Dutch farmers’ party secures landslide victory
The BBB's huge election win is a direct challenge to Mark Rutte's coalition
With the highest turnout in 30 years, Dutch voters gave an extraordinary signal to their four-party Government on Wednesday: the Farmer Citizen Movement (BoerBurgerBeweging, or BBB) is set to come first in regional elections, which decide the make-up of the Dutch Senate.
In a long voting day, with locations from repurposed drive-through testing centres to ancient churches, an estimated 61% of Dutch people turned out. The result was astonishing, even though the party has been creeping up the polls, feeding on anti-establishment feeling after unpopular Covid lockdowns.
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Some analysts saw the election as a fight between two ‘moods’ in the Netherlands: a mood of (Right-wing) discontent, echoed also across other countries, versus the traditional consensus-driven Dutch mood. With 18 parties in parliament, politicians have typically found a way to muddle along, but this election was different thanks to the thorny issue of nitrogen compound pollution, which is tying the country in knots before a bill has even passed through parliament.
EU rules, Dutch laws, and court verdicts mean the country must reduce emissions of ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide from farming, transport and building machines. The question is who takes the hit — and whether 30% of productive farms should be shut, forcibly if necessary. The Netherlands, which feeds the world with its intensive farming and livestock-heavy agriculture, is at the sharp end of the international climate debate.
According to initial results, the BBB, headed by sole MP Caroline van der Plas, will be the largest party in the Senate — polling at more than 30% in some regions. Meanwhile, support for the Government has been slashed. The result is a direct challenge to Dutch PM Mark Rutte, who has been embroiled in a number of scandals, such as gas mining in Groningen at the expense of citizen safety, punishing innocent (often dual-national) citizens for childcare benefit fraud and ongoing Dutch farmer protests about nitrogen emissions. Small wonder, then, that 46% of voters said they were specifically voting against the current national administration.
The strength of green feeling here, both for and against, is a bellwether for the struggle to come in other countries and farming economies. But BBB should not be dismissed as ‘anti-green’; rather farmers are more of a lime green versus the dark green of the eco activists, both of whom claim they want to protect the land.
The reality of climate change mitigation or adaptation is playing out in the Netherlands right now, where these new provincial assemblies will need to come up with detailed plans to reduce nitrogen pollution by July. Meanwhile, there is a national housing crisis and this is one of the top personal issues for people in the Netherlands. Nitrogen rules are getting in the way. Still, the success of the BBB serves as a warning shot to Mark Rutte and his government.“This is a landslide we haven’t seen for years,” said CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra, a Government party whose traditional farmer support has evaporated. “It is an extraordinarily bitter pill.”
The global pushback against ‘green policy’ coercion is just beginning – and has the potential to completely decimate the technocratic “middle-tier” if they block their ears and continue to push change through against the wishes of their populaces. I mean by this, politicos and administrators who are prosperous, or even wealthy, but far from super-rich. In the UK, this is most of the MPs in parliament across all parties, high powered civil servants, people running quangoes etc.
People in poorer countries will plain flat not accept attempts to prevent them from industrialising and becoming wealthier – such attempts will generate, first political pushback against ruling elites, and if that is ineffective, civil unrest, riots etc, all the way to civil war I would predict. In this, I don’t think even places like China are at all immune. The problem for politicos in the global south is that they are under huge pressure from the technocratic class in the rich north, to deliver ‘green policy’, and if this is resisted then individual politicians are ostracised from the strata they value and crave most. Sri Lanka is a case in point.
I thought pushback might be less marked and take longer in rich nations, because rich nations are typically services oriented economies. But that is predicated on the hit from higher green costs (a) taking longer to filter through to wealthy urbanised centers, and (b) globalisation continuing to soak up some of the pain via the endless supply of cheaper goods.
However, a combination of Covid-19 and geopolitical roil has scuppered the buffers that existed – higher costs for everything everywhere are now coming through pretty much instantly, and it doesn’t look like ordinary people in rich nations are any more willing to take that hit than those in poorer nations.
