Tuesday, May 07, 2002

For journalists, bloggers, and pundits alike, the evaluation and re-evaluation of Fortuyn has been in constant flux. Initially taking our cue from the European press he was first labelled as an extreme right wing candidate, the Dutch Le Pen. Then, revisionism quickly set in and people began to backpedal from that characterization, culminating in his canonization by Andy Sullivan.

But, revisionists should perhaps revise again. He may not have been the Great Satan, and he obviously differed substantially from Le Pen, but on the issues for which Le Pen took the most heat, Fortuyn may not have be all that different as is made apparent here. (linked by War Liberal):

Fortuyn regards migrants as "a dead weight in society" and wants to scrap Article 1 of the Dutch constitution which enshrines equal treatment of all citizens of the Netherlands. He reserves much venom for Muslims, stating: "If I can get it right juridically, no Muslim will enter our country anymore."

It is here that his racism is put on show. His statement about the "criminal behaviour" of Moroccan youth in some cities ­ "Moroccan boys never steal from Moroccans. Did you notice that? We can be stolen from, but not them" ­ has already become quite infamous.

There is also a latent antisemitism in another remark ­ on reparations paid to the Jewish community for its sufferings under the Nazis ­ in his book: "The mistake is made when we bend to the Jewish lobby. Not in the sense of compensation for theft and harm made to those directly involved or relatives , but in the sense of the general compensation which was handed out to all kinds of Jewish foundations, which can use that money, our money, for every purpose they want, even to hand it out among the poor. This action I put in the category, Once, but never again!"

The discussion about compensation for relatives of victims of slavery also stirs up Fortuyn¹s anger: "People who say they still suffer from the past of the slavery of their far ancestors belong at the psychiatrist's, not at the negotiating table for financial compensation". Fortuyn devotes a lot of space to the "lower class" and blames migrants for the heavy pressures on public transport and the waiting lists in the health sector.