Saturday 19 October 2019

Hard choices: Rotterdam invite to heavy metal concert divides MPs

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

An invite to five MPs to a performance by German hard rock bank Rammstein highlights opposing attitudes within parliament to freebies, the AD reported on Wednesday.

Rotterdam city council has invited five MPs known for their love of heavy metal music to watch the show from the city’s 16-seater skybox at the Kuip football stadium next week.

if they accept the tickets, they will have to be recorded in the official register, and three MPs say they can’t justify a concert as a parliamentary event.

‘I’ve never been more fed up having to turn down an invitation,’ GroenLinks MP Lisa Westerveld told the paper. ‘Rammstein is my type of music, but there does need to be a reason to accept such a gift, and I can’t come up with one.’

Esther Ouwehand of the pro-animal PvdD has also turned down the ticket, saying she has a rule of always buying her own. Socialist party MP Peter Kwint, who has a Whatsapp group with Westerveld and Ouwehand to share hard rock music tips, says he tried to buy a ticket for the show before the invitation came from Rotterdam.

But he too has turned down the invite, he told radio station Kink, because there is no ‘programme’ to justify his attendance.

Sold out

On the other side of the political spectrum, Christian Democrat Rene Peters has accepted the Rotterdam invite, after seeing Metallica last week at his own expense. And VVD MP Martin Worsdorfer, who had also tried to buy a ticket for the sold out German band’s performance, had no hesitation in taking up the offer either.

The ticket will be included in the register of MPs gifts and, he said, he will also do some networking before and after the show.

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