The elections in the Netherlands have not brought Geert Wilders and his party to power, as we hoped they would.
But his campaign, chiefly concerned with saving his country from Islamization, has had a permanent effect on Dutch and European politics.
In order to hold on to power, Mark Rutte – then and now again prime minister – had to display a sudden resolve in dealing with the Muslim threat … well that’s not exactly how it was described, but anyway with the Turks in the Netherlands, and Turkey itself.
Robert Mackey wrote at The Intercept on the day before the election:
Pre-election polls in the Netherlands, one day before voters choose a new parliament, suggest that Prime Minister Mark Rutte could be returned to office as the head of the country’s largest party, boosted by a wave of approval for his feud with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Rutte, who is trying to stave off a challenge from the virulently anti-Muslim xenophobe Geert Wilders, provoked fury from the Turkish government on Saturday by blocking Turkey’s foreign minister from the country. The foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, had planned to rally expatriate Turks in Rotterdam, ahead of an upcoming referendum in Turkey that would alter the Turkish constitution to give the office of the presidency more power.
Geert Wilders is not a “xenophobe”. That is the nasty name his enemies call him, they being the ruling elite of the Netherlands and the other European countries who have brought hordes of hostile Muslims into Europe to be a criminal threat and a financial drain. He is “anti-Muslim” in the sense that he does not want that suicidal policy to continue. (“Virulently” is thrown in to make Wilders, his Party, and his policies seem utterly disgusting and terrifying. It implies, “I, the politically correct journalist writing this piece, hate Geert Wilders and all he stands for.”)
After Rutte barred the foreign minister, and then expelled another Turkish minister who arrived in Rotterdam by car without permission, Erdogan first compared the Dutch to Nazis and then blamed them for the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995.
That massacre was, in fact, carried out by Bosnian Serb forces who overran the town, but a lightly-armed battalion of Dutch peacekeepers did fail to prevent the slaughter.
Images of the Dutch police using water cannon and dogs to disperse protests by Erdogan supporters in Rotterdam angered Turkish officials, but appeared to please the tabloid press and its readers in the Netherlands.
The Dutch pollster Maurice de Hond reported that 86 percent of those surveyed supported Rutte’s handling of the crisis, including an identical number of Wilders supporters.
As tensions between the two countries continued to escalate, members of President Erdogan’s ruling party beat a Norwegian journalist in Istanbul they mistook for a Dutch national, and Prime Minister Rutte told the BBC the Turkish leader’s comments were “more and more hysterical by the day”.
Wilders, a former member of Rutte’s center-right VVD party [Party for Freedom and Democracy] who now campaigns almost exclusively on a hatred of Islam — and praised Donald Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States — helped to stoke anti-Turkish sentiment last week, when he appeared outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague, surrounded by his bodyguards, and holding a banner that read: “Stay Away — This Is Our Country”.
Islam is a totalitarian, supremacist ideology. Everyone should hate it. And the reason Geert Wilders has those bodyguards – which the writer seems to be mocking him for, as if he were guilty of paranoia or cowardice – is that his life has been seriously threatened by you-can-guess-whom.
After Rutte’s crackdown on Erdogan supporters seemed to increase his popularity, Wilders tried to up the ante, calling for the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands to be expelled along with his entire staff.
In response, Rutte told Wilders during a televised debate on Monday night that there was “a difference between tweeting from a couch and leading the country”. Wilders’ desire to escalate the confrontation even further, Rutte said, showed that he was not fit to lead the country.
In polling conducted after the start of the crisis, Rutte’s center-right party, the VVD, appeared to gain in projected vote-share, and seemed likely to emerge as the largest party in the next parliament, as the Wilders-led PVV [Party for Freedom] slipped to second in one poll and as far as fifth in another.
Buoyed by this surge in support, Rutte told the BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse on Tuesday that he expected to defeat Wilders and keep the Netherlands from following in the footsteps of Britain and the United States by handing power to anti-immigrant extremists.
Despite a large number of undecided voters on the eve of the election, the Dutch system of proportional representation, combined with a splintering of support among a dozen or more parties, makes it likely that no one party will take more than 20 percent of the overall vote for the 150-seat parliament.
Even if the polls are off, and Wilders does emerge as the leader of the largest party, political analysts put his chances of leading the next coalition government at “the square root of not much” …
Well, now the election has been held.
Daniel Greenfield at Front Page tells “the real story of the Dutch election”:
The truly final results will only be known next week. But the current numbers show that the Freedom Party [led by Geert Wilders] has become the second largest political party in Parliament having gained five seats while the Labor Party has disastrously lost 29 seats.
