January 23, 2012

Carnival song mocks liberal parties—“Behave yourselves!”

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 6:03 pm

Duo Kwast en Krietje has written a song about the spat between the leaders of the two liberal parties in Dutch parliament, Prime Minister Rutte and PVV leader Wilders, last September. Wilders told the Prime Minister back then to “behave himself” (doe eens normaal in Dutch) during a budget debate.

At the time Wilders’ behaviour was widely held to be inappropriate. Dutch parliamentarians are generally expected to be civil, behaviour that is monitored by the chair.

Carnival is a time in which traditional roles are reversed. Each Carnival association (each town has one, large cities often have more than one) elects its own ‘prince’ who pretends to have taken over from the actual government, and songs and floats often mocks those in power. The tone with which this happens tends to be very light-hearted though—carnival-goers tends to be fairly uncritical of authority in daily life, at least in my experience.

Kwast en Krietje are from the town of Wanroij in Noord-Brabant, near the Limburg border.

(Link: Omroep Brabant. Video: Youtube / Krietje)

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August 27, 2011

Government party ends freedom of speech room in parliament

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

The Freethinkers Room in the buildings of parliament has ceased to exist. The exhibition of endangered art was abandoned some time during the past months by government party VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), Volkskrant reports.

The exhibition was founded in the party’s quarters in 2008, and was an initiative by VVD and PVV (Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party) who were both in opposition to the governing coalition at the time.

The room was used to display art of anti-Islamic xenophobes. When a left wing politician suggested that the room also host the “Wilders is an extremist” poster, PVV quit the initiative. Later prime minister Rutte banned further art critical of Wilders from the room, even though its makers had received “grievous threats“.

At the time one commentator surmised that Rutte built his Freethinkers Room mainly so that he “could have a photo opportunity with the parents of Theo van Gogh”. De Pers on the other hand states that the room was merely a cheap campaign trick to begin with.

(Photo: the poster by “Internationale Socialisten” that led to the arrest of three protesters, and to the beginning of the end of the Freethinkers Room. Text: “Geert Wilders. Extremist. Can cause damage to you and the society.”)

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