The Sinking Dutchman

John Gibson

This website is drawing flak from some people in the Netherlands because Fox News columnist John Gibson referred to our story about the Dutchman “marrying” two women. Gibson’s column is said to be an example of “braindead Holland bashing from neo-conservative quarters,” in which we are implicated because the “Fox demagogue” was inspired by our story in his argument that Holland is a moral cesspit.

John Gibson was writing about a case which is a hot news item in the US at the moment: the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba last May. The girl was allegedly left drugged on a beach by a young Dutchman, one Joran van der Sloot, after abusing her. Van der Sloot, the last person to see Natalee alive, was detained but later released by the Dutch authorities. This has drawn considerable American criticism.

According to a Dutch weblog the Brussels Journal is one of those “English language weblogs established to put forward a biased and hysterical view of a country” with “Muslims and progressives as scapegoats.” It is also implied that we have a secret agenda and are being funded by right-wing Americans. The Dutch reaction is a typical example of shooting the messenger. We are getting used to it, having been criticised in the Belgian “progressive” newspaper De Morgen a week ago because we translated and posted the lyrics of an anti-American song by a “progressive” hate mongering Belgian singer. According to some, what is “progressive” never incites to hatred, while those who simply report excesses – whether it be legally concluding a bigamist relationship (formally it is not a marriage but a “samenlevingscontract” or “cohabitation contract”) or the arrogance of the left – must be biased right-wing hysterics on an American payroll. We wish the latter were true, but conservative America has become so exasperated with (Western) Europe that it is highly unlikely that it will put any money into efforts to talk sense into it. Moreover Europe is rapidly losing its relevance in the world. So, why would America bother?

In a comment on the Dutch weblog, one visitor says that the difference between America bashing (which they do) and Europe bashing (which they say Fox and we do) is that the America bashers “have reason to do so.” We are left in the dark as to what that “reason” might be. Probably that America is just too conservative to condone all the “progressiveness” of Europeans like the Dutch.

John Gibson, however, has a point in his analysis of Dutch culture. It is no coincidence that the collapse of Western civilisation, complete with political assassinations, is most visible in the country which in the past three decades has taken secularization, multiculturalism, tolerance of alternative lifestyles, drug abuse and other fads to its furthest extremes. The murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh have led to some Dutch soul-searching. Voters have shifted dramatically to the right, but the collapse of Dutch society is most visible in its emigration figures. Since 2003 emigration exceeds immigration: 110,235 people (mostly Dutch natives) left the Netherlands last year, compared to 94,019 people (many of them Muslims) moving in. In the first half of this year 53,808 people moved out, compared to 40,842 moving in. To lose 100,000 natives a year is a lot for a country of 16 million, one million of whom already are Muslim immigrants. The emigrants are leaving for Western countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Scandinavia and the United States.

Last April was the first month since the Second World War in which the Netherlands saw its population decline. Once the Dutch ranked among the most fertile populations in the world. At that time the Netherlands was a Christian nation. Now its religious people are still the most fertile among its population, but these religious people are chiefly Muslims.

The emigration figures are rarely discussed in Dutch media or politics. They usually crop up in discussions about who will pay the pensions in the rapidly aging Dutch society. What the figures indicate, however, is that a growing number of Dutchmen realize that Holland is a sinking ship: a Titanic that is going down. While some are heading for the life boats, elsewhere the band plays on. The difference with the band on the Titanic is that the latter played “Nearer to Thee, my God” while the Dutch “progressives” play the Anti-American Dance.

since when did we all vote

since when did we all vote to give the government the power to regulate human personal relationships i.e. "marriage"?  What the F do I care the people in the next apartment are polygamous, gay or even into "inter-species erotica"?  As long as they pay their taxes and don't harm children it is none of anyones business. Anyway, most americans can not find the Netherlands on a map anyway or even know that it, yes, actually is a country and Holland and Amsterdam are not countries so don't take US opinion about something they have no clue about very seriously.

1 million Muslems i Holland??

I am afraid you forget the naturalized and their children who adapt even less than their parents

Six good reason to count correctly:

As Denmark concerns I have corrected the official population accounts of 1 January 2006:

It shows almost 3 times the official number of most foreign immigrants.So, close to 3 millions Muslims i Holland or 17-19 pct. out of 25-28 pct. most foreign immigrants.

We have corrected the picture concerning Sweden too: 22 pct. most foreign immigrants.

J. E. Vig, Denmark

Well PB, this is a free blog

Well PB, this is a free blog and I think that most people in the Netherlands are tired of hearing your leftist-shit. So don't talk on behalf of them.

Sorry, I do not understand the hard criticism on NL.

