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Hrm, interesting

A good article by Frans Groenendijk (who posted in the comments here a week or so ago! Hi Frans!) about the success of Paul van Buitenen's Europe Transparent party in the European Elections. He calls it "the best thing that happened in Dutch politics in many many years" and he's right. Would that the British had had a candidate of van Buitenen's caliber to vote for, to channel their quite legitimate distrust of the EU-as-it-is-now into something constructive instead of having to vote for a bunch of dweebs whom Paul Schroeder described to me as "one evolutionary rung removed from the BNP" - and I'm not sure if he meant that UKIP were one rung above the BNP.

If I have one criticism of van Buitenen, it's that I think his portrayal of himself as an anti-politician looks disingenuous to me. I refuse to believe, for instance, that he didn't have a suit to wear on TV during the election night, and that he would have naively chosen to wear a hideous neon-green tie over his green lumberjack shirt, thinking that that would do. I think that was a deliberate act of political portrayal. But that's a minor grumble when I think of what he may be able to accomplish, and what his (and one of his comrades, writer Els de Groen)getting elected in the first place signifies. Let's wait and see.

(Update: I was right: van Buitenen does have a suit.)


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