A small earthquake hit the football world when coach Pep Guardiola announced last Friday that he is hanging up his hat after four splendid seasons at Barcelona. He’s leaving his club in a slightly better shape than Verhagen has left the CDA.
Maxime locked up Rutte’s bike at the Catshuis last week. Football humor. At that time Verhagen and Rutte were sick and tired of being held hostage by eternal adolescent Geert Wilders for eighteen months and pranks ensued. It was only natural. Only they weren’t going to call it a day themselves. They wanted Geert to do that.
How much does it take for people to snap? The shop-a-Pole website, immigration, the embarrassing cutbacks on development aid, the palaver surrounding the burqa, the guinea pig police…it was all so vulgar. Meanwhile, Rutte kept smiling.
Apparently, Verhagen used to say jokingly to the wife: I’m off to the C***house!’ And then he thought of Geert and Fleur Agema. That awful Fleur Agema. So much of Purmerend in one female body. How is a person expected to bear this? Seven weeks of Fleur Agema. That was God’s punishment for Maxime. Watching Fleur Agema, listening to Fleur Agema and talking to Fleur Agema. God ways are severe but just.
Maxime is leaving parliament and a divided little party struggles in his wake. It’s a good thing Sybrand van Haersma Buma has such a long last name. The parliamentary party needs all the compensation it can get.
Are the Christian Democrats sorry? I’m often reminded of that legendary congress of party old age pensioners where Eurlings declared his undying love for Verhagen and hailed him as a sincere Christian democrat. That third rate performance will plague the memories of many a Christian Democrat.
Will the CDA throw a big going-away party for Maxime? Or just a tiny one? Or maybe it will be a tiny party because there’s no-one left. Would Rutte come? At least there would be few laughs because Rutte laughs, always and everywhere
Last week a journalist asked the prime minister’s opinion on the fact that many psychiatrists don’t know what the Hollandse Schouwburg is. Rutte looked surprised. Apparently he didn’t know either. Is it in Haarlem?, he asked.
He had no idea and was clearly clutching at straws. The dear man read history for eight years! Eight years of studying history and he doesn’t know about the Hollandse Schouwburg.
I know education isn’t what it was but as bad as that? It’s sort of cute that John Leerdam discussed the non-existant terrorist Jablabla with his parliamentary party colleagues and that Ineke van Gent thinks Nixon would make a fine advisor for Obama but a Dutch prime minister who doesn’t know about the Hollandse Schouwburg is difficult to credit.
And what did Rutte do when he had to admit his ignorance? Did he blush? Did he stammer? No, Mark laughed. He laughed as only he can laugh. Shamelessly, loudly and cheerfully. I’ve seldom seen a more embarrassing sight. What should he have done, you say, step down? Or promise he would read a poem on May 4th? He could do worse. And I hear there’s been a cancellation.
Youp van ‘t Hek is one of the Netherlands’ best loved comedians and writers
For those who don’t know, the Hollandse Schouwburg is a former theatre in Amsterdam where Jews were rounded up for deportation during World War II. The building is now a war monument.
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