Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chief Minister, international joke

I had to laugh at the story on the Manx Radio website about our Glorious Leader becoming an honorary Romanian citizen ( see http://www.manxradio.com/newsread.aspx?id=34272) .
Firstly, the town isn’t just Oradea to older locals but Nagyvarad to the ethnic Hungarians who used to make up half the population. The Hungarian name vanished from official record only when Ceacescu started bussing in Romanian nationals from the south in the 1970s to destroy a culture which openly laughed at him. This also explains why the Sulyok Istv├ín Reform College was founded in the spring of 1990 by ethnic Hungarian Calvinists to stop bright kids crossing the border to get a university education they were denied in their ‘home country’.
But the prejudice goes way further back. In 1900 Nagyvarad/Oradea was a bustling multicultural city, including Eastern Europe’s most economically active Jewish community. That changed for ever in 1944 when 24,000 local Jews were deported to concentration camps – there are now less than 200, only one synagogue and anti-semitism is on the rise again.
Then in 1956 there was the murder of Imre Nagy, the Hungarian premier, after Russians smuggled him across the border to the least friendly Soviet satellite. But that didn’t happen – officially, just as the concentration camp they took him to near Oradea/Nagyvarad never existed and never held dissidents from the 1950’s through to the late 1980’s, because everyone loved Ceacescu and there weren’t any dissidents.
Actually, it’s a good job the camp still isn’t there, otherwise the US would have leased it from the Romanians after 9/11 and used it to torture Muslims who they certainly never rounded up against all international law in countries which, unlike the US, sign up to UN conventions forbidding that sort of thing.
In the early 1990’s the city was the scene of some of the ugliest pogroms in Transylvania against ethnic Hungarians and things haven’t got much better, despite a nominally more diverse local political system. They certainly haven’t improved since Romanian government has lurched towards hardcore nationalism in recent years, leading to the only openly Fascist MEPs.
A further problem has been the infestation of US Baptist missionaries piggybacking on ‘aid agencies’ which demand the poor sign up to church membership to get the ‘aid’. It will be no surprise to cynics that this happened just as the EU and other international redevelopment grants arrived, or that as a result the city now has the biggest Baptist church in Eastern Europe and even a Baptist University whose courses, my spies tell me, are a bit of a joke.
Of course, the interest from the Isle of Man has nothing to do either with puppets of US evangelical groups and their strong influence on our Overseas Misery policies.
Nothing at all. That would be even more unlikely than the CIA torturing British citizens, wouldn’t it?

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