The cabinet is poised to make one of the most politically-sensitive decisions in years: whether or not to extend the role of Dutch troops in Afghanistan past the initial August 2008 deadline. (more…)  More >


Does the modern soldier want a 'sex bomb with brains' asks the Volksrant on its front page on Friday, referring to the 'political pin-up' hanging at the Dutch military base in Uruzgan. (more…)  More >

Shake it

What is it with the current obsession with shaking hands? A school in Utrecht has been given the courts' blessing to sack a teacher who refuses to shake hands with her male colleagues on religious grounds. (more…)  More >

Right question

Will the Wajong become the new WAO? That is the question - baffling for outsiders - being asked in the Dutch media today. The Wajong is the name for the welfare benefit system for young handicapped people who are partially or wholly unable to hold down a job. The WAO is the general work disability benefit system. (more…)  More >

Dutch plan to combat youth radicalisation

The Dutch cabinet has earmarked 28 million euros to combat the increasing radicalisation of Muslims and right-wing extremists. Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst launched the initiative at a press conference in the Amsterdam district of Slotervaart on Monday. (more…)  More >

Tolerant Dutch would balk at our chaotic city

I really couldn't care less about Youth Crime. I do care a great deal about Crime. When walking the cobbled streets, I suspect that no-one is particularly fearful of being youth mugged or youth knifed. They are concerned about being mugged or knifed. (more…)  More >

Cash out

There seems to be a lot of agonizing going on at the moment about how people should pay for goods and services. And with two armed robberies in Amsterdam yesterday, it is understandable that the move is away from cash. (more…)  More >


Amsterdam's image as a tourist hot spot has taken a few knocks recently, with tales of rip-of merchants posing as taxi drivers, rude café staff and hoards of drunken Brits on every street corner. (more…)  More >


It is that time of year again. The schools are almost all back, there are hopes of an Indian summer... and the first of the pre-budget leaks have hit the papers. (more…)  More >


It is bizarre, to say the least, that at a time when the Netherlands is worried about losing its image as a gay-friendly country, justice ministry officials seem to regard calling someone 'homo' as an insult. (more…)  More >


The Dutch Labour party has a mini rebellion on its hands that could, if not properly managed, turn into a fully-fledged coup. Around 25 party members including a number of big names, want the party to become more left wing. They want to fight moves to make it easier to sack people, a super tax on the wealthy and a referendum over the new EU treaty. (more…)  More >


So Dutch pig farmers are planning to build ever-bigger pig farms in an effort to keep their heads above water because of cheaper pork production elsewhere. (more…)  More >


It would be nice, now that the schools are going back and life is returning to normal after the summer break, if MP Geert Wilders would finally take himself off on holiday and leave the front pages to everyone else. (more…)  More >


Things have come to a pretty pass when the country that so enthusiastically invented the Big Brother tv show is now drawing up petitions to have ‘son of Big Brother’ – better known as the Golden Cage - removed from our screens. (more…)  More >


It is about time that patients' organisations started calling on doctors to be more available, not only via the telephone but also person to person. (more…)  More >

Soggy Amsterdam’s Test: Digging a Subway

Seventeenth-century masons built Amsterdam on a foundation of wooden poles planted in soggy, sandy ground, leaving behind a beautiful architectural museum - but one with walls prone to sinking or crumbling without warning. So how do you dig a subway under it? (more…)  More >


The good old Labour party (PvdA) has come up with the best possible way of dealing with the Dutch under-age drinking problem - make it a criminal offence for a juvenile to be found with alcohol in his or her possession. (more…)  More >


Does anyone apart from junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga still think privatising public transport actually benefits anyone other than the private companies and their shareholders? (more…)  More >