DUTCH ELECTION: THE RESULT


Windmill

So, the people of the Netherlands have chosen the formation of their parliament, the House of Representatives. Democracy in action, again, and it’s a good thing. The Dutch Prime Minister, Mr Mark Rutte, told us last night that the Netherlands had rejected ‘the wrong kind of populism’.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, populism is that form of politics which appeals to ordinary people. One assumes that Mr Rutte was referring to the Dutch people rejecting Mr Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) over Mr Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

It made me curious to think what the equivalent situation would have been here in the UK if we transposed the Dutch political landscape on to our own. So, for example, in the UK we have a political movement which focuses on what it considers to be the pernicious spread of Islam and Sharia in the UK. It’s a movement which believes that the religion of Islam ‘challenges an English, Christian way of life’. That movement is called the English Defence League and whilst it is not a political party as such, nor does it have a formal membership, it is nonetheless a group of people which espouses views and aims remarkably similar to those of Mr Wilders’ PVV.

Now, Mr Wilders has just lifted his party’s parliamentary representation from 12 to 20 seats; a 66% rise in popularity making the PVV the second largest party in the House of Representatives. It made me think that if the English Defence League was a formally constituted political party in the UK, and if it had campaigned in a UK General Election in the way that Mr Wilders has in the Netherlands, and if it had achieved the same result as Mr Wilders did in the Netherlands last night, then this morning the English Defence League would have 86 MPs in the House of Commons.

Now, I’m not advocating the politics of the PVV nor the English Defence League here, far from it. However, what I am doing is pointing out that for all the talk of the Dutch ‘rejecting the wrong kind of populism’ and the Dutch being one of the most liberal, tolerant nations in Europe, if not on the planet, then what are they doing making the PVV the second largest political party in their parliament?

Is something going on here which, even now, we’re not prepared to confront? Mr Wilders and his PVV party seem to be appealing to an awful lot of ordinary people, rightly or wrongly. I assume that, quite simply, we’re not supposed to adopt such a perspective; ‘the wrong kind of populism’. After all, for so many politicians, politics is what you do to people, what you tell them to think; not what they choose to vote for. For the people know not what they’re doing. Or do they?

Islam: The World’s Fastest Growing Religion

13 comments

  1. reallyoldbill · ·

    One of the problems with Islam is that it is more than just a religion; it is also a political movement and a recipe for a whole way of life in a way that the other large religious groupings in Europe are not. Although we hear lots of talk about “moderate” Muslims (which I have always presumed to be code for “secular”), and clearly they do exist, they appear to be very much the minority and the pressure within Muslim communities in Europe for everyone to conform to Islamic ideals is underestimated by many outsiders. That makes it difficult, certainly in the short to medium term, for proper integration of Islamic communities with wider European society to take place. It isn’t just the existence of “radical Islam” that presents us with dangers to social cohesion. Islamic teachings and practices actually encourage the growth of completely separate societies living, if not side by side, then within the same country. That inevitably causes resentment and tensions. In their rush to embrace the chimera of multi-culturalism politicians deliberately refuse to recognise and address this contradiction. What is even worse is that, having done so they then complain about the more unpalatable fringe parties which spring up to attract the votes of a disillusioned electorate. I have no wish to see a rise of extremism anywhere in Europe, and certainly not the UK, but unless mainstream parties start to pay attention to what is clearly happening in society, and do something more than simply espouse platitudes about it, then I fear that we may be on a very slippery slope. Condemning ordinary, sensible people as racists for objecting to the enforced eradication of their long-standing communities and conversion into something they do not recognise or want will simply deliver them into the arms of the very parties that truly are racist and very dangerous.

    The likes of Le Pen and Wilders may not achieve office at the polls in Europe, but they may yet shape the way in which the European (and British) establishment are forced to respond to events if they continue to attract sufficient votes. The hope must be that it is not all too late to maintain a peaceful society on the continent. If Turkey continues on its present path that cannot be guaranteed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Chris Emblen · ·

    I don’t follow Dutch politics carefully therefore i don’t know if this happens there as well but the majority of information I see from the EDL and heard at the one rally that I happened to overhear was simply racist diatribe.
    A group of people that revel in their ‘hatred’ of anyone ‘non-white’ will never turn into an electable party, thankfully.
    Intelligent people can see the potential threat that Islam could offer but are also smart enough not to confuse this with skin colour.
    I do have hope for Britain, we are an extremely tolerant and welcoming nation, until we are pushed too far.

