Far-right FvD undermines democracy, rule of law, Finance Min. says after spy school claim

THE HAGUE - FvD leader Thierry Baudet and other parliamentarians of his party undermine the rule of law and democracy with their systematic insinuations. Minister Sigrid Kaag of Finance said this to the media after the Cabinet left parliament because Baudet insinuated the secret service recruited her. 


“It is not just about tonight, and it’s not just about me,” Kaag said to NOS. “The broader story is radicalization. They are voices from the far right.” And their allegations and insinuations also affect journalists, police officers, and judges. “People who are committed to the public good.” 


During the General Political Reflections - the annual marathon debate on the next year’s budget - Baudet pointed out that Minister Kaag attended St Anthony’s College in Oxford. The college educates Marxist students and trains spies, Baudet said, insinuating that the secret service recruited Kaag. The Finance Minister and the rest of the Cabinet left the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, in protest. 


“I get a lot of threats. I have been receiving a new form of security since June. These sorts of stories, suggesting a ‘collaborator,’ ‘enemy of the state,’ a ‘terrorist,’ cross the whole spectrum,” Kaag said to RTL Nieuws. “It sets the tone that you can say anything, that you can insinuate anything, you can offend people, and you can play with the truth. It is dangerous. I’ve been dealing with it for so long.” 


The threats and extra security are also affecting her family, Kaag said. Her children fear “that something will happen to their mother.” They have also had enough. 


Kaag said that she saw no other choice than to leave the Kamer. “I actually wanted to ask the chairman: isn’t this going too far? Formally, the Kamer chairman is responsible for order and not the Cabinet. We are guests in parliament to account for policy.” 


“I feel like an enormous border was crossed with these insinuations that were said. ‘Did she go to a spy school, yes or no?’ The whole framing of it, in English, you call it a dog whistle, with all the signals. For me, that was enough.” 


When Kamer chairman Vera Bergkamp didn’t intervene, Kaag got up and left. “This is my limit, and I will not let anything or anyone treat me in such a way, not even in the parliament where I am a guest.” Kaag said she didn’t realize the rest of the Cabinet followed her but appreciated the support. “Everyone had their own reaction and consideration, and that was the strength. Because everyone felt the same.” 


Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Baudet “crossed all boundaries” with his latest performance. “There are limits to what we can accept as guests," he said. The Cabinet had to draw a line, he said. "I think society understands that at some point a team stands as one man, as one woman for a colleague." 


PvdA leader Attje Kuiken asked her colleagues to act like grown-ups. “Incite, aggravate. One moment, and the whole debate we have had today, to draw attention to the people in dire need, who cannot afford their grocers, can no longer pay the energy bill… Guys!” 


Former FvD member and current Senator Henk Otten said on Twitter that Baudet’s “bizarre tirade” must have been written by “Putin-adept Laughland.” John Laughland recently became the leader of the FvD’s international branch. He recently spoke at an FvD gathering alongside Russia’s ambassador, according to NOS. “FvD is now under Kremlin control and must be dismantled,” Otten tweeted. 

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