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A Nuanced Look at Brussels Journal’s Latest Claim

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At The Brussels Journal, Paul Belien tries to obfuscate the issue of Pim Fortuyn’s rejection of Filip DeWinter and the Vlaams Belang, with a little selective quoting from an article at Fortuyn’s web site: Pim Fortuyn on Filip Dewinter.

Here’s the article at the Fortuyn web site, in Dutch. It’s about a visit to the Netherlands by Filip DeWinter. As DeWinter was just beginning an interview, a leftist moonbat jumped out of the crowd and smeared chocolate on him.

I presume that’s a slur against the Belgians, but since I’m a knuckle dragging American neo-con, what do I know? The incident is similar to those well-known attacks at US institutes of higher learning against Ann Coulter and David Horowitz, except that in this country the leftists usually use pies, which is probably a slur against Soupy Sales.

Pim Fortuyn is on record as denouncing the attack on DeWinter.

Belien apparently believes he really zinged me with this one, and ends his post with the pointed question:

Will Little Green Footballs correct its disinformation?

Simple answer: No. To make a simple answer more nuanced, there’s nothing to correct.

The article quoted by Belien doesn’t refute the claim I made. Pim Fortuyn was not a supporter of Vlaams Blok/Belang. According to this Wikipedia entry:

Politicians, like prime minister Guy Verhofstadt (VLD), Karel De Gucht (VLD) and the late Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn have called the Vlaams Belang or its leaders “fascist.”

Further, the entry for Pim Fortuyn states, in a paragraph about his immigration views:

Fortuyn was the centre of controversy for his views on Islam and his anti-immigration positions. He called Islam “a backward culture” and said that if it were legally possible he would close the borders for Muslim immigrants.[3] He was labelled a far-right populist by his opponents and in the media, but he fiercely rejected this label [4] and distanced himself clearly from far-right politicians such as Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Blok (now Vlaams Belang), Jörg Haider of Austria or Jean-Marie Le Pen of France whenever compared to them.

There’s more information on the split between the Vlaams Belang and the party to which Pim Fortuyn belonged, LPF, at the List Pim Fortuyn entry:

In August 2004, the eight Members of Parliament for the LPF separated themselves from the rest of the party, and continued on their own. They wanted to keep LPF as their party’s name, but obviously the “other” LPF refused to share their name. The chaos continued when in 2005, member of parliament Hilbrand Nawijn started another controversy because of his association with Filip Dewinter, leader of the Belgian Vlaams Belang. This led to his separation of the fraction, forming his own one man party Group Nawijn. Nawijn is seen as a non-figure in Dutch politics, and polled for no seats in parliament. The connection with the Vlaams Belang is over; he said there are no structural connections planned. The last polls before the 2006 General Election correctly predicted the LPF not gathering enough votes to reach the Tweede Kamer.

(I know some will say that I’ve criticized Wikipedia—which I have—but for entries that are several years old, it’s a good bet that the information has been vetted and verified pretty well.)

Back to Belien’s post; he quotes Fortuyn as denouncing the chocolate smear attack on DeWinter, which Fortuyn definitely did. And I’ll join Pim Fortuyn in that; I also denounce that kind of attack on Filip DeWinter. It’s no secret that LGF doesn’t support attacks like that on either side of the Great Political Divide—or the Atlantic Ocean.

But Austrian LGF reader zuckerlilly accurately notes the salient point in this:

Not with a single word defends Mr. Fortuyn the ideology of Filip deWinter. Fortuyn is defending democracy and accuses the government, the police and all the persons in charge to be blind on the left eye, to accept violence if it is directed against non-lefties by lefties and demands protections also for those persons with whom they don’t agree. Even if you don’t like Filip deWinter it is not acceptable that he is physically assaulted and his car destroyed by lefties without intervention of the police.

Again: with not a single word does Pym Fortuyn defend the ideology of deWinter and the Vlaams Bloc.

Maybe you need to be a knuckle dragging neo-con (American or Austrian version) to grasp the nuance in this, but it’s obvious to me that denouncing a physical attack on Filip DeWinter is a long way from supporting Filip DeWinter’s ideology or party.

As I wrote above, I denounce the attack too, in the strongest terms possible. But I don’t think anyone’s going to mistake me for a Vlaams Belang supporter at this point.

Will Paul Belien retract his misleading post?

^ back to top ^

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 Frank says:

All right, Zubin, hit it! -- Frank's onstage cue to conductor Zubin Mehta during their collaborative effort with the L.A. Philharmonic orchestra in 1970