Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 4 January 2019:
Mayor Don Bijl of Purmerend has ended his membership of the VVD party after almost 50 years. In his letter of cancellation he writes that he does not like the policies of the VVD. “A vision of society is now almost entirely absent”, says the 66-year-old Bijl, both with the current government and with Prime Minister Rutte.
The VVD, according to him, changed from a liberal party that also used to pay attention to vulnerable people to a
party that stands for “pragmatism, marketisation and individualization”, and he no longer feels at home.
Saint Nicholas and problem neighbourhoods
Under the influence of this thinking, big corporations can grow unhinderedly, according to Bijl. He also thinks that politics, led by VVD ministers, “drifts away from its strength, which is connection with society”.
The mayor is also critical of proposals by
VVD parliamentary caucus leader
Klaas Dijkhoff, who suggested, among other things, to punish crimes in problem neighbourhoods
where many poor and/or immigrant people live
than crimes in rich neighbourhoods
and to restrict the right of demonstration in the time before the Saint Nicholas holiday.
Demonstrators consider ‘Zwarte Piet‘ (Black Pete), the blackface servant of Saint Nicholas, to be racist and originating from 19th century slavery in the Dutch colonial empire.
At the end of November, mayor Marco Out of Assen canceled his VVD membership. He too has major problems with Dijkhoff’s proposals, and also with the [harsh] asylum seekers policy of the VVD.