Saturday, 18 March 2017


I had to smile at this blurb from the From Our Own Correspondent website:

Whoever wrote that doesn't appear to have noticed the irony or the fundamental contradiction contained therein.

That one-time "famous Dutch tolerance" on the issue of immigration (i.e. suppressing any questioning of immigration) sounds rather like the famous BBC "tolerance" on the same issue in years gone by.

If you recall, this kind of thing used to go on at the BBC (as reported by Stuart Pebble in his BBC Trust report on BBC impartiality): 

As for Gabriel Gatehouse's report, it was much like his reports elsewhere. He wasn't breathing a sigh of relief at Geert Wilders's "pretty distant second" in the Dutch elections because "if blunt words aimed at foreigners was what the electorate was after they need look no further than the Prime Minister himself." Mark Rutte had "told Dutch citizens of Turkish descent to behave themselves or eff off". 

"For me," Gabriel said, "hearing these words in the mouth of a Dutch prime minister was profoundly discombobulating. Was this still the country I'd grown up in? If tolerance was gone, what was left?" 

Oh well, at least the Dutch still ride bicycles and eat mayonnaise with their chips.


  1. I’m not so sure about the famous Dutch tolerance. I found this article after posting an earlier piece about Gabriel Gatehouse. I wonder if he’s aware of it.

    (I'll paste in the link again in case my HTML doesn't work)

  2. What always gets left out of these discussions is that the Dutch have always had a qualified tolerance. It has never been a carte blanche handed out to all and sundry to do whatever they like at all times. It has always been a case of "Do what you please, but do it over there and don't bother or harm anyone else with it." When the line is crossed, as it was recently with the red light district scene and the 'coffee shops', the Dutch step in and crack down.

    I would ask Gatehouse if he'd wring his hands over the lack of tolerance regarding protests against a Trump rally in Amsterdam, or indeed in London.