I hope you are right
I never quite understood what happened in Sri Lanka with fuel shortages etc, do you have any insights on that?
The TL;DR is that the country’s leader implemented a WEF plan to ban fertilisers, which then (predictably) destroyed the agrarian nation’s economy and finished Sri Lanka’s half a century transition from prosperous colony to debt-trapped third world basket case. Obviously it’s actually a lot more complex than that but that is the basic rundown.
One other thing that has failed to be mentioned is the new proposed tax and standards criteria on second homes and to let properties. In short the incumbent government wants to make it impossible for ordinary citizens to invest in real estate. If the new laws go into effect, citizens who own more than one property will be forced to sell or face fines of up to 80,000 euros if they fail to comply with the new and impossibly high standards being imposed upon them. This is a giant blow to those who spent money buying and doing up properties in order save up for retirement, particularly at a time when the government is lowering pensions and for years has been warning people that they will need to find other ways to provide for their old age. These new laws only benefit corporations that can afford to buy up properties to either convert or demolish for new luxury apartments.
Here in Canada Trudeau with his similar policies on oil and nitrogen already has provincial governments passing legislation to block the Federal government and is threatening national unity. A pox on these globalists and their anti-human agenda.
Correct and time net-zero was abandoned, much easier for us than Holland which is under the EU thumb. The forecasts of impending catastrophe have completely overlooked the efforts of tech which in USA is making huge strides.
I don’t think we need to worry about the Chinese actually doing anything unpopular in the name of combatting climate change. They will simply fill the gap by producing all the things we don’t produce any more and then selling them to us.
What will we pay them with if they won’t lend us the money?
Double Dutch Good
Good? How can it be ‘good’ to pollute the environment through obscene intensive agriculture? Just baffling.
You want everyone to starve. That’s disgusting.
Don’t be silly. There is such a thing as sustainable farming practices.
Powered by wishful thinking and unicorns no doubt
Powered by sensible policies to reduce pollution and the reliance on intensive use of chemicals, supported with financial packages for the farmers.
“…sensible policies to reduce pollution and the reliance on intensive use of chemicals, supported with financial packages for the farmers”
Like I said wishful thinking and unicorns
You mean fertilisers? Let’s all starve instead I suppose. Organic agriculture is much less productive and more intensive, and requires more, not less land, and hence a bigger impact on wildlife.
The Dutch proposal doesn’t mention going organic.
the dark green of the eco activists
I noticed my expectation for the words “activist” and even “charity” have changed over the last 10 years. I used to view these as mainly positive words representing people trying to improve the lives of others. Nowadays, an activist for me is equally likely to be a troublemaker or deluded idiot as someone who’s doing good. Similar for charity, my perception of a charity is changing that it’s more likely compared to the past to be made of people doing harm with others’ money than acting as a force for good.
In Holland judges, rather than politicians, can dictate what needs to be done to meet climate goals. As we all know, climate goals are formulated in a rarefied atmosphere of noble science, disaster scenarios, and unrealistic expectations. No wonder farmers are protesting.
Since when did judges get to make economic public policy?
When the politicians made their incompetence and venality impossible to ignore, I imagine.
But they and the scientists were all so successful when it came to Covid.
If it had not been for the politicians, scientists and judges what would have become of us?
The sweeping victory of Farmer Citizen Movement (BoerBurgerBeweging, or BBB) owes as much to the ordinary city and rural people as it does to farmers. This is the Dutch version of rebellion. The fact is that the people who voted in such huge numbers are simply reclaiming the streets as it were and just want to be seen, heard and taken seriously by the ruling classes who are supposed to be our representatives and our servants. The whole country is now BBB green as it has the most votes in all 12 provinces, controls almost two-thirds of councils and is likely to be the largest party in the senate. If the current government still insists it knows what is best for the masses it will almost come a cropper long before the next scheduled election in March 2025. The worm has turned anyhow!
Achieved through a Proportional Representation?
How I wish we had a farmers and landowners party… They could employ Shapps, Raab and their suburbanite pond life to muck out the pigs?
