Pim Fortuyn: It's five minutes to midnight in Europe (English subtitles)
Pim Forrtuyn's famous speech defending his controversial interview with De Volkskrant newspaper.
Fortuyn was chosen as the "lead candidate" ("lijsttrekker", or candidate to be prime minister) of the LN party in the Dutch 2002 general election.
Fortuyn was already known as a critic of Islam, but LN was a moderate party, and Fortuyn agreed to tone down his language on issues like immigration and Islam.
On Friday 9th February he gave an interview to De Volkskrant newspaper in which he broke this agreement, and made several controversial comments about asylum seekers and immigration ("the Netherlands is full"),
Islam ("it is a backward culture").
He also made an ambiguous comment about removing the article from the Dutch constitution that prohibits discrimination, in order to protect freedom of speech.
Based on later statements by Fortuyn it would appear that he was talking about removing Article 137 that prohibits hate speech, and not Article 1 that prohibits discrimination.
Fortuyn's interview attracted a lot of negative media attention and the executive council of his party met that night to discuss what to do.
Initially, Fortuyn was not involved in the discussion and waited in an adjacent room. He was then allowed in to argue his case in front of them.
That is the meeting portrayed in this video.
Eventually it was decided that the best option would be for Fortuyn to leave and set up his own party.
The split was not acrimonious. Fortuyn embraced the LN leaders before leaving the meeting, and LN hoped to cooperate with Fortuyn in a future government.
The party he set up would be called the Lijst Pim Foruyn (LPF). Most of LN's support migrated to the new party.
After leaving the meeting, a famous scene then occurred outside in the street: before being driven home by his butler in his black Daimler,
Fortuyn told the assembled press from the window of his car "Make no mistake, I will be the prime minister of this country".
Fortuyn was assassinated on 6th May 2002, nine days before the election.
His killer was motivated by Fortuyn's comments about Muslims, and also by Fortuyn's plan to legalise fur farming.
LPF finished second in the 2002 election with 17% of the vote.
Although they took part in the short-lived coalition government formed after the election, they soon fizzled out as a major party. They disbanded in 2008.
LN entered a downward spiral once Fortuyn left, they received 1.6% of the vote in the 2002 election and eventually disbanded in 2006.
All translation and subtitling is my own original work.
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|Category||News & Politics|
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