No guts

It’s about time Dutch politicians took a leaf out of their German counterpart Joschka Fischer’s book and stood up for their radical past – instead of kowtowing to the reactionary mood currently holding sway in The Hague.

Involvement in the theft in the 1980s of secret government plans to build nuclear power stations recently cost a left-wing MP his job.
Yesterday the Labour environment minister Jacqueline Cramer came under fire for a being a signatory of a letter, published in 1986, supporting the theft.
Instead of admitting it and arguing that her act was in support of a freer and more democratic society, as Fischer did, Cramer said she could not remember if she had signed the letter. At the time she was head of an environmental campaigning group. Given her position, she would have been mad not to have signed.
Although some of the tactics used by the activists went too far, they did democracy a service by revealing the plans. And what is wrong with a minister who did something in her past that she now sees in a totally different light?
Will the country best be served by politicians with a boring conformist past? Let’s have politicians with the courage of their convictions. Otherwise the reactionary mood that is emerging here will takeover and plunge the nation into the political dark ages.

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