After reading last night’s post about the full-bore attack against Geert Wilders, our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan was moved to send this brief explanation of the current state of political affairs in the Netherlands:
You already published about the rising storm in The Netherlands. The barometer shows “storm”! The attack is twofold: one victim is the Socialist Party (previously the Maoist party), the other the PVV.
Minister Guus ter Horst (PvdA) is firing the shots. First she stated, correctly, that the SP levies all income from SP politicians, and gives back a much smaller amount for living expenses.
This is true, and fully in accordance with the Maoist principles of the party. One cannot have politicians earning more income than, say, a bricklayer.
She commissioned a scientific report stating Wilders is extreme right-wing. This scientific report was made by three reputable scientists. About as reputable as Robert Mugabe, that is.
The two most serious charges raised in the “scientific” report on Wilders are systeemhaat (hatred of the system) and “damaging the social cohesion”.
Systeemhaat is not even a valid word in Dutch. One can use this against just about any party. For example, the SP wants a socially equal society. This does not exist. In order to make everybody equal, we have to reform practically everything, starting with rewriting the constitution and burning the existing laws.
The Christian Union (CU) wants a kind of shariah state, but based on Christian values. Even the CDA wouldn’t be unhappy with such a shariah Christian state.
All of them would seriously damage social cohesion in doing so.
In other words: a trial by Robert Mugabe, with Bin Laden as prosecutor and Chavez supplying scientific evidence.
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The question is, of course: why exactly now?
That is simple to explain: the coalition is in danger. It is not unlikely that the prime minister will get a better job elsewhere. He might collect his thirty pieces of silver in Brussels by becoming the first president of the EU.
A just reward for the man who made it possible, when it seemed impossible. And without any serious problems whatsoever, after the referendum debacle. Give him his due: he earned it!
But it would be a first in the history of The Netherlands. PM was the top job, unless your name ended in “van Oranje”. The government isn’t exactly sure whether they can simply replace the PM with somebody else. It might very well lead to early elections, and that is the last thing they want right now. The PvdA and the CDA would lose severely.
Only two parties would gain massively: the SP and the PVV. The SP did some informal flirting with the PVV, which responded informally. The two parties can get along much better than one might expect.
Suppose they come to some agreement…?
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That would be a disaster! The PVV is polled about 30 seats, the SP more than 20 seats. That is pretty close to a majority. They only need another 26 seats. Likely the CDA will happily supply them. The CDA sleeps with everybody, after all. Better: the CDA doesn’t (have to) do anything. The PvdA (ter Horst) does. If things go right or wrong, they can wash their hands in innocence and become bedfellows with the winners. Whoever that might be.
Even if the SP wouldn’t join the government, there still is trouble. What if the SP supports the PVV in the opposition? The PVV alone cannot set the political agenda. But if they are backed up by the SP, any government will have a major job controlling the PVV.
This is reason enough to start throwing mud. Wilders goes on trial in January, and this “information” will without any doubt be used by the prosecution. One cannot escape the impression that Wilders has as much chance at a fair trial as a white farmer in Zimbabwe or a gay in Tehran. Probably much less.
I expect the report on the SP to be milked for all it is worth in the media. Plenty of former SP cadres who resigned — because they didn’t want to donate all of their income (including tax returns) to the party — would be most happy to supply the media with nice juicy inside stories.
And if the government is really lucky: someone might rid it of that troublesome politician from Venlo. It happened once before, a mere ten years ago.
Incidentally, yesterday was the date Theo van Gogh was murdered exactly five years ago. Both items appeared on that very day. Coincidence? I think not.
— H. Numan