Article published on the internet on May 13, 2002.
Who killed Pim Fortuyn?
Pim Fortuyn received a bad press in newspapers and on television, not only in the Netherlands. Especially in France, Germany and Great Britain the politician (who was murdered on May 6th, 2002, during the six o'clock news on the premises of the radio studios of the Dutch Public Broadcasting Radio) had been deliberately depicted in the headlines and commentaries as being ultra right, having the same ideas as Jörg Haider in Austria, and the same political agenda of Jean-Marie Le Pen in France.
Obviously many a foreign journalist had been consulting their Dutch colleagues and just wrote down the negative opinions and the often distorted information they received from those Dutch journalists.
On top of that, the negativity of the information was reinforced by various politicians of the established parties when they were interviewed on television and for newspapers. These politicians also participated in so called debates which actually were chaotic gatherings, mainly because of the biased journalists who presided the meetings in a rather unprofessional manner. This all showed that a conspiracy against Pim Fortuyn was going on.
Chanceler Schröder's Lecture
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder who was invited by the Dutch Socialist Party to read the "Den Uyl Lecture" on March 18, 2002 in the Hague, warned that The Netherlands were risking to loose their image of a tolerant society which generally is considered to be an example to many other nations.
The question of course is: Why did he make this remark, what does Schröder mean? He certainly did not mean the intolerance of the establishment towards Pim Fortuyn, the intolerance of established parties who did not want to share the power with Fortuyn and his followers.
Gerhard Schröder certainly did not mean the intolerance of the journalists either, the journalists who had positioned themselves as aids of the government and of the political parties.
Could Schröder mean that the ideas of Pim Fortuyn were a severe threat to the reign of the Dutch Socialist Party, the PvdA, the sister party of the German SPD?
Schroeder's remark could hardly have been based on his own findings. His lines however were inspired by the worries of the "Partij van de Arbeid", the Dutch Labour Party, which practices a non assertive socialism which results in a more or less "laissez faire, laissez aller" attitude which was originally the slogan for the doctrine of right wing politicians.
Apparently Bundeskanzler Schröder's goast writer had been instructed by the information department of the Dutch Socialist Party, and was inspired by articles in the German press as well. Well, Herr Bundeskanzler, your opponent in Bavaria, President Edmund Stoiber, had officially welcomed Jörg Haider as if the Austrian party leader of the FPÖ was a great statesman. And what did you say about that? Not a word!
Schröder's appearance was premeditated. Schröder's line saying that the Netherlands were loosing their image of tolerance, was the headline in the 8 o'clock news on Dutch television (NOS Journaal). No mention was there of a context. That also smelled of conspiracy, a biased opinion of the editors of the 8 o'clock news. (It must be said however, Herr Schröder, that the journalists of your country are generally far more professional than their Dutch counterparts as can be witnessed in 'heute', 'heute journal', Tagesschau and Tagesthemen.)
Fortuyn was no Dutch Haider,
made his entry in the Dutch political arena in the fall of 2001. He published
a book called "The Debris Of Eight Years Purple", in fact the ruins of
the purple cabinets of the two governments led by Wim Kok. These were
coalition cabinets of socialists (PvdA), conservatives (VVD), and liberal
democrats (D'66). Fortuyn criticized the failure of important policies
of "the purple administration", the mismanagement of the health
care system which resulted in long waiting lists, the rising crime record
and related unsafety, and - last but not least - the nonrealistic immigration
and integration policies which resulted in long procedures and a seemingly
endless stream of illegal immigrants of which their original culture was
so remote from Western society that they did not get acquainted with it
and would not participate.
Pim Fortuyn's Criticism
appearance made a great impact. His criticism was partly right. Many people
thought it refreshing that for once a politician (who was a newcomer and
was not a member of the political establishment) openly talked about these
policies, but especially about the question of the integration of immigrants.
The result was that in the last months of campaigning for the election for a new parliament on May 15th, 2002, the atmosphere was one of intimidation and name calling. Invariably the objective - so it seemed - was to stop Fortuyn at no cost and with all sorts of means. Rare were the occasions when he could finish his sentences when interviewed and answering a question or explaining his ideas in a debate. It must be said that Fortuyn himself did participate wholeheartedly in the chaotic debates. He was forced to. Not participating would be a sign of weakness. The only times when he was treated in an objective way was in the man to man debates or when interviewed by a more able journalist who knew that the man first had to explain an idea before he could be attacked. In those cases he was granted the space and time to explain his views, for example on Belgian television.
electorate however saw very clearly what was going on. The more the established
parties and the established journalists picked on Fortuyn, the more the
popularity of Fortuyn was rising and this showed very clearly in the polls.
Fortuyn was gaining attention and in polls it was he who was winning and
the established parties were loosing, virtually. Thus a nasty atmosphere
was created which could have been a stimulus for anyone who had thought
about eliminating Fortuyn. And if it could not be done in the media, than
the apparent solution was to kill the man.
Pro Immigrant Policy
that Pim Fortuyn has been murdered, the Dutch have a problem how to explain
to other countries what really is the matter. How can the wrong and unjust
painted image be rectified. Fortuyn was not against the immigration of
political refugees at all. He even proposed a "general pardon"
for those who were already in the country (legally or illegally). He proposed
limited quota for immigrants, not for political refugees, the latter were
1 of the Dutch Constitution is the so called "non discrimination
article". Holland is the only country in the world which has such
an article. When Fortuyn said that, if the "non discrimination article"
was impractical (because it stifles anyone who wants to make a critical
remark), than, he suggested, the article should be replaced by a "hate"
article. But that suggestion was misinterpreted and again he was attacked.
Pim Fortuyn's Party: LPF
opinion makers and journalists have said that, now Fortuyn has been killed,
his party, Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF-party), should be dissolved. That is
exactly what these conspiring journalists and politicians had been wanting
all along, the elimination of Fortuyn's ideas and the political followers.
The journalists and politicians do certainly not want to understand why
he was so popular and more so they do not understand what democracy is
Rudolf A. Bruil, May 13, 2002.
Referring to the existence of Berlusconi in Italy, the recent elections in France and now the murder and elections in The Netherlands, an American newspaper recently wrote: "What is wrong with Europe?". That actually is the wrong question. The question should read: "What is wrong with the world?"
Yes, we do live in a time of revolution, a time of change. Old patterns and established views are no longer valid, are in agony. The move to more openness is necessary to redefine policies which enable to build the future. Some people call it a move to the right. If it is a move to the right, than it will be temporary. Sharon in Israel is not the future but the agony of the views of the past and thus will finally function as an impulse to review the policies. George W. Bush is not the future but the agony of the politics of the nineteen seventies and this will lead in due time to renewal. In European countries like France and the Netherlands (and probably soon in Germany when elections have taken place) socialism goes through a phase of agony when it desperately wants to keep the power but has to give it up and renew itself and let society renew itself. There is nothing wrong with that. - Rudolf A. Bruil, May 13th 2002.
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