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Monday
Sep242012

The New Great Dictators Are Gaining Momentum In Europe

Contributed by Jan Bennink, a Dutch advertising guy and a columnist for the leading newspaper De Volkskrant. He is @superjan on twitter. This column was first published in Dutch on Volkskrant Opinie.

As far as I can remember I’ve never been afraid of the government. When I was a young upstart protesting military parades with safety pins through my ears, I wasn’t afraid. Even if the place was swarming with soldiers. When I was the bass player in a punk band, the P.A. Splashing Tovs, screaming at all kinds of government injustice, I did not feel unsafe. And in protest rallies against nukes. I never wore a mask or helmet. We laughed at the secret service guys with their moustaches and long coats. It was 1980, not 1984.

Also on the internet, I was never afraid. On Geenstijl.nl, a provocative Dutch opinion blog, on dejaap.nl, or writing for Volkskrant.nl, a leading Dutch newspaper, I never even thought of watching my steps. My 97,000 tweets? I posted them without giving them a second thought. Even when it came to my attention that the Netherlands has the most telephone taps in the world, I did not lose any sleep over it.

In Holland we have article 7. Freedom of the press. Freedom of speech. Censorship is forbidden. You can say and write, sing and film whatever you want. At least I cherish that illusion. You may protest and express whatever opinion you have. As long as you don’t threaten or slander anybody. And as long as you leave the queen alone.

But still my critical fingers hesitate more and more when I am writing stuff. How long will the Dutch government be in charge over its citizens? The power of the “new great dictators” in Brussels grows. And they are getting more threating towards freedom of speech all the time.

Take for example the chairman of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz. Angry faced, he condemned the making of the sad little film “Innocence of Muslims,” and the spread of it, while flanked by two “gentlemen” from fine countries where adulterous princesses are still being decapitated in dusty town squares.

And when one of those “gentlemen,” Khalid bin Hilal Al Mawali from Oman, started ranting about eradication of blasphemous acts, Schulz kept very quiet—though “eradication” in that sense has overtones of  a dreadful history in Europe.

But the issue is broader than the behavior of Schulz.  Take for example the words of Lady Ashton, the glorious EU minister of foreign affairs: “While fully recognizing freedom of expression, we believe in the importance of respecting all prophets, regardless of which religion they belong to.”  In other words Freedom of Speech is great as long as we do not insult or hurt religious people. Quite a strong opinion for someone who, up until now, did not lift one finger to help those kids in Homs, Syria. 

Then there is Mario Monti. Non-elected strongman of Italy. Parachuted in by Goldman Sachs and the EU. He also did his very best to bring the uncomfortable matter of “Freedom of Speech” to the table. Together with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy he expressed his fear for Anti EU Populism.… Newspeak for “the expression of EU critical opinions”

And it gets even worse. Monti and Van Rompuy are going to throw a special conference on this matter. In Rome. Not hindered by any resistance from the European Parliament. Except of course from Nigel Farage, who this week was fined €3,000 for speaking his mind on Van Rompuy. An ominous sign indeed.

It makes me curious what those newly unelected emperors of Rome are going to discuss exactly.

How to handle Anti EU Populism will soon become a discussion on how to handle Anti EU Populists! Shouldn’t those non-believers be registered? Or made recognizable? Is a “berufsverbot” a fitting measure for those elements not bowing down? Is this not a great moment for founding a European Secret Service?

If and when the insane federal plans of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, expressed in his State of the Union speech, are going to become reality, I am truly afraid that anti EU populists will not fit the story. And that guys like me, who make films, sing songs, and publish stuff suddenly have a lot to worry about from those grey mice in Brussels with their newspeak and absolute power. It’s this question that comes to my mind:

Is there anything more frightening than bureaucrats with a dream?

Contributed by Jan Bennink, a Dutch advertising guy and a columnist for the leading newspaper De Volkskrant. He is @superjan on twitter. This column was first published in Dutch on Volkskrant Opinie.

And here is the hilarious but brutally truthful video from down-under comedians Clarke & Dawe that in 2.5 minutes summarizes better than anything else the entire Eurozone debt crisis.

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Reader Comments (7)

The fear of being seen biased has driven this author to include apples and oranges in the same count. For those of us religious, the believe is with us from birth till death, it gives us protection in the darkest hours of our life, hope for the future and directions for the course of our lifes. No, menjeer, it is a bridge too far to insult it. On the contrary Monti's "Anti EU Populism..." is the peek of the week, and only shows how reckless the undemocratic Brussels and "technocratic" political characters have become, sure of themselves that they are in control and fear nobody.
September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFightingFearWithFear
"Is there anything more frightening than bureaucrats with a dream?" A bureaucrat afraid that his power is becoming irrelevant and can no longer be leveraged as an exchange tool for political traction.
September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrazza
Truly frightening. The EU is sinking towards totalitarianism.

Steyn last weel wrote a great column on this blasphemy nonsense (in OCR).
September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNK
I am a euro-believer, and a bureocrat with a dream and, nevertheless, I am scared to death. I hoped the EU influence will save us, ordinary spaniards, of our main problem. We do not live without working, as many foreigners believe, we live in a fascist dictatorship where many people (at least 400:000) lives without working or being paid far more that they deserve. Our democracy is a facade. And what scares me is that the EU resembles more and more, day by day, to the political landscape that I suffer in Spain. Other countries will have its problems. Ours is not a banking crissis (look at Belgium, Germany or France). Its a lie. The only bankrupt banks are the public/political ones. Our problems is that we are oppressed by a parasite olygarchy. Courts fail against the, books are written... And nothing happen . The are still free instead on being in jail because they can be condemnated, but they control the police, the MAINSTREAM media... If you can do something for the EU to impose conditions to our bailout, do it. What we need is to get rid oof our politicians and that is something that, obviously, the are not going to suggest... --- I have had problems posting the url. I will try here http:/wp.me/p2KoGX-4
September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpaniardfbm
yeah you can own a guy like we have the soothest doublespeaker in the land.
His name is obama. And hes decided on who to kill and what bill of rights Oh Bill of rights are for citizens
PAST.
September 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjonkirby2012.wordpress.com
So 'FightingWithFear' are you honestly trying to claim that relgious beliefs are sacrosanct from mocking and criticism...but someones non-religious belief (such as, lets say, Freedom of the individual) is not as important? What a load of arrogant rubbish.

Your indoctrination is not some beautiful belieif system, it is brain-washing, delusion and a lack of rational analysis of the evidence we have about world and history.

I reserve the right to speak my mind however I see fit and relgisious myths are my favourite topic!
September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPuntPal
The EU will decree that those not in favour of the EU should have the star of David sown onto their coats so we can see them.
January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKen Lorp

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