On this week’s episode, we discuss the hurricane that’s headed for Holland, the state of parliamentary sovereignty here at home, and whether taxing horses is really the way to go.
First up: with elections in the Netherlands less than two months away, the eyes of Europe’s political pundits are being drawn to the clash between the incumbent People’s Party and the insurgent Party for Freedom, led by the charismatic controversialist, Geert Wilders. Will the Dutch be the next domino to fall to right-wing populism? And what exactly is the deal with Wilders, a man who was banned from travelling to Britain due to his vociferous criticism of Islam? Joining us to discuss are Douglas Murray, who writes on the issue in this week’s magazine, and Melle Garschagen, UK and Ireland correspondent for NRC, the Dutch newspaper.
When pushed for a prediction, Douglas Murray responds that:
“Well I think you’d be a very unwise person, after the last year, to make any predictions on any occasion that the public vote, but I think we can safely say, without insulting anyone who’s Dutch, that Geert Wilders is the aspect of it, from outside Holland, which is most interesting and for many people the most concerning, of course.”
On the subject of Geert Wilders, Melle Garschagen adds:
“He’s been around for quite a while but it looks like this time he is really set to do extremely well in the elections and become the largest, or second largest, party. It’s still two months away and we tend to have a short and furious campaigning season. The big television debates are still to be held, so a lot can change but, for the last couple of months, he has done extremely well and he’s set to shake up the political landscape.”
This week, the Supreme Court ruled against the government in a landmark case regarding the triggering of Article 50.