Monday, 4 October 2010

Some updates

1. Technohobia A
Google has taken over blogspot and established a new log in procedure (which involves getting a new password). The whole procedure is so complicated I have twice aborted it. Which is at least partly why I haven't moderated comments or posted new entries recently.

2. Technophobia B.
My blog is increasingly being invaded by web-bots posting commercial messages as comments to my blog. They come at a rate of less than one a day and - because I have turned on my moderate comments function - it doesn't bother me too much. But if they keep coming I'm going to put up a character recognition defense (I know some of my readers use it on their blogs already).

3. The Polder Model A
Two of the largest parties in Dutch politics still can't decide whether to go into coalition with a politician who will appear in Court today on charges of inciting racial hatred. Surely someone who is facing such charges can't be a serious candidate for a position in a coalition government / the cabinet? Can he? I half-jokingly threatened to myself that I would a. Leave the Netherlands if Wilders became part of the government (it's a sign that this counry has lost its way). b. Hire and wear a burka for a week with a sign on it saying 'I don't belong here anymore' (in Dutch of course). In all likelihood I will just drift along with the silent and unprotesting crowds.

4. A Personal Aside
On which note I did spend Sunday drifting along with the silent and unprotesting crowds. I did what (it seems like) 90% of the population do on the first Sunday of the month and went shopping. Yes it was Koop-zondag (Shopping Sunday). I had an excuse - I wanted to buy a present for a friend's birthday - an obsure County and Western CD that I knew would be just right for him (Any C&W apart from Johnny Cash seems to be obscure in the NL - and some would say rightly so). I searched online and could not found it in anyone's stocks and the delivery timeline was way past his birthday so I thought a personal search wouldn't go astray. And much to my surprise I FOUND IT - in the fourth record store home entertainment store I went into. (And I only bought four CDs for myself - my once a year binge).

The Dutch Polder Model B
It's been interesting to compare Dutch politics with British ones over the past months. The UK parties were under pressure to form a coalition within a week of the UK election. Here they've toing and froing betwen different coalition options for nearly four months. (No-one seems to miss effectively not having a government). This week one of the main parties the CDA had an emergency party conference to seek the approval of their membership to go into coalition with the PVV. (I can't imagine - and didn't see - that happening in the UK). They got two thirds plus majority support. But - NOW GET THIS --two senior CDA MPs still have misgivings about the coalition and are seriously considering withdrawing their support for it saying that there was significant opposition within their party. (No Party Whips in Dutch politics to bully and cajole obviously ). If they do the whole project might still collapse.

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