“The Flemish nationalists are the heirs of the collaborators of 1940-1945”
Karel Dillen in 1990.
It’s time to detail the full facts of the controversy over Vlaams Belang simply because the main issue around the feud has become entirely obscured in the back and forth and the emotions of the spat.
I want to lay out the argument and the facts I know in concise form, because many are are confused by the piecemeal nature of the back and forth posts over weeks. The problem with the back and forth is the focus on single details and rationalizations rather than the collective mass of facts or larger picture.
You should also be aware before you read that I’ve decided on the matter — my conclusion is that allying with Vlaams Belang would be strategically inept while providing little value, and would both harm our efforts to stem illegal immigration and sap support for our anti-Islamofacist efforts.
This is the case whether VB is taking a course to reform or not. There is too much evidence from their own sites, manifestos, statements, party publications, and affiliated groups that their leadership is not distant enough from the stance on collaborators, identity politics, and immature political theater to make any alliance with them sane. Even if they are making whole-hearted honest efforts to reform, the track record is just not long enough. (Some in their leadership are I think, some others aren’t.)
There is a also a large moral question in the midst of this bickering which I cannot decide for you — what I can do is leave the moral questions aside for the moment and put forth just the facts and the positions.
What I know
After investigating Vlaams Belang I found many indicators that their post-Vlaams Blok metamorphosis for their leadership is surface-veneer only; somewhat forced by the Belgian court decsions against their prior incarnation as well as EU laws against overt anti-semitism and overt Nazism. Couple that with the realpolitic of the alliances they need to control Antwerp, and you have a posture, not a firm stance.
The court order would have stopped public funding and since public funding is the only type that parties in Belgium are allowed to spend, the order would have killed Vlaams Blok; hence the softer, kinder, more compassionate Vlaams Belang.
Since the court order a second attempt has been tried to cut funds from Vlaams Belang based on Filip Dewinters statement that he is an “Islamophobe.” There’s really nothing wrong with that other than choice of words. (He is essentially saying that he is not rational – the definition of a phobia is an “irrational fear” – regardless, that’s not something that should be taken to court, and it’s wrong of other parties to do so.) Continue reading “The Sound and the Fury”