Lawmaker Caroline van der Plas, leader of the populist BBB Farmer-Citizen Movement, reacts after casting her vote for the provincial elections in Okkenbroek, eastern Netherlands, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Voters dealt a hammer blow to the Dutch establishment in Wednesday’s regional elections, propelling the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) to become the largest party in the Senate in just its first election.
Exit polls projected the movement will win 15 seats in the Dutch upper chamber as voters sent a clear message to Mark Rutte’s government over its planned nitrogen emissions laws campaigners say will devastate the country’s agricultural sector.
“The Dutch have clearly shown that they are fed up with the policy,” BBB leader Caroline van der Plas told De Telegraaf late on Wednesday. “I’m going to party.”
“The turnaround has started. The voters have spoken and have denounced support of this government,” she added in a tweet.
“She did very well,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte admitted, whose People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) saw its projected seats fall from the current 12 to 10.
“They have declared that nitrogen is the major problem, well I’m an expert in nitrogen, and I dare to say; it is not.” ~ Emeritus Professor Han Lindeboom, environmental scientist
“Holland is in trouble.” ~Nitrogen 2000
Solari subscribers are no strangers to the challenges currently confronting Dutch farmers and fishermen—examined at length in our 2nd Quarter 2023 Wrap Up and via the revealing interviews with farmers and fishermen that accompanied the Wrap Up.
Now, we strongly encourage you to view Nitrogen 2000, the new crowdfunded documentary by James Patrick (of Big Picture), the director of Planet Lockdown. This thought-provoking, 45-minute film sheds light on the pressing issues faced by Dutch cattle farmers, featuring insights from experts, members of parliament, and the farmers themselves. The Dutch government’s assertion that nitrogen emissions from livestock are excessively high has led to heavy regulations on these farms, resulting in a significant number of farmers being forced out of business with no opportunity to farm within Europe again.
The message conveyed by the government to the public is that current farming practices pose an environmental threat, necessitating a drastic reduction in “emissions” to combat climate change. As Dutch politician Wybren van Haga has stated, “Once the people are frightened, you can do whatever you want with them.” Nitrogen 2000 seeks to “get to the bottom of the story,” asking, “Surely if it were truly about nitrogen other solutions could be found than disenfranchising the most efficient farmers on the planet.”
Support James Patrick and Big Picture in their endeavor to continue creating significant documentaries. In the current Big Picture pipeline are CBDC: The End of Money and Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Irish Farmers’ Struggle.