Seen the Volkskrant today? On the front page there’s this huge photo of outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, amidst a few youngsters. The inspired Christian-Democrat leader, whose CDA will probably lose half of its 41 seats in the 150-seat parliament, is seen looking very upbeat.
Over his customary politician’s shirt, he’s wearing a black t-shirt covered in big white letters declaring ‘Fuck drugs!’ Interestingly, the premier and the young lookers-on are all holding open Grolsch beer cans. In the Netherlands there are around 350,000 alcoholics and half a million heavy drinkers (from a population of 16.2 million people). That makes alcohol the ruling drug in the Lowlands, as in many societies throughout the world.
But that’s only a minor detail. It’s the f-word that will chase away the last Christian voters from the CDA. JP is on the way out, although so far he hasn’t acted as if he realises it. This morning, at the arrival of the morning papers, even he must have known.