David Brent for President

As the unsurpassable prophet of modern times Molovich in his Dutch blog already commented: lately the Netherlands has been suffering from stress. Drop a suitcase in a crowd, and someone will yell: “a bomb, a bomb!” and panic arises. Put some problem children on the blocks of average sized commuter towns and a large part of the Netherlands will vote for one of the most ridiculous political parties in the world.

Oh, Holland, land of eternal farce.

In that light, it cannot be a surprise that for the past eight years we had Jan-Peter Balkenende for prime-minister. In those eight years, four of his governments have broken up before ending their term. That means that after failing one time, he was allowed to fail three more times. Try that when you´re head of any real company. Currently he still is candidate for his christian party for the general elections of the 9th of june. He might even become prime minister again and break up another government again. Probably, he´s a pawn in a sinister CIA conspiracy to destabilize the Dutch political system (that will teach them bloody liberals!).

Yesterday, there was a political debate on Dutch television. One of the people who presented the debate was a woman. She pressed our former prime-minister a bit on the question of which political parties he preferred to govern with (in the Netherlands, governments are always formed by coalition). He was reluctant to give a clear answer, afraid of losing votes choosing one way or the other. Instead, his reply was: “you look so cute”. (In Dutch: “je kijkt zo lief“).

Now, don´t mistake this for some kind of Berlusconi thing. Balkenende is not some sexist, ignorant, corrupt mafia puppet. He´s much more like the sexually insecure nerd from school on his first night-out in the local discotheque of Uithuizermeeden. As a grown up, he´s the sort of guy who on saturday afternoons starts to water the garden as soon as the girl next door goes out sunbathing. His lucky days are when the desk woman at the town library bends over just enough for him to see the hem of her bra.

I am glad we don´t have a whoring gangster for a president. But this stumbling Stan Laurel of a joke is rather embarrassing. For a split second after he had made that comment he must have thought he had acted as a true Don Juan but then he realised he had made another gaffe. For the rest of the interview, his face wore the expression of David Brent from the Office just after another of his failed attempts at being funny.


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