Be afraid: Geert Wilders released his platform for next year’s election

Photo via Wikimedia

One could say that this is a fitting end for a week of Euro cruelty, yet another hit on the vulnerable. Geert Wilders, the Dutch poster man of the rabid, angry racists all over the Western world has released a new “platform”, which he calls a “manifesto” in view of next year’s general elections in The Netherlands. I could write so many words explaining point by point why this is outrageous, unacceptable, racist, discriminatory. Instead, none of those words would get to the heart of the problem. His platform is all of those things but there is another word, usually not used in political analysis that applies better: his platform is deliberately hurtful. If the kind of political cruelty I’ve been writing about lately could be summed up in bullet point format, this would be it.

I don’t know if international media will pick this up (or to what extent) so I’ll do my best to translate:

via Roel Geeraedts on Twitter

“Enough of the mass immigration, asylum, terror, violence and lack of safety.

Here is our plan: instead of financing the entire world and the people we do not want here, we give our money back to the common Dutch person.

This is what the PVV [ed: name of Geert Wilders’ party or “Party for Freedom” in English] will do:

1) de-islamize the Netherlands

- Zero asylum seekers and no more immigrants from Muslim countries: we are closing our borders.
- Withdrawal of all residence permits already granted to asylum seekers; asylum seeker centers closed down.
- No more Muslim veils in public functions
- Ban of overall Muslim expressions that are against the public order
- Preventive incarceration of radical Muslims
- Criminals with double nationality stripped of their Dutch citizenship and deported
- Syrian fighters not allowed back in The Netherlands
- All Mosques and Muslim schools are to be closed and the Koran banned.

2) The Netherlands will reclaim its independence. Therefore, we leave the EU.

3) Direct democracy: binding referendums, citizens have the power.

4) Deductible/excess in healthcare insurance is eliminated

5) Rents to be lowered

6) Age of retirement back to 65 years old. Pensions for everyone.

7) No more money for foreign aid, windmills, art, innovation, public broadcasters, etc.

8) Past budget cuts involving care will be reversed.

9) Plenty extra funds for defense and police

10) Lower income taxes

11) 50% reduction for vehicle ownership taxes

Financial benefits per point [ED: the savings for the Dutch State that each of his points will provide]

1. + 7.2 billion Euro
2. to be calculated at a later date
3. to be calculated at a later date
4. — 3.7 billion Euro
5. — 1 billion Euro
6. — 3.5 billion Euro
7. + 10 billion Euro
8. — 2 billion Euro
9. — 2 billion Euro
10. — 3 billion Euro
11. — 2 billion Euro

I don’t have anything else to add except: according to the latest polls, his party is slated to win the elections. As if it was any consolation, political analysis claim that, even though he’s the likely winner, he probably won’t be part of the next government since other parties will probably refuse to work with him. This, of course, says nothing of the sheer volume of people willing to vote for these ideas and what it means for the safety and well being of the victims. His supporters, emboldened by the popularity, are not very likely to abide to ideas of “conviviality” or civility.

This platform is not gratuitous. It did not spring from hot air, suddenly coming to life. It is born out of the complicity of Dutch media and all the political parties that have allowed these ideas to grow on a year by year basis either unchallenged or with lukewarm reactions. Politicians of mainstream parties (I am looking at you, D66, Green Left and Socialist Party), afraid that if they are too vehement against him, they might alienate their own voter bases. It exists in the context of a society that openly celebrates racist abuse every year and a corporate world that profits from it naming it “tradition” or “heritage”. This platform, that brings to mind some of the darkest days of European history, calling for the ban of an entire religion, is part of a larger genealogy of hatred for the other. Geert Wilders did nothing terribly original. He just put it in words and is running with it.