Screwup (4)

The Netherlands has a new government. I blogged before about the formation of it and indicated the worst of all possibilities. Well, an even worse option materialised: a minority coalition between Christian Democrats and Liberals, supported by the fiercely anti-islamic PVV of mr. Wilders, who is now functionally part of the government, without actually being part of it and bearing responsibility. The coalition has only a one seat majority.

The PVV is staunchly hard on crime. Mr. Wilders is even on record for having said that ‘street criminals’ should be kneecapped, and criminals with a double nationality should be deprived of their Dutch citizenship and sent back to the country of their other nationality. It’s coarse statements like these that earned him his electorate. It now seems such a staunch and coarse outlook on society has backfired.

Somehow, political parties like this attract the wrong people. Within a few months of coming to power, the PVV has had to deal with several members of parliament that turned out to be the very street and other types of criminals it purports to battle. Before that, there were some odd newsreels too. A small list of disasters.

Mr. Brinkman, who I september 2009 was said to have hit a barman while inebriated. He denied having hit the man, but admitted to having a drinking problem. A while later charges were filed against him for attempted manslaughter by a builder who was refurbishing a farmhouse for him. The case was dismissed conditionally.

Mr. Graus, who in 2003 faced charges by two women for stalking, abuse and threats, who was claimed to have abused his eight months pregnant wife and threatened to kill his father in law. None of the charges were followed up on.

Mr. Sharpe, who had been fined by the Hungarian authorities for misleading his clients when he ran a company over there and who as an athlete had been suspended for half a year for assaulting a fellow athlete. Mr. Sharpe did the honorable thing and left parliament when all this came out in november 2010.

Mr. Lucassen, who has been actually convicted in 2002 of illicit relationships with a subordinate while serving in the army and has several charges filed against him for terrorising his neighbours. He kept silent about all this when he was selected by Mr. Wilders as a potential member of parliament. Mr. Lucassen refused to leave parliament, forcing Mr. Wilders to stand behind him, as kicking him out of the party would have meant losing the one seat needed for the government majority.

Mr. de Mos, who was found out in november 2010 to have lied on his resumé. He claimed to have been the director of a school. He also said so during an interview, but he had just been a teacher. First he tried to wriggle his way out by claiming he was cited wrongly, then it turned out the interview was taped.

Mr. van Bemmel, whose company went bankrupt and was accused by his curator of fraud. He claimed mr. van Bemmel took out money from the company just before it went bust, thus depriving creditors of their money. The legal procedures are still pending.

Mr. Hernandez, who in september 2010 was arrested for assault and spent a night in a police cell. The fight was caught on camera and procedures are still pending.

Mr. Wilders, whose party has 24 seats in parliament, has in the past years consistently made a point of the high crime rates among youths of Moroccan descent, an issue that is linked to Islam in his circles. This is not propaganda, but a real problem: crime rates among youths of Moroccan descent vary between 5.8% and 13.8%.

However, mr. Wilders may now potentially be looking at a staggering 29% among his own members of parliament.

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