Hungary’s Jobbik leader spends a day in kindergarten, exploiting children

When Gábor Vona, leader of the far-right Jobbik party, visited a kindergarten in the Jobbik-controlled town of Ózd, and posted over a dozen photos on Facebook of him mingling, smiling and playing with young children, he was accused by the opposition of “political pedophilia.” According to Mr. Vona’s explanation, he had asked the school’s principal, whether he could spend the day with the kids, in order “to understand their daily life from the inside.” Apparently, the principal was pleased to extend an invitation to Mr. Vona. Both the tiny Együtt opposition party and the Socialists asked the Fidesz minister responsible for schools, Zoltán Balog, to intervene and stop Jobbik from exploiting children in public schools in this way, but to no avail. Mr. Balog’s ministry told the left-centre opposition to speak with municipal officials, if they have a problem with these Jobbik visits, because this isn’t a core competency of the national government.

Mr. Vona enjoyed a breakfast in the kindergarten, then the children gathered around the extremist politician to hear him tell a story, followed by some exercises in the schoolyard. He then spent the rest of the day playing a myriad of games with the children. “My favourite was little Attila, who took a liking to me from the very beginning and followed me everywhere, always holding my hand,” explained Mr. Vona in a lengthy Facebook post, where he responded to comments that he’s engaging in “political pedophilia.”

“Since we’re talking about Ózd, there were several Gypsy children in the kindergarten and it was so wonderful to see in these little ones continued hope for a fulsome life, and that as adults, they will be able to break free of their current constraints, added Mr. Vona.

Gábor Vona at a kindergarten in the town of Ózd. This is just one o more than a  dozen photos that Mr. Vona posted to Facebook of him playing, talking, eating and telling stories to small children.

Gábor Vona at a kindergarten in the town of Ózd. This is just one o more than a dozen photos that Mr. Vona posted to Facebook of him playing, talking, eating and telling stories to small children.

The comments underneath many of the photos were quite telling. Mr. Vona’s Facebook supporters often remarked that nobody could accuse Jobbik of being racist, because their leader is clearly smiling and comfortable amongst Roma children. “Even his eyes are smiling when he looks at that little boy,” commented one supporter, asking how then Mr. Vona could then be accused of being anti-Roma.

Mr. Vona, by the way, is a skilled and avid user of social media. His Facebook page has over 255,000 likes. That compares to 336,000 for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, 109,000 for Ferenc Gyurcsány, leader of the Democratic Coalition, 20,000 for András Schiffer of the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party, and just 19,000 for József Tóbiás, the chair of the Hungarian Socialist Party. Clearly, the Hungarian left hasn’t made anywhere nearly as effective use of Facebook as both Fidesz and Jobbik.

In the meantime, Mr. Vona continues to soften his image by posting loving photos of himself with his son Benedek, or celebrating his 72 year old father’s birthday.  In fact, he got some heat on Facebook from supporters on May 31st, so-called “Heroes Day,” when primarily far-right Hungarians celebrate World War II veterans who fought on the side of the Axis powers, for posting instead about Children’s Day, celebrated in Hungary at the same time.

While the centre-left opposition was certainly right in protesting Mr. Vona’s day in kindergarten, their inability or unwillingness to use Facebook and other social media sites effectively suggests that they are completely ceding the younger generations to the far-right. Only Mr. Gyurcsány appears to be making any effort to use social media, although his ability to increase support among younger voters is extremely limited.


  1. Politicians around the world have a tradition of kissing babies and using kids for photo-ops. So nothing unusual there. But spending an entire day in a kindergarten, dressed in a shirt with the kindergarten’s logo and then posting dozens of photos online? Yeah, that’s way over the top. And then I’ve said nothing about how disgusting it is for a far right party to be doing this!

  2. Pingback: “Hungary’s Jobbik Leader Spends a Day in Kindergarten, Exploiting Children” | Daily Stormer

  3. Avatar TheTransceiver says:

    This headline is the most deceiving and borderline defamatory headline I have ever read.
    The author WOULD NOT DARE to write something like that about Cameron, Merkel, or Obama. Even though they would ALL be deserving of the very same headline.

    Disgusting hypocrisy of the author and the Hungarian Free Press.

    Absolute lo fasz.

  4. Avatar Charlie London says:

    ‘TheTransceiver’ is Fodor in ‘disguise’!

    Come on out Fodor!


    When other politicians spend time with children, they are “visiting” the children.

    When “far-right” policians spend time with children, they are “exploiting” the children.

    The casual reader who only reads the headline, will get the impression that Gábor Vona is somehow molesting children, or doing something equally sinister.

    WAKE UP!

  6. Pingback: „Vođa mađarskog Jobbika proveo dan u dječjem vrtiću, iskorištavajući djecu“ | Pandora

  7. Many politicians go to kindergartens and schools, nothing special with that. For example, when 9/11 happened, the then-president of the USA, George W. Bush was in an elementary school.

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