Last Tuesday was Prinsjesdag (Budget Day). Traditionally the single most important day in the parliamentary year, it is the day the government reveals its plans for the coming year.
Following Budget Day is the General Consideration, the debate in Second Chamber in which every party comments on the proposed budget. Generally, it is a day of posturing of the different fractions making up Dutch parliament.
In this light Geert Wilders chased up the curtains all and sundry when he earnestly proposed a tax on headscarfs (NL): Calling it a 'head rag tax', Wilders proposed that if one is adamant about wearing a headscarf, one would get a permit (at for instance 1,000 euro per year) for wearing a headscarf in public. 'This way we finally start earning back a little from islam', according to Wilders.
Reactions in parliament were swift and predictable. Asked whether Wilders was aiming to introduce an Iranian-style virtue police, he answered 'No, that is something we are trying to prevent'.
What to make of this? Obviously it isn't a serious proposal. Rather, Wilders is styling himself as the Thyl Uilenspiegel of Dutch parliament, exposing the ridiculousness of our current class of rulers through mischief. It is similar to Wilders' proposal to ban the Koran: It points out an absurdity, making a serious point through an over the top assertion.
With that he will achieve two goals. First the Dutch general population will recognize it for what it is. Disenfranchised as the general population feels toward the political process, he'll score some points with this tax proposal. Second, he forces the rest the parliament to come out and defend their correct (multicul, non-racist, non-judgemental) credentials (which they did, in spades) and with that reveal the distance between them and the large, silent majority of the Netherlands. It puts into stark focus, what the Dutch situation actually is.
There is method to the madness, it seems.
[UPDATE001] Gates of Vienna has the translation of Wilders' turn in the first term of the General Considerations: "The Battery is Dead".