Anti-social behaviour maddens Dutch most
24 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — Anti-social behaviour in society irritates 71 percent of the population on a daily basis, making it the most important source of frustration in the Netherlands, a new survey has indicated.
Research bureau Trendbox said out of the top 25 irritations, annoyance at the lack of ‘norms and values’ just topped the 68 percent of survey respondents who said they are annoyed on a daily basis by certain advertisements.
Published in periodical Readers Digest on Tuesday, the survey results showed other top daily irritations include: high prices due to the euro (67 percent), senseless violence (66 percent) and vandalism (60 percent).
Anti-social behaviour amid traffic, rubbish and other mess on city streets, too expensive and scarcely contactable client service telephone lines, dog litter on the street and the high payments to top business chiefs complete the top 10.
The researchers said it was noteworthy that public transport and traffic jams were not part of the top 25 irritations, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
Theologist, marketing expert and communication professor Anne van der Meiden attributed the high degree of irritation among Dutch nationals to individualisation in society, in combination with self-wisdom and the right to self-choice.
He said these phenomenons have a negative influence on our manners, saying that people are less prepared to hear how they should behave.
With many people fed up with the crime, rude and violent neighbours and dirt on their streets, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende raised concerned in 2002 about the breakdown of norms and values in the community and launched a campaign to restore them.
The idea struck a nerve with the public as many agreed that people needed to re-learn to be respectful to others, behave better and get involved in improving the local community.
Critics, in contrast, accused Balkenende of still living in the 1950s; that he was still living in a time when the Netherlands was a smaller, provincial backwater and dominated by strict Christian norms.
Nevertheless, Balkenende moved forward with his campaign and the government recently launched a website (www.zestienmiljoenmensen.nl) to help get the “be nice to everyone” message across.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news