So about that Rabbit Hole…
I’ve updated the post on the Travel Ban a couple of times since putting it up – just with the news – and last week when I added a couple of lines about the revised order that is due to be enforced on the 16th – so on Thursday – I mentioned that I had kind of – um – fallen down the rabbit hole of “is the Trump administration colluding with Russia on somethings?” conspiracy nonsense stuff. But I didn’t go into any details of how I managed to tumble down this
train tunnel hole? of thought – it was two things. The first being an article in The Guardian about Ted Malloch who seems to be far from enthusiastic about European integration and was tipped as Donald Trump’s pick for EU ambassador, and the second was a BBC Newsnight interview with Geert Wilders which I’ve embedded above, and it was specifically Wilders minimising the shooting down of MH17 by Russian-backed rebels. I watched that thinking “you traitor”. That’s an overreaction I know, but it’s how I felt watching it.
So my concerns aren’t so much about the Trump administration as about the fact that I’m worried that our liberal democracies are under attack. I actually tried to write a post about it a couple of weeks ago but … it’s very simplistic – it’s mostly just my feelings about stuff – here I’ll post it – I might well take it down later though – it’s not properly finished, once I’d listed what I perceive as being the threats to our democracies in Europe I decided I wasn’t going to publish it – I just added in the later paragraphs now.
And the reason I’m posting it now? Well, about two-thirds of the way down that very very long post I talk about why I think the EU is worth staying in and the reason I’m writing this post is that I’m worried that the escalating diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the Netherlands may stoke nationalistic feelings and get people to vote for the anti-EU Geert Wilders on Wednesday. So do I think this is another elaborate conspiracy? I did but then I stopped and thought about it for 30 seconds. Thinking … really worth it generally.
The EU needs some reform to be more responsive to the concerns of citizens but I really don’t want to lose what we’ve got.
Also I just want to say that while I do think President Putin is mounting a serious and pernicious attack on the EU I don’t think he is in any way a fascist. Could everybody please stop calling everybody else fascists?
It looks like Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been returned. There are many parties in the political system in the Netherlands, with votes split among these – and this in itself seems like a good protection against extremism – so it will be a coalition government that will be formed but as the PM described the result it was one “in which the Netherlands […] said ‘stop’ to the wrong kind of populism.”.Dank je de Nederlanders!