From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Apr 26 2007 - 14:43:29 EDT
Last night, the entire party leadership of the Dutch Labour Party bureaucracy resigned, after a crisis discussion at the party offices lasting four hours, prompted by the announcement earlier yesterday of the immediate resignation of Micheal van Hulten as Labour Party chairman. There is a lot of soul-searching going on among the Dutch social democrats. The Dutch Labour Party has been trounced both in the polls, and in the elections, by the Dutch Socialist Party, even although the SP has less political experience and networks in the corridors of political power, and on the whole has a fairly tame, sober and level-headed "reality conscious" political programme. What is the main reason for this? Basically, Dutch people see the Labour Party as a party of government functionaries and managers ("regents") out of touch with ordinary folks and their concerns - a party whose leading lights cream off tax money, while doing very little for the people except promising them enforced standards of moral decency. Of course, standards of moral decency are anyone's guess, and can be debated forever, but important to ordinary working people is what's in their bank account, and their ability to make a real life in society as it is. That is not to say that the Dutch social democrats are totally dead in the water. They aren't; they are quite capable, resilient and cunning, and quite capable of making yet another media splash. If the Blairite Wouter Bos (now Finance Minister) was ditched, and replaced with somebody who has real fire in the belly (a brain and a passion) they could even make a comeback, even among the youth that are deserting them. The Dutch Labour Party prides itself on its ability to administrate public resources in an efficient and effective way, and it believes it can do this better than anybody else can - especially, better than the "inexperienced' and embarrassingly "partisan" Socialist Party. The problem however is that few people can see the positive results of this. By seeking to be the party that has the interests of "everybody" at heart, few - or at least many fewer people - can identify with the Labour Party these days. Everybody knows that the Dutch Liberal Party (the VVD) is a conservative employer's party. Everybody knows that the Socialist Party (SP) is a broad left-wing workingclass party. The statistics prove that perception. But what really animates the Labour Party, nobody really knows. They seem to be administrators and managers without a constituency, generals without troops. Jurriaan Well this is my back yard My back gate I hate to start my parties late Here's the party cart Ain't that great ? That ain't the best part baby Just wait That's a genuine weathervane It moves with the breeze Portable hammock honey Who needs trees It's casual entertaining We aim to please At my parties Check out the shingles It's brand new Excuse me while I mingle Hi, how are you Hey everybody Let me give you a toast This one's for me The host with the most It's getting a trifle colder Step inside my home That's a brass toilet tissue holder with its own telephone That's musical doorbell It don't ring, I ain't kiddin' It plays America the beautiful and tie a yellow ribbon Boy, this punch is a trip It's o.k. in my book Here, take a sip Maybe little heavy on the fruit Ah, here comes the dip You may kiss the cook Let me show you honey It's easy - look You take a fork and spike 'em Say, did you try these ? So glad you like 'em The secret's in the cheese It's casual entertaining We aim to please At my parties Now don't talk to me about the polar bear Don't talk to me about ozone layer Ain't so much of anything these days, even the air They're running out of rhinos What do I care ? Let's hear it for the dolphin Let's hear it for the trees Ain't runnin' out of nothin' in my deep freeze It's casual entertaining We aim to please At my parties - Dire Straits, "My Parties"
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