… who feel the urgent need to publicly pontificate on the new realities in Dutch politics:
Dear Sir/Madam/Your Excellency,
You may have done so already. Or you may feel the urge in the days ahead: To air your objections to the newly formed Dutch cabinet and the fact that this cabinet gleans it’s mandate from the parliamentary support of the PVV of Geert Wilders. My friendly but urgent advice is for you to resist that urge in the name of international relations and your own reputation.
It is rather difficult to understand for us, what you are actually protesting against. Evidently you object to the person of Geert Wilders. Even more so now that his party has some say in the government of the Netherlands. But is that enough substance for any credible objection? Doesn’t this reveal more about your own narrow prejudices?
Like so many Don Quixottes you are charging against wind mills. Geert Wilders is not the government of the Netherlands. Hence, even if you belief everything Geert Mak is whispering in your ear about the evil creature that Wilders is, does your political savvy not inform you that a government made up of two mainstream parties will of necessity form a mainstream government?
You are pronouncing verdict over something of which you know nothing. You know nothing, because we know nothing. The details of the governing and support agreements will be made available only later today. A few titbits have been leaked, but it is far too early to say anything of substance about the likely character of the new Dutch government. Simply because we do not have the information yet.
But all practical and political issues aside, you are treading where, by international agreement, no one of your stature should be found: Interfering with interior affairs of a fellow nation state. You are committing, or are about to commit, a tremendous faux pas, one which ordinary Dutch citizens will not likely forget. If there is one thing the ‘liberation’ of the 1960’s has instilled in the Dutch, it is the absolute allergy to complete strangers telling us what we can and cannot do.
That you have (or are about to) interfere in an exclusively interior and perfectly legitimate, democratic political process is not only evidence of extremely poor taste. It also exposes conceit bordering on arrogance in the assumption that your opinions should carry more weight then those of ordinary Dutch participating in the elections. It does not, nor should it. You wading into the Dutch process would be evidence that you think it does, which would reflect rather poorly on your character.
It is not your place to pronounce verdict over this new government. You are not Dutch, you did not vote in these elections and you took no part in the process. You do not live in Holland, or more specifically: in one of the Dutch big city neighbourhoods where Geert Wilders finds such loyal support. You do not govern us, we owe you neither allegiance nor loyalty.
We have no reason whatsoever, apart from common courtesy, to listen to what you have to say. We will take your objections for what they are worth: pontifications of a non-Dutch non-resident who in all likelihood is not aware of the realities on the ground. Someone who is interfering in something of which he or she knows nothing about. A fool, therefore.
One would think this is a perception that politicians strive to avoid at all cost. Hence, my advise to you: Let us get on with our (not your) business. With time you will find proof that we did not collectively lose our minds (rather the opposite!) and that we are still the civilized, easy-going fellow Earth inhabitants you have come to know and love. Don’t give in to the urge. Spare yourself the humiliation of making a fool of yourself or your office.
This open letter (which is more of a note, I’ll admit) was written as a reaction to:
- Jean-Luc Dehaene (NL), Belgian ex-PM and EUrocrat, who stated that the new Dutch cabinet, called ‘Rutte I’ is a ‘danger to democracy’, without being able to specify the danger.
- Angela Merkel German Bundeskanzlerin, who stated yesterday she ‘will do her best to work with the new Dutch government, although she regrets its make-up’.
- But most of all to Geert Mak (NL), who, in an interview with German magazine Die Zeit (D) called upon the ‘international community’ to assert increasing pressure on the Netherlands over the Rutte I cabinet. In the process he manages to paint the Dutch as the stupidest, most retarded group of people in the history of mankind. To a foreign audience. One wishes traitors like him could still be shot at dawn.