Why We Should Support Vlaams Belang
Posted by Exile on September 16, 2007
I don’t intend to enter the discussion about who-did-what on September 11th in Brussels. The public arguement about Vlaams Belang interest contra SIOE interest is, in my opinion, unnecessary and counter productive to both agendas. I believe the lessons that are to be learned from that day have been learned and we must adjust our thinking to follow up on what was, for the most, a limited success. We have shown the world how democracy is failing in Europe, if not yet completely dead. The demonstration took place, despite the strenuous efforts to defeat it and the EU showed it’s true face in the form of brutal suppression directed at a political movement which it has decided to outlaw, popular or not. I believe more damage was done to the EU’s public image than to either SIOE or VB. I believe these two organisations should agree to bury the hatchet with each other, rather than in each other. ‘Nuff said!
Never having been particularly interested in Belgian politics, the efforts of VB did get my attention. That they came out in support of SIOE, despite the consequences, makes me want to know a little more about them. So I went off to look for more information. I found quite a lot, but all in Flemmish, or Dutch, which I don’t really have a good enough grasp of to be useful. I had to go to Wikipedia to find out what I needed and even the information there is subject to a neutrality dispute. However I did find the party platform and I will post that at the end of this article.
If Belgium is the multicultural model for the EU, then anything that will cause a division in that state is of value and demands our support. The people of Flanders are experiencing, and have experienced for some time, the political oppression we experienced in Brussels on 9/11/2007. They are sick and fed up with having to finance a section of the country which is incapable of producing results and is bleeding Flanders dry. The french speaking “Wallonia”. The split is similar to that being witnesed in Italy, where the northern half of the country is basically paying for the southern area. Hence Forza Italia and their programme aimed at splitting Italy. Resistance in Belgium has been going on for years. The Wiki page has this to say:
Like its predecessors, the radical right wing of the Volksunie and Vlaams Blok, the Vlaams Belang is somewhat part of the diverse Flemish movement. When the Volksunie in the 1970s, under party president Hugo Schiltz attracted more progressive politicians, and accepted Belgian federalism, this did not sit well with the party’s radical nationalist right wing, particularly after the party entered the coalition government of Leo Tindemans and in 1978 agreed upon the Egmont pact.
The radical wing created two new small parties, the Vlaams-Nationale Partij (Flemish National Party, VNP), presided by Karel Dillen, and the Vlaamse Volkspartij (Flemish People Party, VVP) with the former VU senator Lode Claes. Both parties entered the 1978 general elections as a cartel under the name of Vlaams Blok. This resulted in one MP, Karel Dillen, being elected. Later, both parties effectively merged into the Vlaams Blok (English: Flemish Block). Lode Claes decided not to join the new party because of differing views on nationalism and right wing politics.
The Wiki page is full of links and if you would like to read more you can go here and read it all.
They have been in opposition for more than thirty years. It would appear that we have a long struggle ahead of us if we wish to de-islamise Europe!
So what would stop Vlaams Belang, that basically has a prepared and ready Vlaams Parliament already set up, from simply declaring themselves a free state and secede from Belgium? As far as I can see, only two things. They are called the Police and the Belgian National Army. If the Flemmish decided to call themselves independant today, then the parliament would be surrounded, the police would move in and arrest all the occupants and they would then be tried and sentenced heavily for their actions. A state that cannot defend itself, is not a state. A peoples revolution may do the trick, but having seen the outright brutality of the Belgian police, those citizens had better be armed.
However, the thought of a free, independant, right wing country, not in the EU although in Europe, is a tantalising possibility. And one which would be of great value to the rest of us in Europe who are increasingly disenchanted with the EU.
Therefore, despite the petty differences of opinion after the 9/11 demo, I believe that all of us, including SIOE, should pledge a little support to Vlaams Belang.
As promised, here is the (abbreviated) party platform. Please take note of the areas that I have highlighted. You don’t have to agree with it all, but it makes interesting reading.
* Independence for Flanders. One stated reason for this are the financial transfers from Flanders towards Brussels and Wallonia (the other parts of Belgium) which Vlaams Belang considers to be unjustified. Vlaams Belang sees the accompanying high employment cost as very negative for Flanders’ competitiveness. The bilingual Brussels Region would for geographical reasons be included in that independent Flanders, though more than 80% of its inhabitants are now French-speaking.