    Like

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Chris. I wasn’t for a moment suggesting that the EDL was anything terribly significant in British politics, as such, nor did I for a moment condone its policies and behaviours. I’d like to think that the EDL will never be more than an obnoxious protest movement. My point in the post above was that an awful lot of Dutch people have expressed their support for a relatively hard-line anti-immigration, anti-Islam political party (Geert Wilders’ PVV) which mainstream politicians and the mainstream media ignore at their (and our) peril.

      The issue, perceived or otherwise, of Islamification across Europe (and, arguably, in the UK) simply isn’t going to go away anytime soon. The sooner that ‘ordinary’ politicians face up to people’s concerns about this matter and, moreover, start proposing political and societal solutions, then the situation (tension) in certain communities and societies will go from bad to worse. The problem is growing – without much sensible media attention – in Sweden, Holland and France to name just 3 countries, and I reckon Germany is hot on these countries’ heels.

      Like

  3. Populism – I think this means a Democratic result that left the other folk in charge. Of course, when we win, it’s just democracy in action. !

    OTH – I worry a bit about a continued mantra by commentators that repeat phrases such as “of course I don’t support Trump/Le Pen/name your politician here, but I understand the reasons etc”

    I suspect we are still in thrall to the PC brigade.

    What’s wrong with saying, actually, I support the policies of a person who calls out our enemy for who they and demands policies to deal with them – closing borders, repatriation and all the rest of it.

    But I guess that just makes me a populist !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Yes, there remains the huge deadweight of political correctness. Politicians, journalists and other commentators dare not tell it as it is for fear of a barrage of artillery from the PC brigade. PC is a form of speech fascism in effect …

      Like

  4. Whyayeman · ·

    Not bedtime story material, but still apposite after all these years ……

    http://www.heretical.com/pubs/fabledh.html

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It would be interesting to see where Dutch politics would be today had Pim Fortuiyn not been murdered by an extreme left wing nutter during the 2002 elections. Geert Wilders has tried to fill the gap but is a bit too focused on the one subject for the Dutch people to take seriously (although times are getting desperate).
    Pim had a more broad spectrum of views that I think would have led his party to victory by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Ah, yes Pim Fortuyn: assassinated by a Dutch environmentalist who accused Fortuyn of spreading hate – demonstrating, even then, the absurdity of modern European politics. Fortuyn was a liberal who proposed an illiberal immigration policy to defend liberalism – and was then shot dead by a liberal. WTF?

      Like

  6. EDWARD HURST · ·

    Politics and debt swirl like the sands of Culbin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Poetry.

      And, of course, the sands eventually engulfed a village that was once there. Is there a moral to the story?

      Like

  7. Good post, MM

    The significance of the result does not lie in Mr Wilders’ share of the vote.

    Rather, what really matters is how far “centrist” politicians have moved (or been pushed) in Wilders’ direction.

    By this measure, it’s another blow to the “liberal” elites. Of course, the antics of Erdogan helped, effecively forcing Dutch politicians of all persuasions to stand up to external facism, which is what the current regime in Ankara amounts to.

    Where the UK is concerned, the “liberal elite” or “establishment” is imploding before our eyes. The government cannot even pass a budget that lasts a week – Tory MP expenses are being investigated – and Jeremy C is being opposed tooth and nail as he tries to drag Labour back from its post-1997 “prawn cocktails, second homes in Tuscany” persona.

    As a side-note, UK debt (total) climbed from £4,950bn (265% of GDP) at 12/2015 to £5,408bn (283%) at 9/2016 – yes, that’s £458bn, or 18% of GDP, borrowed in just 9 months.

    Put another way, net borrowing of £51bn per month. End-game, I suspect.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Good points, Tim. Yes, it does seem to me that traditional political parties are being torn to pieces in the populist maelstrom, the strength of which appears to be growing all the time. Even the word ‘populism’ has been hijacked by mainstream politicians to become a pejorative term. How dare ordinary people develop political points of view!

      On the economic front, I grow more alarmed by the day. The global debt situation must now surely be a nuclear time bomb, with the clock just a few minutes from the trigger? Although I take your point made to me elsewhere that, to some extent, the bomb has gone off; except it contained not fissile material, but nerve agent – and the nerve agent is already seeping into our lives.

      Like

      1. Thanks MM. The way I see it, the UK economy is now falling apart before our eyes. It’s like a ship where everyone on the bridge is deranged, steering towards the rocks rather than admitting they don’t know what they’re doing. The passengers and sailors are in danger of going down with them.

        Liked by 1 person

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