Dutch Socialist Leader in Fear of Muslim Party Members

Paul Belien, Brussels Journal, March 19, 2006

Wouter Bos, the leader of the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA), the Dutch Labour Party, is worried about the high number of immigrants in the ranks of his own party. Bos won the Dutch municipal elections on 7 March by catering for the immigrants, who consequently tipped the balance in favour of the PvdA. Almost half the elected PvdA politicians in major Dutch cities where the PvdA is the largest party, such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are now Muslims.

In an interview last Friday Wouter Bos said that he is worried about this situation. “We are bound to run into trouble with our new immigrant councillors,” he predicted. The PvdA leader said their “political culture” is often incompatible with Dutch politics, because the immigrants “conduct politics according to the culture of their home countries, where clientelism is the norm.”

Though Bos concedes that it was a risk to put forward so many immigrant candidates (wasn’t that a form of clientelism?) he defended his party’s decision to do so. In many West European countries the parties of the Left are actively catering for the growing Muslim vote. The Left realizes that the Third World immigrants guarantee its power base because these immigrants moved to Western Europe attracted by the generous welfare benefits that the parties of the Left promote. However, Bos said he had been obliged to put so many immigrant candidates on the PvdA list because otherwise the immigrants might start their own parties. “I consider a Party of Immigrants, with no indigenous voters, dangerous. But if we hold on to our strategy, we will manage to remain a party that defends the interests of everyone.”

In this month’s municipal elections 80% of the Muslim electorate voted for the PvdA. If this happens in next year’s general elections as well, Bos’s party will become the largest party in the Netherlands and the current center-right government will lose its majority. This will allow Bos’s PvdA to put together a left-wing coalition with the far-left Groen Links (Green Left) party and the Socialist Party (SP). The latter two parties are also popular with immigrants. They defend marxist economic policies, though they differ on moral issues. While the Green Left Party is ethically libertine, the SP is the only left-wing party in Western Europe to oppose abortion. Dyab Abu Jahjah, the leader of the Arab-European League, had called upon his Dutch supporters to vote SP.

Bos’s warning concerning immigrant politicians has led to angry reactions from indigenous Dutch and immigrants alike. Yesterday a native Dutch citizen wrote in a website comment:

“Wouter Bos has an image problem now that the PvdA has visibly become the Party of the Immigrants. [ . . . ] The party is bound to be the hostage of the Muslims [ . . . ] and will ultimately perish as a result of it. By then, however, Wouter Bos will have been Prime Minister of the Netherlands for eight years and will receive an advance payment to write his memoirs before emigrating to the United States, Australia or Canada . . . ”

Fouad Sidali, an Amsterdam PvdA politician said about his party leader’s remarks:

“This is nonsense. Bullshit.”

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