Friday, October 1, 2010

Ashamed to be Dutch

Coat of Arms of The Netherlands
(Source: Hans-Ulrich Herzog, Flaggen und Wappen,
Leipzig: VEB Bibliographisches Institut, 1982.)
Today a months long deadlock in forming a new Dutch government has been broken. An agreement between coalition parties seems to have been reached. And the two centre-right parties VVD (liberals) and CDA (Christian Democrats) have bowed deeply for the far right wishes of the PVV (Freedom Party). This has made the country I was born in - but no longer feel anything but loathing for - a right wing, a-social country. This government will do nothing but make me feel deeply ashamed to be Dutch.

Quotes like "We want to give the country back to the working Dutch citizen." are a clear indication that social outcasts, people who have had a tough time and those that just don't fit the mould will face impossible living conditions. This also means that artists, writers, intellectuals, people who enrich society but may not be classed in the 9 to 5 category will have to move elsewhere. I am one of them. A country where I already do not feel at home anymore will now actively make my life impossible.

Geert Wilders, PVV party leader, showed his intentions when during a speech by the three party leaders he confidently took the stage and took all his time to speak. This while he is not a full member of the coalition, he has a back seat role. His party has been added as a "support party" to make up the numbers in an otherwise minority government. His confidence shows he feels himself to be much more important than he should be, he is a dangerous man: his party's manifesto declares that the first article of our constitution should be changed. It should no longer read as an article of equality and granting basic human rights to anyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It should instead read that The Netherlands has a society based upon Christian, Jewish and Humanist principles. A man who wants to change our constitution into a limiting fundamental law that excludes people on the basis of race and religion has just been made part of our government.

The Netherlands had just entered a period that carries strong echoes of 1930's Germany. I hang my head in shame for being Dutch.


  1. I was going to say 'Belgium is calling', but is it not more or less the same...?

  2. Yeah, Belgium was a preferred destination but as you say... it's much the same. As historic irony would have it, Germany seems one of the better countries to move to in the EU right now...