How would the Dutch react if an MP from a former colony described the Netherlands as ‘a largely corrupt breeding ground for criminals’?
Would they allow him to attend a top-level government meeting after he had further insulted them by refusing to apologise for his remarks? The answer to the last question is of course, ‘no’.
Why then do the Dutch expect different behaviour from Antillean parliamentarians who refused admission to Hero Brinkman on just these grounds? The answer to this question is worrying.
Could it be that the hardening of the debate about immigrants in Holland – led largely by the party of the MP in question – has blunted the sensitivities of main stream politics?
Instead of supporting the brutish political behaviour of Brinkman, a member of the anti-immigration PVV party, the Liberal (VVD) leader of the Dutch delegation to the Antilles should have made him apologise and given him a lesson in statesmanlike diplomacy.
But instead Willibrord van Beek climbed onto his high horse and allowed the meeting over political and financial matters to be scrapped. And nobody connected with the Dutch delegation seems to be bothered.
So it seems that slagging off former colonies is acceptable. As are the PVV’s xenophobic jibes at Muslim immigrants in the press and parliament. Such an advanced democracy as Holland should be setting the standard for political diplomacy not descending to the level of a bar-room brawl.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation