Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Vlaams Belang

A disturbing article on a controversial topic. The leaders of the VB pose as wholesome defenders of freedom and family values, but are they? For my part, I absolutely detest the way this party has hijacked conservative causes in Belgium by linking them to the Flemish separatist agenda. As a result, many well-meaning people, who might be able to draw Belgium out of its current moral, political and religious mire, are alienated from their king and country.

9 comments:

Matthew Palardy said...

I think the trouble, Matterhorn, is that Europe has so few authentic conservative parties: only nationalist parties which veer into extremism (though this occurs on the left as well) like VB and Le Pen's machine, and the formerly great Christian Democrats, who have generally become liberals since the 1980s. Where's an authentically religious, patriotic (not nationalistic), eurosceptic vote to go nowadays?

In short, is there really any more electoral choice in Europe than there is in the States?

Matterhorn said...

There do not seem to be any really good choices; instead, there is an assortment of choices which are more or less all bad in their different ways.

MadMonarchist said...

I can (and do) have every sympathy for the Flemish when it comes to footing the bill for the failed policies of others, however, they lose me when they stir up hatred against their fellow countrymen. The mentality of people who would throw away their own country, their history and seemingly have no desire for national greatness is one I will never understand. I can understand that they have some just complaints but there is no justification for wishing to destroy your own country.

Matterhorn said...

I have sympathy for the Flemish people, as such, but NOT for the VB.

I used to have some sympathy even for the Flemish separatists, although I never really agreed with their agenda; lately, however, I have increasingly found their approach and tone to be so aggressive, insolent and downright nasty that these scraps of sympathy have gone up in smoke.

Matterhorn said...

It may, however, be arguing at cross-purposes to say that the separatists want to "destroy their own country." They would probably just deny that Belgium is their country, and say it is not a "real" country and so forth. But I think it ought to be pretty self-evident, at this point, that Belgium is a real country (!). And whatever genuine grievances the Flemish may have, I don't see that they are desperate enough to warrant tearing apart Belgium, with all its shared history and tradition--it would be appalling, and I don't understand how some can cheer on this idea so gleefully.

MadMonarchist said...

I would be more than happy to have the argument with them. If Belgium is not "their" country -what is it that they want to leave? What were the people fighting for in the world wars? What was it that was created in 1830? No, that line will not wash with me. Belgium is not the only country to have a population that speaks different languages and they are certainly not the only country which has one half poorer than the other.

I spoke to a friend recently about this in connection with the British, many of whom support the Flemish nationalists and often make jokes about Belgium not being a "real" country etc. Well, Britain is not a uniform society either and never has been. There are the Ango-Saxon-Norman English, the Celtic Scots, Welsh and Cornish and although they speak the same language today (which was a matter of force) they did not always. Scotland is much poorer than England and England spends alot supporting Scotland, yet it is the Scots who clamor for independence rather than the over-burdened English. This is because the English still have more of a sense of 'Britishness' and aspire to national greatness. Even though they are not being treated exactly fairly they are the most opposed to the division of the country. This is the larger attitude that Flemish nationalists seem to lack.

I would also say (though I'm going on too much I know) that if VB got their way and became independent they would be no more happy or content than they are now. They would be one more tiny forgettable European republic that would be ignored at best and seen as pariahs at worst.

Matterhorn said...

I agree! And those British who support the Flemish separatists, they infuriate me too. If Flanders becomes independent, it might encourage the Scots etc. to also break away, so these types might have to eat their words.

Theresa Bruno said...

In regards to Mad Monarchist's comment, I find it odd as well that the poorer Flemish want to break away from the wealthier south. They may have a different culture and language, but that doesn't mean they aren't Belgians.

The blending of the French and Walloon culture is one of the things I find most enduring about Belgium.

Looking at it historically, when a nation breaks up, everyone ends up worse off and ethic violence becomes more common. Just look at the former Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. After they split there was more ethic violence and many of the new countries are struggling to pay their bills!

Matterhorn said...

I think Flanders is actually the wealthier part, hence their resentment of the south. But I agree that the mingling of the Flemish and Walloon cultures is something very special, and worth preserving.