Dutch 'New Right' party draws in old guard

30th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2004, AMSTERDAM — The Nieuwe Rechts (New Right) party in the Netherlands has received support from the radical right-wing ahead of the upcoming European elections.

30 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Nieuwe Rechts (New Right) party in the Netherlands has received support from the radical right-wing ahead of the upcoming European elections.

Nieuwe Rechts (NR) was set up by Councillor Michiel Smit after he was expelled from Pim Fortuyn's Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) for allegedly flirting with the extreme right.

Wim Elsthout

Former parliamentarian Wim Elsthout has written a letter calling on members and supporters of Centrumdemocraten (Centre Democracy or CD) to rally behind NR's European election drive, it was reported Tuesday.

Elsthout entered the Dutch Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, in 1997 for the CD as a replacement for the deceased Cor Zonneveld. He lost his seat the following year.

Regarded as the heir apparent to CD founder Hans Janmaat (1934-2002), Elsthout is best known as a former councillor in Haarlem.

He gained national notoriety in 1987 when he wrote a letter to the local newspaper advocating the scrapping of dog tax.

He proposed instead that Turks and Moroccans could be put to work cleaning up dog excrement from the streets "because they came here to do the dirty work". A court later imposed a suspended sentence and fined him NLG 500 for his remarks.

Calling on CD supporters to help the NR, Elsthout said in his latest letter: "It is high time to unite in a movement against the political nation squanderers responsible for the large number of immigrants in our country, the enormous insecurity and criminality as well as the growing poverty among our people".

In the run up to the general election in January 2003, he advised people to vote for the LPF party. He has now lost faith in the LPF and the city party, Leefbaar Rotterdam.

"One bright spot in the political darkness is the rise of Michiel Smit's party," he said.

Smit is alleged to have made several racist remarks in relation to immigrants while a councillor for the LR party. The comment most often ascribed to him by his opponents is: "There is one thing worse than a Nigger, a white Nigger".

This refers to his alleged distaste at the way many native Dutch teens in Rotterdam have adopted the language, dress style and language common among young, non-white immigrants in the city.

White teens who behave in this way are sometimes disparagingly described as "whiggers", often on websites run by neo-Nazis.

Smit claims that he is being unfairly portrayed by the media and anti-fascist groups in the Netherlands.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004 and Novum Nieuws]

Subject: Dutch news + politics in the Netherlands

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