On 18 February 1943, in his famous Sport Palast speech, Joseph Goebbels asked the German population whether they wanted “der Totaler Krieg”, Total War. Almost sixty years on, Geert Wilders uses the same imagery in his first speech at his new trial. Accused of discrimination and incitement of hatred against Muslims, he doubles down on his racist kookery, using not just Goebbels’ Total War, but also the famous Chruchill quote about “all over Europe the lights are going out”.
The new fascism comes partially clothed in the language of anti-fascism, of freedom, but betrays itself with its obsessions. Wilders talks about defending freedom, but paints the whole Muslim world as “a desert”, all Muslims as “creators of deserts”, of a people without a Mozart, a Bill Gates, of an ideology (sic) that can only produce murder and manslaugther, whose societies can only be barbaric and backward. And in this they are supported by the “multicultural elites of Europe waging total war on their own peoples”. We’ve gotten used to similar sort of outbursts, Isloam bashing has sadly gone mainstream in the past decade, but we can still get to know its evil if we translate it into the ideology of seventy years ago, with some simple search and replaces of the key words in Wilders’ speech:
President, members of the court,
Lights are fading out all over Europe. Everywhere on the continent where our civilization flourished and where man created liberty, prosperity and culture, everywhere the foundation of the West is under fire. Everywhere in Europe the elites act as the defenders of an ideology that has been out for our destruction for over 30 centuries
(Plaintiff: Mr. president, may I leave the room?)
(Judge presiding: You may leave the room if you do so quietly)
An ideology that originates from the desert and one that can only produce deserts, because it doesn’t allow man to be free. The Jewish Mozart, the Jewish Gerard Reve, the Jewish Bill Gates, they do not exist, because there can be no creativity without liberty.
And I believe, with everything I have in me, that Judaism is an ideology that distinguishes itself in murder and manslaughter only, that only brings forth societies that are backward and impoverished. And strangely, those same elites won’t tolerate any negative word about this ideology.
My trial is not an isolated incident. Only the ignorant think it is.
Throughout Europe, not just in the Netherlands, but in Europe as a whole, multiculturalist elites are fighting a total war against their people, with continuing mass immigration and Judaismisation at stake, ultimately resulting in an Jewish Europe. A Europe without liberty. Eurozion
All over Europe the lights are going out.
Who thinks and speaks independently, is in danger, freedom loving citizens that criticize Judaism or even only dare to suggest there is a correlation between Judaism and criminality or, for instance, honour revenge, pay a bitter price. And are threatened, persecuted and criminalized. He who speaks, who speaks the truth, is in danger.
All over Europe the lights are going out.
Everywhere the Orwellian thought police are at the ready, looking out for thought-crime everywhere. Everywhere looking to throw the people back within the lines within which they are supposed to think.
This trial, Mr. president, members of the court, is hence not just about me.
It is about something much bigger. Freedom of opinion is not the property of the accidental elite of a country. It is an inalienable right, the birth right of the Dutch people as well. Centuries have been spent fighting for it and now it is about to be sacrifices to accommodate a totalitarian ideology.
Future generations will watch, and look back on this trial, and wonder who was on the good side and who wasn’t. Who stood for liberty and who wanted to sell out liberty.
All over Europe the lights are going out.
Everywhere our liberty is being curtailed. That is why I will close with the words I also spoke last year during the first session. It is not only the right, but also the duty of free people, to speak out against any ideology that threatens our liberty.
It is hence a right as well as a duty, my right and my duty as a member of parliament as well, to speak the truth about the malignant ideology that is Judaism.
I hope the freedom of opinion will be victorious in this trial, I hope not only that I will be acquitted, but above all that the freedom of opinion of so many Dutch and so many Europeans, will continue to exist.
The government today announced that it would propose a new police mission in Afghanistan to parliament, even though it was this exact same issue that caused the previous government to stumble. But with the coalition partner (PvdA/Dutch Labour) that then objected now in opposition and the two parties that form the current minority government both having been firm supporters of the original proposal, it was just a question of time before it would be back on the agenda again.
At first view it looks innocent enough, to get some twohundred or so civilian cops to Afghanistan to help train the locals, but the devil is in the details. With them some 300 odd soldiers would be traveling back into Afghanistan as well, to provide security, support and liason duties with other NATO forces in the area. There would be four F-16 jets coming along as well, again to provide air support for this supposedly civilian mission. I can’t help but see this as the thin end of the wedge — once we have some fivehundred plus soldiers and cops stationed again in northern Afghanistan, it will become that much easier to extend and enlargen their mission and before you know it we’re creeping back into the war again. Which is something the current government parties, who didn’t agree with the end of the original Dutch involvement in the War in the first place, would not mind at all.
