Saturday 26 November 2022

On owls, women and the boreal world: 10 things Thierry Baudet has said

Thierry Baudet. Photo: Martijn Beekman via HH

As the new kid on the political block in the Netherlands, Thierry Baudet has brought his own, distinctive rhetorical style with him. Here are some of the things he has said in public or to the media – with an explanation of what they mean where necessary.

On the environment
‘There is no increase in extreme weather. The climate is warming up at a much slower rate than predicted. More CO2 has a fantastic effect on plant growth. Smog in India has nothing to do with CO2.’ (AD, January 11, 2018)

On women in the workplace
‘I do know that women in general do not excel as much in some professions and are less ambitious. They are often more interested in family and suchlike.’ (Quote, April 2017)

On what women really want
‘The reality is that women don’t just wanted to be treated ‘respectfully’ by their sex partner; they don’t want you to respect their ‘no’, their resistance. The reality is that women want to be overruled, dominated, yes, overpowered.’ (Column, November 19, 2014)

On western man’s role in the world
‘We survived a number of ice ages, we have knocked down mammoths, we are bearers, we are heirs to the greatest civilisation that ever existed.’ (Election victory speech, March 21, 2019)

On civilisation
‘Like all the other countries in our boreal world we are being destroyed by the very people who are supposed to protect us. We are being undermined by our universities, our journalists. By people who get art subsidies and who design our buildings.’ (Election victory speech, March 21, 2019)

The word ‘boreal’ (northern) is also beloved of far-right politicians including Jean-Marie Le Pen as a veiled term for Aryan or white supremacy.

On the provincial election results
‘Minerva’s owl spreads its wings at dusk’. (Post electoral speech, March 21)

Minerva is the goddess of wisdom and the owl imagery was used by German philosopher Hegel in 1821 to say that man only recognises the ills of the world when darkness falls and it is too late to remedy them. Except of course if Baudet takes the helm.

On immigration
‘Malevolent, aggressive elements are being introduced into our society in unprecedented numbers.’ (FD, February 12, 2017)

On the Dutch
‘The homeopathic dilution of the Dutch population with all the peoples of the world means there will be no Dutch people left.’ (PvD party conference, in run up to elections in March, 2017)

On architecture
‘Koolhaas (architect Remco Koolhaas, DN) is just a representative of a dominant era in which our aesthetic sense has been derailed. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been ideologically brainwashed would deny that. What we are achieving in modern art and urban design is a product of the same mindset as our migration and multiculturalism policy. The great western civilisation project has received a blow; the destruction of the last hundred years.’ (NRC, November 24, 2018)

Baudet on Baudet
‘I knew from the start that I would be the only person capable of changing politics. I don’t see any other talented people in the Netherlands.’ (NRC, November 24, 2018).

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