;o)The Novgorod republic. Eaten up eventually by Moscow, by war. Shattered and chewed by mongol-tatar invasion.By time scale, one may say we invented democracy. 12th-15th century - they held on quite long.So, tell me, what will be strategically wrong now :o))))), with functioning cross-council, without a tsar, consisting of reps from all trades and all ? caste-s? classes? people in various conditions?Like, a rep from shoe-makers and a rep from pregnant mothers.A cross-representation, of soldiers and eh how to say it now, pensioners ;o))) For day-to-day governing. And full referendum on bigger things, like taxes and wars :o))))) Every one in the square - thousands.Old squares elsewhere are not even built for that. Well, in Rome, in front of that cathedral, there is one fitting I noticed ;o)Five centuries passed, but to this day a question "Will you go to the square?" in Russia first has a political meaning and only second thought will be tourist eh orientation ;o))))) or simply ? direction of walk.Then, a smaller example, and very short-lasting, but what was wrong with the February 1917 - autumn 1917 first Russian parliament - without a tsar. ?Bolsheviks in it had an absolute minority and no decision-making as didn't group with others. Or, rather, others didn't group with them ;o))))) Thu 06 Jan 2011 04:24:52 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=66#comment160 Anybody can run a smear campaing against any country these days.All you need is a job in the media and a boss asking you favours.You guys just play along in it without the slightest idea of whats really going on.Freedom of the media?Or freedom of the fool to act as a fool? Thu 06 Jan 2011 04:16:40 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=66#comment159 @MalkavaLooks like after colonization of the material kind the second best thing you can do is colonization of the minds and hearts.We all have to think like you, govern like you, feel like you, act like you.The world is getting tired of this western preaching, teaching from a high-horse mentality. Thu 06 Jan 2011 04:08:57 GMT+1 Malkava http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=66#comment158 #158Quietoaktree, how can you honestly say that you are willing to listen to contributors who "offer something from their life experiences" when your own prejudices are so painfully transparent?For all that you know, there are people a-plenty who would be more than willing to share their unique experiences and offer insight. Just because they are from a country or place that you somehow take issue with, does not make their opinion invalid.I would suggest you listen to your own advice before you seek to dispense it upon others. Thu 06 Jan 2011 03:32:51 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=65#comment157 The blog hijackers are those who incessantly see the world through their red-white-and blue tainted spectacles. It is possible those contributors can really offer something from their life experiences which none of us know -- however the taint is usually the whole message.Unfortunately the lowest common denominator is red-white-blue on both sides of the Atlantic. Thu 06 Jan 2011 01:41:38 GMT+1 Malkava http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=65#comment156 #155 TGIf I were truly that arrogant, don't you think that the last thing I would need is a statue? Not that I oppose the idea mind you.It also looks as if my words were lost on you. I suppose I can't expect the little people to have the mental acuity to comprehend my illustrious grandeur.Such a pity. Thu 06 Jan 2011 01:31:26 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=64#comment155 powermeer @119 "Happy New Year from meerkat the goy.":o)))))))))))Happy New Year to you, meerkat, as well. Strange choice of favourite music you've got must say ;o). For those unable to hear Russian the clip said, or, rather, sang, that "only 0.5% in Russian show business are Russky".I will devote a couple of minutes to improving your musical education in "all things Russian". Especially that you are doing now unclear what with our blackbirds - spending winter elsewhere - who drop down from your skies like peas.The text (of the song old as hills)Have you heard how black-birds sing?No, not those ordinary field fellowsBut Black Birds - magicians - "drozdy" (singing black-bird)Eternal exiles of Russia. Here - they have settled down in forestsBegan sounding - to self-forgivingI recognise them, by their voicesSound masters of the Moment.Sounds grow up like flowers growSorrowful, merry, - anyAt times - hot - to redAt times - chilly blue.They are reaching to the morning starThey are falling, in rainbows, onto grassesHATS OFF! IN FORESTS BLACKBIRDS SING!for the soul sing - not for glorySo, - hats off! In forests black-birds singFor one's soul sing, not for glory.Here, moderators, an unknown Russian woman sings this song. For 'the soul", not for glory ;o) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7HixPj29DY&feature=relatedHere a young boy sings it. Looks like that bird singing himself :o)Must be it is some musical competition or his school event.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_q2NDqM8QEHere the same popular song sings the Animal World Russian programme director, a very nice man, of the name Nikolay Nikolaevich Blackbird :o)- "Drozdov". His admirers or friends must have recorded it and put on youtube. As the starting text says ; "Brace yourselves! :o) Now will sing for you the blackbird song a PhD in biology ;o), a profeesor of chemistry :o), etc."No show business people here, powermeer. We can sing at our work places quite alright o:) In fact, I am singing the same song now :o)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A34P6XYsqPw&feature=related Thu 06 Jan 2011 01:05:24 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=64#comment154 @ MalkavaJuvenile?:)Invitation letter to invade?:)If arrogance had a statue, it had your name graved in it.You think you are significant?In your neandrethal mind maybe. Thu 06 Jan 2011 00:34:07 GMT+1 Malkava http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=64#comment153 #153 TGOh don't be so juvenile. Since when did etiquette dictate you need a written invitation to invade a country?Besides, I don't "colonize" countries. I liberate them. Key difference that. All of the benefits and none of the stigma! I find it to be a win-win situation. Thu 06 Jan 2011 00:26:36 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=63#comment152 @ MalkavaSorry, but no one asked you to colonize other independent countries.Since your country has done it, and you yourself reap the benefits of it, you could at least apologize. Thu 06 Jan 2011 00:05:39 GMT+1 Malkava http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=63#comment151 Don't you just hate it when threads are hijacked by uninspired, tired, merry-go-round blame-game colonial conspiracists? You know what? I blame Britain for existing! Without it, I wouldn't have to expend the effort of wading through the comments bashing them!It's all your fault Britain. Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:56:52 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=62#comment150 Margaret Howard "...30-year old tree lights with some Chinese ones and they lasted exactly 14 days".14 days is a lot. I bought a pen yesterday and it fell in two parts in the bag ;o)))))), between the shop and home ;o)))))).We've got 100 watt lamps forbidden in Russia since Jan 1st :o(, and I forgot to buy stocks for the dacha, light in the garden. The electricity-saving ones here that look like swirls are 180 roubles instead of 18 for the old-style Russian lamp and they last 1.5 months!!!!!!! While old ones in the garden it's like once in 5 years replacement.If I were not an idiot and bought 3 - they would last me the next 10 years, light to all the sides.I will stock 75 watt ones this year to last me forever, because next year they will ban 75 ones.Meanwhile - try to buy foreign food or any thing, like a tooth-paste, or a shampoo, any small house-hold thing in China, even, a small snack, a chock, a bisquit, try to find any thing - foreign made there. Own market they protect. Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:54:07 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=62#comment149 It was about Hungary until you guys made me change it.We dont need your kind attention, or breathing on our neck for trying to do what has to be done.It is not going to impact your life in any way anyway.Wanna teach democracy?Voluntier in North Korea please. Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:47:33 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=61#comment148 "it has never been like that, and now - again!"Russian prime minister (Yeltsin times) Victor Chernomyrdino:)))))) Folks, relax, or else we will slide into "Britain and all the rest" again. Reminder it's not cool-brush personally who empire-ed around, even if he were - he would never admit! ;o)))))) (some here seem to lack travelling experience in Britain :o))))) (I - wouldn't ;o)))) as an old empire-list incorrigible :o))); the thread is about Hungary once in a century. Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:38:52 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=61#comment147 "134. At 7:54pm on 05 Jan 2011, Jolly Joker wrote:And the problems, yeah, barátom, they seem to get even bigger :))"We shall eat problems for breakfast my friend (baratom) as we always did! Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:36:24 GMT+1 Fledi http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=61#comment146 My family and me (then 10 years old) came to the West (to Germany) in 1989, first chance they got to leave behind then communist Hungary and its paternalistic system, whose secret police had threatened my pa with jail just for talking with the wrong people (the "class enemy" from the West). Quite ironic that I chose to return to this country last spring for the same reason. I feel more free in present day Hungary than in Germany. It's mostly not even about laws, but local people's attitudes. You see, communism in the 80ies was a decaying system, the vast majority of people disliked living under it and were in practice not even following the party's orders, at least where they could avoid it. This spirit is still there, but now with a system of government that is quite similar to Western ones.What I'm seeing in Germany now is the exact opposite, a situation where people's first reaction to a discussion about freedom often is to mention its limits and like to solve every problem by introducing ever stricter regulations to micromanage everyday life.Sure Hungary has its own problems, especially with those idiots from that far right wing party, but they're definitely not tired of democracy as much as people in some Western societies sadly seem to be. Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:28:37 GMT+1 HS http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=60#comment145 @ cool_brush_work You are not that cool my friend.Rather imagining how the worl would have look liked without Brittish colonialism, imagine how the UK would have looked like without all that stolen booties.You would be a 3rd world country with nothing to show.Once a thief always a thief. Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:12:39 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=60#comment144 CBWhttp://library2.nalis.gov.tt/Default.aspx?tabid=249http://www.landofsixpeoples.com/news401/ns403112.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolie --As I said -- TRAVEL and see for yourself the continuing ´British Empire´problems ! Wed 05 Jan 2011 23:11:52 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=59#comment143 CBWIs the British press and school system the reason for this density ????????-- or only the lack of interest if Britain and its Empire is not worshipped by contributors ?---and the ´don´t confuse me with facts´ superior geriatric mentality ????? WHY NOT JUST ADMIT TO YOUR TRAVELING INEXPERIENCE IN EX-COLONIES ???? Wed 05 Jan 2011 22:48:54 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=59#comment142 There are few British newspapers that would not be tremendously improved by printing ONLY blank pages.The British publics´knowledge of World events --would not be affected. (--at worse, positively) Wed 05 Jan 2011 22:30:56 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=58#comment141 138. At 8:36pm on 05 Jan 2011, Buzet23 wrote:"#131. At 6:59pm on 05 Jan 2011, quietoaktree Total Gibberish."Yes, completely agree: Among the more ludicrously non-history allegations in the QOT version of the past is this morsel: ".. - -Britain has washed it hands clean from responsibility, conveniently denies the mass migrations of Indians and Chinese (mainly) supported and assisted by the Colonial Masters - - ..."A fairly unique accusation even in QOT's repertoire of 'gibberish'!That Great Britain at no time in its Colonial History ever ruled China seems to have totally escaped his notice!After the infamous Opium War (which is a real blot on the UK 'imperial' past) by the Treaty of Nanjing, 1842 (1 of the "Unequal Treaties" & "national humiliations" the modern day Republic has used to very good effect with its people) the Qing (Manchu) ruler ceded Hong Kong to G.B. & various trading rights at key Chinese ports.That was the only part of China the British had direct rule over: Meanwhile (and no surprise QOT neglected to mention) Portugal, Spain, France, USA, Netherlands, Russia & Japan ALL had their dip into 'portions' & 'rights' over the unfortunate Chinese mainland.Oh, but of course, according to QOT it was only the British had a hand in the movement of millions of Chinese peoples. Which is a unique view when one looks at the list below:Overseas Chinese:Chinese originated populations Indonesia 7,776,000 Thailand 7,053,240 Malaysia 6,324,000 United States 3,858,000 Canada 1,318,000 Vietnam 1,309,000 Peru 1,300,000 Philippines 1,170,000 Myanmar 1,121,000 Australia 669,896 Japan 655,377 Russia 500,000 United Kingdom 400,000 Cambodia 355,000 France 233,000 India 196,000 Laos 190,000 United Arab Emirates 180,000 Brazil 156,000 New Zealand 147,570 Italy 144,885 Panama 135,000 Spain 134,022 Cuba 114,242 Netherlands 110,000 I strongly suspect QOT at some time has read the Chinese equivalent of Harriet Stowe's 'Uncle Tom's (e.g. Chen's) Cabin', and has never recovered from a melancholic, tearstained evening of self-indulgent empathy. As for India's overseas population: It is another 'diaspora' resulting from British intervention, but for the last 60+ years from the 'west' European and the 'African' continents requiring additional workers and India with a surplus of unemployed & ambitious seeking employment & a better future. Wed 05 Jan 2011 22:18:48 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=58#comment140 #132 CBWBritain and its Empire is responsible for the problems it left societies to clear up at independence.Your confusion (ignorance) of Britain BRINGING (mainly) Indians and Chinese to POPULATE the colonies ( in Africa, West Indies, Malaysia, British Guyana etc. etc.) has nothing whatsoever to do with your rather arrogant-"Contrary to QOT's assertion I have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of good Governance and to attribute any significant portion of modern Indian difficulties to a regime that left the sub-Continent 64 years ago is ludicrous."As you have very little World experience to conflict with your views --the suggestion that you lack knowledge of Colonialism is more than justified.The racial problems existing in most ex-colonies lie at Britains doorstep.-- Why not admit you have never visited such societies --nor are interested to discover how Britain left them a poison chalice ?-- It would make life easier for us all ---rather than feigning ! Wed 05 Jan 2011 22:17:10 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_press_freedom.html?page=58#comment139 MaudDib wrote and every word is gold."The problem with this democracy thing is that it is like a fragile flower. It must be nurtured on a regular basis. It needs constant attention. You need to have the setup to provide those necessary things. It is not like a plastic flower you take out of a box and voila!!!! There you have it.Now everybody got excited over Russia casting off communism and thought everything is gonna be all right in Who-vile. Well the truth is they just didn't have the institutions in place for such a change. Now Russians say "What is so great about this democracy, it feels the same to me or worse". The trick is the citizens of a country must stay on their politicians ass all the time. To do otherwise is to insure a totalitarian state." Wed 05 Jan 2011 21:48:15 GMT+1