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Socialist Party (Netherlands)

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Dutch election: GreenLeft and Animal Rights gains the bright spots as Wilders stalls and mainstream right strengthens


By Dick Nichols and Will Wroth


March 21, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The containment in the March 15 Dutch general election of islamophobe Geert Wilders’ Party of Freedom (PVV) was greeted with relief by the mainstream European media (see table for election results as of March 19; final results will be declared on March 22).


The PVV’s final vote of only 13.1% (20 seats in the 150-seat lower house according to the Dutch proportional representation system) represented an increase of only 3% (5 seats): given expectations this advance was really a sizeable setback.


The PVV, which advocates shutting all mosques (“hate palaces”), banning the Quran, closing Dutch borders and leaving the European Union (“Nexit”), had been leading in opinion polls since September 2015. Its support reached high points of over 40 seats–up to 20 more than the ruling conservative People’s Party of Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Wilder’s one-man party—himself--only started to poll consistently behind the VVD in the last ten days of the election campaign.


Netherlands: Socialist Party now 'biggest left party' after provincial elections

March 19, 2015 -- Socialist Party (Netherlands), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Speaking to party activists, in a celebratory mood as it became clear that the Socialist Party (SP) had once again recorded an extremely positive result in the provincial elections, party leader Emile Roemer told them:

This is an historic evening. We have become the biggest left party in the Netherlands. The SP is a powerful factor in the Senate. An ideal starting point for the SP to be elected to government at the next general election.

Both governing parties suffered strong losses, and Roemer reminded those listening that it had been Prime Minister "Rutte himself who made these elections into a referendum on his government. And the result is clear. The Netherlands has done with the policy of austerity. The government should not be sailing a different course, or any course at all, it should be passing the rudder on."

Netherlands: Deckchairs quietly shuffled in EU poll fizzer

Socialist Party protests against European free trade treaty.

For more coverage of the 2014 European elections, click HERE.

By Will Wroth, Rotterdam

June 5, 2014 -- Rabid anti-foreigner populist Geert Wilders was expected to wipe the floor on the right; the “equally anti-EU” (according to the media image) Socialist Party (SP) would garner a protest vote large enough to put the pro-Brussels traditional left on the back foot; voter turnout would hit an historic low, itself a measure of public anger, disillusionment or disinterest. That was the consensus media guess as to likely Dutch results in the May 25 European election.

Party of the European Left’s fourth congress: building unity to build hope

By Dick Nichols

February 24, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- When the 200-plus delegates finally voted on the two main documents presented to the fourth congress of the Party of the European Left (EL), held on December 13-15, 2013, in Madrid, there was a faint murmur of surprise at the degree of support received. After all, the EL is a mix of different but related political sensibilities, bringing together “anti-capitalist, communist, socialist, ecologist, feminist, eco-socialist, republican and other democratic forces”[i].

Its affiliates embody different national political cultures and are based on all sides of the widening north-south and east-west economic and social ravines that cross Europe, the European Union and the Eurozone. Moreover, it is only 10 years old, created in 2004 in a forced march driven by the process of European integration and the need to compete with other European “party families”.

Alexis Tsipras: End austerity to regain democracy! For a democratic, social and ecological Europe! -- Alexis Tsipras, president of SYRIZA and candidate of the European Left party for the precidency of the European Commission, spoke on January 18, 2014, in a debate organised by the Dutch Socialist Party in Amersfoort. Here's the full text of his speech.

* * *

Your invitation, which I appreciate a lot, came at the right moment. Not because, as you might know, I am candidate of the European Left for the presidency of the European Commission. But because, yes indeed, democracy in Europe is in retreat. And this is the reason, the purpose and the real meaning of my candidacy: to end austerity to regain democracy.

Democracy is in retreat. And the reason is neoliberalism.

1. It is neoliberal austerity that causes recession, zero or low and jobless growth. With the Netherlands expected to reach in 2017 the real economic output level of 2008. Austerity brought youth unemployment in the Eurozone to the unprecedented 25%.

2. It is, also, the lack of transparency, lack of legitimacy and lack of accountability and credibility of the European institutions. The European Union is distant from the peoples of Europe in all respects. It has alienated its citizens. That’s why the people react with apathy, distrust and euroscepticism.

Holandés: Una resaca en lugar de un terremoto

Emile Roemer.

[English at]

'Donde haya injusticia, allí nos encontraran'

Declaración del Partido Socialista holandés después de las elecciones de 2012

Un combativo Emile Roemer se dirigió a cientos de miembros del Partido Socialista en la sede Paard van Troje (Caballo de Troya) de La Haya. El SP conservó sus 15 escaños, a pesar de la feroz competencia con el PvdA (Partido Laborista) y el VVD (liberales de centro derecha). "Sí. Estoy muy orgulloso de este partido y de los millones de personas que votaron por nosotros", dijo Roemer. "Y sí, yo también estoy decepcionado, lo que es lógico cuando hace tan poco tiempo estábamos tan alto en las encuestas. Pero la decepción durará alrededor de cinco minutos Nuestra campaña para las próximas elecciones comienza -como siempre ocurre en el SP- hoy ".

Netherlands elections: A hangover instead of an earthquake

Dutch Socialist party leader Emile Roemer.

See also "Rise and rise of the Dutch Socialist Party".

