Last week, the debate on the #teevendeal forced the cabinet to eat humble pie. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte admitted Wednesday’s debate was the “most difficult in his political career”. A vote of censure was brought by the opposition against Rutte. He survived, of course, cabinets always do apparently when they do badly in the … Continue reading Dutch cabinet survives Teevendeal debate but van Miltenburg is fall girl
Back in April, Rutte II almost split over the matter of what to do with failed asylum seekers who are unable or unwilling to leave the country. As tens of thousands of refugees advance towards the heart of Europe, the coalition has now been forced to find common ground on how to tackle the crisis. … Continue reading Sheer numbers force shift in Dutch government’s stance on refugee crisis
Usually little attention is paid in the media to the election of the Upper House of Parliament in the Netherlands. It’s a slightly outdated system, in which the newly elected provincial parliament members vote for their candidate in the Senate. Not quite as archaic as the UK’s Upper House of hereditary peers, but hardly an example … Continue reading Is it time for change in democracy as a new Senate takes its seats?
It’s not often that the national 8 o’clock news in the Netherlands opens with the words “Fuck the king”. On the BBC it would be unthinkable – at least it would before the 9 p.m. watershed. “Fuck the king, fuck the queen, fuck the royal house” The reason the national news opened with this phrase … Continue reading F*ck de koning! it’s easy to get prosecuted nowadays
Amsterdam’s location theatre Over Het IJ Festival has “grown up” says Lode van Piggelen as dancers sign with flags from the top of a three-storey high construction made from shipping containers. The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For many Amsterdammers it’s an alternative for last month’s Oerol festival on the island of … Continue reading Over Het IJ -Amsterdam’s dockland theatre festival “grows up”
The letter from the town hall fell silently on the mat. I’d almost forgotten about it. Oh yeah, I realised as I slit the envelop open. It contained a positive decision for my application for the Dutch nationality and an invitation to the obligatory naturalisation ceremony. I’d been asked a few times. Why did I want to become … Continue reading Going Dutch – What is nationhood and why care?
My number appeared on the screen, B247 cubicle 32. First question: Bent U latent Nederlander? Well, I’ve lived here a long time, speak the lingo, know the culture – does that make me a latent Dutch native, I thought. The puzzled look on my face must have been sufficient answer for the clerk behind the … Continue reading Going Dutch – The next step