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Muzzled: The Hague On An IV-Drip

Dutch Politics Grows ‘Funnier’ By The Day

-by Toon Janssen

DWT Amsterdam Correspondant

The Netherlands was recently confronted with two different faces of Mark Rutte, the outgoing Prime Minister running a Caretaker Cabinet and the high scoring NATO-applicant, to replace Norwegian Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is quitting.


Teflon Mark, the contortionist who’s extinguished at national level, is, for now, busy managing a difficult political landscape. He was PM of different cabinets for over a decade, but this time it’s serious and you can count on that he's finally definitely out. Last Julky Cabinet Rutte IV collapsed on migration, the VVD liberals, with Mark as their party leader, wanted to limit family reunification to war refugees only. That was the limit for the religious conservative Christen Unie, being a small but vital coalition partner. More than ever, Mark’s popularity reached an absolute low. 

Meanwhile, on an international level, his status grew larger by the day, being spotted with important international leaders as the perfect candidate for the office of NATO Secretary General. His chances are increasing, and his status as a near superstar-in-the-making is assured. In Holland some say that ‘snaky’, many also say sneaky, ‘Mark knows the whole world and he’s known worldwide’. Imagine, once in charge NATO, he'll be provided with unlimited resources, NATO-member countries spend about euro 1300 million on defense... let’s say 3 times the Dutch governmental budget. As Secretary General he will no longer have to take into account the eternal lament of education, the cultural sector, health care, let alone the victims of all kinds of mistakes as unlimited gas extraction and child allowances, who all feel wronged. Soon in the future, ‘superstar’ Mark will have unlimited spending on F-35’s, armed drones, long range missiles, submarines, helicopters and ammunition. To update you, today it was announced that his candidacy might only be blocked by Romania, for some reason.

Wilders & Omtzigt in better times

Last November elections, caused by the defeat of the Rutte IV-cabinet, were very successful for Geert Wilders’ populist PVV. His totalitarian one-man party won 37 out of the 150 seats House of Representatives, 26 parties (!) were running and PVV received a plurality of votes. The political landscape was completely shaken up and Wilders was designated to form a coalition, with right-wing parties VVD (liberals, 24 seats), BBB (farmers, 7 seats), and NSC (New Social Contract, 20 seats) of Pieter Omtzigt. So far all attempts to close the deal have failed, since Omtzigt hesitates, not trusting Wilders who referred tio him as a ‘a Catholic creep’ on Twitter and continuously frustrates and attacks whole idea that the Constitution is based on the rule of law and mutual rights and obligations of all citizens and government. Wilders is seen as ‘an anti-Islam politician, a despot who tolerates no contradiction, tough as nails in front of the camera, kind and gentle in the daily interaction’, in short to Omtzigt ‘there’re just too many souls in his breast’. As long as there’s no new government snaky Mark stays in charge, again of a Caretaker Cabinet with ministers who call it a day. 

Since December 14th, Martin Bosma (PVV) has been the new Chairman of the House, as second-round winner. What applies to his party as a whole applies to him in particular. So he propagates the racist depopulation myth, a term used in Nazi ideology to describe the process of Germanization; he absurdly claims that Hungarian-American funder George Soros cooperated, even as a small child, with the Nazis; and he's an outspoken proponent of colonist rights-- in South Africa and Israel; amongst others. No wonder the committee that organizes the annual commemoration of the 1941 February-strike in Amsterdam advocated for removing Bosma, in his capacity as chairman of the House, as a speaker from the guest list. The annual day of remembrance spotlights Dutch workers who went on strike to protest against Nazi terror towards Jewish Amsterdam fellow citizens. For Bosma this didn’t seem to be an issue at all, despite the fact that his party favors everything the strikers were up against. Keep in mind that PVV calls for deportation of Moroccan Dutch people, and has closure of borders and restriction of the judiciary on the agenda. It’s obvious ‘Bosma has butter on his head, he doesn’t stop spitting out sweet poems at debate openings, to polish his extreme right-wing reputation’, was disseminated in the media.


According to the latest news Bosma decided not to come, ‘the agenda of the House doesn’t allow my absence…’.                                                                                                                                    

