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Outrageous Fortuyn

The pampered Dutch voted for Fortuyn because he made politics fun

By Simon Kuper   June 2002

It was a scandal, a Dutch friend told me, that the foreign press was always comparing Pim Fortuyn to Jean-Marie Le Pen and J?rg Haider when he wasn’t far right at all. This is a common view in the Netherlands. Partly it is sympathy for the murdered Fortuyn, partly Dutch moral superiority (our racist politicians are better than theirs!), but there is truth in it too.

Foreigners have never been interested in Dutch politics, and are interested in it now only as another domino in continental Europe’s supposed slide back into barbarism. That is why Fortuyn is grouped with Le…

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