Propaganda by the VVD in the Dutch municipal elections 2018

Propaganda, a definition

Dissemination of information—facts, arguments, rumours, half-truths, or lies—to influence public opinion. (source:

The Dutch Municipal Elections 2018

The Dutch municipal elections 2018 are taking place on March 21st, 2018.  If you’re an EU citizen you have the right to vote and should already have received your voter cards. The same applies to any non-EU citizen that has lived in the Netherlands for more than five years.  In the run-up to voting on March 21st, I’ll be writing my own guide to some of the parties taking part in this years election. I’ll start with Mark Rutte’s VVD.

VVD Dutch municipal elections 2018 video

The party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, are campaigning with a blatantly provocative video attempting to profile themselves as the protectors of Dutch traditions. You can view it below.


Are you ashamed of your traditions?

You’re not racist if you pleasantly celebrate Sinterklaas

Who focuses on the REAL PROBLEMS?

Vote for the VVD.

An analysis of the VVD’s propaganda message

1. “Are you ashamed of your traditions?”

This opening line is there to elicit anger in Dutch voters. The message is that some people out there are trying to shame the Dutch because of their traditions. “How dare they?”


2.  You’re not racist if you pleasantly celebrate Sinterklaas

The propagandist has a specified goal or set of goals. To achieve these he deliberately selects facts, arguments, and displays of symbols and presents them in ways he thinks will have the most effect.

The Sinterklaas celebration is celebrated throughout the Netherlands in different ways. In most of the country, traditional blackface (they are not black they’ve been down a chimney) Zwarte Piets are part of official Sinterklaas ceremonies. In some places such as Amsterdam, so-called “Roet Piets” people whose faces have streaks of soot, are used instead.

Roet Piets are terrible, he looks like he’s been down a chimney

The inference in the “you’re not racist if you pleasantly celebrate Sinterklaas” is that everyone celebrating Sinterklaas is being accused of being a racist. By whom, it’s not really clear, but one can assume by a “tiny unrepresentative group of newcomers” who have nothing better to do. This is all about the Zwarte Piet debate and the idea that people who want to keep Zwarte Piet black, are being wrongly accused of being racist. Even if some of them definitely are.

This statement is straight out of Donald Trump’s election campaign. It’s there to divide Dutch voters into “them” and “us”. “Us” being the doe normaal Nederlanders who just want to celebrate Sinterklaas without any pesky black people or grachtengordel landverraders (traitors living in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam) complaining about Zwarte Piet being racist.

“Them” being the tiny group of violent, dangerous, ungrateful anarchists who instead of being grateful for being Dutch citizens, actually want to act like the Dutch and complain about things they don’t like. How dare they?


3. Who focuses on the REAL PROBLEMS?

The REAL problems are those that the VVD consider important. Most people of colour don’t vote for the VVD so their complaints don’t matter.  Vote VVD and they’ll keep the complainers in their place and focus on the real problems such as why Gordon didn’t marry his partner at the end of the Gordon Gaat Trouwen.


4. Vote for the VVD

If you like any of the following, vote for the VVD in the Dutch municipal elections.

  • The annual reduction of treatments and medicine covered by health insurance. When the insurance companies tell the VVD to jump they say “how high?”
  • A party of Government that actually wants to deny people the democratic rights guaranteed in the Dutch constitution to people whose protests they disagree with
  • A party of banking, big business and the Het Gooi and Wassenaar set that likes to pretend it cares about normal working people
  • A party that shamelessly attempts to appeal to voters of far-right parties by using not so subtle propaganda to appeal to their worst instincts
  • If you enjoy having a Poundland Donald Trump as Prime Minister, vote VVD
Dutch municipal elections 2018 Mark Rutte

“Native Dutch people first”


To wrap up this piece, I’ll leave the final words to Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

“I can only say that my friends in the Dutch Antilles, they are very happy when they have Sinterklaas because they don’t have to paint their faces. And when I’m playing Black Pete, I’m for days trying to get the stuff from my face”.’

No propaganda specialists were hurt during the writing of this post.