The Chairman of the Dutch Labour Party has claimed Geert Wilders poses a threat to democracy and the rule of law after recent calls from the populist leader for supporters to “resist” the building of migrant centres and threats they may “revolt” if his political party is not part of the next government.
According to Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) Chairman Hans Spekman, the anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders poses a very real danger to Dutch political life. In an alarmist interview with the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, Mr. Spekman drew attention to comments made by the founder and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).
Speaking in Milan in January at the first meeting of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group — the European Parliament grouping which includes the Italian Northern League and French National Front — Mr. Wilders said of the fact the PVV was topping opinion polls:
“If I am the biggest and the other politicians won’t work with me, then the people will not accept that. Then there will be a revolt. We won’t let that happen.”
He was referencing comments reportedly made by representatives from other parties who say they will not form a coalition government with the PVV after the next elections in 2017.
Taken together with comments Mr. Wilders made praising the resistance of Dutch activists to the establishment of new migrant housing in the face of approval of such schemes by local politicians, Mr. Spekman claims to be alarmed. He told the newspaper:
“I still believe that Wilders does not want violence committed in his name, but the comment about a revolt is a very stupid, unwise statement.”
Referencing escalating protests against migrants including threats against local politicians he says are an attack on democratic policy-making, Mr. Spekman suggested that “the genie must be put back in the bottle” and that Mr. Wilders has a role in doing that.
According to Dutch News, Mr. Wilders has responded to the comments suggesting he is being demonised by opponents. He reminded listeners to BNR Newsradio of the death of populist Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn after he was demonised by a former PvdA leader and said:
“If the bullet comes from the left, it will have the letters PvdA on it.”