Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan reports on the latest political scandal, which comes during the run-up to next month’s provincial elections.
The elections are coming
by H. Numan
We’re off to another election, this time what are normally the most boring, unimportant and uninteresting elections you can think of: the provincial elections. But not this year. It’s looking even better with a nice juicy scandal popping up exactly at the right moment. Let’s start with that one, and look at the elections after that.
A teacher in a secondary technical school (VMBO) in Hoofddorp has been suspended for insulting mohammedanism *. What exactly did he do? Nothing, really. In a class he said that Mohammed was an adult man who married a 6-year-old. In The Netherlands that is considered, by law, pedophilia. A number of his (mohammedan) pupils were of course terribly offended, and complained to the school management. Who suspended him immediately. This incident happened in January, but is now picked up by the media and politics. Not a coincidence; there are elections coming.
What you probably don’t know is that Dutch education is going down the drain, with technical education leading the run into the abyss. VMBO is widely considered a kindergarten for lower-class (read: minority) children who are not allowed to leave school. When you read VMBO think of teenagers who really hate to be there but are required to do so by law. (Raising the education age lowers the unemployment rate. That’s one of the reasons.) It’s a rare VMBO, certainly in larger cities, that doesn’t have a majority of mohammedan pupils.
As with all such incidents, the accuser is always right and the accused is always wrong. Nobody even blinks an eye that pupils can report their teachers for that kind of incident, and nobody is much surprised some of the pupils add something extra. Like saying that the teacher said they stank, or their mothers are haram. Mohammedans never ever lie. Regardless their age. That’s a given. Politically correct as Dutch schools are, the teacher is suspended for at least another three months. The teacher is white and male, and said something politically incorrect. So what do you expect?
Now, in a more sane society this school would have to apologize to the teacher, give him a year’s salary in compensation, and he could start working in another school. Only we don’t live in a sane society. Of course the school board is always right, even if they are blatantly wrong. Dutch schools are all — very, very, very few exceptions — extremely politically correct. Why, they even take schoolchildren to climate demonstrations during school hours with the truant officers looking the other way.
This affair is current; what will happen nobody knows. It comes at exactly the right moment, though. On the 20th of March the Dutch go vote. Normally the provincial elections are the dullest and unimportant elections you can think of. But not this time. You see, our senators aren’t elected by the people. They are elected by the members of the provincial parliaments and the senate (a commission, that is) itself.
So over to the elections, and why the dullest of them all is suddenly exciting. In The Netherlands we have a bicameral parliament, where Tweede Kamer (‘second chamber’ = house of representatives) makes the rules and the Eerste Kamer (‘first chamber’ = senate) approves them. Tweede Kamer members are elected directly in national elections but senators are choose indirectly by the Provinciale Staten (provincial parliament) members. And those elections are on the 20th of March.
The conservatives (VVD) “won” the last national elections. That is, they lost massively but not enough to be ousted. They were capable of forming the current conservative-liberal-Christian-progressive coalition. That’s a mouth full of everything available, and that’s what it took to keep the PVV out. It is also painfully close to a minority government in the Tweede Kamer. The majority is exactly one seat.