Our new Prime Minister

Mark Rutte (VVD) will be the new dutch Prime Minister. At least for a little while before this government falls. Now I disagree with him on many many things, not the least of which is his cooperation with Geert Wilders to create a right-wing government that will probably take the Netherlands back to the fucking stone-ages when it comes to compassion, solidarity, privacy and civil rights while going all-out on fear and repression. But I have to say that watching him speak at a press conference yesterday was a relief in one sense. We, finally, after 8 years of Jan Peter Balkenende, will again have a Prime Minister that has the gift of language. One that can speak whole sentences. It’s right-wing drivel alright, but at least it will be something that either resembles an answer or a refusal to answer. I think from now on, large political parties must be obliged to have at least one person on staff with the rudimentary social skills that make it seem like he or she has been around other people in the past decade. At this point, I wouldn’t even be surprised if our new PM spoke english.

Please note that I probably won’t ever vote for him just because he can speak whole sentences, and I’m not saying you should either. But I had to share this sense of relief. We finally have a Prime Minister that I can just vehemently disagree with instead of feeling ashamed that I come from the same country.

5 thoughts on “Our new Prime Minister”

  1. I share your feeling of relief. Balkenende is probably a good man but, god, what a horrible public speaker. The time he had been in office and the time I could bear listening to him were inversily proportional.

    Say what you want about Verhagen but listening to him speak doesn’t want to make me strangle him. (As opposed to his actions, which do make me want to do that.)

    Anyway, can’t wait for the LPF-like hilarity to ensue and the government to fall.

  2. Be careful what you wish for.

    A lot of people were thrilled when Obama was elected president, since he was clearly much more articulate than George W Bush and has real rhetorical skills. However, two years on it is now worth asking to what end those verbal skills serve. Bush’s policies have been largely if not wholly maintained and are now being promoted by a far more compelling spokesman. This makes Obama in fact more dangerous that Bush. He is able to sell bad ideas much more successfully than Bush ever could. Bush was transparent; people quickly recognized his callow, indifferent, incurious nature. Obama is cleverer, a better performer, more persuasive, hence a very treacherous politician.

    Rutte’s verbal skills you praise above will only make it easier for him to sell his toxic neoliberal, philistine policies.

  3. It’s true that Obama hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations, but at least he’s not someone you can’t help but feel embarrassed for.
    Balkenende wasn’t anywhere near as dangerous as GW Bush of course, but he was in a lot of ways the worst PM we’ve ever had, and completely unsuitable for the job. I agree wholeheartedly with Rop on this; Rutte cobbled together a scary coalition, but at least he can speak, he can negotiate, he can listen.

    The best thing we can hope for with this government is that they accomplish nothing, but at least Rutte will look good and appear competent while doing nothing. Balkenende made me want to strangle somebody every time he opened his mouth.

  4. quote = mcv – Balkenende made me want to strangle somebody every time he opened his mouth.

    I share the feeling. But whom he should have strangled instantly, is the temporarily employed through an agency guy (not a girl, afaik) in the CDA headoffice in The Hague. Who back then suddenly engaged “Twee Vandaag” in publishing on public television unfounded accusations re. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. CDA frontman and ‘fractie’leader at the time.

    Keeps frustrating me: that the way this could happen – totally unfounded accusations re. a political leader that were the same day picked up by a national TV program – was never truly investigated nor punished.

    Not saying that De Hoop Scheffer would’ve been a Saint or even Saviour to Holland. But at least he was fully available to save us from what happened shortly after: the choice for a young and inexperienced CDA-leader whose main achievement at the time had been the – hungry – demand for croquettes during a late city-council meeting in Amstelveen…

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