Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
You draw a parallel with the role Bolkestein played in the Netherlands in shifting the public debate on the multicultural society. As I explained, this was from the early nineties until Bolkestein became a EU Commissioner in 1999. It is that time period you want to consider. The parallel becomes patently bunk if Bolkestein is retrospectively charged with everything he said in public since that time.

Not necessarily. If he has a subsequent history of making blatant and easily debunked bad-faith arguments and flat out lies, then it casts some doubt on the honestly and propriety of his previous conduct (which, being further removed in time, is harder to verify). Of course, it could be a case of him being a one-trick pony who used to have a point but felt that he had to crank his shtick up to eleven when everybody else started agreeing with him. But the alternate hypothesis, that he always was a dishonest crank, is at least as plausible.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 10:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which probably lost the referendum in France, and thus fcuked up the EU for several decades at least, is an interesting case in point.

Incredibly, he came to France to promote this directive, during the referendum campaign. As I remember, there were blatant, fairly easily-debunked bad-faith lies involved.

If I recall correctly, what he had wanted (before the directive was largely eviscerated) was that anyone (in the list of occupations concerned) could work in any EU country, while paying social security contributions only in their country of origin (i.e. at a much lower rate in many cases, or... not at all, if they didn't get round to filing the paperwork)

He denied fervently that it would work like that, but the directive was clear.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 01:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the time being, try this from 2002 (Word!). It's an interesting piece: despite several Atlanticist overtones, bits of Orientalist kitch, and a rather stupid rhetorical argument on why Saddam is supposed to have chemical weapons, he comes out against the Iraq invasion with sensible arguments and dismisses Al Qaida and Middle Eastern regimes as serious risks for the West. So IMO clearly not a total fluke, and can think for himself, but there is a certain shallowness of analysis and certain idées fixes that look for confirmation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 02:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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