Tuesday 10 December 2019

Opinion pieces, columns and insights into Dutch news and current affairs from key commentators. The views expressed in these columns are the writers’ own. To contribute or request our guidelines, contact editor@dutchnews.nl.

Thrift

Thrift

People who vote for the free-market Liberals (VVD) donate more money to good causes than Labour (PvdA) voters but Green Left and Christian Democrat are the most generous, the Volkskrant reports today. More >


Kid Power

Kid Power

A TV-advert currently running shows a plumber trying to mend a leak under the sink. The crack of his bottom is plainly visible above his baggy jeans. Staring at him from the kitchen table is a young boy aged maybe five or six. More >


Panic

Panic

The current panic among MPs desperate to protect Dutch companies from aggressive hedge funds reveals just how little has changed in this paradise of protectionism. It is also completely at odds with all too recent government policy to increase shareholders rights. More >


Chequered

Chequered

In a move strangely at odds with its avowed commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Dutch banking and insurance group ING yesterday signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Renault Formula 1 team. More >


Lingo

Lingo

As amusing as it may be to see Christian Democrat and Labour MPs falling over each other to defend the rights of elderly viewers, their furious reaction to the plans to scrap popular quiz programme Lingo (see Friday’s DutchNews) does make you wonder whether our public representatives might not be more gainfully occupied helping to dig the tunnels and build the new road and rail links they keep voting to give us. More >



Word Play

Word Play

Anyone who has explored the Dutch world of English-language communications has been forced to laugh or cry at how the well-meaning Dutch mangle our beloved language. More >


Turncoat

Turncoat

As we approach the November elections, a new party has emerged as a realistic coalition candidate. Jan Marijnissen’s Socialist Party has suddenly got religion and now claims to be a contender for the votes of disaffected Christian Democrats. More >


Silenced

Silenced

She might have moved to the US, but ex-Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali can still pull in headlines. Today’s Volkskrant includes a bizarre article by two supporters, Leiden professor Afshin Ellian and writer Leon de Winter. More >


Right track

Right track

With all the far-right splinter parties competing for scarce seats in next month’s general election, it is hardly surprising that they have now all started biting each other. Voters meanwhile must be scratching their heads over the plethora of parties: ÉénNL, Freedom Party, Fortuyn, PvNL, all of which are hoping to benefit from the anti-Islam vote. More >


X-rated

X-rated

The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world where voting is carried out almost entirely by computer. The days of cocooning yourself in a booth with a long list of names and a red pencil are over. More >


Respect

Respect

Today’s DutchNews.nl contains quite a number of items relating to nationality, but this isn’t deliberate. The idea isn’t to leap aboard the anti-foreigner or the Dutch-bashing bandwagon. More >


Own goal

Own goal

Dutch football coach Marco van Basten is finding management a far trickier task than playing the game. As a striker Van Basten was ruthless. As a manager he has the same clinical focus and shows little emotion as he watches from the dugout, jaw set, x-ray eyes on the play. More >


Take off

Take off

The battle between Amsterdam city council and the government over the partial privatisation of Schiphol airport looks set to be played out right up to the eve of a new government taking power – possibly not until early next year. More >


Girls girls

Girls girls

There have been few front page photos more depressing recently than that in today’s Telegraaf – a production line of girls in bikinis queuing up to pose provocatively for a photographer working on shots for the 2007 Axe deodorant calendar. More >


Polyglots

Polyglots

The Dutch might have an obsession about how well they speak foreign languages but they also seem to be paranoid about anyone who does not speak perfect Dutch. More >


We’re back

We’re back

The pesky little ‘korenwolf’, or wild hamster, has finally hit the headlines again after years of silence. Builders everywhere must have prayed that the rodent, a protected species, had actually died out. More >


Liars and cheats

Liars and cheats

News editors used to give new reporters one piece of advice: ‘Always remember, all politicians are liars and cheats.’ This cynical caveat should have been in most journalists’ minds during the past two weeks when politicians wrestled with two major scandals: the report on a fire in a Schiphol cell complex which killed 11 refugees and Amsterdam’s role in allowing a ship to dump toxic waste in Ivory Coast which killed seven people. More >


Wash out

Wash out

There is nothing wrong with using a television soap opera to get across a social message – this is indeed how soaps started. But exactly what is the message behind the new AT5 soap partly sponsored by Amsterdam city council? More >


Bitter pills

Bitter pills

The main reason for the unbelievably complicated and bureaucratic way of paying for healthcare in Holland is an obsession with solidarity between the sick and the healthy. And an insistence that everyone should basically pay the same. More >