Statement from the Dutch Socialist Party after the 2012 election: 'Wherever there is injustice, There we will be found'

Statement from the Dutch Socialist Party after the national elections 

September 12, 2012 -- A combative Emile Roemer addressed hundreds of Socialist Party members in the Paard van Troje (Trojan Horse) venue in The Hague (Den Haag). The SP held on 15to its  seats, despite a fiercely fought two-horse race between the PvdA (Labour Party) and the VVD (centre-right liberals). "Yes. I am extremely proud of this party and of the million people who voted for us", said Roemer. "And yes, I am also disappointed. That is logical when only a short time ago we stood so high in the polls. But that disappointment will last around five minutes. Our campaign for the next election begins – as is always the case with the SP – today."

El ascenso ininterrumpido del Partido Socialista radical holandés: ¿una nueva vía socialista en el Primer Mundo o mero parlament

Emile Roemer.

[English at]

Por Will Wroth, traducción para por Gustavo Buster

Septiembre 9, 2012 -- -- Aunque las elecciones legislativas se suelen considerar con demasiada frecuencia como "históricas" y sus resultados, celebrados como "avalanchas decisivas" o "terremotos políticos", cuando el polvo de la batalla se disipa, en la mayoría de los casos no es para tanto. Pero las elecciones legislativas en los Países Bajos el próximo 12 de septiembre parecen despertar todo tipo de expectativas.

La caída imprevista del anterior gobierno minoritario, el más derechista del que se tenga memoria y rehén del apoyo del Partido de la Libertad (PVV) del demagogo xenófobo Geert Wilders, ha provocado la convocatoria de unas elecciones que pueden producir un cambio inédito en el espacio político de la izquierda y unos resultados que planteen algunos problemas estratégicos fundamentales a los socialistas tanto en los Países Bajos como en el resto del mundo, al mismo tiempo que enfrentaran a la oligarquía económica y política del país a una realidad cuanto menos molesta.

Rise and rise of the Dutch Socialist Party: new perspectives for socialism or naïve, hip, left parliamentarism?

Cartoon of Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer that appeared in Quote, a Dutch business magazine. Caption reads: "If Roemer becomes prime minister, we’ll all move to Switzerland.”

September 1, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Although parliamentary elections are often billed as “historic”, and results hailed as “landslides” and “political earthquakes”, it usually turns out not to have been quite that dramatic when the dust settles. But the September 12 national elections in the Netherlands really do seem to be living up to expectations of that magnitude.

The unexpectedly early fall of the previous minority cabinet—the most right wing in living memory, and hostage to the support of xenophobic demagogue Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV)—has triggered an election that seems likely to usher in a radical realignment of the landscape on the left, and could realistically produce an outcome that poses some fundamental strategic questions for socialists in the Netherlands and beyond, while presenting an uncomfortable reality check for the country’s economic and political establishment.

Crisis, revolt and the left in Europe

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following presentation is a slightly edited and updated version of a talk given on January 20, 2012, to the eighth national conference of the Australian Socialist Alliance, held in Sydney. The slides mentioned refer to the PowerPoint presentation above, which accompanied the talk. Dick Nichols works in the European office of the Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly, based in Barcelona.

* * *

By Dick Nichols

Slide 1

Thank you, comrades, for the invitation to speak—what a pleasure it is to see old faces, and new ones, too! The class struggle may be more advanced in Europe, but I sorely miss what we have created in the Socialist Alliance, as should become clear later in this talk.

My aim is to sketch the present phase of the class struggle in Europe, assess the gains of our side along with the challenges it faces, and hopefully help us all think about what this might mean for Socialist Alliance and the socialist movement in Australia. But the opinions expressed are my own, of course, not the Socialist Alliance’s: so feel free to disagree vigorously!

Netherlands: Today Islamophobia is the main form taken by racism

Young Dutch Muslims.

By Peter Drucker

August 29, 2010 -- Since the rise of Pim Fortuyn in 2002, Islamophobia has played a central role in Dutch politics. Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party have now emerged as a threat to all progressive forces. There is no point in trying to change the subject and hoping the danger will pass; Islamophobia has to be confronted head on. But intelligently – knee-jerk defences of anything a Muslim says or does will definitely not help.

To be clear: in the Netherlands today Islamophobia is the main form taken by racism. It has nothing to do with criticism of Islam as a religion. If Wilders and his followers say that not one more Muslim should be allowed into the country, they don’t mean that Moroccan and Turkish Christians and atheists are welcome. "Muslim" is for them simply a convenient epithet for "those other people".

`Freedoms won, freedoms lost' -- left views on the fall of the Berlin Wall

November 15, 2009 -- For the past few weeks the international capitalist mass media has been awash with triumphalist hoopla about the so-called ``collapse of Communism'' as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal posts a number of commenatries from the left that deal with facts and fictions of those dramatic events, and how the people most effected are faring today.

* * *

By Chris Slee

November 16, 2009 – Green Left Weekly -- The 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin wall -- November 9 -- was the occasion for self-congratulation by supporters of the capitalist system. They talked of the fall of the wall as heralding a new era of freedom.

They failed to note that other walls and fences have been built or strengthened during the past 20 years.

Videos: European revolutionaries discuss left unity experiences

The British socialist newspaper Socialist Resistance on June 28, 2008, sponsored a fascinating day of discussion and debate on building broad left parties across Europe, attracting a comprehensive list of speakers from key left unity projects. The videos of the following talks were recorded on the day. They include speakers from the Left Bloc Portugal, Respect in Britain, the Socialist Party in the Netherlands, Die Link in Germany, Sinistra Critica (Italy) and the European Greens. They are reposted from Liam Mac Uaid's essential weblog, with permission. More videos of the day are available there.

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