Sorry, I really do not understand why certain wings in the USA give such hard critics on The Netherlands, in particular on the way we "Dutchies" "handle" moslims. Look at how Mexican immigrants are "handled" in the USA. Shame! Look how indians were (and still are) "handled": shame! Not to mention the way black people are "handled" in your country. Once again: shame! Although I realize that not all we do here in The Netherlands is perfect, I cannot not cope with such hard criticism of a country, that is not very clean on these kind of matters itself. I do not know of a goiod expression for this attitude, but we "Dutchies" call that "walking with butter on the head". It would be good if these kind of critics are stopped. Start "shooting" at your own pronlems first: there is a lot to "clean" in the USA!

Sorry about the criticism, Dutch progressives

Sorry about the criticism on the Netherlands from Fox News and the American Right, but it will soon stop, as your country will cease to exist. It will be rechristened (no pun intended) an Islamic republic. In emigrating to Australia, Canada, etc., please leave your 'progressive' rubbish back in Europe so as not to make the same mistakes again in corrupting your new homes. Australia is an American ally and we like them, and Canada (as evidenced in its last general election), is coming back into the fold; having voted out its ridiculously anti-American government. Learn from your mistakes, and warn everyone else how Islam has ruined your cute, little country. As they say in Rotterdam, "Allah Akbar".

Walking with butter

I do not know of a good expression for this attitude, but we "Dutchies" call that "walking with butter on the head".

There's this one: "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

But I quite like the buttery one.

Bob Doney


"In a comment on the Dutch weblog, one visitor says that the difference between America bashing (which they do) and Europe bashing (which they say Fox and we do) is that the America bashers “have reason to do so.” We are left in the dark as to what that “reason” might be. Probably that America is just too conservative to condone all the “progressiveness” of Europeans like the Dutch."

I am the visitor of Sargasso, whose reaction you mistranslate, or at least not completely translate.
My original reaction is the following:

"Ik denk wel degelijk dat er verschil is. Als we Amerika-bashen is dat naar aanleiding van iets en wordt er, zeker op Sargasso, gevraagd om bronnen en ander "bewijs".
Op Fox is geen discussie mogelijk. Ook niet in de zogenaamde discussieprogramma's waar ze linkse mensen voor schut zetten."

This translates into:

"I think that there is a difference between the America-bashing [on Sargasso] and the Holland-bashing on Fox. When we "bash" America this usually has a direct cause and this bashing has to be accompanied, certainly on Sargasso (the weblog linked to) with sources and other "proof".
On Fox no discussion is possible, especially not in their so-called talkshows that only seem to have one purpose: making people with "left" opinions seem like total fools."

Something different than the author of this article want you to believe. And I don't think the translation as it is was an accident.


It seems to me that The Netherlands are indeed in decline. Our (I'm Dutch) society is slowly collapsing. The so-called "progressives" have done great harm to our country. Their blind dream of multiculturalism is slowly turning into a nightmare.

However why are some issues that have nothing to do with this, dragged into the debate on this site?

A samenlevingscontract is just a legal construct used to sort out taxes and stuff when you live together while not married. For example for a brother and sister who live together. Or four friends who share a house. Obviously you can sign such a contract with multiple people. That's the entire point.

So a man and two women used such a contract to live together. Well, so what? Where's the harm in that? You seem to think this is something bad. I wonder why. Three people are, appearantly, living a happy live, without hurting or bothering anyone.

But perhaps it would be more civilized if we burned them at the stake. After all, a moral society can't allow people to be happy. That'd be sinful.

The next issue you mention is secularization. I can see the relationship here. People who stop going to church always become murderers or rapist, that's common knowledge. So you make a good point here.

The next point is less strong though. Drug abuse. Hmm. Figures show that relatively in the USA there's three times as much drug abuse as in the Netherlands. I wonder how you're gonna explain that away.

Bottomline is this. The Dutch are famous for the tolerance. And rightly so. Tolerance of alternative lifestyles is a good thing. Our problem is, however, that we are also tolerent of things you shouldn't tolerate. Crime, muslim-extremism, etc. I think deep down it's a World War II trauma. We're so afraid of doing anything associated with national socialism that we went into the other extreme (to the point of being fascist about anti-fascism).

So by all means learn from the mistakes the Netherlands is making. But don't throw away the baby with the bathwater. Tolerance is a good thing. Tolerance to other life styles, other habits. If people are happy living in a way you personally dislike, why not let them? It doesn't have to bother you, you can just look the other way if you want.

Just don't tolerate things that are not harmless. Things that do threaten you, or society.

