ER Editor: ER colleague and contributor Michel van der Kemp brings us up to speed on Dutch politics. It’s been quite eventful lately, but as ever, ‘new’ candidates and parties are just re-treads of the old ones. The Netherlands still seems like Globalist Central.
Old Wine in New Bags: The Shift in Dutch Politics
MICHEL VAN DER KEMP
On July 7, 2023, after almost 13 years as prime minister, the longest-serving prime minister of the Netherlands ever, Mark Rutte, announced the resignation of his fourth cabinet. He also announced that he would leave politics “in the interest of the Netherlands”.
It was a surprising decision, and politically unnecessary. Although the opposition had indicated the day before that it wanted to submit a motion of no confidence, led by Geert Wilders, this had happened often before and the smooth eel Rutte had always managed to survive. On July 7, things turned out differently, however.
Reportedly, Deputy PM Sigrid Kaag called Rutte 20 minutes before the important debate of that day to say that her party would let the outcome of the debate weigh in the vote on the motion. Rutte was confronted for the first time with a coalition partner who was prepared to support a vote of no confidence. If the motion were passed, Kaag would become the new prime minister.
Rutte decided not to wait for the dagger in the back and to pull the plug himself.
Mark Rutte has had an impressive political career. Already during his student days he was chairman of the JOVD, the youth department of the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, centre-right). On behalf of the same VVD he became Secretary of State in 2002. In 2006 he was elected the VVD’s party leader. In 2010 he narrowly won the elections and became Prime Minister of the Netherlands. As the new Prime Minister, he was remarkably young, aged just 43, at a time when the average age of a politician was well above 50. Rutte seems to have been at the cradle of a remarkable rejuvenation of both national and international politics.
The prime minister became known for statements such as “I am a prime minister for all Dutch people”, but also “For vision you have to go to the optician”. His career was marked by lies and deceit. For example, he narrowly won the elections in 2012 by promising every Dutchman 1,000 euros, something he later had to withdraw. But it didn’t stop at breaking ‘innocent’ election promises.
Somewhere halfway through his term as PM, he must have come under the influence of Klaus Schwab’s ideas. Outside of parliamentary oversight, contracts appeared to have been signed with the World Economic Forum, something that Rutte continued to deny for a long time. In a debate with MP Gideon van Meijeren, he denied having read Schwab’s book “The Great Reset”, after which Van Meijeren managed to conjure up a letter of thanks from his inside pocket, in which Rutte had thanked Schwab for sending him his book, and praised it as a “hopeful analysis for a better future”. The Dutch will miss Rutte. Like a bad toothache.
After Rutte’s announced departure, many other politicians followed and declared the same, that they wouldn’t be returning after the elections. There are remarkably many of them. All deputy prime ministers are leaving, and recently also the outrageously partisan chamber president. In addition, a whole bunch of lower-level politicians will not be returning to parliament.
That seems to offer room for a breath of fresh air and a new way forward. But what about the direction of the sails?
EU Climate Pope Frans Timmermans returns as leader of a left-wing alliance
Frans Timmermans seized the opportunity early on to make a shot at the Dutch premiership. Thanks to a new alliance of two left-wing parties, PvdA and GroenLinks, his chances are said to be considerable. However, it remains to be seen whether the voters of the PvdA and GroenLinks will appreciate the new alliance and vote for the immensely unpopular Timmermans.
The former Vice-President of the European Commission has been European Commissioner for the Green Deal since 2019. In that role he has not exactly made himself popular among the European population, and the press often jokingly refers to him as ‘climate pope’. Thanks to an always noticeable dose of narcissism and an unmarketable climate policy, it was probably the right time for Timmermans to say goodbye to Europe. After all, as Prime Minister of the Netherlands you are often on TV, and that is what Timmermans is all about.
As an additional advantage, Timmermans’ place is now available to someone less well known in Europe.