Labor hit a post-war low. The media is spinning this as Prime Minister Rutte’s defeat of Geert Wilders, but the Labor half of the Second Rutte Cabinet just went up in flames. VVD [led by Mark Rutte] lost quite a few seats, but remains the largest party only because so much of the overall vote had dissipated. Rutte will now have to awkwardly build an unstable coalition out of four parties just to avoid dealing with Wilders.
It is quite possible though that Rutte will be trading the somewhat moderate Labor for GroenLinks [Green Left] which was formed out of, among others, the Communist Party of the Netherlands. When the media cheers that the “moderates” have defeated that terrible extremist, Geert Wilders, what they aren’t mentioning is that the alternative “moderate” coalitions may include the daughter party of the Communist Party.
The election was, in a sense, always rigged. The political system of the Netherlands fragments the vote and then puts it back together in government coalitions. The demonization of Wilders and the PVV was meant to ensure that even if his political party had won a majority, it would not have been allowed to form a government. And so Wilders won more by being in the second spot than by achieving the majority that some polls had predicted, while leaving the PVV unable to form a government.
Despite the attempts to kill it, smear it and destroy it, the Freedom Party continues to rise. And its enemies are being forced to respond to its ideas. The dangerous campaign by Turkey’s Islamist butcher, complete with threats and intimidation, helped Rutte salvage his government. But not his coalition.
The centrist politics that made Rutte’s government possible are imploding. The decline of Rutte’s VVD and Labor is an unmistakable rejection of the status quo. The gains in this election flowed to parties further out on the spectrum on the right and the left. The traditionally moderate Dutch are losing their patience. The polarization is eliminating the center and replacing it with some hard choices. …
Wilders had spoken of a “Patriotic Spring” sweeping the West. After the election, he said that the election results were a thing to be proud of. “The Patriotic Spring continues onward. And it has only begun.”
The media’s celebrations may also be badly misguided for another reason. In the wake of Brexit, the media largely forgot how it had mocked UKIP and [its leader] [Nigel] Farage as failures. But a political party doesn’t always have to win elections to have an impact. Rigging the system against UKIP didn’t keep the UK in the EU. Instead it ultimately had the opposite effect. Keeping Wilders and the PVV down may backfire.
Geert Wilders has fundamentally changed the conversation about Islam and immigration. And the political parties of the Netherlands are increasingly reacting to him. Wilders took an election in a country whose political shifts are generally of little interest to those living outside it and made it a matter of international interest. His courage and common sense have made him into a world leader.
Wilders had the courage to defy the assassins and murderers, the politically correct scolds and the bleeding hearts, the pallid men and women who counsel moderation in all things and at all times, to tell the truth about Islam and Islamic migration. That is what he will go on doing even as he lives under threat. And his courage inspires opponents of the Jihad in the Netherlands and around the world.
This election was an erosion of faith in the establishment and a show of support for Wilders. To become Prime Minister Wilders, the PVV will either need a truly massive victory or a fundamental change in the political environment. Wilders understands this. He knows that the role of his party is to fight a failing establishment. Everything he does builds support and momentum for either of the two roads.
The media is cheering a defeat that never happened. And just as with Brexit, it may find that it had overlooked the seeds of its own destruction in the dirty politics of its own making.
“This patriotic revolution,” Geert Wilders said, “whether today or tomorrow, will take place anyway.”
We fervently hope it will – in the Netherlands and other European countries. If it does not, Europe will be lost to the hideous tyranny of Islam.
The corrective effects of Donald Trump’s victory on the wider world have started.
The first thing it is doing is striking fear into the hearts of those who need to be made to fear.
Who are they? They are the Powers that rule us.
They have silenced the voice of the people by creating the undemocratic European Union. They do their utmost to impose their orthodoxy by suppressing freedom of speech.
Most of the press and the mainstream media are their lackeys.
And now, inspired by the British exit from the EU by popular vote, and even more by the triumph of Donald Trump, the suppressed are emboldened to speak out, to protest, to challenge the power of Their power.
They know it, they fear it, and they admit that they fear it.
Reuters, one of the leading media lackeys, “reports” the parties and organizations that pose the threat – without recognizing that some of them are corrective movements. The word “populist“ is applied to all of them, and considered enough to condemn all of them. But in this article the groups cited make a very mixed bag. All they have in common is that they threaten the monopoly of power that the Establishment now holds.
Back in May, when Donald’s Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election seemed the remotest of possibilities, a senior European official took to Twitter before a G7 summit in Tokyo to warn of a “horror scenario“.
