In a turn that has surprised many, the Dutch Labour Party is apparently changing its position on minorities living in The Netherlands. According to a leaked email from their strategy leader Peter Paul Slikker, the PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid, Labour Party for its acronym in Dutch) will now focus on the many problems caused by immigrants. This rather dramatic change in strategy is said to be caused because the PvdA is currently losing votes to the Christian Democrats and Gert Wilders’ party, the Party for Freedom. (Link goes to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf through Google Translate because I’d rather provide a direct link to the source than my own likely biased translation).
According to the source, the party should not go back to “multicultural tea drinking” (a jab at the two main Muslim minorities, Moroccan and Turkish immigrants for whom drinking tea is a fundamental part of their culture and who do, indeed serve the beverage every time people get together for discussions, to conduct business, etc.).
The Party has not denied the veracity of the email and instead, their spokesperson just said that it was an “internal document”. I cannot emphasize enough how serious this turn of events is. The Labour Party is a major political force in The Netherlands, with a voter base rooted solidly in the working class. Moreover, minorities systematically vote for them and Job Cohen, the current leader was always seen as a moderate who firmly opposed the current waves of xenophobia and Islamophobia. If indeed, the Labour Party is about to jump into the anti immigration, anti minorities bandwagon, the ripple effects will not just affect The Netherlands but they will most likely have an impact across all of Europe.
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