Dutch Labour Party youth opposes government’s austerity

This 2013 video is about protests in the Netherlands, against governmental cuts in health care.

After the elections of 12 September 2012, a coalition government was formed in the Netherlands. It consists of the “liberal” economically conservative VVD party, and the social democrat PvdA party; a sister party of the Labour party in Britain.

Dutch voters are unhappy with the coalition’s austerity policies. Polls say that if there would be elections now, both VVD and PvdA would lose about half their voters, meaning the end of the coalition’s majority in the second chamber of parliament (they already don’t have majority in the Senate).

Today, the youth organisation of the PvdA coalition says (translated from the Dutch on their site):

Young Socialists: Financial and economic course of the PvdA is bankrupt

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“The response to the crisis which the PvdA supports makes no sense and is bankrupt” says [Young Socialists] President Toon Geenen.

In recent weeks, the Young Socialists in the Labour Party have seen with increasing astonishment how the PvdA would like to fight the crisis with still more cuts. Agreements about cuts with trade unions and employers’ organisations have been thrown on the rubbish heap and Rightist dictates from [the European Union in] Brussels are accepted uncritically. More and more insistently, people wonder whether cuts really help to get the Netherlands out of the crisis. In recent years, almost fifty billion euro were cut, and this has led to sustained recessions and fast rising unemployment.

Almost all economists, the IMF included, are pointing out the failure of this crisis response. Next Thursday the PvdA will organizes, partly on the insistence of the Young Socialists, an economists’ debate where economists will try to penetrate the Labour Party. However, we are worried that [PvdA leaders] Samsom and Nijboer will not listen to arguments, looking at the course which they have been rigidly following for weeks. Yet we, along with many others, inside and outside the party, are not giving up.

The investment measures which Samsom suggested this Wednesday in [daily] De Volkskrant are a joke. …

That is why the Young Socialists propose an alternative. First, the PvdA should recognize that the cuts of recent years have been counterproductive. The best remedy for a budget deficit is growth and the PvdA should re-emphasize that. The goal is to convince the VVD of this.

Convincing the VVD of the young socialists’ ideas is extremely improbable. More realistic is a breakdown of the government coalition.

18 thoughts on “Dutch Labour Party youth opposes government’s austerity

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  2. Britain:

    The London Young Labour Executive passed policy opposing the attacks on the Labour-union link and in defence of unions’ right to intervene collectively in politics at its 24 July meeting.

    The text is below. Could your CLP pass similar text?

    London Young Labour notes:
    The Labour Party was founded by the trade unions because the working class majority in society had no political voice representing their interests.
    The Labour Party is still based on the affiliation of nearly three million working-class people through their trade unions.
    The subordination over the past 20 years of the influence of rank and file members and the trade unions in the Labour Party to the influence of big business and a right wing press.
    The current attacks on Unite in relation to the Falkirk West CLP selection process, and the broader attack on the Labour-union link by the right-wing media, Tories and those in the Labour Party opposed to the trade union link.

    London Young Labour believes:
    Any weakening of the trade union link and the ability of trade unions and their members to participate in the Labour party should be opposed.
    As the mass organisations of working-class people, affiliated trade unions are entitled to use the democratic structures of the Labour Party in order to promote their policies and members who wish to seek selection as elected representatives of the Labour Party.

    London Young Labour resolves:
    To defend the right of affiliated trade unions and their members to take part in the selection of candidates at every level of the party.
    To politically educate ourselves about the ideas of working-class representation and the Labour Party and the unions’ role in this, and to call a London Young Labour meeting on this topic before the end of August.
    To encourage more young trade unionists to become involved in the work of London Young Labour.
    To work with affiliated trade unions to win support at Labour Party conferences for democratic rule changes and for pro-working-class policies on issues such as cuts, the living wage, jobs, and trade union rights.
    To write to NEC Youth Representative Bex Bailey urging her to raise the issues outlined in this motion on the NEC.
    To write to Ed Miliband, to the Labour Party General Secretary and to the Labour Party NEC to demand the publication of the enquiry into Falkirk West CLP and to re-iterate the right of the CLP to select its own Westminster parliamentary candidate in accordance with the party rule book.
    To circulate the text of this motion to the Secretaries of Young Labour groups and CLP youth officers in London.


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