Four MPs from Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV wore a badge in parliament on Wednesday featuring a flag associated with neo-Nazi groups, the NRC reports.
The Prinsen flag, which has an orange section rather than red as in the current Dutch flag, was adopted by the Dutch national socialist party NSB in the 1930s.
It has since become a symbol of right-wing extremism and is used by groups such as the Nederlandse Volksunie and Stormfront.
Wilders has made a career out of his very strong, xenophobic and racist anti Muslim and anti immigrant stances, while at the same time, always stressing his unconditional support for Israel. Now, it seems that such support is no longer convenient for him (in the sense that to broaden his follow base in view of the European elections in May next year, he needs to “take it up a notch”). So, his party is now moving into an openly neo-Nazi position (something he always denied and a topic I have covered quite some when he vehemently condemned Anders Breivik’s “allegiance” to his politics). Members of Parliament from his Party are now wearing Neo-Nazi symbols out in the open, defiant, confrontational and clearly demonstrating exactly what this Party stands for.
Wilders, of course, as he always does, minimizes the symbolic value of this shameless display and claims he is “all for democracy”. His racism is not only vile because of its ideology, it’s even more vile because it is opportunistic and a mere tool he uses to access power. I expect that in the next few months, as the European Parliament election campaigns heat up, he will become even more daring, showing his true colors more so than he has done so far. He has already spoken of a Pan European alliance with the French Front National (a party that includes such stellar record like Holocaust denial, calls of violence against People of Color, violence against immigrants, etc etc), the Swedish Democrats (who, contrary to their name, are anything but democratic) and the Italian Northern League (a Party whose members regularly advocate violence against Black people, Muslims and immigrants).
I have speculated in the past about what I call “European networks of hate” and how these networks might grow in a European Union that has created a legal entitlement for the free flow of European citizens, resources and information across borders. So far, these “networks of hate” have been loosely associated and focus on exchange of information and some sporadic physical actions (like when the British BNP supporters came to Amsterdam to “manifest” their support for Wilders). These European elections seem to be consolidating the “networks of hate” into a more institutionalized and political body, with real power and representation. I, as usual, remain interested in their further development.
ETA: Photo of the Members of Parliament with their Neo-Nazi pins here (thanks to Janne Wolterbeek for the link)