Monday 15 August 2022

Dutch senator: with Wilders in power, things could get ‘very nasty’

Geert Wilders during the 2012 election campaign. Photo:

Geert Wilders during the 2012 election campaign. Photo:

The modern PVV party is ‘more dangerous’ than the 1930s NSB Dutch National Socialist Movement, a senior Dutch parliamentarian has told Trouw newspaper.

Sybe Schaap, a philosopher and VVD member of the Dutch senate, told Trouw on Tuesday that ‘if [leader Geert] Wilders gets power it could sometimes get very nasty.’

At the moment, the PVV has one member – its founder Geert Wilders – and all decisions are taken through him. Nor does the party organise congresses for supporters to discuss policy.

Schaap said that there is too little pushback against the PVV, which has been running top in the polls since last year and is campaigning for a ban of the Koran, mosques, Islamic schools and closure of refugee centres at the 2017 general election.

‘This is a dangerous trend,’ Schaap told the paper. ‘At the time of the NSB, everyone had their own strong ideology: socialists, Protestants, Catholics and liberals. They knew that they simply couldn’t support the NSB due to their own ideology. But ideologies do not exist any more.’

In a book published this week, ‘The declining rule of law’, he wrote: ‘Wilders prevails as a Führer who has not even known Nazism.’

He qualified this in an interview with the paper saying: ‘Of course I do not mean that Wilders is a mass murderer like Hitler, but that he is setting up a dangerous structure with his party. If Wilders gets power, it could sometimes get very nasty. A dictatorship? Could be. The PVV is already a dictatorship.’

Schaap previously criticized the party in 2012, in a book saying that like the NSB it played on popular resentments – but pressure was allegedly exerted by the VVD to postpone publication (at a time when its government had been supported by the PVV). The PVV did not respond to the Trouw article.

UN criticism

Meanwhile on Monday UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, criticized Wilders and his recent election platform, according to Reuters.

Addressing Wilders and other ‘populists, demagogues and political fantasists’ including US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, he claimed they were using ‘fear’ tactics similar to those of Islamic State (or Daesh), and labelled Wilders’ March 2017 election platform ‘grotesque’.

In a tweet, Wilders called Zeid ‘an idiot’ adding: ‘The UN is grotesque. Let’s get rid of these bureaucrats.’

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