THE HAGUE, 08/10/08 - The established political order appears slowly but surely to want to return to political correctness on Moroccan criminals. In a three-stage rocket display, Gouda's police chief, Mayor Cohen of Amsterdam and Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin have said one after the other that the tone of the debate is too harsh.
In Gouda, bus company Connexxion's drivers went on strike recently in protest against Moroccan teenage criminals. Various journalists visiting Gouda were then assaulted and robbed and a plainclothes policeman was stabbed in the buttocks. More 'incidents' followed and the Lower House held an emergency debate in which all parties had harsh words to say. Newspapers concluded almost unanimously that political correctness on the Moroccan problem was history.
But chief commissioner Jan Stikvoort of the Gouda police region last week criticised the national political agitation. Parliament has given a "wrong picture" of the Moroccan youngsters in Gouda. Both left and right-wing parties have "blown up a small incident" into big proportions to win voters for themselves, he said.
Last weekend Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen praised Stikvoort's criticism of the House. The Lower House debate on the problems with Moroccan youngsters in Gouda was "beyond proportions," declared the Labour (PvdA) icon. "The police do a lot about it," he maintained.
Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin now also considers MPs conducted the debate on the problems with Moroccan youngsters in much too high a tone. The Christian democratic (CDA) minister said in a speech to party members in Hilversum that the "disturbing tone of the MPs is not justified by any real threat whatsoever."
"It is amazing," Hirsch Ballin went on, "to see how the new political movements in parliament, unhindered by any form of argument, continually declare that the Netherlands is going under." The conservatives (VVD) also join in here, according to the minister - "a party from which you do after all expect rational considerations."
VVD leader Mark Rutte criticised the CDA minister's speech yesterday. "In Gouda, people are concerned that the State now longer owns the street. This signal the minister apparently no longer takes seriously enough," according to Rutte. Party for Freedom (PVV) MP Hero Brinkman spoke of "ostrich politics."
CDA, PvdA and Socialist Party (SP) MPs did not feel the criticism concerned them. The VVD and PVV had already reacted savagely to Stikvoort earlier. "It is not the House that has wrecked the image of Gouda - that was done by the mayor earlier by not taking any action," said VVD MP Leatitia Griffith.
In the Netherlands, police chiefs are appointed by the cabinet. So are mayors, who are the police chiefs' political bosses. Gouda's mayor had already said earlier his town was relatively quiet. He also urged media not to come to Gouda or make an appointment with him first before they do.
Add this to the many reasons to turn your back once and for all on that benighted bunch of 'spiritual' nincompoops that is the CDA: Our minister of Justice thinks that addressing the many problems that Moroccan youth cause in our cities is speaking 'in much too high a tone'.