The easiest way to show some of the European issues is to take a little look at Dutch politics. Here we start with the PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid, the Dutch Labour party), it has been reduced to a mere fraction of what it was. The 70’s with Den Uyl for 20 years, after which Wim Kok took over for 15 years. Both ended up being Prime Minister at some point. Those were the days, that party was Labour red, the working class were treated to people with an ideological side that would make them lazy and complacent. What followed was nowhere near the old guards and the people are finding this out the hard way. Let’s take a look at the issues from the last 5 weeks alone. Jacques Monasch opposes a new era with Diederik Samsom (current leader of Dutch labour), the reason is Hans Spekman, in this, Jacques stated that as president of the party he must remain neutral, yet too early he voiced his weight behind Samson as party leader. This is the first thread of the loom. There should be clear and consistent view on who leads the party. As I see it, Spekman did nothing wrong, clear leadership is essential if ANY option against Geert Wilders is to remain. You see, the Dutch have had it with indecisive politicians, a clear path should have been there all along. It remains in flux. I personally see it as a play by Jacques Monasch to get a higher place before his life is over (as well as his political life), in the second he is too late, Samson is 10 years younger, in better shape and a stronger labour voice. In the first, I would not be able to tell, I cannot predict the future. Yet as the median age of the Netherlands is 42.9, we can conclude he broke that line by well over a decade. On March 7th we get two pieces of news.
- Samsom offered the idea to take in 30.000 refugees from Turkey.
He is relating this towards the need to have some control on the flow of refugees. To prevent these refugees from taking a dangerous boat trip. Here he loses the point on several sides. In the first any control on the flow of refugees is an illusion to say the least. They all want to come here, and they want to get here as soon as possible. It is a non-working solution from square one onwards.
- Dutch Labour dissidents want to get rid of Diederik Samson.
This was released by the post online on the same day. Here we see names Gerard Bosman and Sander Terphuis, not high in the labour structure, but the post reported that Mei Li Vos and Lutz Jacobi are also on that list, both Dutch MP’s. In addition there is the party ideologist (no idea what he does) René Cuperus. They basically states that Diederik Samson needs to go, and their enthusiasm for Hans Spekman had basically dwindled to zero.
This is at the foundation of the problem for Dutch Labour. You see, this inter party politics will happen, but when extreme right PVV is as powerful as it is, they should have waited with this song and dance until much later. Now Dutch labour has a refinement issue, with that I mean that they end up being refined into something no one votes for. This is a quote by a German taxi driver. He stated “The problem is I don’t feel any of the issues being discussed have relevance for ordinary working people. Those who struggle on a wage of €1,200 (£930) a month which never goes up, while other costs of living do – what has the refugee crisis or the state of Europe got to do with us?”, consider that this statement was regarding a lifetime of CDU (Angela Merkel), this time he will be voting for AfD (Alternativ fur Deutchland). The German anti-Europe party. This show is happening on a European scale. Politicians too fierce on their ego, forgetting the first rule of governing, which is that you have to get elected. A sour apple that is about to get served in France and the Netherlands. The latter one with Geert Wilders was until 1 year ago not a reality. Now AfD has grown from 5% to 20%. This shows exactly what I have been saying for some time, especially regarding France. The elected officials stopped listening to their constituents, they compromised their population out of bounds and now they end up not having a job after the coming elections. So when the initial statement from Geert Wilders was made towards Hans Spekman “If you end up getting shot, the bullet will have the letters PvdA engraved on the side”, which was published on February 9th, almost a month before we see the revelation that these MP’s want to get rid of Hans Spekman and Diederik Samson. It seems that Geert Wilders tapped into the anger of the Dutch people, in all this the press itself is not innocent either. The Amsterdam newspaper The Telegraph reported a week ago ‘Many citizens are angry, even though we have a good economy’, how delusional is that? The people at large have been at a lifestyle standstill for a decade with almost nothing to show for it. In addition Dutch labour mentions to take in 30,000 refugees, tax issues on large corporations are not getting solved and the people are seeing their retirement funds maturing towards zero (largely reduced) in addition my generation will have to work another 5 years. Now, personally I do not mind, but explain to a person who supposedly retired last month that 41 months were added to his/her retirement age. How many indifferent people will you meet?
Not that many I reckon!
Now, some issues are unavoidable some were but the people have been feeling abandoned for too long. This grew UKIP, PVV, Front National and AfD. I do not have any quality data on Lega Nord as it is all in Italian and my Italian vocabulary is limited to Lasagna, Pizza, Panna Cotta, Provolone, Grappa and Gnocca (which is not an Italian pasta dish, which is Gnocchi, as I learned when my mates laughed themselves silly when they asked me to order it in an Italian restaurant).
What matters is that the political situation is no joke, it is serious and it is not going in the right direction. The problem here is what is the right direction? In the first is to push Turkey away, they have been the bad apple since day one. Power players want to do business wherever they can, yet in all this Turkey has been the disturbance. This goes back all the way back to their blackmailing selves after September 11th, when they wanted all debts forgiven. How easy people forget in just over a decade. Now again we see how they are fuelling the refugee pressures, whilst Austria is quick to see Greece as part of the problem, whilst ignoring Turkey in all this. The people are not stupid, the people are realising that they are being sold as cattle, the people see that big business is getting away in pretty much every nation and their own lives remain stagnant, with diminished options for a future.
Those right parties are aiming for that anger, that pain and the only thing Labour is doing is adding to their current pain. In the Netherlands we see how this plays. They are all ‘so aware’ of the global need that they are ignoring the local need, their constituents. This is not an attack on the refugees, their plight is real, but so is that of those millions of people living barely above poverty, a living standard that has gone down the drain, with less jobs and a growing population. Politicians have forgotten about the local side of all, whilst feeding their European Community Ego. This is another major reason for parties to lose their votes, votes shifting intensely to the right. Yet their all is not safe either, for now AfD might be safe with Frauke Petry, yet she too will soon feel the pinch of party members who want a larger slice of the pie. Like Marine Le Pen has to deal with her father, and Nigel Farage has his league of Douglas Carswell’s. In that view Labour is not alone and whomever gets their act together first will give rise to even more votes, yet in all this, unless labour changes its approach to their constituents, they will be running towards the right. This will be particularly nasty for the Conservatives in the UK, because the buffer they had in the past (read: Liberal Democrats), that buffer is gone, You see there the labour masses are not inclined to go towards the Conservatives, where there were the Liberal Democrats as an alternative in the past, UKIP seems to be the only option in their view. In that regard Jeremy Corbyn seems to losing his foothold in the party. It is not a serious matter at present, yet in all this there is more and more squabble and in that the voters feel that they are losing out in proper representation as the infighting continues, just as in the Netherlands. The consequence will be bad for the Conservatives and even worse for the UK Labour party and in all this UKIP will gain more (and votes too).
We will know more when the referendum sounds the solemn trumpet of out or in, that trumpet will sound throughout Europe, starting all kinds of matters, it will sound like the Horn of Gabriel, finite in the volume you hear, but infinite in the area it touches, meaning that all of Europe will hear the noise it produces, no matter the tone it will be in.