Coalition partners lean so far they almost tipped the balance

The coalition partners VVD and Labour had agreed to disagree when Labour leader Diederik Samsom told a party conference recently his party would be leaning as far as it could to the left. At the same time, recent comments by VVD parliamentary leader Halbe Zijlstra showed the Dutch liberals are leaning as far as possible to … Continue reading Coalition partners lean so far they almost tipped the balance

Has the VVD lost its way: who’s in and who’s out of the Dutch liberal party

It’s been a changing of the guard for the VVD since the provincial election. Firstly the new Minister of Justice Ard van de Steur and his State Secretary Klaas Dijkhof were installed. They were reportedly not the first choice as apparently a number of candidates turned down the honour. Was it because they did not … Continue reading Has the VVD lost its way: who’s in and who’s out of the Dutch liberal party

Tolerant Holland

When I came to the Netherlands over 20 years ago I would have described it as a tolerant society. Amsterdam claimed to be the world’s gay capital. The sale of cannabis in coffee shops was tolerated and the authorities just ignored the fact that the rest of the trade was illegal. Squatters enjoyed rights not … Continue reading Tolerant Holland