This British TV video says about itself:
6 July 2016
On 23 May 2019, there will be elections for a new European parliament.
Last time, Paul Tang was the top candidate for the social democrat, officially ‘center left’ PvdA party.
MEP Paul Tang is campaigning to become the top candidate again in next year’s elections.
However, there are rumours that the PvdA leadership might prefer another candidate: Frans Timmermans, deputy chairman of the European Commission. A European Commission favouring the 1% richest people over the other 99%; a European Commission plagued by corruption, favouritism and other scandals. Nevertheless, the PvdA leadership thinks that with Timmermans as top candidate, the party might get more votes: Timmermans is better known as ex-Dutch Foreign Minister; while few people in the Netherlands know MEPs like Paul Tang.
On 20 September 2018, Paul Tang said no to a question whether he would step down to make Timmermans the top candidate; on Dutch radio (translated):
I think you should opt for a combative PvdA, which opposes the advancing market. (…..) I see that inequality is increasing, that the working people are losing out, big capital is advancing and we do not yet have a reply. That worries me greatly….
We may have relied on [candidates’] faces for too long, it is time again for a militant social democracy.
That looks like Tang has learned the lesson of how the Blairism of right-wing PvdA politicians like Timmermans and Dijsselbloem has almost destroyed the party. At the last Dutch general election, the PvdA went from 38 MPs to just 9 MPs. The electorate punished them for their right-wing policies as junior coalition government partners of the right-wing VVD party. They went from being the second biggest party to minor party status. Smaller than the two parties to their left, the Socialist Party and Green Left.
Tang may be right that the PvdA does not have a reply yet by moving to the left. Looking at social democracy internationally, there are some replies: the Bernie Sanders movement in the USA; the Jeremy Corbyn surge in the British Labour party. To a smaller extent, the minority social democrat government in Portugal, dependent on parties to its left, and having some economic success by NOT following slavishly the ‘austerity’ quack recipes of Juncker‘s and Timmermans’ European Commission.
However, in the biggest European Union countries the signs for what Tang calls ‘militant social democracy’ are not good. In France until last year, Socialist Party Prime Minister Valls was indeed ‘militant’, but in a right-wing, not a left-wing sense. He attacked workers’ rights and had police beating up workers protesting that. He practiced racism against Roma people. As a result, at the elections the Socialist Party went from biggest party to minor party.
In Italy, the sister party of the PvdA favoured Big Business while in government. They treated people saving refugees from drowning like criminals, pandering to racism. A a result, they lost the election to open racists and are now a minor party.
In Spain, for a moment, the social democrat PSOE party looked like a breath of fresh air, when they caused the downfall of the corrupt right-wing Partido Popular minority government to form their own minority administration. The new PSOE government said that they would stop selling bombs to the regime of Saudi Arabia, which uses them to kill children and other civilians in Yemen. However, after a little pressure by the Saudi regime, by Trump‘s Republicans in the USA and Theresa May‘s Conservatives in Britain, the PSOE government gave in, saying that the Saudi absolute monarchy would get the Spanish bombs after all; and maybe Spanish warships too. The PSOE has also far less votes than it used to, due to infection by Blairism.
In Germany, the social democrat SPD both before and after the recent elections are the junior government coalition partner of the right-wing CDU and CSU parties. SPD leaders sometimes do sound ‘militant’; but, unfortunately, militant rightist instead of militant leftist. Neonazism is on the rise in Germany. Many people demonstrate against that, eg, at ‘Rock against the Right’ concerts. However, a SPD minister, Heiko Maas, said that there should rather be ‘Rock against the Left’ concerts; as hundreds of thousands of leftists had demonstrated against the G20 summit in Hamburg, and the government did not like these protests. Unfortunately, Maas soon got what he asked for; at a nazi concert, protected by police, at which massively Adolf Hitler’s slogan ‘Sieg Heil’ was shouted. Illegal in Germany; but police did nothing.
When recently the boss of the German secret police, Maassen, whitewashed violent neonazis, SPD ministers agreed that he would not be sacked, but promoted to a government job with much higher pay.