Tag Archives: Meindert Fennema

What is right is sometimes wrong

This is a weird day; it is weird for all the reasons that set the stage where things are weird. It is not ground breaking, it is not even great, but it is an essential event. To explain that we need to go back to Dutch history, to be more precise we need to go back to 1994. The politician Hans Janmaat was a member of the CP (Centre Party), it was ultra-right, very nationalistic in nature. He had slogans like “Holland is not a country of immigration” and “full=full“. In the not so great economic settings, which were harsher for many as the Netherlands is not just seemingly short on available space. To give a comparison, The Netherlands is the almost the same size of the US state of Maryland, Yet MD has 6 million people, the Netherlands 17 million, so space is hard to come by, so people started to listen to this person. In UK terms it makes the Netherlands three times the size of Yorkshire, whilst having 350% of its population, so it is decently comparable.

Even as his views were only tame in the first 3 hours, his extremists’ views were soon loud and harsh. So a lot of politicians and media starting to ignore him, which I always thought was a mistake. If you want to take power away, you need to make that person fall on his sword called ego. The media and politicians thought it would go away, which did not happen. What did happen that people were too frustrated with the elected politicians and in the 1994 elections, he ended up with the power of three seats, not one seat, three! He now had (for a short term) power and a vote in all the events, now all parties united against his actions and views, so they had to unite in resources stopping him. In all this Hans Janmaat often used economic arguments in his tirades against immigrants, just like Adolf Hitler did and some usurpers before (and after) him. Yet, the setting was a dangerous one and it was deflated by politicians setting a sphere of ignoring him around him, silencing the issue away and it did go away after a while. Yet did they actually deflate the situation? Now we see a similar setting to some degree with the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who merely has a more tempered view in all this, yet for the most still very ultra-right oriented, he has not gone away, he is now the political leader of a party that has 20 out of 150 seats in the House of Representatives, 9 out of the 75 Senate seats, 66 of the 570 state provincials and 4 of the 26 European Parliament seats. Remember how this setting started with 3 seats?

In addition, the Professor Emeritus Meindert Fennema gave the argument in 2006 that Hans Janmaat was in the end convicted for making statements that has become common place in 2006, a gap of a mere 12 years. the political climate had changed in the Netherlands, partially due to the assassinations of politician Pim Fortuyn and Dutch film director and producer Theo van Gogh, the 9/11 attacks did not help any either. Geert Wilders followed in his footsteps (to some degree) and is the current leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PVV). When we want to expose extremism, even Christian extremism, it can only be done by pointing it out in the media, we acknowledge that there are plenty of people who are sheep. They remain sheep because they merely follow, they cannot tell the difference on quality of who to follow and that is dangerous too. Some presenters (in politics and media) go into academic overdrive to the degree that can put any insomniac asleep roughly 92% faster than a double dose of Restoril (Temazepam). In many cases we need to educate the people, not sound more intelligent then them; this is the setting I have and now we get to the article ‘Sky News removed from Melbourne railway stations after extremist interview‘. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/09/sky-news-removed-from-melbourne-railway-stations-after-extremist-interview). Important is that I do not disagree, but at times the right thing is wrong. You see, when we see Jacinta Allan, Victoria’s transport minister give us: “I’ve directed @MetroTrains to remove @skynewsaustralia from all CBD station screens. Hatred and racism have no place on our screens or in our community. #springst“, I think she has a good and valid point. Yet, if we do not educate the people on what is wrong and why it is wrong, such a person can get elected in the end. After that it will be one complete political term of fixing the floor whilst the tap is running and the mess merely gets bigger. So when I see: “The move comes after the network interviewed Cottrell on Sunday night and the broadcaster was accused of “normalising racism and bigotry” by the former Labor MP Craig Emerson“, people will state that it makes sense that we see ‘quit his role at Sky News following the broadcast‘, yet the damage is done. A partial opportunity was grabbed by Laura Jayes when we see: “As if to prove my original character assessment…. Blair Cottrell posts (and later deletes) some weird suggestion about raping me on air. He’s not just a fascist. He’s down right dangerous” and she is not merely correct, she is absolutely right! A person like this is dangerous, the economic climate is here, just like it was in the Netherlands and there is plenty of hardship. People like Cottrell will state things like ‘it could be better, but no one will listen to me‘. Soon he has one person listening, then a second, then 4, eight, 16, 32 and that is merely in the first day, on the second day, the 32 will incite 64 to listen and it goes up quickly after that. If you decide to disagree, please feel free to watch the movie (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/billy-bush-says-infamous-access-hollywood-trump-tape-is-real/9224358), where a famous person decided to state ‘You can do anything, grab them by the Pussy‘, for your reference. That person is now addressed as ‘the 45th and current President of the United States‘, so smothering the silence and actual take action to show the danger of such a person is a more essential act then you think.