We do have a voice – the NFU, but it is now rather slanted towards large ‘industrial’ farms. If the approach changes it will benefit rural communities, advance sustainable agriculture, and benefit national health as well as consumers. I fear the Dutch farmers may go the other way.
Would that be the in the Роо-lag archipelago?
Better:- Feed the pigs?
I think what’s getting overlooked here, is the basic differences in the political systems. The U.K. has 2 big parties & a first past the post election system.
The Dutch have had multi party coalitions for decades.
In that regard it would be very difficult for any farmers movement to gain traction in the U.K.
But, does a landslide translate into a change in policy?
Or is the ruling coalition secure in its current position?
WooHoo!!! Go BBB!!
‘Dark green’ – perfect name for it. To be distinguished from the deep green of deep ecology, at least the way I interpret it
Why describe the discontent as “Right-wing”?
Rutte’s government is neoliberal – since when is neoliberalism “left-wing”?
Dutch police was incredibly brutal against peaceful protesters, even shooting at them. Is this now “left-wing”?
The terms “right wing” and “left wing” are still bandied about as if the strict ideological categories of the second half of the 20th century existed to this day. Clearly they do not, as opinions on a whole raft of major issues, from climate change to Brexit, from gender identity to the pandemic response, are split not along right/left lines but randomly across the population according to the issue. It is not helpful to insist on using this archaic terminology.
Neoliberals managed to marry aggressively right-wing economic policies with socially left-wing ones creating a political position that’s appealing to left-liberal voters, hence they get placed on the left of the scale. State ownership of public goods and planning gets replaced by mega-corp ownership of all goods, and planning of public discourse. In contrast, anything that has to do with individual responsibility and ownership (as opposed to mega-corps) gets labelled right-wing.
Some bloke shutting up young climate voices the other day.”If the sky’s falling in and the seas are rising to put Europe under water, how come one can get a 40 year London mortgage from Barclays?”
The penny has dropped regarding the malign policies proposed. People are beginning to vote against them at last.
Will the EU be Dutch voters’ next target? Time for a NetherExit? Maybe even a Eurexit generally?
Top down UN mandated climate change policies and targets are producing the possibility of a Holodomor incident in the West. These objectives cannot be forced on economies without destroying people and the men and women at the top of the power structure pushing these policies have dulled their humanity enough to just let people die in the name of.Climate Justice.
May God give us the strength to overthrow these shibboleths before it’s too late.
Vote BBB. You get a pushback on arrogant elitism and a slap in the face for the ngoquango culture and its unaccountable oligarchs. But you’re also voting for industrial agriculture, neonicotinoids and (by extension) the death of the River Wye and the vile practices of the chicken industry.
It would be refreshing to have some more sophisticated choices, but heigh-ho, we threw that baby out with the bath water in the 1990s.
What’s happened to the Dutch elite should serve as a wake-up call to politicians everywhere.
The reality of the Dutch situation is that for decades the policy was one of farm intensification. Keep more cows, be more efficient, export the manure etc.
In an era of relatively cheap fertiliser & cereal feeds this model of farming was profitable.
However the downside was ignored & with the focus now on the environmental impact of intensive agriculture there was going to be a clash at some point.
Instead of conceding that they’d encouraged all this, politicians & civil servants then tried to make farmers the fall guy.
The Dutch revolt might not be the last.
Doesn’t anyone in Europe realize the Green Movement was funded by the Soviet Union to undermine Western economies? That’s why German got out of nuclear in a huge way, and became dependent on Russia for NG. Now, Russia and China are funding climate change groups across the West, to further undermine our economies. Now they’re tag teaming the West. China is sending munitions to Russia. Tensions are extremely high, a global war could break out. And now the climate change useful idiots, or traitors, as the case may be, bleat for no fertilizers with no other solution. Don’t give us that organic BS, it’s extremely labor intensive, and yields are nothing like fertilized and pesticides in farming. You folks in EU can freeze and starve in the dark. We’re going to get rid of Biden in 2024, and try to recover our economy from the COVID hysteria and climate change BS. Of course the climate is changing. It’s been changing for 4.5 billion years. We’ve had Ice Ages, and warm spells. It’s all in the glacial records. The Sun is the single biggest factor in our weather. Mild fluctuations in the Solar output have a huge effect on our weather. Solar physics SME know this, but don’t talk because of the mob rule-doxxing of those who disagree with the climate change BS.