Ironically, the opposition against this proposal is likely to contain both Geert Wilders’ party and its fiercest critics, the PvdA and Socialist Party. The latter because it’s opposed in principle to any involvement, the former because it sees no good in letting “our boys” risk their skins for foreigners, especially when the government needs to cut spending on policing anyway and we need those cops on our streets….
So after the troubles with “Freedom” Party (PVV) member of parliament Eric Lucassen, who turned out to have been a neighbourhood bully as well as fond of (consensually) fondling women in his chain of command when he was in the military, you might think the worst was over for Geert Wilders, but you’d be wrong. Since then the floodgates have opened, with several more members turning out to have been a bit naughty. There was the guy who transformed his old job of teacher into having been a school director on his resume for example, a surprisingly common sort of vanity amongst Wilders’ MPs. More serious was the case of James Sharpe, whose Hungarian company was allegedly fined for text message fraud, while he himself was also accused of battery, supposedly having hit a sporting buddy with a spiked shoe. Sharpe resigned on Thursday, denying either allegation was true, but tired of having to do so.
This was still not the end of the trouble for Wilders. Today it was MP Marcial Hernandez who was in the spotlights, accused of having headbutted a civil servant in a “well known pub” in Den Haag. This incident had been in the news before, but had gone nowhere, with Wilders defending him, saying that Hernandez had denied headbutting anybody and he had no choice but to believe him. But today it turned out the public prosecutor had video evidence, from the security cameras in the pub, while Hernadez’s victim has complained to the police. Whoops.
You wonder where it will all end. The doom scenario Wilders must have nightmares about, is what happened to his idol, Pim Fortuyn, when they had won the elections after Fortuyn’s murder. Without Fortuyn the party tore itself and the government apart in a few months. Wilders has been determined the same would not happen to him, keeping strict control of his party. The PVV has no members, no internal democracy, but just Wilders making all the decisions, vetting candidates and so on in an attempt to make sure he would not be saddled by the same sort of changers that joined Fortuyn’s party.
Unfortunately for him, this approach causes its own problems. For a start, having no members means little to no income for the party, hence no money to vet prospective candidates professionally, which would’ve prevented some of the embarassement the PVV is going through now. Meanwhile, the fact that Wilders can overrule his own MPs is causing annoyance within the government parties and opposition alike: you can’t make deals with PVV MPs as Wilders will overrule them. And with next year’s provincial elections coming up for which the PVV neds a couple of hundred of candidates and for which only Wilders and his MPs are available to interview and vet them, on top of their work in parliament — how well do you think this will be done?
No wonder one of his closest confidants, Hero Brinkman (who himself had a bit of a drinking problem), is calling for more democracy within the party. He argues that if the PVV had been a proper party, with members and local chapters a lot of the problems it’s been having could’ve been avoided. Other PVV members of parliament disagree though: that makes the way free for the wrong sort of people to infiltrate the party and before you know it, the PVV would think Islam was only a religion not a dangerous terrorist ideology!
Dutch political news has been consumed this past week by the strange saga of Eric Lucassen, Dutch M.P. for Geert Wilders’ “Freedom” Party (PVV) and its spokeperson on defence and neighbourhoods. That last might seem an odd subject, but has become one of the buzzwords of modern Dutch politics, somewhat of a dogwhistle as well, as we’ve belately rediscovered that the old city neighbourhoods have been somewhat neglected and not very nice places to live in, not to mention full of foreigners. Though on the whole the Netherlands never had to deal with mass deindustrialisation on the scale as what happened in the North of England, nor ever had ghettos even roughly comparable with the classic American ghettos, every now and again we do get a moral panic about what we’ve done to our cities. In centre left politics this than manifestates as attempts at artificial gentrification, on the right it’s more about getting tough on crime and disorder, which quite easily transforms into getting tough on people of colour, especially young people of colour. Wilders and the PVV used this to win the last elections and Lucassen there held quite an important post within the party.
Until an interested newspaper started talking to his former neighbours and discovered that Lucassen himself might have been a bit of a bully…
Quite a shock to discover that an authoritarian politician is a bully in real life, I know, but the facts are there. He insulted and threatened several people, threw a bucket of water over a seventytwo year old man, shorting out his hearing aid, called one woman a fat pig, not to mentioned threatened yet another family with sulphuric acid — and all this supposedly caused by an argument about dogshit.
Bad enough, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. He also turned out to have played a minor role in a big sexual abuse case when he was still in the army back in 2002. Military instructors had been having sex, voluntarily or otherwise, with the women they had been training at the barracks Lucassen also worked. He himself was disciplined by a military court for having had a relationship with at least one woman in his chain of command, consensual though still improper.
