Verdonk's catch phrase 'coined by far right'
29 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk was tight-lipped on Monday after a website reported her famous catch phrase is not original.
29 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk was tight-lipped on Monday after a website reported her famous catch phrase is not original.
Announcing she was a candidate for the race to become leader of the Liberal Party (VVD), Verdonk cast herself as a populist following in the footsteps of Pim Fortuyn. She declared: "Ik ben niet links, Ik ben niet rechts, Ik ben recht door zee" (I'm not left, I'm not right, I'm on the level).
The catch phrase went down well with both her supporters. Verdonk appears to be on course to be named the winner of the VVD election on Wednesday. More than 70 percent of the party's 40,000 members cast ballots in the election in the last two weeks.
Most commentators expect Verdonk to beat one-time favourite, junior minister Mark Rutte, to become Lijsttrekker and lead the VVD into the general election in 2007.
Website Belangeloos.com reported on Monday that Verdonk's statement may not be original.
The last line of the first page of the draft party programme for the far-right Nationale Alliantie in 2004 reads: "Niet links. niet rechts. Maar rechtdoor, en rechtdoorzee!" (Not left. Not right. But straight forward and on the level.)
Earlier philosopher Dorien Pessers suggested Verdonk's view that "regels zijn nu eenmaal regels" (rules are simply rules) stems from Nazi Germany when lawyers were told only the Nazi interpretation of the law mattered.
Separately on Monday, the data protection agency (CBP) said Verdonk had flouted the law when she released personal details about Kosovar Schoolgirl Taïda Pasic to the media earlier this year.
A rejected asylum seeker, Pasic, 18, used a tourist visa to return the Netherlands to complete her schooling. When Verdonk was criticised for her moves to expel the girl, her office released details about the case to the media.
Newspaper 'De Telegraaf' ran the story under the heading 'Verdonk: Taïda pleegt fraude' (Verdonk: Taïda committed fraud).
MP Wim van Fessem of the Christian Democrats called on Verdonk to explain herself. The minister who says rules are rules must adhere to them herself, he said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news