In Europe, Winners Are Losers & Left Is Right

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

The Dutch elections on Wednesday have provided a whole bunch of Orwellian narratives. PM Mark Rutte’s right wing VVD party, actually the ‘business’ -or should we say ‘rent-seekers’ in 2017- party, who lost some 20% of the seats they had obtained in the previous parliamentary election in November 2012, down from 41 to 33 seats, is declared the big winner. While Geert Wilders’ very right wing party, PVV, won 25% more seats -it went from 16 to 20- and is the big loser.

Moreover, Rutte’s coalition partner, labor PvdA, gave up 29 out of 38 seats to end up with just 9. That’s a loss of over 75%. Together, the coalition partners went from 79 seats in the 2012 election to 42 in 2017. That’s an almost 50% less. Not that it could prevent Rutte from proudly declaring: “We want to stick to the course we have – safe and stable and prosperous..” Makes you wonder who the ‘we’ are that he’s talking about.

That course he wants to stick to had a finance minister named Dijsselbloem, and his party just lost by over 75%. So he won’t be back. But perhaps the EU can pull another ‘Tusk’, and leave him in place in Brussels as chairman of the Eurogroup no matter what voters in his own country think of him. Still, declaring your intention to ‘stick to the course’ when your coalition has just been sawed in half, it’s quite something.

The only reasons Rutte’s VVD ended up being the biggest party all have to do with Wilders. The anxiety over the election all had to do with polls. Wilders is a one man party and a a one trick pony. If he would leave, his party would dissolve. And his sole ‘message’ is that Islam is bad and should vanish from first Holland and then Europe. He doesn’t really have any other political program points. Ok, there’s Brussels. Doesn’t like that either.

Perhaps that’s why he largely shunned the pre-election debates. Problem with that is, these things attract a lot of TV viewers, crucial free air-time. All in all, since he’s his own worst enemy in many respects, it’s not that much of a surprise that Wilders’ support collapsed, and that’s just if we were to take Dutch pollsters more serious than their counterparts in the US and UK.

Talking of which, according to Rutte, those are the countries where ‘the wrong kind of populism’ has won and delivered Trump and Brexit. And of course there are lots of people who agree with that. What either they, or Rutte himself, would label ‘the right kind of populism’ is unclear. Maybe Rutte himself is the right kind of populist?

The row with Turkey over the weekend must have helped Rutte quite a bit. Not only were his actions in the row met with approval by a large majority of the Dutch population, including just about all other party leaders, the Dutch also got to think about what WIlders would do in such a situation. And there can be no doubt that Rutte is seen as much more of a statesman than Wilders.

Not that the row is over. After Turkey announced yesterday it would return 40 Dutch cows (?!) , today Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Europe’s politicians are “taking Europe toward an abyss”, and: “Soon religious wars will break out in Europe. That’s the way it’s going.” There can be no doubt that a shouting war like this with Wilders as one of the participants would take on a whole different shape, and a different choice of words.

What Rutte’s going to do next is form a new coalition, this time not with the left but with the center-right, and no-one will be able to tell the difference. If Dutch, and European, and global, politics have one main problem, it’s that. Left is right and right is left and winners are losers. If a guy like Dijsselbloem can squeeze Greek society dry in his capacity as Eurogroup head, while he runs as a leftist candidate in his own country, and loses hugely, anything goes.

All those who think they can see in the Dutch experience, a sign that Marine Le Pen’s chances in France’s presidential elections in April and May have dropped a lot, would appear to be delusional. Judging from reactions in the financial markets, many seem to be. But Le Pen is much less of a fringe figure than Wilders is, and she certainly wouldn’t shun a debate. It’s true that her Front National is a one-woman operation, bit she has a much clearer political program than Wilders does.

And she doesn’t have an opponent like Rutte, who’s become a formidable presence domestically, as anyone would be who can be PM for many years and not be put out by the curb. The man who should be Le Pen’s main adversary is not; Hollande is out by that curb and doesn’t even dare run again. His Socialist party has become a joke. The next strongest opponent should be François Fillon, but he’s all but gone now he’s been placed under formal investigation.

That leaves only Emmanual Macron, an independent without a party and without a program. In France, you can be elected president in such a situation, but your hand are tied in all sorts of ways, because you need parliament to vote for things.

..the nuances of the French political system put Macron in a spot of bother. The president derives their power from the support of a majority in the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly. Macron was a minister for the Socialist Party government but quit in 2016 to form his own political movement. Now he doesn’t even have a party, let alone a majority. Although the constitution of the French Fifth Republic, created by Charles De Gaulle in 1958, extended presidential powers, it did not enable the president to run the country.


There are only a few presidential powers that do not need the prime minister’s authorisation. The president can appoint a prime minister, dissolve the National Assembly, authorise a referendum and become a “temporary dictator” in exceptional circumstances imperilling the nation. They can also appoint three judges to the Constitutional Council and refer any law to this body. While all important tasks, this does not, by any stretch of the imagination, amount to running a country. The president can’t suggest laws, pass them through parliament and then implement them without the prime minister.