There have been other scandals with PVV MPs, but this has been the first big test of Geert Wilders and his party. Arguably Lucassen’s track record meant that he was not suitable as a member of parliament, especially so since he had failed to mention any of this to Wilders. On the other hand, the current government only has a majority in parliament with the support of the PVV and this majority is only one seat big. Lucassen can not be forced to give up his seat to his party: once elected the seat was his until the next election, not the party’s. Only by his own resignation would it be freed up for a more suitable person. If Wilders therefore kicks him out of his party, that would mean Lucassen could go on as an independent MP and the majority of the government therefore would rest on the support of a loose cannon, unhindered by party loyalty. Not the best outcome for Wilders, or the government.
Yet Wilders has spent years hammering his law and order credentials, accusing the leftwing parties of mollycoddling criminals and decrying any leniency towards them. He has also spent most of the past decade attacking people, both inside and outside parliament, for dodgy behaviour, e.g. doubting the integrity of two ministers in the last government for having a double nationality… So here is a member of his own party with a criminal past, accused and convicted of the same kind of antisocial behaviour has party had promised to punish severely. So surely he would throw Lucassen out of the PVV, right?
Of course not. Political expedience trumped principles, just like it would’ve for every other politician. It’s a huge blow for his image as harsh but honest spokesman of the silent majority, as he casts aside his socalled principles the first time they get him in hot water. For those of us who have hated his guts from the first time he opened his odious little mouth however, it’s immensely satisfying to seem him hoist on his own petard. About time too.
That’s the conclusion an Amnesty International led symposium reached last Friday, due to our immigration policies and especially the detention of socalled illegal immigrants. Between eight and ten thousand immigrants are jailed each year without having comitted a crime and they stay there on average some 97 days, with twenty percent being in prison for half a year or longer. These are people who have applied for asylum or leave to remain but were rejected and/or who didn’t have the right kind of documents and I.D. Perhaps the worst thing about it is that many of those jailed will leave prison without being either deported or leave to remain, but are just thrown out on the streets again, to be jailed again the next time the police taks to them.
Once in prison you can’t do anything but sit in your cell. Neither work nor study is allowed, contact with the outside world is limited and there is little to no organised activity within prison. In some cases the detention centre is worse than a regular prison is ever allowed to be, which means murderers and rapists are treated better than people whose only fault was to not have the right kind of papers.
The criticism isn’t new, as it’s largely unchanged from the criticism in the 2008 Amnesty International report on migrant detention in the Netherlands (PDF). What’s worrying is that the current government is much more hardlined on migration, actually planning to make not having valid papers a crime. It also wants to “intensify” deportion policies i.e. wants to deport more people more often. Already the government tried to deport Iraki Chritians depsite having recieved a letter from the European Court of Human Rights forbidding this. Incidently the responsible minister, Gerd Leers, was once mayor of Maastricht but had to leave his post because of alleged corruption — nothing proven, but enough smoke that the city council was afraid to find fire and sacked him.
But that’s just a coincidence. It doesn’t matter whether Leers is corrupt or not, because we’ve seen the immigration policies of successive governments in the Netherlands only get worse during the past decade. For a certain part of the electorate, being tough on immigration is a good thing and whether or not the methods use are illegal or immortal is not important. With the PVV feeding the flames of xenophobia (loudly drumming on their desks during the emergency debate about the deportation of those Iraqi refugees) and our rightwing minority government dependent on their support, I expect things will be getting worser still. There certainly doesn’t seem to have been any great rush in improving migrant detention after the publication of Amnesty’s first report two years ago…
Sometimes rightwing populism backfires, as Geert Wilders’ party the PVV found out last week. A PVV member of the Den Haag city council proposed an “allochtonenstop” in amateur football, in response to the supposed “flood of problems” football clubs with too many non-western immigrant members were having. According to Richard de Mos (also a PVV member of parliament), such people don’t volunteer for their clubs, are disrespectful and responsible for daily violence on the football pitch. To combat this behaviour clubs should stop accepting new non-western immigrants as members.
Deliberately controversial, this sort of proposal is what helped make the PVV into the third biggest party in the Netherlands. You just make up a lot of stupid but tough sounding shit about Muslims or “non-western immigrants” that reinforce already existing stereotypes in your base, let the experts explain why you’re wrong but emerge as the party of common sense, in touch with the public mood, unlike the elitist eggheads who refuse to see deportation of all muslims to Texel is the right answer to Holland’s crime problems.
This time, it failed spectacularly. Because this time the PVV talked nonsense on a subject their voters actually knew something about. Too many people voluntarily spent their weekend running around wet and cold football pitches to believe this nonsense about foreigners running amateur football. this time therefore the backlash came not just from the experts, but from the very same people the PVV normally has on their side. Richard de Vos forgot that if you want to bullshit people, best not attempt that on subjects they actually know something about…
In short: the PVV got roundly thrashed on this proposal, with everybody from the Dutch football union on down ridiculing it.