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The W - Current Events & Politics - Belgian political party ordered to disband
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1277 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
This is two days old, but it is still a sad day for Western, representative government
    Originally posted by the BBC, 11/15/04
    Belgium's highest court has ruled that the Flemish far-right Vlaams Blok party is racist.
    The ruling means the Blok will lose access to state funding and access to television which will, in effect, shut down the party.

    The Blok was appealing against a court ruling which stated that it was guilty of violating anti-racism legislation.

    Recent opinion polls suggest the Vlaams Blok is the most popular party in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders.

    It garnered almost a quarter of votes in regional and European elections in June.

    The party campaigns on an anti-immigration platform.

    It also wants independence for Flanders, home to six million Dutch speakers.

    Party chairman Frank Vanhecke said he was shocked at the ruling.

    "Exactly 15 years after the Berlin Wall came down and the people of East Germany and eastern Europe regained their freedom, it was confirmed today that in the Belgian state, democracy and freedom of speech are under threat," he said.


    'Xenophobic'

    Vlaams Blok's leaders were prepared for the ruling, and are making plans to launch a new party with a new name, Vlaams Belang, or Flemish Interest, Belgian media say.

    The High Court's ruling is final and cannot be appealed.

    "In order to preserve our party members from prosecution, we are now forced to disband," said Mr Vanhecke immediately after the judgment.

    "Today, our party has been killed, not by the electorate but by the judges."

    The party had been toning down some of its statements, but there is every chance the new party will pick up where the old one left off, says the BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels.

    At the weekend, its members voted to modernise the party's statutes and tone down its views on immigration, saying non-European immigrants wishing to remain in Belgium should adopt Belgian rules and values.

    The Blok had once advocated that all non-European immigrants should be returned to their home country.

    'Bury Belgium'

    The Vlaams Blok makes the political establishment in Brussels very uncomfortable as they regard it as extremist and xenophobic, our correspondent adds.

    For years, other parties have combined to shut it out of national and regional governments, but this tactic has not really worked, he says.

    "We are the democratic voice of an ever growing number of Flemings who, in an entirely non-violent way, want to put an end to Belgium," Mr Vanhecke said on Tuesday.

    "Our electoral strength is causing panic amongst the Belgian establishment. We will establish a new party. This one Belgium will not be able to bury; it will bury Belgium."
Now you can argue the merits of the parties position and stances. But at the same time, it is sick and repulsive that the establishment of any ostensibly democratic country would order the disbanding of any political party, notwithstanding one of the largest parties in that country.



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Deputy Marshall
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Since: 28.6.04
From: Troy, NY

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.13
I was thinking to myself the entire time that it's one thing for Germany to uphold a ban on the Nazi Party being able to organize (due to that whole situation in the late thirties and early forties), but this was just ridiculous. I was thinking to myself that even if they ARE racist, they don't present an immediate enough threat to the country or its governmental structure to warrant such an action being taken by the courts, and it's a clear violation of free speech.

Then, I read this.

    Originally posted by The BBC
    "Our electoral strength is causing panic amongst the Belgian establishment. We will establish a new party. This one Belgium will not be able to bury; it will bury Belgium."


Yikes...



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MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.14
The Schizophrenic European mindset regarding immigration and race (which can basically be summed up as "Once the poor heathens from those other places are exactly like us, they're just as good as us even if they have different color skin") rears it's head again. This is not an issue that's going away anytime soon. The Europeans had better come to a realistic, rational concensus on this issue or it's going to be real ugly.

(edited by MoeGates on 17.11.04 1414)


Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
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PalpatineW
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Getting Rowdy

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    The Schizophrenic European mindset regarding immigration and race (which can basically be summed up as "Once the poor heathens from those other places are exactly like us, they're just as good as us even if they have different color skin") rears it's head again. This is not an issue that's going away anytime soon. The Europeans had better come to a realistic, rational concensus on this issue or it's going to be real ugly.

    (edited by MoeGates on 17.11.04 1414)


Given all one reads in the papers about North African immigrants refusing to assimilate in places like France and Belgium, do you think that still applies, Moe?



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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.63
Seems the world just gets a bit scarier every day.



MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 9 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.14
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
      Originally posted by MoeGates
      The Schizophrenic European mindset regarding immigration and race (which can basically be summed up as "Once the poor heathens from those other places are exactly like us, they're just as good as us even if they have different color skin") rears it's head again. This is not an issue that's going away anytime soon. The Europeans had better come to a realistic, rational concensus on this issue or it's going to be real ugly.

      Given all one reads in the papers about North African immigrants refusing to assimilate in places like France and Belgium, do you think that still applies, Moe?


    This is my point. When the immigrants don't want or need to be perfect little French citizens with dark skin, they don't know what to do with them or think of them. The Europeans have no concept of the elementary idea Americans understand so well - immigrants generally come here to make money, not because they hate themselves, their culture, and their country and would renounce all that just for the sheer joy of being American (or European in that case). Europeans don't understand immigrants - they only understand refugees. The lack of understanding this, combined the European social welfare system, leads to the schitzophrenia.

    (edited by MoeGates on 17.11.04 2047)


    Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
    -
    Euripides


eviljonhunt81
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Since: 6.1.02
From: not Japan

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.95
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Seems the world just gets a bit scarier every day.


Are you afraid of Belgium Nazis, or that the Belgium government is going to shut down your extreme-right political party?



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BigSteve
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Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.74
Well, if we're in a situation where the Belgian Government has enough power to shut down _my_ political party, the world would be a pretty scary place.
messenoir
Summer sausage








Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.28
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    This is my point. When the immigrants don't want or need to be perfect little French citizens with dark skin, they don't know what to do with them or think of them. The Europeans have no concept of the elementary idea Americans understand so well - immigrants generally come here to make money, not because they hate themselves, their culture, and their country and would renounce all that just for the sheer joy of being American (or European in that case). Europeans don't understand immigrants - they only understand refugees. The lack of understanding this, combined the European social welfare system, leads to the schitzophrenia.

    (edited by MoeGates on 17.11.04 2047)


On the contrary, the mentality that people come to the US because of our freedom, because other countries are inferior, is just as a prevalent one here as what I've seen in France.

The idea that immigrants should stop speaking their own language right away, that not learning English well and immediately somehow makes the immigrant a bad person, occurs just as often in my experience as in France.

France needs a whole lot of work on the issue of immigration. Racism is way too prevalent a mentality, and this desperately needs to change, or France is going to continue having large problems.

But that doesn't make true the idea the US is a bastion for immigration, because we all welcome them with open arms, no matter what.

When I stop hearing jokes about Asian families, their language, and their eyes, I might start believing that.



(edited by messenoir on 18.11.04 0055)

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Imagine all the people
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And the world will live as one
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 9 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.14
Maybe it's because I live in New York that I generally get the better impressions. And the other fact remains about the historical differences in how Europe and America came to be - America is a multi-ethnic nation of immigrants, and always has been. Now, some ethnicities are more embrassed than others throughout history and today, true. But we're miles from the European history which for about 1500 years was basically based on killing anyone different from themselves.

But my point isn't really even the "mentality" per se. Look at the actual laws and processes. Here, there's no legal requirement to learn English. In Holland, for instance, they put you in Dutch language immersion before you can even go out in public. Here illegal immigration (for all the rhetoric) is tolerated as long as everyone's making a buck. In Europe, they don't even let a lot of LEGAL immigrants work.

Some people are going to be welcoming or not in both countries. But the way the European and American governments treat immigration is completely different, and the way the European's do it can't last much longer without tilting either toward either an exclusionary or American-style system. The European schitzophrenia (which could also be summed up as "we love all the poor, oppressed third-world people - as long as they don't come here) condemns the right-wing, racist parties because they feel they should based on the guilt of their history. But that historical mentality isn't completley buried by a long shot, and won't let them move toward a truely multi-ethnic society without a big struggle.

You know what Europe is? Someone who quit smoking. There's nobody that preaches against the evils of cigarettes for than former smokers - but they're also the ones who find themselves late at night still struggling with it.



Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
-
Euripides


Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1277 days
Last activity: 1074 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    You know what Europe is? Someone who quit smoking. There's nobody that preaches against the evils of cigarettes for than former smokers - but they're also the ones who find themselves late at night still struggling with it.
That's a good analogy. The most long-term example of that is anti-semitism in Western Europe. Yes, everybody talks a good game about inclusiveness, but there is a long-standing dislike of Jews in Western Europe that bubbles up from time to time. You think it goes away, but then it bubbles back to the surface again. Just look at modern France(who to be fair is struggling with putting up with anyobdy not a native Catholic).
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    Here, there's no legal requirement to learn English. In Holland, for instance, they put you in Dutch language immersion before you can even go out in public. Here illegal immigration (for all the rhetoric) is tolerated as long as everyone's making a buck. In Europe, they don't even let a lot of LEGAL immigrants work.
And on top of that, there are laws on the books embracing immigration to some extent and, probably for the worse, multilingualism. English-only laws have been declared unconstitutional.

Western European governments sit back and stew, then run to the UN to condemn Israel.



Tretas
Weisswurst








Since: 6.10.04
From: Madeira

Since last post: 2678 days
Last activity: 1265 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.90
First of all sorry for my English.
Emigration in Europe is a very sensitive matter for several reasons.

Our colonial past, our borders and they're proximity to Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe.
The free movement between EU country's also makes traveling "easy" for illegals.
The habitants of former colonies can also travel to Europe whit some relative ease.

Illegal emigration is a serious problem in Europe because illegals don't pay taxes, and most of the Europe Governments use those taxes for everything including our Social system.
Europe needs emigrants because of our diminishing birth rate and increasing elderly.

As for learning the language, well i think that anybody that goes to another country to work there should speak at least at a basic level.


Are all Europeans xenophobes?
No, some are just like some Americans are.
Its always easy to blame the weakest.
The company owners that outsource or hire illegals to work as quasi-slaves don't get blamed, neither the governments that overtax the middle-class workers.

Are Europeans hypocrites?
A lot of them are.
We have done a lot of crap to the world in the past, and still think that we are, the Chosen ones.

Fortunately the crap is being made by someone else now

As long as every developed nation continues to use the poor nations to make a buck the world will slowly head to Armageddon.


Sorry for the poor English again.


(edited by Tretas on 18.11.04 0930)


Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 1 day
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by Tretas
    First of all sorry for my English.
    Emigration in Europe is a very sensitive matter for several reasons.

    Our colonial past, our borders and they're proximity to Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe.
    The free movement between EU country's also makes traveling "easy" for illegals.
    The habitants of former colonies can also travel to Europe whit some relative ease.

    Illegal emigration is a serious problem in Europe because illegals don't pay taxes, and most of the Europe Governments use those taxes for everything including our Social system.
    Europe needs emigrants because of our diminishing birth rate and increasing elderly.

    As for learning the language, well i think that anybody that goes to another country to work there should speak at least at a basic level.


    Are all Europeans xenophobes?
    No, some are just like some Americans are.
    Its always easy to blame the weakest.
    The company owners that outsource or hire illegals to work as quasi-slaves don't get blamed, neither the governments that overtax the middle-class workers.

    Are Europeans hypocrites?
    A lot of them are.
    We have done a lot of crap to the world in the past, and still think that we are, the Chosen ones.

    Fortunately the crap is being made by someone else now

    As long as every developed nation continues to use the poor nations to make a buck the world will slowly head to Armageddon.


    Sorry for the poor English again.


    (edited by Tretas on 18.11.04 0930)



Great post. Thanks for sharing that viewpoint.



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snk
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Since: 9.1.02
From: Las Vegas, NV

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.67
Is it just me, or is StaggerLee's sig. just a little over the top. Telling all the faggots to go to Canada. That's mature.
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 hour
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.16
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    In Holland, for instance, they put you in Dutch language immersion before you can even go out in public.


Not true.
The government pushes people to learn the language (and culture) so they can actually make that better buck instead of standing in line for one of our hefty welfare checks or only getting the crappy jobs.
There is no rule stating that you cannot go out, cannot find a job or whatever, when you don't know the dutch language.

Any rules/laws/classes that we have where we 'force' immigrants to learn our culture aren't based on the idea that we hate them and want them to lose their identity/culture.
It is based on the fact that this way we believe we can have a more multicultural society.
"You integrate

The Netherlands is (used to be) one of the more tolerant countries in the world/europe regarding immigrants (partly based on hypocrism/economical gain) as it comes to adapting them into our culture and only in the recent weeks have things become polarized (holland vs fundamentalists, because of the killing of some movie director with a big mouth).
If anything Holland is as much of a melting pot/salad bowl as the USA states to be.

