In the English section of the Pravda website we find a feature on the current state of the Netherlands: Meanwhile, somewhere out in the Empire…
The writer, a gentleman going by the name of Hans Vogel, doesn’t pull any punches. To wit:
The Balkenende administration, one of the clumsiest and most mediocre in Western Europe, was put together in 2002. Balkenende, an unattractive and uncharismatic person if there ever was one, was put forward by the Dutch ruling class to fill the void left by Social Democratic prime minister Wim Kok, who after eight years in office decided to step down.
The Netherlands no longer is a democracy. Government ministers tend to be incompetent, they can make the most dreadful mistakes and utter the most chilling nonsense, lie, cheat, exceed their budgets with impunity, buy themselves luxury vacation homes in tropical islands, hand out favors to their friends and relatives, increase their salaries while at the same time cutting wages for others and basically do as they please. According to latter day parliamentary practice, the representatives of the coalition parties give governments a blank check to carry out a detailed pre-arranged government program. With the strict party discipline maintained in coalition ranks, it has made true parliamentary opposition virtually pointless.
The whole piece is… coloured, to put it mildly. But that also makes the piece colourful and highly entertaining. I wish I could say it is all false and wrong. But alas, I can’t…