1. A loophole in Dutch legislation.
While most developed ("judeo-christian") democracies have laws and rules that block organizations with foreign funding and/or no democratic structure, from participating in elections, the Kingdom of The Netherlands makes a notable exception.
In Germany, in France and even in countries like Belgium, Spain and Portugal, political parties are subjected to rules, based upon Law, that guarantee their democratic (membership) structure and the transparency of their revenues.
For instance, former German Chancellor, Mr. Kohl, was sued in Court for black financing of his CDU party. In Belgium, each locally elected representative is screened by Justice, and if he or she has published his/her name or image in local official publications within a three-month period in advance of elections, he or she is punished.
But in Holland, any body can participate in elections. As far as I know, Mr. Wilders is the first person to go it entirely alone. Geert and Geert alone, selects candidates for Parliament, for the European Parliament and for local elections.
2. Populist maffia leaders have to go "whoring"
Before the year 1917, in Holland, members of Parliament were chosen locally in conscriptions, like in Great Britain. After 1917/1918 big "pillar" parties, with their membership structure, took over. There was never a real need to discipline parties. They cared for themselves. Until, at the end of the Nineties, Mr. Pim Fortuyn started to organize his following under a "List Fortuyn". (LPF: List Pim Fortuyn).
Fortuyn himself described his meetings with potential funders as "whoring". He met marginal traders in real estate, who promised funding in exchange for liberty of speculation within the Rotterdam social housing sector. Eventually, the funders even took over the whole LPF party, after Fortuyn's death in 2002. The Rotterdam social housing was for a large part sold to real estate speculators. The motivation: "Raise rents, so that people with low income will have to leave and be replaced by young gentry." People with low incomes are, of course, mainly (muslim, but also Surinam and Antillean,) immigrants. (See: Rotterdam weert arme Nieuwkomers (February 2006, Dutch, in my blog "In Europa Thuis").
Likewise, Ms. Verdonk, a former Conservative Liberal Minister of Immigration, funded her party 'Trots Op Nederland', TON (Proud of Holland'), with donations from marginal personalities and real estate speculators.
3. The Wilders construction
Geert WILDERS must have decided at an early stage, that, if he wanted to keep his independence, he could neither count upon eventual members of his PVV party, nor on Dutch private funders. At first, Wilders hoped, that the bulk of his money would come from the US Neoconservatives. In 2005/6, Mr. Bart Jan Spruyt wrote a Reaganite programme for Wilders' new party and did some headhunting among the neocon followers in the Netherlands. Geert Wilders, who was then sitting alone in Parliament as a dissident of the conservative liberal VVD party, was transported into the States, where he met the Neocon pundits, who were just then at the apex of their power under the presidency of George W. Bush.
But the neocon cabal was not sufficiently amused by the peroxide blond loon. Wilders is a (rabiate) critic of religion in general, although exclusively haunted by the Islam, while the Neocons, who are not religious themselves, as former Trotskyites, consider religion (for the masses) as a necessary antidote to social action. Even if some Neocons made a visit to Holland under Wilders' patronage, their alliance did never materialize. I wrote about the neoconservative strategy of engaging fundamentalist Christians into their action in: Paul Wolfowitz and neocon Morals (June 6, 2007). And the Spruyt-inspired neocon American Enterprise Institute's excursion to Rotterdam was a failure. In the neocon Weekly Standard, Spruyt was relegated to the cultural and book review section.
It was soon afterwards, that Wilders broke his relation with Mr. Spruyt. He was to go it "alone". But not so much alone as that. Fundraising trips to Israel and the US started to fill Wilders' war treasure.
4. The Likud-US connection
While the Neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (where his former friend Ajaan Hirsi Ali is engaged as a researcher since 2005) kept its purse closed, the president of the American Peace (!) Initiative, nominated by Bush in 2002, Daniel Pipes, came to the rescue. Pipes, who is firmly linked to Likud in Israel and to the powerful AIPAC pro-Israel lobby in the US, channeled American taxpayer funds to Wilders, as well as private contributions from US sources, collected through websites like "Gates Of Vienna" e.a.
John Tyler, blogger at the Dutch world service radio "Wereldomroep (RNW)", sorted it out. The RNW site is not just a loony dhimmi playground, but an independent blogging platform hosted by the Dutch state-financed worldwide information service by radio:
An important source of funding for his legal defence comes from supporters in the United States. He has travelled there frequently: showing his anti-Islam film Fitna, giving speeches, accepting awards. And raising money.In June 2007, at the Californian Pepperdine Conference about the looming 'Collapse Of Europe', Pipes set the agenda already, with his proposals to support "advocacy" against Muslims, denying them the building of Mosques, wearing headscarves and attacking "leftist" anti-racists in Court. That is what the "Legal project" is about. The Legal Project and other advocacy initiatives were dealt with in a closed session, following the public one. Now we get a peep into what it boils down to. Tyler, again:
Neither Mr Wilders nor many of those involved in organizing fundraisers for him are prepared to indicate how much money he has raised.
Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, has raised money for Geert Wilders’ legal defence through The Legal Project. “The Legal Project engages in various efforts for individuals who talk about this bundle of issues: Muslims and Islam. Wilders is one of those that we have helped both financially and in other ways. I have helped him in terms of law and in terms of fundraising. But I can’t tell you amounts… It’s not my concern.”
Although Mr Pipes is not prepared to talk in more detail about money raised for Wilders, he has told a Dutch magazine that Wilders raised a six-figure amount during a recent US trip.
Readers are asked to send money to a bank account of the Friends of the Freedom Party Foundation. This is the same foundation which funds Freedom Party (= PVV, HR) activities. Apparently, Mr Wilders has not set up a separate foundation for his legal defence. According to Dutch daily de Volkskrant, Mr Wilders instead re-wrote the statute of the existing Freedom Party foundation to include his legal defence. This would mean there is no division between donations for Mr Wilders’ personal legal defence and the Freedom Party’s political activities.As Wilders keeps his financial resources hidden, and says: "Where I get my money and from whom is nobody’s business”, it is difficult to prove exactly, how much of the spenders' money is used for legal defence, and what part is devoted to party campaigns. Tyler:
According to Dutch daily de Volkskrant, Mr Wilders instead re-wrote the statute of the existing Freedom Party foundation to include his legal defence. This would mean there is no division between donations for Mr Wilders’ personal legal defence and the Freedom Party’s political activities.5. The European dimension. Mccarthyism returns?
As we saw in the preceding article in this series, Dutch Law governing funding for political parties is quite lax. A new law is being prepared at the Ministry of the Interior, but two of the three bigger political parties, the liberal-conservative VVD and the Christian-Democrat CDA are used to get their funding for a large part from big business. However, says Tyler:
Greco, an anti-corruption body and part of The Council of Europe, reprimanded the Netherlands in 2007 for the lack of transparency regarding political donations. A new law governing political parties and how they are financed is in the making. But as it now stands, Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party have very few limits on how and where they can raise money. And he has no obligation to reveal his money sources.I remember the McCarthyist US policies during the Fifties. Funding was channeled to anti-Communist organizations. Neutral youth- and students-organizations were being infiltrated. Let me add, that this reflected similar policies that originated in Moscow. But that doesn't make it any better.
Racist anti-islamic websites like "Politically Incorrect" (PI) in Germany are being funded and even hosted in the US. The CIA sponsored (if we may believe the German security- and anti-islam expert, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte) a huge anti-Eurabia conference in Brussels, November 2007, hosted by the separatist and post-fascist Vlaams Belang Party, outlawed by all other Belgian political parties. Ms. Bat Ye'or and her husband, as well as the enigmatic white supremacist "Fjordman" and Dutch "Arabist" Hans Jansen, converted from anti-Zionist to anti-Islam agitator (we will come back to him!), came together and studied, how hate-mongering against Islam and Muslims could be promoted. Wilders himself never mingles directly or openly with the far right as assembled in Brussels. But their money is apparently welcome.
6. Couldn't we get some information about the secret Wilders funding, out of the anti-terrorist legislation's monitoring of bank transfers?
I believed, that some forty years ago, we put an end to this kind of shameless intrusion into our political life. When Nixon had to step down in shame, at that point of time, more or less. But I was wrong. American authorities, as says my bank every month, when I transfer some money from Holland to Belgium, from my retirement pension, register what I do. I hope, they will catch Al-Qaeda transfers timely, in that way. But what about secret transfers of money from the States to people who undermine democracy and freedom in Europe and who are in Court for hate-mongering and discrimination?
If Pipes and Wilders cannot be forced to reveal their financial dealings, perhaps the post-9/11 anti-terrorist legislation and rules could be of help for once, for the necessary transparency!
Photos: 1. Jihadwatch, USA. Wilders and Robert Spencer. 2. Hoeiboei Blog: Arabist Jansen.
Technorati Tags: Bart Jan Spruyt, American Enterprise Institute, Geert Wilders, Daniel Pipes, Neoconservatives, Robert Spencer, Hans Jansen, Party Funding
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