If there’s one thing you can’t accuse hard-line integration minister Rita Verdonk of, it’s bowing out of the cabinet gracefully… yesterday the Iron Lady once again showed her mettle by joining Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV party, in calling into question the loyalty of immigrants.
Wilders wants a new law banning people with double nationality from becoming MPs or ministers. Quite an insult to two new cabinet members, the respected junior ministers for education and justice, Ahmed Aboutaleb and Nebahat Albayrak.
While most decent politicians and the media rightly pay little attention to such utterances from Wilders, they are given extensive coverage when mouthed by Verdonk. And however negative that coverage, a sneaky admiration for the minister’s audacity always seems to creep in…
Verdonk is under the illusion that by keeping only their Dutch passports, MPs from ethnic minorities will ‘radiate their pride in being Dutch’. What she really means is that this is a good way to deny full democracy to around one million Dutch citizens who hold a second passport, including queen-to-be Maxima.
Still, Rita may now be a simple opposition MP but we have not heard the last of her. Making sure she’s the centre of attention seems to be what she’s about.
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