Some commentators have compared the present anti-Wilders action to the days leading up to the murder of Fortuyn. This is not wholly unjustified (and I suspect some quarters of trying to create exactly that set of circumstances to get rid of a threat to the status quo), but as the maxim goes: History repeats itself. The first time as a tragedy, the second time as a farce.
This second time around the actions of the "community networks" seem to be backfiring spectacularly. The daily Trouw, willing participant in Terpstra's hitpiece, tried to hype the enthousiasm of the Dutch. But today even they had to admit that reactions to the anti-Wilders campaign were lacklustre (NL) at best. The Algemeen Dagblad polled the reactions to the new anti-Wilders movement and the results were rather surprising. Although 43% of those polled supported the new movement an equal percentage opposed it:
According to a poll by Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, 42.9 percent of the Dutch consider the counter-movement a good idea and 42.3 percent, a bad idea. Some 45 percent consider Terpstra's movement incites hatred against Wilders.What was a tad disappointing today was the reaction of the churches. Both the protestant and the roman-catholic churces came out with statements saying that Wilders' idea on islam must be fought (NL).
Given the corrosive effects that 'liberation theology', casting Jesus as Che Guevara without a machine gun, has had on European churches during the 70's and 80' of the last century this shouldn't be all that surprising. But it is hugely disappointing nonetheless. One would think that given the behavior of the islamic flock towards christians around the world, their stance would be a bit more... erhm... forceful?
In the mean time Tersptra has retreated into self-chosen exile from the MSM after the ferocious reactions (on both sides of the issue) to his cri de coeur. Late last night he appeared on TV, in full back-pedalling damage control mode, saying he never meant to single out Wilders. Ever since he has avoided any media contact. It looks the whole anti-movement is going to die before it is properly gestated (NL).
And thus the people that for decades decided for the Dutch population what to think are looking increasingly ridiculous. Were they responsible for the tradegy five years ago, all they seem to be able to conjure up now is a farce.
I can just imagine the policy advisors in The Hague jolting up and taking notice. The Dutch are not adhering to the usual script. What the hell could that mean?
[UPDATE001 Wednesday 5 - 12] And to make the farce complete, this from Elsevier (NL): The list of Dutch prominents 'spontaneously' signing on to the anti-Wilders movement is the result of Terpstra's own lobbying. Apparently he took out his rolodex and started calling friends and colleagues for support. What's more, a number on the list have indicated they never agreed. Of those that did initially, an increasing number is backing out of the intitiave. Probably as a result of the less then enthousiastic reactions of the native population.