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Geert Wilders: The first truly European politician?

Posted by Jason O on Mar 8, 2010 in European Union |

Geert Wilders: Connecting with many Europeans.

Geert Wilders: Connecting with many Europeans.

I don’t like Geert Wilders, because, whereas I do agree with some of his conclusions, I’m loath to pigeonhole any group of people because of their religion. Muslims are no more all anti-democrats than Irish Catholics are all pedophiles. Yet here we are, discussing a Dutch politician who may be the next prime minister of the Netherlands. Can anyone name any other Dutch politicians? That’s not a reflection on Dutch politicians (I have a bit of a liking for the Democraten 66 party myself) as I doubt many Dutch people could name many Irish politicians short of Gerry Adams either. But Wilders is building a pan-European profile because he is a) a brilliant self publicist, and b) talking about things which, whether you agree or not, connect with many ordinary Europeans. We worried unnecessarily about Declan Ganley’s Libertas. We should be worried about a pan-European Wilders party, because he’s putting out a message than rings true with Europeans far more than anything the EU has managed to communicate in recent times. And, as the Dutch polls are showing, he’s reaching beyond the usual BNP-style scum that you’d expect to vote for him.

7 Comments

Leon J Williams
Mar 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Indeed it is truly worrying but is he really likely to win the next Dutch elections?


 
Jason O
Mar 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Apparently he’s heading the polls at the moment in the 20s. Fortunately, as the Netherlands does not use first past the post it’s impossible for him to win an overall majority.


 
Daniel T
Mar 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

To make a long story short, yes Wilders is leading the polls, but him winning the next elections is unlikely, let alone for him entering or even leading the Dutch government. His results in last week’s local elections were below his results at the last European elections. His PVV, furthermore, is a movement, not a democratic party. It’s his movement. He decides the programme – if any – and selects the candidates – already last year he decided only to run in two local councils for the lack of suitable candidates. What if he has to select a full list of candidates for the parliamentary elections? Would he manage? If he would win many seats, it would be unlikely that these will be occupied by experienced people. He doesn’t have any interest either, because he should remain the one “calling the shots.” He is an outsider and, I believe, wants to remain one as such.

Therefore we should not be overly worried. It’s only his message that rings true with Europeans, but he will never leave room for other leading persons in his movement, not in the Netherlands, let alone at European level.


 
french derek
Mar 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Wilders is dangerous. Maybe not now but, like Hitler, the momentum could build up. Like Hitler and the Jews (what’s Wilders’ view there?), he is playing on people’s real lack of understanding of Islam (Judaism) and also their current economic worries. When things get bad, it’s easy to look for a scapegoat – Jews/Muslims/any immigrant community “not like us”; and to believe rumours (lies even) that people like Hitler and Wilders find it so easy to spread about those scapegoats.

This is a phenomenon that surges from time to time in almost every country. It comes in with the tide of economic woes. And leaves the detritus of the likes of Wilders stinking on the beach.

Are you a Christian? But what sort – RC, Anglican, Russian Orthodox, born-again ….? You might have what others think are extremist Christian views – eg creationism, anti-abortion, etc – that lead you to take extreme action (killing non-believers, prescribing modes of dress and of living, etc).

But maybe you’re a Jew? But what sort – … do I need to list the various factions and groupings?

Ditto for Muslims.

In other words, what Mr Wilders might know (but most of his audience probably don’t know) is that Islam is just another religion. It has moderates and extremists, each drawing upon their religion’s authorised texts to support their position and their arguments.

The problem that Muslims have is that they are more usually perceived as middle-eastern in appearance (though the majority live elsewhere), dress differently (though again the majority don’t), etc. In other words, the perception is “they are not like us”. And that is the lie that Wilders spreads.


 
Axel
Mar 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Well, he could become a real danger. I doubt though whether he would be able to gather much support in the rest of Europe. Basically, he is very intolerant and too many people will be offended by him and his ideas sooner or later (luckily). Besides that, his only campaign is a campaign of fear. Yes, he is a communicative expert and takes full advantage of it. The media and other politicians are soo stupid to continuously play along with his game. Nonetheless, the fact that he does not offer one single solution (at least none that are within the current legal frameworks) will evolve in a slow death after a big political win. His party will slowly disappear and when he becomes our prime minister, that process will evolve even quicker. The only thing i hope is that these ignorant old fashioned political parties finally will learn a lesson. They did not after LPF / Pim Fortuyn, who was far less dangerous, almost grew to be the biggest party and new PM in 2002. Should he become the first ‘real European’ politician, then it would damage the EU immensly. Large parts of the world would see Europe as the new agressor, and would ignore or boycot the EU.


 

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