The word allochtoon, used in the Netherlands to describe people of non-western origin, is negative and should be replaced by 'bi-cultural citizen', according to a new policy document drawn up by the orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie.There is absolutely nothing I can say in the way of meaningful comment, that hasn't been said elsewhere to discredit the preposterous idea that giving a problem another label will make it go away. But evidently that realization has still to dawn on the good people of the Christian Union.
'The word allochtoon is associated with negativity by many people. The world bicultural is softer and should be used instead,' ChristenUnie MP Cynthia Ortega-Martijn, who drew up the document, is quoted as saying by the Volkskrant.
According to the Van Dale dictionary, allochtoon means migrant, foreigner or alien. However, the word is mainly used to describe non-western immigrants and their children. The third generation of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants are still known as allochtoon despite being born and brought up in Holland.
There have been several efforts to eradicate the word, which has a negative ring for many. Last year, the Labour party attempted to introduce the term 'new Netherlander' to describe immigrants.
In years (and elections) gone by I have gone out and cast my vote for the CU. I certainly won't make that mistake again...