The Netherlands

Convicted for asking a question; Geert Wilders won’t be silent

In what can only be described as a politically motivated trial, the popular leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert Wilders has been convicted for asking a question of his audience at a political rally. He and his party will contest national elections in three months time and the party according to a nationwide poll holds a narrow lead at the moment. His conviction for asking people if they would like fewer Moroccans in the country will only make support for his party stronger.

Using legal jihad to try to silence a political opponent is a new low in politics. The Dutch government are running scared and have shown their cowardice by attacking him in this manner. Cam and I know personally what it is like to be dragged through court for the crime of telling the truth so all my sympathy is with Wilders. You have to admire someone who leads a party despite serious death threats, who has lost his personal freedom because of 24/7 security in order to keep him alive and who is targeted by his political opponents with trumped up legal charges.

Geert Wilders was accused of committing hate speech but they failed to convict him for it. Since it was a politically motivated trial they had to find something so, in the end, he was convicted of migrant discrimination.No fine was imposed by the judges.

‘In this case, the most important question is whether Wilders has crossed a line. This judgement has answered that question,’ the judges said in their verdict.

‘Therewith, the chamber finds that justice has been done. Consequently, no punishment is imposed.’

-dailymail.co.uk

Read more »

Politician Geert Wilder’s battle for free speech in the Netherlands

Civilian? No weapons… Well, then it was bringing spies! (MH17 phone calls)

Listen to the people who may have been involved in shooting down MH17 looking for anything that can justify the mistake in military terms…

BREAKING: provisional report of 1 New Zealander on board downed flight MH17 [ LIVE UPDATES ]


A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane has been shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border, killing all 295 people on board, according to a Ukrainian interior ministry official.

Flight MH17, which was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew, was flying between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur after taking off at lunchtime today.

Read our earlier live reports here.  It contains a lot of background information, some of it superseded, but most of it still useful.


LIVE UPDATING CLOSED.  Any further major updates will happen via their own posts, minor updates via Daily Roundup and or the general debate posts.

11:57

sdfsdf

11:47am

11:20am

Phone call transcript via Kyiv Post

First call:

Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).

Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?

IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. It’s smoking.

VG: How many minutes ago?

IB: About 30 minutes ago.

Second call (approx 40 minutes later)   Read more »

MH370 now joined by MH17 – Malaysian Airlines jet shot down over Ukraine [ UPDATED]

UPDATED  (LIVE REPORTING CONTINUES HERE)

9:16am

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman says the airline does not operate any routes that fly over Ukraine, nor does it have a passenger sharing arrangement with airlines that do.

9:06am

More of a “no news’ update:  MFaT still unable to comment on New Zealand passenger numbers on MH17.

9:00am

Schiphol reports: 154 Dutch; 27 Australian; 23 Malaysia; 11 Indonesia; 6 UK; 4 Germany; 4 Belgium; 3 Philippines; 1 Canada; 47 unknown.  All 15 crew members were Malaysian.

8:54am

Press conference in The Netherlands from Shiphol.

8:41am
Press conference audio


8:49am

Passengers are from Netherlands with 143 passengers. Australia comes in second with 27 passengers. There were 11 Indonesian passengers and one infant on-board the ill-fated flight. Britain has six passengers, France and Germany have four each, Belgium have three and Canada one. Nationalities of the other 58 passengers were not stated in the list. 

8:47

UNCONFIRMED  – Nationalities Passenger details Netherlands 143 Australian 27 Malaysian 20 (including 2 infants) Indonesian 11 (including 1 infant) Read more »

The ultimate tit for tat

Radio Netherlands

No wonder various countries periodically conduct their wars on the soil of these two countries.

A group of Belgians have started a campaign to introduce a “beer pass” to stop Dutch tourists buying beer in Belgium. The ironic protest comes in response to the introduction pass system to stop ‘drugs tourists’ from buying cannabis in Dutch border provinces.

Tagged:

Peter van Uhm: Why I chose a gun

TED Talk by Peter van Uhm who is the Netherlands’ chief of defense, but that does not mean he is pro-war.

At TEDxAmsterdam he explains how his career is one shaped by a love of peace, not a desire for bloodshed — and why we need armies if we want peace.

“That is why I took up the gun — not to shoot, not to kill, not to destroy, but to stop those who would do evil, to protect the vulnerable, to defend democratic values, to stand up for the freedom we have to talk … about how we can make the world a better place.”

Why can’t our royal family do stuff like this

No not for skiing in off-piste avalanche areas but for this:

The crucial moment in his life as a member of the Dutch nobility came with his 2003 engagement to then-commoner Wisse Smit.

After the pair announced their intention to marry in 2003, Dutch media revealed that Wisse Smit’s previous friendships included contacts while she was in college with a well-known figure in the Dutch underworld, a drug dealer who was later slain.

The couple publicly acknowledged having been “naive and incomplete” during her vetting process before joining the royal family. Then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende signaled he could not recommend the marriage to parliament for approval.

They married anyway, a decision that meant Friso’s removal from the line of succession.

The couple are still part of Beatrix’s family and attend important royal functions. Mabel has been granted the title “Princess Mabel” and Friso has an array of noble titles, including “Prince of Oranje-Nassau” but not “Prince of the Netherlands.”

Apparently in Holland you need the permission of the government to marry a commoner if you are royalty and remain in the succession.