The same mistake that we saw in the Netherlands and several countries in the past should not happen, the only way to get these people out of the picture is to let them rant live on TV and make sure the people realise how dangerous it is to listen to people like that. So in this Jacinta Allan is wrong and Laura Jayes is right. Only by clearly exposing these people and making sure that such a person is ‘down right dangerous‘, preferably with evidence and stating why this person is dangerous that is how you deflate a situation. Most politicians are more about hearing their own voice and not about removing others by letting them speak and there is to some degree validity in that. Yet, when we see that not invalid view fail again and again, other ways need to be found. You see when you start skimming the news, reading the headlines. we see ‘Sky News sponsor backlash mounts‘, ‘Sky News removed from Melbourne railway stations‘ and ‘Victorian government bans Sky News from train stations‘, now it is all about Sky News and people might ignore the rest. Yet the headlines could have read ‘Blair Cottrell states that woman are happier with rape‘, ‘Extremist views removed from Melbourne stations‘, or ‘Blair Cottrell gets advertisers to drop contracts‘. Now the focus becomes Blair Cottrell and people will want to know why, more important, they will clearly see why Cottrell is ‘downright dangerous‘. With a person like Blair Cottrell it is not about bringing nuance to the screen; it is a tactic that works in his favour, by giving people the blunt direct version many more will shy away, those who optionally still admire him will do so silently, so growth of listeners is no longer a worry either. The sheep mentality also implies that something less acceptable will be pointed out and set into the limelight that people like Cottrell really tend to dislike, especially when they have political aspirations.

You see, there is a second danger and that is the one we do not see, but they are in the US. CNN reported less than 10 hours ago (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/08/politics/donald-trump-primaries/index.html), that it is not merely getting into power that counts, the setting we see with “In the last 14 contested Republican primaries where President Donald Trump has endorsed a candidate, his pick has won — or is leading — all 14 times“. With: “John James in Michigan’s Republican Senate primary, who had been considered an underdog prior to the Trump endorsement, won the right to face Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow“. President Trump was not merely a president; he became a kingmaker 14 times over. So it is no longer merely him we need to worry about, it is that there are now 14 small time Trumps on the rise. So when you think that silencing Blair Cottrell helps, consider what happens when he gets in because he got endorsed by Pauline Hanson, current senator of Queensland and it ended up working because the people did not realise just how dangerous he was?

The US as well as European politics have shown that several times over. It was a miracle that someone pulled current President Emmanuel Macron out of a hat, it was a close call between that option and the alternative that President Marine Le Pen would have offered. Several sources gave rise of the situation with “the strategy of fear mainly reinforces Le Pen’s popularity“, I am against fear mongering and there was almost no option, because everyone considered that it would never happened. Not only did it almost happen, In Italy Matteo Salvini, the initial underdog is now Deputy Prime Minister of Italy. I think it is clear that we need to accept that doing the Ostrich (a head in sand pun) will not cut it. In case you think it is going to sizzle out, consider the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/05/italy-coalition-cracks-five-star-salvini-racism), where we see: “Roberto Fico, M5S MP and president of the chamber of deputies, spoke out against a controversial pact with Libya that sees migrants forcibly returned to war-riven north Africa“, speaking out against a setting where refugees are send back to a war front setting. Salvini just got elected; Italy has 5 more years of this setting. With this I hope we all agree that giving the limelight of danger on just how dangerous Blair Cottrell is, is preferable than him gaining strength and followers in silence, because AFTER an election there is very little we can do for that term, a clear view with five examples where we only see one case with a narrow escape, not a good track record to work with.

I have always believed (and rightfully so) that given the setting where you give a short-sighted person enough rope, they will end up hanging themselves again and again. It is like the overeager DIY person and the ability to paint himself into a corner that tends to be the most satisfying setting of all. In such cases I am more than happy to sponsor the bucket of paint and the brush, seeing a person sit in a corner. On a personal level, if that person ends up being Jason Sudeikis, I will make sure that his wife Olivia Wilde is not in the corner with him, seems like fun challenging her to several games of Splatoon 2 on the Nintendo Switch (one Nintendo Switch each mind you) and after each round both of us shouting out: ‘You OK there Jason?‘ should make an amazing afternoon of gaming, possibly the best one ever!

