Privacy International has recently published its yearly evaluation of societies where civil liberties are more or less defended and respected. As usual, the EU-Observer wrote an excellent article, commenting the poor score of the United Kingdom, but also, maybe surprisingly, of the Netherlands. As for the UK, it is hardly surprising. Tony Blair has until now blindly followed Georges W. Bush, against all logics and even against his own Labour Party, for whom he has become somewhat of a liability. But the Netherlands, if they have always followed the USA in terms of Foreign Policy, have nonetheless remained until recently a paradise for public liberties.
Helas, this is now changing. "Systemic failure to uphold safeguards" is the expression used by the NGO to describe current Dutch policies. Actually, if any of us is surprised, he/she must have been blind, or lived far from good old Batavia for a number of years. Since the beginning of the right wing government rule, and through its three successive changes, one thing has remained the same. The CDA and even more the VVD have been hammering at public liberties, against their own usual credo, to please their American ally, as much as to please big corporate interests. The policies regarding telecommunications, internet, transports, foreigner treatment, immigration, etc. have been systematically twisted towards more control over our minds and not only our safety.
It is still time to put an end to it though. Of course, foreigners like me have barely any say in this, but Dutch voters can very soon express themselves about it. Enough is enough !