The left wing of the Dutch Christian democrats is becoming increasingly desperate over the party’s involvement in a minority cabinet that will be supported by Geert Wilders’ PVV. Party luminaries such as Doekle Terpstra (yes, him) have already tried to convince the party’s leadership to pull out of the negotiations. To them governing with Wilders, even if only in a supporting role, is beyond the pale. For a good overview I refer you to Snoucks write-up: Christian democrats dragged along kicking and screaming
But all the to-ing and fro-ing has been to no avail. Last week Elsevier reported (NL) that 80% of CDA voters support negotiations and the formation of a ‘Danish’ cabinet.
Thus it is no surprise that a ‘grass roots’ initiative to petition against the negotiations by the CDA was roundly defeated by a counter initiative. The initiative “We stand for our constitutional rights”, working on the false premise that Wilders’ participation on the governing of our little corner of the world will instantly abrogate the constitution, after which trains will ride once again, bound for Eastern Europe, to transport all people of colour away from the low lands, managed to secure 811 signatures, even after considerable media exposure. The counter initiative, “We stand behind the CDA” managed to attract 1,400 signatures (as of writing this post) in less time, and with a lot less MSM attention.
Even the fossilized ex-CDA prime minister Andries van Agt (p) was brought to bear. His views on the reasons why Wilders should be out of bounds for true Christian democrats are easily dismissed, though. One needs to only point out how this giant amongst political thinkers defiled the memory of those lost in WW2 by attending and speaking on a conference, held on Liberation Day 2007. in support of Hamas. That is the thinking of Dries van Agt: Supporting Hamas is perfectly legitimate, granting Wilders’ democratically gained mandate, however, is not.
But the absolute low point in this campaign against the formation of a centre right minority cabinet came this afternoon, when German CDU Euregio member Franz-Joseph Achterkamp decided to wade in the Dutch political debate: German criticism on CDA (NL, abbreviated EN reporting here).
The damaging and often disgraceful statements by leader Wilders are diametrically in opposition to the views shared by CDA and CDU within the European Christian-democracy.
I was a bit puzzled by that ‘leader’ bit (‘führer’ in German). Was this a bit of awkward translation, of was this a not so subtle Godwin? Well, never mind…
The big question that keeps me occupied is this: Where does this fat, ignorant Kraut come off telling us (Dutch CDA-ers) what to do, with whom to govern and generally how to behave? I thought in international affairs it was considered bad form to interfere in national political life. But evidently Herr Achterkamp considers himself fit to pronounce verdict. Is he Dutch? Does he consider de Dutch German?
Dear Herr Achterkamp, we haven’t forgotten the last time the Germans insinuated themselves (rather forcefully) on Dutch political life. It took us (we and you!) around 40 years to mend fences after that little episode. Are you really sure you want to be the one to un-mend those fences? Do you really want to return to the days of living next to a country where the quietly hostile population made a habit out of consistently giving you wrong directions and kept asking for a return of their bikes?
This is not your country. I repeat: this is not your country. We are not the reserve-Germans you lot (by which I mean Germans of the political elites) make us out to be. We are Dutch and you do not govern or ‘advise’ us. So sit down, shut up, and let us get on with it.
Be that as it may, the fact that the left wing squadrons of the CDA are now even looking to allies abroad to bolster their case gives a good indication of the measure of desperation they are feeling. Their time has come and gone. There is nothing they can do about it. They just don’t (want to) know it yet.
So, to Dries and Doekle, to Franz-Joseph and all the signatories on “We stand for our constitutional rights”: Goodbye. You won’t be missed.