Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm still standing after all this time

Pride06 065
Originally uploaded by Jayjay P.
When I moved to the Netherlands, I was sure that there was no use of planning to write about national politics to Finnish papers. But fortunately the shaking and breaking has been of great help for my freelance income. Only last week I was called from a Finnish weekly to write an article on the pedophilia party PNVD and due to the cabinet breakup this summer I can again write an article on the upcoming elections. My article on PNVD will be in tomorrow's Suomen Kuvalehti.

Today two ministers resigned - this time due to the results of the investigation on the fire in the Schiphol airport asylum seeker prison. The independent commission stated clearly that the Ministry of Justice had not filled its obligations in securing the safety of the cells. The commission wrote in their report that many of the deaths could have been avoided with proper fire safety systems. Today the ministers responsible resigned.

Well, most of them. Rita Verdonk, the minister of immigration, seems to stick like glue. Her department was also criticised for how the people were treated afterwards but no one expected Iron Rita to draw any conclusions.

The elections are going to be tough. The current prime minister Balkenende is not the most charismatic leader there is (Happy Potter but without the charisma was the description of a Belgian politician) but the alternative - Social Democrat leader Wouter Bos - was described after one of his speeches last week by a friend of mine with phrases you don't want to have attached to the man supposed to lead transformation: grey, boring, bureaucratic, mediocre, lack of vision and uninspiring.

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