The role of a president is best defined as a “referee”. Presidential powers give the ability to oversee operations and act when the smooth running of institutions is impeded. So a president is able to step in if a grave situation arises or to unlock a standoff between the prime minister and parliament, such as by announcing a referendum on a disputed issue or by dismissing the National Assembly.


So, why does everyone see the president as the key figure? In a nutshell, it’s because the constitution has never been truly applied. There lies the devilish beauty of French politics. A country known since the 1789 revolution for its inability to foster strong majorities in parliament has succeeded, from 1962, in providing solid majorities.

Perhaps those who believe that what happened in Holland is also likely to happen in France are swayed by the notion that both are part of the EU. But they are very different countries and cultures, and different political systems. And Le Pen is no Wilders. She doesn’t say crazy things anymore, she’s cleansed the public image of her party by getting rid of her father, and she keeps any remaining extremists out of view.

There is still plenty suspicion in France about her, and about her party, but there are also a lot of people who agree with a lot of what she says. The perhaps most noteworthy statement she’s made recently is that she would step down if she loses the referendum about membership of the EU she intends to launch if elected president. That should keep Brussels on their toes. Marine means what she says. And a lot of French people may get to like her for that. In a political landscape in which the competition keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Another thing about Le Pen is that her political program contains quite a few bits and bolts that could be labeled leftist; a 35-hour work week, retirement at 60, lower energy prices. It’s just that she wants to reserve these things for the French. Foreigners, especially, Muslims, are not invited. And she is very much opposed to neo-liberalism and globalization:

They’ve made an ideology out of it. An economic globalism which rejects all limits, all regulation of globalization, and which consequently weakens the immune defences of the nation state, dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws and management of the economy, thus enabling another globalism to be born and to grow: Islamist fundamentalism..

Le Pen’s popularity does not come from an overwhelming innate racism in France -though such a thing certainly exists-. It comes instead from the formidable failure that the country’s immigration policy has been for many decades. At the outskirts of major cities ghetto’s have been allowed to form in which those that come from former French colonies, especially in Africa, feel trapped with no way out. The French tend to feel superior to all other people, and the political system has let the situation slip completely out of hand.

Now France, and Europe is general, will have to deal with this mess. So far, the main European reaction is to turn Greece into a prison camp for a new wave of refugees and migrants. That can of course only make things worse. And it doesn’t solve any of the existing problems. Which makes the rise of Marine Le Pen inevitable.

And Wilders too; he’s the no. 2 party in Holland, because his party won 33% more seats than in 2012 to go from 15 to 20. That 33% gain, versus Rutte’s 20% loss, makes Wilders a loser in the eyes of many ‘relieved’ observers.

Winners are losers, and as is evident in Le Pen’s social policies for the French, in European coalition governments that contain Labor and right wing parties, and in the course of the Democratic party in the US, left is definitely the same as right.

Orwell always wins. Next problem: the actual left are not represented by anyone anymore.

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greenskeeper carl's picture

'Wilders had no political program other than getting rid of the migrants and leaving the EU" (paraphrasing)

What's wrong with that, exactly? A huge portion of his countries problems, and future problems that anyone with two brain cells can predict, come from just those two areas. If, given the opportunity, he was able to ONLY do fix those two things, he would have done more to benefit his countrymen than any politician in modern history. It really ain't that complicated.

strannick's picture

The Dutch have always been losers. Just look at their World Cup team, and Goldfinger. Orange faced sons a bitches

Teja's picture

"Wilders had no political program other than getting rid of the migrants and leaving the EU"

Easy to explain what is wrong with that. Starting with the EU - look at the European countries which are neither EU member nor part of the European Economic Area plus Switzerland which accept all EU rules without having a say about them. Are those countries (such as Moldavia or Bosnia) rich and successful? Rather not. The Netherlands are relatively small and highly integrated into Europe. Lots of their businesses are oriented towards logistics for the rest of Europe. So what do your two brain cells tell you here? Good idea to shoot yourself into your foot?

Second, getting rid of the migrants. Won't argue with you because that is a moral discussion with no end. But to assume you can clearly separate the "good migrants" and the "bad migrants", and get rid of the latter, is laughable. Even if you could, how many of the good migrants would turn against you? And how many of your neighbours would do the same?

And what if you have found the final solution for your migrant issue, and find out that your workers still are replaced by robots, your cars still run over your children playing on the street, and whatever other issues you might have are still issues? You have no scapegoat any more. Now it is only your fault. Bad luck.


Laddie's picture

Geert lived in a Kibbutz. He is fanatically loyal to the Jewish community and Israel. As noted in the article he deliberately did not attend the debates. And STRANGELY when he was convicted of "hate speech" his penalty was: NOTHING!!!

Even Marion Le Pen piled in on the bus-throwing. Sad!
Her grandfather Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the NF was thrown under the bus by Marine, his daughter, in 2015.
They need to stop appeasing our enemies. But what can you expect from a party who denounces National Socialists and says that Black Africans are French?
France: Dirty JournalistsRat Out FN Cadre as Holo-Denialist, Party Throws Him Under the Bus

Africa in France: Rhino Poached at the Paris Zoo, Horn Cut Off with Chainsaw

DrData02's picture

IF George Soros were to be investigated the biggest winners would be the American people.