* A closer co-operation between Flanders and The Netherlands, falling short of the federation with the Netherlands the former Vlaams Blok used to advocate. Vlaams Belang also wants to develop closer links with those areas in French Flanders where West Flemish used to be spoken.
* Abolition of administrative (translations on demand, bilingual road signs) and educational (teaching in French in primary schools) facilities for French-speakers in the six concerned border municipalities with Brussels, where Dutch is the official language. Within the framework of the actual legislation, as this education with reinforced study of the Dutch language is solely financed by the Flemish government, Vlaams Belang also wants them to have the full authority about the pedagogical and language inspection.
In Vlaams Belang’s view, these facilities would gallicize the Dutch-speakers rather than assimilate the French-speakers, and their practice would extend beyond the enacted law. French-speakers – who meanwhile represent the majority of the population in those municipalities – consider however that practices would conform to the law and that those facilities did not have assimilation as a purpose.
* Return of all economic immigrants who fail to “assimilate”. Those immigrants who want political rights (the rights to vote, to get elected and to obtain a public job) should apply for naturalization and forsake their foreign nationality. This implies the repeal of the law granting under certain conditions the right to vote in municipal elections for non-EU foreigners. The “70 Steps Plan” of the former Vlaams Blok for the return of immigrants and their descendants was dropped.
* Opposition to the “islamisation of Europe”, which Vlaams Belang views as a “frightening historical process”.
* Blocking Turkey from joining the European Union.
* Reform of the European Union by advocating a small European government and more power devolved to the Regions, so that competition between regions would lead to lower taxes. Vlaams Belang opposes today’s allegedly “undemocratic” European Union and refers to it as an upcoming unnecessary monster state.
* Full and unconditional amnesty for people convicted for collaboration with Nazi Germany after World War II. Vlaams Belang claims that many convicts were victims of excesses by the Belgian judiciary system against Flemish nationalists. It also states that it has “equal respect” for the suffering of all the victims during the years of war and the repression afterwards, regardless of whichever side they had sided with, or of whichever side the Belgian judiciary maintained that they had sided with. It states that all other European countries have already granted amnesty, and that the 1961 Belgian “Vermeylen” law is no general amnesty law such as in the Netherlands or France, it only possibly grants amnesty after expressing regret about the actions committed.
* After the Dutch and German model, extend the law of self-defense to the defense of home, shop and property.
* Increased child benefits, including provisions which allow one parent, if both employed, to remain at home for the benefit of education for their child or children. This is aimed at increasing the birth rate. Opponents see it as a measure to reinforce traditional male/female roles, and therefore as discriminatory against women.
* Opposition to the law enabling same-sex marriage, and opposition to the law proposal enabling adoption by same-sex couples.
* Abortion to be allowed only in the case of rape or for medical reasons. Vlaams Belang wants to take care of unexpected pregnancies by an elaborated attendance and a relaxation of the adoption and foster parents laws.
* Preservation of the current education system. The 2003 Pisa Report places it in general as best out of those it reviewed. Deeper analysis by the OECD however revealsthat this is only true for native pupils. In the group of non-native pupils, the Flemish education system scores among the worst of systems reviewed, according to some revealing a structural discrimination against non-natives. Children of second generation foreigners even perform much worse than those of the first generation. The OECD largely attributes this difference to the fact that in Flanders 54% of the foreign pupils don’t speak Dutch at home and as a consequence don’t have a good command of the Dutch language. According to Vlaams Belang this lack of language skills is due to failing integration policies of the government and is aggravated because many foreigners search for their bride abroad.
* Repeal of the anti-racism and anti-discrimination legislations on the grounds of free speech.
* Repeal the 2003 Belgian nuclear power exit by 2025 legislation. Vlaams Belang wants to revamp the existing nuclear power plants instead of building new ones in France, which would cost many times more.
* Free market economic policies, such as limiting government intervention. It also advocates a simplified tax system, the flat tax, combined for social purposes with a significant zero taxation threshold to exempt low incomes from taxation.
* Reform of the pension system based upon investment funds instead of the present redistribution system. Vlaams Belang underlines that the Belgian state pension system is currently performing the worst out of all Western European countries.
* Abolition of the Belgian trade unions’ unique pay-counter function for unemployment benefits, to step up the trade unions’ global interest in creating employment.