Monday, August 2, 2010

Dutch government farce continues

A slightly incoherent piece on EUObserver tells us that a minority government may well be formed in the Netherlands very soon. Geert Wilders's Freedom Party (PVV), described here as "far-right", presumably because it is against the destruction of real liberalism, will not be part of it but has promised to support it on a case-by-case basis. In return, the government will attempt to impose some control on immigration.

Interestingly, the Financial Times is a little more cautious about labels and describes Geert Wilders merely as being anti-Islamic. Even that is not entirely accurate as this blog has pointed out before but it will have to do as a short-hand. In general, both pieces (and other articles) agree: Mr Wilders has gained a great deal. He will have no formal cabinet role and no cabinet discipline. He has shown himself to be a reasonable politicians, ready to back a centre-right government but has not had to surrender his core principles. Indeed, he will be able to speak out on them if the agreement goes ahead.

Last month Geert Wilders was nominated for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by Dutch MEP, Barry Madlener. Named after the great Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, the prize has had a chequered history. Most of those who received it did so deservedly, though they were not always in danger of their lives when they spoke out, but I cannot but wonder at the idiocy of awarding it to the United Nations and SecGen Kofi Annan who presided over some of the worst scandals, in 2003.

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