Tag Archives: Netherlands

A Magdalene laundry in Ireland in the 1950s


Daniel Boffey, in The Guardian, reports:

Nineteen women are suing a Dutch monastery and its Catholic order over claims they were subjected to forced labour and abuse by nuns between 1951 and 1979 during periods of virtual imprisonment as children or young adults.

The case against the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, which operates in 70 countries, concerns the treatment of women, aged 11 to 21 at the time, who had been placed in the nuns’ care by the courts or at the request of their parents or guardians.

The women, who are now in their 70s and 80s, say they were forced to work in laundries and sewing and ironing rooms under threat of punishment, against their will and without wages, for the order or for the benefit of outside organisations including the Dutch royal house.

…At least 15,000 girls and young women, accused of falling into “licentiousness”, were held in confinement and forced to work in the laundry and sewing rooms of the Catholic order of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in the Netherlands between 1860 and the early 1980s.

There you go now.

Women sue Dutch Catholic order over forced labour claims (The Guardian)

Previously: The Magdalene Report: A Conclusion

‘Based On The Findings Of The McAleese Report’

Not Forgotten

Just Saying No

Cruelty level: Demonic.

Previously: Vera and Ava Twomey on Broadsheet

Thanks Wicked Fairy Sad

Infographics of the EC’s findings on Ireland’s tax dealings with Apple (top) and (above) the EC’s investigation of Nike and the Netherlands

This morning.

Almost two and a half years on from the European Commission finding that Ireland gave illegal tax benefits, under EU state aid rules, to Apple worth up to €13billion…

The EU Commission has announced that it has started an investigation into Nike and the Netherlands – to see if the Netherlands has given Nike an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU state aid rules.

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands (EU Commission)



From top: Dutch political party leaders Geert Wilders (PVV), Emile Roemer (SP), Mark Rutte (VVD), Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), Alexander Pechtold (D66) and Sybrand van Haersma Buma (CDA) at the offices of De Telegraaf newspaper earlier this month: Shane Heneghan

The Netherlands heads to the polls on Wednesday with 2017’s first test of the wave of populism that dominated 2016.

Shane Heneghan writes:

So far, the main international headlines concerning the Dutch general Election deal with the potential electoral comeback of the far-right wing PVV under the leadership of their founder, Geert Wilders.

Staunchly pro-Israel, and pro-US (particularly under its new management), strongly anti-immigrant and anti-elitist, Wilders’ brand of populism has many echoes of the rise of UKIP, the Front National and Donald Trump.

Wilders is seldom vague in his rhetoric- frequently branding whole groups of emigrants as “Moroccan scum” and referring to Islam as the “ideology of a retarded culture”.

It should be remembered, however, that no opinion poll taken this year has seen his party on more than 23% of the vote and that the more recent polls see them as unlikely to be the largest party.

This brings us to the real story in Dutch politics in recent years.

There has been a kind of Balkanisation in the wake of the decline of both the centre-right VVD and the centre-left Pvda which has led to a mushrooming in small and single issue parties that opinion polls indicate may make forming a government after the election supremely tedious.

The political pallet is vast.

The country now has the world’s only Animal rights party with representation at the national level, a party dedicated to the issues affecting those over 50, a pro migrants party and a reformed evangelical Christian party all of which currently have representation in Parliament and all of which are expected to increase that representation at this election.

Worth watching is the rise of the radical liberal party, D66. A smaller party, with several stints in government under its belt over the past 40 years, they can claim credit for some of the more liberal reforms post war Holland is famous for including euthanasia, drug decriminalisation and same sex marriage.

The party is currently expected to take as many as 20 seats and a swing between now and polling day coupled with their centrist position economically could theoretically leave their leader as the first ever D66 prime minister.

Perhaps more radical if much less likely would be the prospect of the Dutch electing the world’s first Green Prime Minister in the form of Jesse Klaver, a 30 year old family man with Indonesian and Moroccan heritage who is expected to bring his party from four seats to the low 20s.

Given that the next government may involve up to five parties, the process of government formation is in itself is worth examining.

The Dutch monarch appoints an informateur, who – and this could prove to be crucial – may be an MP or senator from any party, who then begins negotiations between potential partners while keeping the King informed in a process that has long been criticised for its secrecy. As this is the 1st election since his mother’s abdication in 2013, it will be interesting to watch how King Willem-Alexander approaches this process.

This election is probably the most unpredictable I have come across in sometime and I include everything 2016 has put us through when I say that. One poll over the weekend suggested that there may be as little as 6% between the top six parties.

Given how badly I performed on these pages when examining the Irish election and the Brexit vote last year I won’t dare make a prediction. But I do think the result may very well set the tone for elections for the rest of 2017 with consequence for France and to a lesser extent Germany.

Get the popcorn.

Shane Heneghan is a Brussels-based election and poll watcher. Follow Shane on Twitter: @shaneheneghan

Top pic: Getty

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 15.51.41

Comedian Arjen Luback of satirical Dutch talkshow Zondag Mit Lubach introduces The Donald to the country founded by the appropriately hued William Of Orange. To wit:

The whole world was watching for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States: Donald J. Trump. Because we realize it’s better for us to get along, we decided to introduce our tiny country to him. In a way that will probably appeal to him the most.

(H/T: Heber Rowan)



Nathalie Kershaw writes:

This cat ‘Coco’ (above) was found near my hometown [Enschede, East Netherlands]. Story at link below.  It has a chip that is registered in Ireland. Contact with the owner would be great though so spread the word…

Reislustige kat uit Ierland gevonden in Enschede (Tubantia)

Nathalie Kershaw writes:

The owner and cat are back together again. Coco belonged to a lady that recently moved From Ireland to Germany…


Twas two nights before Patrick’s Day.

Not a creature was rolling.

Eva writes:

just wanted to get in touch about our St Patricks Eve celebrations in Splendor a newly opened music centre in the heart of Amsterdam.

It’s day for the whole family, Irish, Dutch, mixed or anyone with an interest in Ireland. From learning Céilí dancing, to Irish music workshops and later that afternoon top Irish pianist Finghin Collins will perform.

Later Julie Feeney joins Dutch classical musicians from the Royal Concertgebouw and Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The day finishes off with a Dutch/Irish comedianDolf  Jansensharing stories about his Irish roots and adventures in Ireland.

We are building this festival up, and its only year 2 so we have big plans for our Irish future here in Amsterdam!

St Patrick’s Eve – Amsterdam


Last night.

The University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Ste in Amsterdam writes:

It’s getting interesting here. the students have occupied another of the University of Amsterdam’s buildings after being evicted after 13 days from The Bungehuis (Department of Philosophy/Geesteswetenschap).They are now occupying the Maagdenhuis (Office of the board of management) a symbolically significant move as it was first occupied in the student protests of the 1970s. The mayor turned up last night at about midnight to talk to them. A fairly “keep calm” move with not promising or saying much of anything. If you’re into a bit of google translate this is their website. Their demands include
1. Democratic election of the university administration.
2. Investment should deliver not financial profit but quality in education.
3. Fixed contracts rather flexible appointments for staff.
4. An open debate on housing costs compared to cuts in education and research.


Protesting Amsterdam students move to admin centre (DutchNews)