If the thought wasn’t so frightening it would actually be deeply amusing. Disintegration Minister Rita Verdonk has set her sights on the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the next Balkenende cabinet (number four at the last count but, judging by past history, it’s bound to rise if – God forbid – the CDA do indeed lead the next government).

Perhaps even more frighteningly, ‘Iron Rita’ has already said she would love to get her clutches on the ‘education, health and spatial planning ministries, where her blinkered vision could wreak total havoc.
VVD leader Mark Rutte seemed unpleasantly surprised by his fellow party member’s announcement of her plans, saying he would decide who became Deputy Prime Minister if the VVD is part of the next cabinet.
But in Verdonk’s strange universe: what she says goes. She was no doubt convinced she was right when she repeatedly lied to parliament about the mishandling of asylum seekers’ applications – even after being fined for it by the Dutch courts (we paid the fines!).
Or when she faced a record number of votes of no-confidence in parliament. Or even when she polarised the country with her misguided and draconian approach to immigration. She actually believes she should be Deputy PM? Proof surely that Rita really is barking mad.

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