All the media in the Netherlands is up with extensive stories about minister Donner’s (Justice) decision to ask the Crown to sign a Royal Decree in support of his views over the notorious detention center on Schiphol International Airport. Only few days after the fire the minister was opposed by the borough council which decided to close the prison. Mr. Donner’s stance to rescind or at least postpone the order for immediate closure of the clink issued by the borough council of Haarlemmermeer, a territory north-west of Amsterdam where Schiphol is located , came as a shock. The elected representatives of the people were first threatened that the minister will ask the courts to annul their decision. It appeared as if Mr. Donner had forgotten that right there 11 people were burning for hours until they were piles of charred rubble. Bring new in the same conditions? Why the minister of Justice did not go to seek justice in the courts may remain a mystery but it is a safe guess to speculate that the courts could not meddle in this. Therefore the minister of justice would have been entrenched not only in a most unpopular but also in a very illegal, thus quite muddy, position if he was not saved by a Royal Decree.
While I was shocked 1.) by the request and 2.) by the consent, a gentleman called H. Borghouts, the Commissioner of the Queen for Noord-Holland (one of the 22 provinces of the kingdom) told the press he was not surprised that the Crown interfered to nullify the decision of the democratically elected governors of the public interest in Haarlem. But then somebody showed tough balls. Mr. Fons Hertog, the mayor of the borough (he is appointed by the Queen and NOT elected by the people because both the Dutch Constitution and Parliament still treat their citizens as half-witted serfs) sided with the public opinion and the facts that the cells were not safe. Furthermore, he said that the ministry was most uncooperative in extending data about the fire. The press presses the borough to shut up about the fire on Schiphol because it extended the permits for the operation of the detention center on September 22, probably without their inspectors being allowed to inspect anything and least the cells and corridors and fire-extinguishing equipment, its functionality and so forth. The deeper one goes the chaotic state of affairs and the arrogance as its only shield becomes more and more obvious.
Going this far, right to the most popular Queen Beatrix, to save what is absolutely untenable, the government must have felt pretty shaken. It is not easy to press the Sovereign with such a dramatic request. I do not think that anybody actually said “Your Majesty, please issue a Royal Decree in support of keeping the detention center operational despite its safety and other conditions are described and proven abominable”. This was more maneuvering than a move of desperate, highly incompetent and grotesquely arrogant bunch of worn-out old-guards. It appears so pathetic and out of sync. Of lately the Netherlands insists on development of local government throughout Europe while at home its ministers behave worse than the headiest spahi in a rebel-prone province of the Balkans. There, in the Balkans, (Srebrenica is the place where a heavily armed Dutch battalion under UN-flag abandoned instead of protecting some 5,000 Muslim man and kids who were slaughtered in consequence by the troops under command of indicted General Mladic) a spahi could quarter you for actions while here, in the netherlands, the officials (of any rank) can do the same in response to those who dare ask or press legitimate but awkward questions. When I complain to the officials that I cannot subside on $7,5 a day, the tax-office responds with a $1090-demand for health-protection insurance as a self-employed blog-author! Can you imagine that? Why Goulag? They create one around you and people run away from the walking archipelago of probation.
One walks along the manicured greens of the hushed picture-book townships of this land of alleged affluence and simply cannot accept that these people behind open-windowed, warm-lit sitting rooms do not contemplate about questions similar to these. For how long will this society endure to be told that parliament will never ever allow them to come out on a referendum and have their say about anything? Another half a century? Two? Who will they vote next year: same sort of men and women who will tell them, once the elections are over, that they are far from being capable to elect their own mayors? How are they capable then to judge whether the Constitution of the European Union is acceptable or not? Do they feel manipulated by a cabal of old hands? Are they so stiff scared from the revenge of the might? Why did not Her majesty simply reject the request and sent her ratings soaring and posed the ultimate question: monarchy, order and dignity of the people or out you go and I retire to enter History as it befits me.
Now, instead of resigning, the minister shows who is the real master here! Without the Royal Decree yesterday he would have been just another spent out politician. After the elections he will again be a spent out politician or a dry branch which will crack down with the first blow of the winds of change. The shenanigans after the tragic fire on Schiphol indicate that this is not a question of ministerial competence or responsibility. This is blatant disregard of decency and a most dangerous demonstration of arrogance. The parliament must act swiftly and either fire the minister or the cabinet or both.