Imagine, mused the official, if instead of Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi, next year’s meeting of the club of rich nations included Trump, Marine Le Pen, Boris Johnson and Beppe Grillo.
A month after Martin Selmayr, the head of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet made the comment, Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. Cameron stepped down as prime minister and Johnson – the former London mayor who helped swing Britons behind Brexit – became foreign minister.
Now, with Trump’s triumph over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the populist tsunami that seemed outlandish a few months ago is becoming reality, and the consequences for Europe’s own political landscape are potentially huge.
In 2017, voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany – and possibly in Italy and Britain too – will vote in elections that could be colored by the triumphs of Trump and Brexit, and the toxic politics that drove those campaigns.
The lessons will not be lost on continental Europe’s populist parties, who hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a body blow for the political mainstream.
“Toxic politics”? “Toxic” because they are “populist”. “Populist” simply means “of the people”. But the Establishment and its media lackeys use it to imply the will of a rabble, a frenzied mob, driven by foaming irrational hate to do violence for no reason but a sheer lust for destruction – the very thing Leftist mobs do so often under the banners of, for instance, the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Politics will never be the same,” said Geert Wilders of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party. “What happened in America can happen in Europe and the Netherlands as well.”
Geert Wilders’s party “far right”? Read his latest speech here. He is proud of the Dutch tradition of freedom, tolerance, impartial justice. He is a patriot, a defender of the nation-state of Holland. That does not make him a Nazi, which is what Reuters, and all those for whom Reuters speaks, mean to imply by the label “far right”.
French National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was similarly ebullient. “Today the United States, tomorrow France,” Le Pen, the father of the party’s leader Marine Le Pen, tweeted.
Aligning Marine Le Pen with her father Jean-Marie Le Pen is again an attempt to apply the “far right” or “Nazi” smear. She did take over the leadership of the originally neo-Nazi Front National from her father, but changed it into a tolerant conservative party, expelling members who held pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic views.
Daniela Schwarzer, director of research at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), said Trump’s bare-fisted tactics against his opponents and the media provided a model for populist European parties that have exercised comparative restraint on a continent that still remembers World War Two.
Again the implied smear: Trump “with his bare-fisted tactics” is corrupting the people of Europe hitherto restrained from active “populist” political action -“restrained” because they “remember World War Two” – ie. they have an impulse to be Nazis, and now are likely to break out in full Nazi form, inspired to it by Trump. Implication: Trump is a Nazi.
“The broken taboos, the extent of political conflict, the aggression that we’ve seen from Trump, this can widen the scope of what becomes thinkable in our own political culture,” Schwarzer said.
The “taboos” are those imposed by the Establishment. They are the locks on the lips of the people. That is the suppression of free speech.
Eyes on Austria next:
Early next month, Austrians will vote in a presidential election that could see Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party become the first far-right head of state to be freely elected in western Europe since 1945.
The Austrian Freedom Party was founded by a Nazi, an erstwhile SS officer, but moved away from its Nazi roots. It formed an alliance, temporarily , with the Social Democratic Party. What does it stand for? Pretty well everything. It is a “liberal” party, a “social welfare” party, but it favors “privatization” and low taxes. It has been described as “right-wing populist”, “national conservative”, and “national liberal”. It calls itself libertarian, and holds individual freedom as one of its highest principles. It is strongly anti-establishment and against Muslim immigration into Austria.
Now to Italy:
On the same day, a constitutional reform referendum on which Prime Minister Renzi has staked his future could upset the political order in Italy, pushing Grillo’s left-wing 5-Star movement closer to the reins of power.
So here’s a rebel movement against the Establishment that even Reuters cannot smear with the label “far right”. It calls itself a “left-wing” movement. But it also calls itself “populist”, “anti-establishment”, “anti-globalist”, and against the undemocratic European Union. One thing it also believes in that puts it decidedly on the left, is Environmentalism.
“An epoch has gone up in flames,” Grillo said. “The real demagogues are the press, intellectuals, who are anchored to a world that no longer exists.”
He dares to say it!
On to Poland and Hungary, where the Muslim invasion is not welcomed by their governments. That alone, of course, in the eyes of the Establishment makes them “right-wing”. Yes, they are nationalists, and nationalism now, in the age of the EU, of the Establishment’s preference for “open borders” and globalization, is the very essence of “Far Rightism”.
Right-wing nationalists are already running governments in Poland and Hungary.
But that’s Eastern Europe, where they are inclined to be more nationalist because of their years under the heel of International Communism, aka the Soviet Union.
In Western Europe, the likelihood of a Trump figure taking power seems remote for now.