Cognitive dissonance in full effect. I predicted (to myself) 25 years ago that climate change mitigation would be futile and here we are, a perfect example. The Dutch regime clearly needs reform, but oh no, it’s too expensive, too inconvenient, so let’s just carry on regardless. It will be the same here (UK), and everywhere. Future generations will curse us.
There’s a rather nasty word for people like you who oppose democracy. It begins with an ‘f’.
I don’t oppose democracy. Not sure why you think that.
They will curse the Global Warming cabal that is wasting immense human and natural resources on a chimera.
Time to go back to school Terry, it’s not called global warming for a reason. Perhaps pick up an encyclopedia and look up climate change?
Reducing NOx emissions will not mitigate the climate.
Technically correct. However, it’s the production of fertilisers that create CO2 in huge amounts, this is why there is a policy to reduce usage.
What really confuses me and I am, for once, being serious is… why is deferral to future generations always more important that looking after people around you now?
The changes you call for will FORCE people to obey a theory, a way of life, an existence based on a theory. Perhaps this theory is correct and perhaps it isn’t. But in your version of things, people have to sacrifice themselves on an altar of theory.
All science is theory. Do you dispute other scientific consensus such as gravity? You might come crashing down.
M Harrington had a good article on this very topic recently. The science that gave us social Darwinism of Nazis, or starvations across Asia, or the very much messed up response to Covid (fake origin theories, masking of toddlers, question of natural immunity, etc etc) is inseparable from the objective altar of truth science that you seem to think it is.
Climate science can’t be compared to the science that drove covid policy, if that’s what you mean. There has been some 40 years of climate change research completed by thousands of organisations and universities. It’s mindboggling that people still deny it.
But, of course, you only read the books which support your theory. Any idiot can do that? Do you want a list of theoretical articles which don’t support your theory?
Sure, as long as it’s not from a random blogger or radicle scientist. Maybe you can find something in a respected publication or encyclopedia for me? btw I am aware of my biases, can you say the same?
As long as we agree science is demonstrably fallible, and has failed in spectacular ways even very recently. Specifically, I personally buy into climate change with the caveat that I feel the science for it has been warped in the same way it always happens for politically sensitive topics.
Part of the problem is that 25 years ago, instead of investing full tilt in nuclear power for abundant electricity at cheap prices for all as the French did in the 1970s, we went for wind and solar. With the result that we’re still at less than half of electricity generation, let alone of all energy. And it’s expensive, as rising bills keep showing.
We can’t even just even think that in another 25 years of more of the same to decarbonise the second half of the electric generation because the solar and wind will start needing to be replaced. It becomes a money merry-go-round (so not surprisingly backed by big hedge funds and investors reaching out for the taxpayer purse).
We have the solution, and we had the solution. People have pointed out the solution repeatedly. Yet the greens still keep us chasing wind and solar to avoid solving the problem, leaving us at 25 wasted years of whining and still tilting at windmills.
Flatulentia semper obstetrix incontinentiae.
Totally agree with this. Nuclear was the technology that could have tipped the balance. Unfortunately companies such as Exxon created the clime sceptic industry that is still thriving today, as seen in the clueless above responses. It’s one of the greatest crimes ever against humanity.
Oh, yes. Big oil. We all forgot. This is what your tutors told you to say.
No. Maybe you should look it up. Perhaps shake that embedded bias a little? Two words – Exxon sceptic.
Exxon had a nuclear power arm between 1969 and 1986. It also had some early patents for a form of lithium batteries and early research and investment in solar energy. Generally, post 1973 oil crisis, all the big oil firms explored a range of alternative energy technologies fearing their long term demise due to the belief in peak oil. When additional oil reserves, and widespread switch to gas happened, most abandoned their renewables businesses. When Exxon pulled out it said that the only way to make money was via government subsidies.
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