Back to the disbanding of the 'Vlaamse Blok'
you forgot to mention that the top guys of the organisation are known for having dubious backgrounds, that many parts of the party have ties to neo-nazi organisations and that in the past they have made very anti-anythingnotbelgian claims, not just 'opposing immigration'
However, this is something that should have been handled several years ago. Now, when they have 25% of the votes it will get messy..



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The Thrill
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Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
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    Originally posted by snk
    Is it just me, or is StaggerLee's sig. just a little over the top. Telling all the faggots to go to Canada. That's mature.


Right up there with OlFuzzyBastard's sig, basically insinuating that the GOP=Nazi Party.

Ye gods.



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Jonny_English
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Since: 18.3.04
From: Derby, UK

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
Immigration is such a high profile issue in the UK partly because we are an island nation with finite resources. We have failing health, education, welfare and transport systems, and there is a very real fear that increasing population numbers could put an unbearable strain on the "system".

The real issue of concern for me, is that many of my peers fail do discriminate between genuine refugees and asylum seekers, who are in real fear of persecution, and those economic migrants who head for the UK to take advantage of our generous welfare state and free health care.
Famous Mortimer
Pinkelwurst








Since: 1.11.04
From: UK

Since last post: 3615 days
Last activity: 3615 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.74
    Originally posted by MoeGates
    America is a multi-ethnic nation of immigrants, and always has been.

I beg to differ. Remember slavery? Or what Columbus did with the native Americans? Blanket statements like that benefit no-one.

And Johnny English, your statement is the worst sort of ignorant crap. Yes, a very small proportion of people do cross borders for illegal purposes, but do you really think someone would go halfway across the world for our shitty unemployment benefit or NHS? Come on. Immigration is a big benefit- look at our music, culture, restaurants, and the fact that I, when I was a kid, got to go round mosques and Sikh and Hindu temples with school and wonder at how colourful and bright their religion seemed to be (I'm an atheist now, so I guess it didn't really work).

The right-wing press in the UK featured a genuine front-page story about asylum seekers eating the Queen's swans. It was complete and utter fabrication, but that didn't stop them drumming up a great hooh-hah about it. This has happened time and again.

By the way, I don't know how many people in the US heard about scores of Chinese immigrants dying while out cockle picking in a bay in the UK. They were working for a pound a day (about $1.80). Does this sound like a group of people enjoying our great benefits and NHS? Give me a break.

Our government has consistently reduced the number of countries on the at-risk register, so less and less asylum seekers are treated fairly. Those coming from war-torn countries, or those with brutal military dictatorships, are turned away. Does this sound fair? Maybe we should cause a little less disturbance in far corners of the world and fewer people will feel the need to seek asylum here.



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Jonny_English
Mettwurst








Since: 18.3.04
From: Derby, UK

Since last post: 2860 days
Last activity: 2683 days
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.00
If you re-read, or should that just be read, my post, you will see that we are largely in agreement. We have a responsibility, both collectively as a nation, and as individuals, to do all we can for those who genuinely need our help. British tabloid newspapers do a lot of scaremongering on immigration, which many people believe (hence my statement "The real issue of concern for me, is that many of my peers fail do discriminate between genuine refugees and asylum seekers, who are in real fear of persecution, and those economic migrants who head for the UK to take advantage of our generous welfare state and free health care").

Those individuals who come here with no means to support themselves, and who are not genuine asylum seekers in real fear of persecution, should not be given leave to remain within the United Kingdom. That doesn't seem bigoted to me.

Stilton
Frankfurter








Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

Since last post: 3191 days
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.26
    Originally posted by snk
    Is it just me, or is StaggerLee's sig. just a little over the top. Telling all the faggots to go to Canada. That's mature.


No, it's not just you. However, we in Canada are now preparing ourselves for an influx of gay "refugees" from all the officially Christian-totalitarian homophobic states, just in case. I believe New York is doing the same.

As for Belgium. I have many relatives in Flanders, and most of them are just as shocked about the Vlaams Block issue. They are shocked that such an overtly racist party got so far before it was shut down.

As a Canadian, the Vlaams Block makes the FLQ and the Parti Quebecois separatistes look like a kindle of kittens.



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