I have been known to be creatively sneaky under the most diplomatic of settings.

#SplatoonOrangeChampionsRule

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From faith to fate

Yes, this is a story that comes after the fact. This is not about what has been proven or what has been established. I did not win because the Nay’s for now have it in Scotland and I was in the ‘stronger together’ park. I will only feel victorious if we make the referendum about the next stage. It is clear that the economy remains a Scottish issue, it is clear that the current deficit of 11% is not going anywhere, but the new dangers about less oil will be an issue, so it is up to all of us, not just Scotland, to find ways to make us all stronger as a whole. I truly believe that in light of current escalations, this is the one thing that ALL Commonwealth politicians need to take home. In response to the article in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/19/david-cameron-devolution-revolution-uk-scotland-vote), I say “Shame on you Prime Minister!“, yes, we do not deny the issues on “We have heard the voice of Scotland and now the millions of voices of England must be heard“, the final count has not even been completed (as far as I know). The next general Elections are 8 months away. Would it truly hurt THAT much to take a few moments and recognise the need to build a stronger Scotland? In light that Scotland is still part of the UK; that issue should matter a great deal.

To Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland I say “you may not have won now, but change is a certainty! How can the other members of the Commonwealth help in making the Scottish economy stronger?” Where is there shortage and where is their surplus? I have more messages, especially after the statement from the Spanish Prime Minister stating: “Mariano Rajoy has said an independent Scotland would have to apply from scratch for EU membership and the application process could take eight years“. Perhaps it is time to recognise the fact that the European deficit as it is set at half a trillion for 2013 has shown what an abysmal failure their budget keeping has been (I will accept the fact that 25% of that deficit is the UK), yet overall, we have seen an abundance of non-UK issues, which is why UKIP has grown the way it has. David Cameron will need to consider a clear tactical approach, not only towards the current economy, but especially on how to reduce the debt, which is a heavy chain for the Britons to carry, if they had been sins, then Jacob Marley could not have fathomed the weight, size and the number of shackles they represent.

It is only now that I hear that Alex Salmond has resigned. I believe it to be a mistake, but it is his choice to make. He was not a bad person, he did not let Scotland down, and he did however put a clear need of many changes on the table, in that he has left a strong legacy. As stated, I remained in the ‘better together’ camp, but Alex had on several occasions drawn on my doubts, which means he did not just talk to the hearts of man and woman, he talked to the rational of the people too. I feel certain that Alex Salmond will be missed; he was a politician and a gentleman, which is a rare combination to find in any person.

David Cameron has a few other issues to consider and UKIP is only one of the factors. There is a clear sign that too many actions have been about the status quo, whilst we know that these changes will not get us anywhere at present. We must acknowledge that the economic course taken two years ago has resulted in a better positioning of the UK, but more needs to be done. I believe that it is time to take another look at the Commonwealth Business Council and include the function to set a task of ‘preferred job exchange’ where it will be easier to get a quick track of working VISA’s for commonwealth nations. If social expenditure is so high, would a solution for exchange be so far-fetched? When social services pays for one unemployed person in Canada and one in the UK, if there is an option to find work for both in the other nation, to allow for that? Work permits for 6-12 months that can easily be prolonged if the work is there is not a stretch. In the 90’s, several corporations started to implement the ‘think global, act local‘ approach to the situation, in several cases it became too much about travelling all over the world and meeting virtually everywhere. I do not think that this is what the term defines, yet overall this approach will work in a workforce under these economic conditions. We all need to be a lot more fluidic in our approach of work, especially where we work. When we see the shortages of IT in Scotland (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-19529703), one must wonder why there are so many people in Sydney and London without a technology position. Important to note that this BBC article was from 2012, but the overall need for certain skills have been proven again and again. It is time to take a different look at these options and more important, find additional ways to solve them.

How does that relate back to Scotland? It does not specifically point to Scotland, yet if we pool all the resources, Scotland would be added to this, which has long term repercussions for all the linked nations, not just Scotland. What if we take the words of Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, using his 6% and we could lower this by another percent? What if the shortage of medical personnel in Scotland could be filled by people from Australia and Canada? If we have forward momentum, it will always impact an economy in a positive way.

This approach shows two things, one, the fact that the status quo approach has not worked for a long time and the fact that ‘better together’ and ‘stronger together’ will actually work if we focus on the ‘together part’, I just think that ‘together’ is more than the UK and Scotland, I think it is linked to ALL Commonwealth nations.

