Pim Fortuyn was a politician who's influence changed the Dutch society and politics. Although I and many others were not an advocate of his ideas, one main point impacted the society massively: he (implicitly) argued that the Dutch culture was being overthrown by a large immigration process; too much absorption of foreign cultures to his opinion and he argued that the Dutch should be more proud of their origin. A new calibration of values and norms were to be established. His flamboyant personality and the tabus that he questioned made him influence society.
After he was killed.
Recently I got a déjà vu of what was happening in those days in 2001. The event was the buy-back of a Dutch bank (ABN Amro) that was conceded to a foreign consortium in 2007. Unfortunately, this new construction, the partly takeover of the Dutch Bank by a Belgium rival got endangered by the financial crisis. Now people question whether the Belgium bank was ever able to take-over the Dutch bank, but in 2007 although resistance, no shareholder complained.
During a process where the Belgium bank got sort of “bailed-out" recently, the Dutch Bank on the other hand got saved in a separate deal by a nationalization process by the Dutch government, led by Wouter Bos.
Looking at this cultural development it made me think about what Fortuyn had trying to do in 2001, making Dutch values stronger and preventing too much foreign influence. Although politicians in the Netherlands didn't refuse the deal in 2007 they were upset that “The" Dutch Bank, symbol of Dutch values was being taken-over.
Were politicians were unable to act in 2007, they took the opportunity in 2008 to get even and nationalized the Dutch Assets of the foreign bank. Wouter Bos, seized to opportunity to return to the original status, having the Dutch bank in Dutch hands. . . To me it all seems like a déjà vu.
First the Dutch culture gets influenced by foreign interaction - the Dutch culture is very open en vulnerable for influences - than someone stand-up and argues that this influencing process should be stopped.
A better option would be to not having the culture being influenced too much. But that is probably the lesson of this passage in Dutch history.
H. J. B.
© 2008 Hans Bool