October 16, 2018

Mayor of Heerlen to DJ a metal set

Filed under: Dutch first,Music,Weird by Orangemaster @ 6:09 pm

Mayors in the Netherlands are appointed and not elected, and it’s not uncommon to see well-known national politicians, such as Ahmed Aboutaleb in Rotterdam (Labour Party), Ahmed Marcouch in Arnhem (Labour Party), Femke Halsema in Amsterdam (Green Party) or Emile Roemer in Heerlen (Socialist Party) step out of national politics to become mayors of a big Dutch city. In the case of Emile Roemer, he became the first ever mayor of the Socialist Party in March of this year, in a town that regularly votes for his party.

My sources tell me that Roemer enjoys being addressed informally and is a fan of heavy metal, the right kind of soundtrack to a city filled with empty buildings where the youth leave to find jobs and a more stable future. As for Heerlen, Limburg, a former mining town of some 87,000 residents, it is the rock and roll answer to the more conservative and tourist-savvy Maastricht some 30 minutes away.

And I don’t know if this is a first, but it’s most probably a first for Heerlen: on Sunday, 23 December, Roemer will be DJing a thrash metal and hard rock set at De Nieuwe Nor, the city’s only pop club. He’ll be opening for Amsterdam band Death Alley who apparently won’t be playing for a while after this.

And if Facebook is any indication, people will go because the whole idea is kind of amusing.

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August 18, 2012

Preprinted election billboards are on the rise

Filed under: General,History by Branko Collin @ 11:26 am

A new phenomenon is emerging in the Dutch electoral landscape, the preprinted election billboard.

Traditionally municipalities provide blank billboards for campaigners to glue their posters to, but amongst others The Hague, Soest, Capelle aan den IJssel, Oosterhout and parts of Amsterdam have chosen to go with preprinted boards this year for the September parliamentary elections.

According to Trouw, spokespersons for the various municipalities quote as reasons “moving with the times”, the desire to have “neater” looking billboards, and the desire to stop parties pasting posters on top of other parties’ posters.

I saw the one shown here near my house (click the photo for a larger version), and I must say, it does feel a bit like curtailing political speech. By printing the posters at the same size and in a neat grid, the individual posters become practically invisible.

I can fully understand the Socialist Party’s protests against this type of billboard. Theirs is the party of no political power whatsoever on the national level, but a very broad base. Campaign posters have traditionally been their medium, where other parties sometimes simply could not be bothered.

See also:

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