In Europe’s parliamentary democracies, traditional parties from the right and left have set aside historical rivalries, banding together to keep out the populists.
Banding together, as in certain ways Republicans and Democrats have been doing for the last eight years in Washington, D.C., to safeguard their power. They are the Establishment in America against which Trump is leading a movement of the people.
But the lesson from the Brexit vote is that parties do not have to be in government to shape the political debate, said Tina Fordham, chief global political analyst at Citi. She cited the anti-EU UK Independence Party which has just one seat in the Westminster parliament.
“UKIP did poorly in the last election but had a huge amount influence over the political dynamic in Britain,” Fordham said. “The combination of the Brexit campaign and Trump have absolutely changed the way campaigns are run.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a “supersized Brexit”.
As new political movements emerge, traditional parties will find it increasingly difficult to form coalitions and hold them together.
Now a look at Spain:
In Spain, incumbent Mariano Rajoy was returned to power last week but only after two inconclusive elections in which voters fled his conservatives and their traditional rival on the left, the Socialists, for two new parties, Podemos and Ciudadanos.
Podemos is a left-wing party, and Cuidadanos a “liberal-progressive, postnationalist” party – so also left-wing. Their inclusion in an article about the fear of the European Establishment is because they too are “populist”.
After 10 months of political limbo, Rajoy finds himself atop a minority government that is expected to struggle to pass laws, implement reforms and plug holes in Spain’s public finances.
The virus of political fragility could spread next year from Spain to the Netherlands, where Wilders’s Freedom Party is neck-and-neck in opinion polls with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberals.
That was a bad segue. What is happening in the Netherlands is not, and will not be, a result of anything that is happening in Spain. But Reuters is now taking a wide view over Western Europe.
For Rutte to stay in power after the election in March, he may be forced to consider novel, less-stable coalition options with an array of smaller parties, including the Greens.
In Europe, the Greens are a mainstream movement, forming mainstream political parties.
In France, which has a presidential system, the chances of Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, emerging victorious are seen as slim.
The odds-on favorite to win the presidential election next spring is Alain Juppe, a 71-year-old centrist with extensive experience in government who has tapped into a yearning for responsible leadership after a decade of disappointment from Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.
But in a sign of Le Pen’s strength, polls show she will win more support than any other politician in the first round of the election. Even if she loses the second round run-off, as polls suggest, her performance is likely to be seen as a watershed moment for continental Europe’s far-right.
It could give her a powerful platform from which to fight the reforms that Juppe and his conservative rivals for the presidency are promising.
In Germany, where voters go to the polls next autumn, far-right parties have struggled to gain a foothold in the post-war era because of the dark history of the Nazis, but that too is changing.
The trick of the Left to label Nazism a “right-wing” movement continues to stick. The Nazis were of course National Socialists. Their rivals for power were the International Socialists – the Communists. (Then Nazi Germany made a pact with Communist Russia. Both invaded Poland. Later the two totalitarian Socialist countries fought each other.)
Reuters does not mention PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West). It was started in Dresden in October 2014, and now is not only a significant force in Germany, but has branches in other European countries, including Britain. It is a nationalist movement, and it is, above all, against the Islamic invasion of Europe, so of course the press always labels it “far right”. The report deals with another movement, as strongly against Muslim immigration, which participates in elections as a political party:
Just three years old, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), has become a force at the national level, unsettling Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who have been punished in a series of regional votes because of her welcoming policy toward refugees.
The AfD is specifically against Muslim immigration. The Left does not like to mention the word “Muslim”.
Merkel could announce as early as next month that she plans to run for a fourth term, and if she does run, current polls suggest she would win.
But she would do so as a diminished figure in a country that is perhaps more divided than at any time in the post-war era. Even Merkel’s conservative sister party, the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has refused to endorse her.
So all over Europe there are populist movements rising against the undemocratic Leftist Islam-favoring Establishment. They dare to be opposed to big government, statism, collectivism, redistribution, open borders, world government, mass Muslim immigration, a globalized economy, and the elitist class that dictates the direction of the world towards those goals, and for which the retention and augmentation of their own power is the only thing that genuinely matters to them.
The populist movements have been timid or “restrained”. But now that America has voted for a populist leader, they will swell in number, become more demanding, perhaps appeal to a majority of voters, perhaps take power as ruling government parties. And they will defy the “taboos”. They will bare their knuckles. They will speak freely, even against Islam. They may go so far as to withdraw their countries from the EU; close borders; stop and even reverse the tide of Islamic immigration; resist globalization.
They may overthrow the Establishment, chuck the corrupt Clinton-type cabals out.
They really are much to be feared.
They are the hope of the West.