Populist killjoys and screamers in all their splendor.

toWhen I see right-wing populists, I often think of birds. To Dolf de Kraai from the television series. Alfred Jodocus Kwak, For example. Dolf is a cross between a blackbird and a crow, so he was born with a yellow beak. But since he is the leader of the Crow Party, he regularly turns his beak black to resemble a full-blooded crow.

I also often think of Eep, half-girl, half-bird, a character who appears in Joke van Leeuwen’s children’s books. Van Leeuwen once told me that while he writes about Eep, he lets her thoughts bounce around as much as possible, after which happy phrases often automatically appear on the paper. Since then, when I see an angry populist on TV babbling about how bad things are in the world and whose fault it is, my usual thought is: give your brain a spin once in a while, you grumpy bastard.

About the Author
Jarl van der Ploeg is a journalist and columnist for by Volkskrant. Previously he worked as a correspondent in Italy. Columnists are free to express their opinions and do not have to adhere to journalistic rules of objectivity. Read our guidelines here.

However, Ronald-Jan Buijs often comes to mind, particularly when I see angry politicians. As an urban ecologist, Buijs is tasked with fighting seagull nuisances and once we were together on a rooftop in Alkmaar, he explained to me that seagulls not only have a big mouth from which they produce that heavenly and infuriating ‘gkààà- gkàà kwyok, -kwyok-kwyok’. No, they also like to use their feces to deter their opponents.

“In battle, seagulls use both their screams and their droppings,” Buijs said, as a thick mass of droppings exploded onto my notebook.

Since then, “Roepert or poepert” is a game I like to play during election campaigns and parliamentary debates. When it comes from a populist, shouting without facts may seem annoying and may even keep some people awake, but that noise ultimately causes far less discomfort than when filth flows from the poop of the same populist.

Now that right-wing populists are finally on their long march through European institutions, the resulting mess is regularly seen. Last Tuesday, for example, in our own The Hague, when a right-wing parliamentary majority decided to restrict the “activist investment policy” of pension funds.

The Netherlands, where all the roofs are full of solar panels, needs a new electrical grid to make optimal use of all that energy. Unfortunately there is no public money available for this, but in March the Dutch pension funds suddenly appeared, saying they wanted to invest “many billions” in the same energy transition.

Such an investment not only provides an excellent return for pension savers, but also makes the Netherlands a much cleaner and future-proof country. According to pension funds, a dignified old age is not just about earning a lot of money. It also consists of a habitable land to tear that money to pieces.

You might think this is a classic win-win situation, until our populists looked across the border and saw how many votes Donald Trump is actually winning by structurally dismissing sustainable investments as “woke capitalism” and “business nonsense.” radical left. We can do it too, they immediately thought.

The result: a group of investors to whom even the world’s richest hedge funds look like “capitalist gnomes” – as economics editor Jonathan Witteman recently described our pension funds – is willing to invest many billions of euros to make the Dutch economy a future. proof. But as our right-wing populist parties seek some extra popularity, the entire party is cancelled.

In the end, people like that never put the Dutch first, but always themselves. It’s populist bullshit in all its glory and it stinks.

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