The first name mentioned for Timmermans’ position was that of outgoing deputy PM Sigrid Kaag. But in the end, the best opportunities now seem to lie with departing Deputy PM Wopke Hoekstra. In any case, Kaag has already congratulated Hoekstra. But the decision on the position ultimately rests with Ursula von der Leyen.
Be that as it may, we see here a shuffling of figures that have become unpopular in their various positions, but ultimately they all support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One should therefore not expect a change of course from Timmermans in the Netherlands; at most he will press on the accelerator a little more. And in Europe too, people seem assured of a continuation of the globalist policies that have already been initiated.
An entirely new political party: Pieter Omtzigt
Pieter Omtzigt is popular among a broad segment of the population. This is due to the way he carries out his work as a Member of Parliament. Always clearly debating with a wealth of dossier knowledge, he always knows how to make it difficult for the cabinet. But in the end he always votes along with the policy desired by the cabinet.
An example of Omtzigt’s behavior is a news report from just this week. A law that should dampen excise duties on petrol prices threatens to expire on 1 January 2024. Omtzigt proudly announces that he is asking questions in parliament. But he then goes on to reject a proposed motion that should continue to moderate excise duties. Omtzigt is always critical in front of the cameras, but when voting he is just one of the many members of parliament who goes with the cabinet flow.
In 2021 it was Pieter Omtzigt who was largely responsible for bringing to light the surcharge debacle. The Rutte III cabinet eventually fell over this debacle. This surcharge scandal is, incidentally, unresolved to this day.
Last week Omtzigt announced that he would participate in the elections in November with a new party. The polls show that he could immediately become the largest party in the Netherlands. The name of his party: Nieuw Sociaal Contract (New Social Contract).
But wait a minute, the name of this new party has not come out of the blue. In 2021 Omtzigt published a book “A new social contract”, in which he describes his political vision. However, in an article from 2018, it is no less than the World Economic Forum proclaiming that we need a new social contract.
And here’s the big boss Klaus Schwab talking about a new social contract.
It strongly suggests that Omtzigt is not going to provide a new political course.
The winner of the last election: BBB
During the last elections in early 2023, the BBB (Boer Burger Beweging or Farmer Civilian Movement, which some claim stands for Build Back Better). became the largest party almost from scratch. BBB is a party that claims to stand up for the Dutch farmer. That same farmer has come under heavy fire from the current cabinet. In the New Green Deal the cabinet sees little room for traditional farmers. They prefer to see office buildings and parking lots. There are also plans to transform the Netherlands into a large metropolis, called a Tristate City. A metropolis in which 45 million people will eventually have to live. Farmers are being forced to sell their land under the excuse of ‘nitrogen’, another allegedly troublesome gas.
BBB therefore only pretends to stand up for the farmers because it, too, sees nitrogen as a problem, not as a necessary substance for life on earth. It also agrees that the farmer is to blame for the nitrogen problem.
The Dutch voted en masse for BBB this year because the media portrayed them as being there for the farmer. But soon after the elections, it became clear that this was not the case at all. The voter therefore seems to have turned his back on the party, but BBB’s political shelflife is certainly not over.
Another BBB election victory is not going to help the farmers at all, therefore.
Is there nothing else to choose?
There really is something to choose in the Netherlands. There is a party that is not just opposition, but calls itself systemic opposition. They reject every insane policy that has shaped the policy of Europe in the last decade.
This party is against all the Covid measures, resolutely rejects nitrogen as a problem, and is against immigration flows from underprivileged areas. They are for a Netherlands in which the Dutch are central.
This resulted in a cordon sanitaire put up around this party by the media which demonizes and marginalizes them non-stop. If that is not enough, the judiciary is always there to help out, just keeping the Overton window small enough to keep everyone hemmed in.
It is the party of Thierry Baudet, Forum for Democracy.
In November it is up to the Dutch voter to see through the deception. Unfortunately I have little confidence they will do so in sufficient numbers.
Featured image, Wopke Hoekstra: Bloomberg, Getty
Featured image, Frans Timmerman: Thierry Monasse, Getty
Featured image, Mark Rutte: BSR Agency, Getty
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