It is now Sunday; I decided to let things simmer for a little as we have seen a few changes, it is important to see that this one article is not a static one, based upon the information of a moment. I have seen the disgrace under which some act (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/19/violence-glasgow-scotland-loyalists-attack-independence-supporters), that what describes themselves as loyalists, are nothing of the sort. Violence whilst singing ‘Rule Britannia’ does not make you a loyalist, it makes you a goon with the ability to retain sentences. But the positive part of this article is that as an Australian (with British and a wee bit of Scottish blood) had never heard of the song ‘flower of Scotland’ (the sing-along version is found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPaJhlIIYjM).  The article showed another side, the quote “The city is divided by religion already and to be honest I think the union jacks and saltires are a bit of an excuse”, was from an engineer. Which is shown by the passage: “Sam Tonks, an engineer from Uddingston, said he had driven into the city with his wife and daughter because he wanted to celebrate the referendum victory with other no supporters, but had been greeted by something much uglier”. This is perhaps the part of the aftermath we all hope will go away soon, small issues are now huge chords of discord in a place that has been a proud heritage seeking an independent nationality. I feel that no one debates this, but at present, in this economy, that independence will be short lived, until we strengthen the bonds between all brethren of the Commonwealth.

Yet in all this, I also (as a conservative minded person) speak out against Gordon Brown (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/20/gordon-brown-scotland-labour-party-strategy). Let’s face it, he made a good presence and he had an excellent show, but let’s not forget the fact that he is a politician. The promises he makes do sound nice, but what happens when he is back in power?  This is at the centre of the entire issue. The only massive reason why the ‘stronger together’ and the ‘better together’ got the majority that we all see the economic disaster heading our way and there would be no survival if Scotland faced it as an independent nation. You see, one part of the article is an issue: “It is, perhaps, of no surprise that the Scottish media now calls Brown the “fourth man” of British politics, alongside David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. In the past week, events and the force of his personality have made this the case.” The intent sounds nice, but the article makes Gordon Brown a running mate with Ed Miliband, whilst they would both be contending for the same group. There is more and more evidence that Ed Miliband has made its share of mistakes which will lead to Gordon Brown returning to his old post. The actual fourth person is Nigel Farage. The press made the mistake at least TWICE already in underestimating Nigel Farage, yet the abundance of mistakes and choices which led to the current economic weakness is at the heart of the strength of Nigel Farage. That what stopped Scottish independence is also fuelling the UKIP machine. The press making light of that is exactly why too many people are voting for Farage. We have given up hope on the Murdoch machine ever becoming a respectable paper, but I am strongly advising Alan Rusbridger to not make that same mistake. Having Nigel Farage written off at present is the biggest mistake you can make at present. I saw the same mistake in the Netherlands in the 90’s. The man Hans Janmaat was ignored. He was discriminatory in his conviction against all immigrant matters and was called racist on several occasions, which in the end gives us: “Meindert Fennema, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory of Ethnic Relations at the University of Amsterdam, argued in 2006 that Janmaat was convicted for statements that are now commonplace due to changes in the political climate”. The Dutch newspaper article (at http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4324/Nieuws/archief/article/detail/1784000/2003/05/21/Met-excuses-aan-Janmaat.dhtml) shows a shifting cultural issue, by ignoring these factors the British newspapers are making the same fatal (and as I consider it a ‘dumber then dumb’ approach) to an actual issue people are confronted with, the press and political silence towards Nigel Farage only contributes to his untimely success. Linked to this is the fact that Nigel Farage had been bringing forth actual issues, which had been ignored by both Labour and Tories alike and they need to be properly addressed within the next few months before the Nigel campaign truly takes off, after which, half-baked carefully phrased words of denial will only hurt whomever speaks them.

This reflects in several ways. If we are not careful in this environment, we are all in danger of segregation though polarisation. That what Scotland is currently dealing with is something they need to get past, true loyalists will need to accept that Scotland will remain Scotland, whilst realising that over time it will be their ‘new’ neighbour Scotland. How you aid them now will reflect on your future later. Shine light on the actual matters and we will all prosper through it all.

If we keep the faith in a stronger Commonwealth and if we actually act on doing so, then we will end up with the fate of the Commonwealth being a lot stronger then it currently is. We have several heavy seas ahead of us and if we are as strong as our weakest link, then we need to make all commonwealth nations a lot stronger then they currently are.

 

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