Bosma controls the agenda of the House of Representatives, which includes 66 new faces since the election. Bosma gave them all space for their maiden speeches, the first public speech in which they introduced themselves. New in Parliament was Joeri Pool, who in his ‘babbling’ fully committed to the PPV ideology and promised ‘to work tirelessly for the resurrection of our country and people, since they have apparently tripped and are groaning on the ground in pain, waiting to be rescued’. In some kind of Tucker Carlson-chat, armed with a huge tv-size watch, he explained his vision of the Dutch military's role plain and simple. That role is ‘very clear indeed, since before we had real heroes that sailed oceans and fought Napoleons, nowadays we have a globalist elite, run by the left, that prefers to hand us over to Brussels, more than fine hoisting the rainbow flag and handing over our soldiers to left-liberal madness and diversity courses’. He then criticized ‘the ongoing provocations by the Dutch government towards the Russian Federation’, stating that ‘our generals are fixated on danger from Russia’ and regretted ‘that large amounts of material and ammunition were given as gifts to Ukraine’. Thereafter something extraordinary happened, the speeches were stopped, not to pull his ears because of Russian-minded disinformation, but to congratulate him on his first formal performance. After Pool it was the turn of his colleague from the liberal VVD who ‘enjoyed hearing this maidenspeech because that’s such a beautiful parliamentary tradition’. Important to note here is that PVV in fact is not a party at all, since it has no members except one… Wilders. To be allowed to participate in the future elections he established in 2005 not a party but a Vereniging Groep Wilders, with the founding father as chairman. This all made the total structure Machiavellian and totalitarian, since nothing passes Wilders unnoticed, not even Pool, or anyone else for that matter.

Last February 14th the coalition formation by Ronald Plasterek, a washed-out left-wing politician who writes populist columns for a right-wing newspaper failed, as expected and explained above. Another one took over the job of informant, Kim Putters, a socialist (Labor/Greens) nominated by Wilders, completely above common expectations. Labor/Greens (PvdA)/Groen Links) occupy 37 seats in the House but refuse to ever participate in any Wilders coalition, calling him ‘a dangerous Putin-lover that must never ever been given any responsibility for the national defense and security. PvdA party leader Timmermans, for sure you ever heard about him, called Putin a pioneer and hero for all radical-right parties in Europa and elsewhere, for ‘Meloni, le Pen, Orban, Trump or any other useful idiot for his sake’. Why did Kim Putters bite to prepare a Wilders coalition?


Kim Putters actually is chairman of the Dutch Social Economic Council (SER), a committee that advises government on social-economic policy and has employee-, employer- and crown member-seats. Before that he was, for almost 10 years director of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), an agency that conducts research into social aspects of all areas of governmental policy and advises the Cabinet, House and Senate as well as the cabinet ministries. The living situation, the quality of life of citizens and the effect of policy on it, receives the most attention. Putters is from a modest barge family, was friends with car mechanics, factory workers and teachers as a youngster, but opted for university and an administrative career. He had friends in the highest circles but combined this with an eye for the fate of the common man, since ‘I’m from a village and a family of not that highly educated people…’. He stood up for those who got stuck in the wheels of government, for victims of the Dutch care benefit scandals, and opposed the idea of citizen’s self-reliance, as assumed by successive liberal Rutte cabinets. ‘When lonely elderly people in need of help, or when young people with complex problems or people with disabilities get stuck’ he said in a lecture ‘then small adjustments will not help, so a different government is needed, a more empathetic one’.

In fact Putters worked hard for a kind of new social contract between citizens and government, with no one left out, a mindset that perfectly coincides with what NSC (New Social Contract!) and Pieter Omtzigt stand for. In that sense Wilders’ choice for Putters as new informant was a smart and logical one, since he knows perfectly well that without Omtzigt and his 20 seats there will be no Wilders hegemony, no way. He also knows that a milder Wilders, a softer version of himself, will do him good. So he announced, among other things, that no one will simply be deported from the country, that controversial Islamic positions will be put in the refrigerator and that discriminatory bills will be withdrawn, as a sign of good will. But meanwhile he was and is distrusted, by Omtzigt, by the opposition parties, by sincere fellow politicians, and by many others, nationally and internationally, ‘he does it for the show, for on stage’. Former minister of Trade Sigrid Kaag dropped ‘you don’t change someone’s personality from one day to the next’ as a comment.  Left-winger Timmermans’ warning was more specific, ‘we are in danger and we all should distrust a milder Wilders in particular’.

After reading all this you might ask what Putters is up to? To get this untangled it must first be realized that a lot takes place behind the scene and that second, ‘in this troublesome political landscape I might have the ability to stand independently and lived-through above parties to…, connect’, he said. He spoke to all 16 party faction leaders to investigate their position regarding possible cabinet formations like, you might get dizzy, a majority cabinet (that may already be deleted), a minority cabinet, a minority cabinet with tolerance support, an additional parliamentary cabinet, a business cabinet and…, what else? All these cabinets will have their own definition, ‘to make that clear is task number one’, faction leaders urgently pointed out. What matters is that with some forms Dutch politics has no experience, so Putters makes rounds visiting the Minister of State, the vice-president of the Council of States, former informers, all kinds of scientists and faction leaders of parties abroad to get the definitions and possibilities sharp. The bottomline? He is back to square one, the November 2023 elections. Finding partners that fit Wilders’ ego and sweet promises is critical, it certainly won’t happen anytime soon. It will be no surprise when new elections occur at some point.


1 Comment

So nice to have a Dutch DWT correspondent.

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