I am glad to see that most

I am glad to see that most of the replies posted here involved more serious factual research than the article itself.
Should I mention that nowhere in the Netherlands this site is seen as a serious source of news? It just attracts visitors now because of being cited and linked to for publishing news that doesn't take facts into account...

"110,235 people (mostly

"110,235 people (mostly Dutch natives) left the Netherlands last year, compared to 94,019 people (many of them Muslims) moving in".

I'd like to see Mr. Belien substantiate his claim that most of the people leaving the Netherlands are Dutch natives. The only numbers I could find: of those 110,235 people leaving the country in 2004 78,286 people were born in western countries, while 31,949 people were originally from non-western countries. In no way does the CBS, the Dutch national statistics bureau, specify their country of birth, nationality, or religion for that matter. As for the number of immigrants: 56,706 of those 94,019 people are from western countries, leaving 37,313 people from non-western countries. Again, in no way does the CBS specify these numbers, but I'll bet many of those 56,706 westerners are people of Dutch nationality returning from stays abroad, while those leaving are mainly Muslims returning to their countries of birth. That's just what I surmise though, because the numbers merely show a net efflux of 21,580 people of western origin, and a staggering net influx of 5364 non-westerners. Mr. Belien, by claiming that the Netherlands loses 100,000 dutch natives a year, is spouting unsubstantiated, not to mention simply preposterous, BS.

Your comment does not

Your comment does not contradict what I am saying. I bet that of the 78,286 people born in western countries "most" are born in the Netherlands, and "many" of the immigrants are Muslim.
Last December The Daily Telegraph had an interesting article about the exodus of the Dutch middle class.
A quote: "Europe's leader for much of the last century in social experiments, Holland may now be pointing to the next cultural revolution: bourgeois exodus."

"To lose 100,000 natives a

"To lose 100,000 natives a year is a lot for a country of 16 million, one million of whom already are Muslim immigrants."

Also, according to this file (in Dutch, also from the Dutch Statistics Bureau):

half of emigrants born in the Netherlands actually return to the Netherlands after some time. So, the net loss of Dutch natives is actually a quarter of your (totally ridiculous) number.

OK. Thanks for the

OK. Thanks for the correction. You "only" lose 25,000 of your young, active and most fertile people per year. Good for you that there are "only" 25,000 Dutch leaving. You are sinking but not as fast as I thought.

Please stop making unfounded

Please stop making unfounded assumptions. The document I linked to states that emigrants returning to the Netherlands tend to be younger, and the ones who leave permanently are mostly older, not that active, and infertile. Also, I think you'll be happy to hear that the 25,000 number also includes emigrants born in the Netherlands to immigrant (non-western) parents, Muslims for instance. Their tendency to return to the country is also smaller than that of dutch natives born to non-migrant parents. I'd guess that the loss of young, active and fertile dutch natives you speak of is actually in the thousands, rather than in the tens of thousands.

My compliments to the

My compliments to the anonymous writer above! Without people like you, tendentious journalists like John Gibson and Paul Belien are able to make up whatever they want to create an interesting story. I would be very surprised if one of the authors would ever publish a correction to the article and admit that they were wrong.

P.S. The man was able to sign this co-habitation contract (which is not the same as marrying), because of a loophole (the ruling on this case hasn't occurred yet).


tendentious journalists

What a dull, grey world it would be without tendentious journalists! Like politicians, lawyers and scientists, they are a profession who won't let the facts get in the way of a good argument.

Bob Doney


Being a conservative Republican my views on this civil union/marriage/cohabitation contract or whatever one wishes to call it should be guessed: this is not good.

Even though I'm not married I believe the family is the foundation of society in general. Good families raise good citizens and one cannot rightly call a union of two women and a man a family, nor the other myriad variations the *progressives* want to force upon us.

So maybe I wouldn't go as far as to call Holland *a moral cesspit*. I should be willing to call our own State of Massachussetts that and I'm not *quite* there.

As a side point and re: the Holloway case. We Americans believe that a man is innocent until *proven* guilty. To this point there's no resolution of this case and so the *suspects* remain just that. And I find it astounding that anyone would question the *morality* of the Aruban Dutch when Ms Holloway herself behaved in a less than moral way. When she went partying and got in a car with 3 strangers I doubt she had a quiet time at the local library in mind.

Factually incorrect

Sorry but I don't see the America bashing in the article itself on the weblog you refer to. Only the column by John Gibson itself is under fire. And rightly so, because it was factually incorrect (the contract the trio signed is not even a civil union, let alone a marriage. But that does not prevent Gibson from claiming so).

I must say not a lot of that column makes sense. The author claims there is some link between what he calls legal bigamy and the Natalee case. Pity he doesn't feel the need to explain for the benefit of people like me who have a hard time seeing it.