BritBob's picture

The EU is dead in the water. No one wanted a union - most just wanted free-trade.

The Euro is tilted in favour of Germany keeps their manufactured products artificially low.


Re Brexit, I doubt whether an agreement can be reached. The UK will opt for a hard Brexit especially when one country (or part of a country in Belgium) can stall negotiations for so long. Spain could act in a similar fashion over Gibraltar and has the cheek to maintain its Gibraltar sovereignty claim. Claim?

Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law:

So it looks like a quick hasta luego !

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) BritBob Mar 17, 2017 12:12 PM

Isn't it strange how free trade was somehow linked to forced debt programs via common currency trickery?

TheABaum's picture

We should have nuked Germany. 

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Mar 17, 2017 12:11 PM

And his sole ‘message’ is that Islam is bad and should vanish from first Holland and then Europe. He doesn’t really have any other political program points.

What more do you really need?  If you don't handle the sovereignty issue you don't even have a country.  If you don't have a country, you don't have all those wonderful government payout programs under local political control. 

It's strange that social welfare voters trust Brussels more than they trust their own government when it comes to getting cash out of the treasury.  What happens to the dependent people of Holland when they can't petition for redress when their welfare is cut?  And cut they will; just look at Greece.  If Holland doesn't get out of the EU the poorest people will suffer the most, and have no escape. 

No more European countries.  Just one big impoverished European State.  1% laughing and drinking champagne, and 99% staring at the palace and getting angry.

Snaffew's picture

there's no such thing as bad press and if you don't want to participate in discussions, then that means you don't have any valid or worthwhile counter-arguments to your opponents.  You just look like a fool when you dont show up based on 'principle".

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

No more European countries.  Just one big impoverished European State.  1% laughing and drinking champagne, and 99% staring at the palace and getting angry.

PANEUROPE: ALL acording to the plan...nothing to see here, it is just a plan to turn europe into a future race of mongrel Jew-worshippers... now deployed worldwide.
check also:
-Kalergi plan (miscegenation into low IQ brown mongrels) / also Hooton plan
-George Soros leaks on the Merkel plan
-Chalrmagne Prize BEARERS list

-Barbara divörsity Lerner Spectre
"I think there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role and without that transformation, Europe will not survive." ~ Barbara Lerner Spectre


Burticus's picture

Automatic up arrow from me just for using "miscengenation"!

TheABaum's picture

"And his sole ‘message’ is that Islam is bad and should vanish from first Holland and then Europe."


Wilders lacks ambition. Islam needs to disappear from the entire world.


Stan Smith's picture

    It cant go on forever.    We think things are bad here?   The takers far out produce the makers in Europe,  and it's not even close.    Percentages here are at least better with that, even if the numbers arent great.

    If most of Europe was exposed to the rest of the world in trade they'd collapse pretty quick.    Euro's are charged way to much, for way to little.   Anyone who's worked or lived there can tell you that.

CRM114's picture

I lived and worked there for 40 years - and I can tell you that, and more!

Oldrepublic's picture

The killing of Pim Fortuyn in 2002 was a great loss. Had he lived he would have won that election!

life is cheap in the Netherlands, his killer was released from prison after serving only 12 years.

IranContra's picture

What made Trump win is not Tribalism or Racism, it's godliness and honesty. Tribalism is cognitive retardation. Elitism is retarded, too. Trump is smart. Righteous people are neither tribal like some alt-right, nor elitist like most of the left.

Mimir's picture

"the actual left are not represented by anyone anymore."

 Sounds like wishful thinking.

In France there are two leftwing parties, which are represented by Hamon of the Socialist Party and Melenchon of extreme left and the Communists (Under the name of "La france insoumise") represent together some 24% of the voters according to latest polls of today - same level as Le Pen (Extreme right) and Macron (Centrist)

MonteChristo's picture

There's been a consistant quite large percentage of the French population that is certifiably insance that is described by the 24% in Mimir's statement.

Burticus's picture

The political spectrum goes from 100% or totalitarian gubmint (left) to 0% gubmint or anarchy (right).

All of the political sock puppets everywhere are on the extreme or far left, puppeteered by the central banking cartel.  None are on the right, arguing for no gubmint.  In fact, none are even in the center arguing for the rule of law under a republic, with only enough government to protect men's rights from the force, fraud & injury of others.  Get it?!  DUH!!  So, quit flocking calling them "right" or "center" when they are all obviously on the left, @$$#01e!

Take 29 minutes to watch Overview of America on YouTube to get un-clueless about political & economic systems and how they interact.  Hint:  A free enterprise economic system can only exist under a republic.

hannah's picture

'Le Pen’s popularity does not come from an overwhelming innate racism in France -though such a thing certainly exists-. It comes instead from the formidable failure that the country’s immigration policy has been for many decades.'....



Raul Ilargi are a piece of shit for you nationalism is the same as racism. you are a globalist ...fuck off and die..hopefully by the hand of one of the muslim rapugees you love..