Pim Fortyun shot!

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was shot in the head Monday and seriously wounded, Dutch Radio said.
Police in Hilversum, where the attack reportedly took place, said they had no immediate information and could not confirm the report.

He was founder of Leefbaar Nederland (Livable Netherlands), which stunned the Netherlands in March when it won 35 percent of the vote for city council seats in Rotterdam, the second-largest city.

Fortuyn advocates a ban on immigration and has criticized Islam as a “backward culture.” Although he no longer leads the party, polls project that it could win 24 seats in the 150-member parliament in May 15 national elections.

The radio said Fortuyn (pronounced fore-TOWN)was shot at least three times in the head but was still alive. Ambulance was seen at the Hilversum Media Park, where the Dutch national broadcasting company is based. Hilversum is about 10 miles southeast of Amsterdam.

The reported attack against Fortuyn, 53, came nine days before national elections. Opinion polls predicted the flamboyant politician, campaigning on an anti-immigrant platform, would lead one of the largest parties in parliament.

The flamboyant, shaven-headed former academic and columnist leads an openly gay lifestyle, supports personal liberties, and has laid claim to leadership of Holland’s perennially vacant political right.

Fortuyn as dictated debate with verbal attacks on the country’s growing Muslim population and with an indictment of the shortcomings of what many other Europeans see as one of the most successful countries on the continent.

And the debate is…?

Yes, well, I couldn’t think of a better forum. Maybe this should be transferred.

And fixing the title would be nice, too - Fortuyn instead of Fortyun.

Fair enough.

Fortuyn is such a hard concept to grasp… A liberal, gay, right-wing xenophobic demogogue.

Who’da thunk it?

My theory? Some PolySci major was so confused by the whole thing that he shot Fortuyn. The student was afraid that he might be asked to explane Fortuyn in a research paper.

Reports are now saying that he died of his injuries, but they seem not to be officially confirmed as yet. OK - there may not be a Great Debate yet, but isn’t there a little debate about how providing the right-wing with a “martyr” will affect the fortunes of his party, and, worrying thought, gain them sympathy?

The poor sod might also be asked to explain my spelling… In which case, I better go don my body armor.

I wouldn’t be too worried about martyrdom for Fortuyn. He seems, to me, to be the charismatic drive behind his party, and without his voice, I expect it’ll begin to fall apart. Sure, they might pick up one or two extra votes, but I get the impression that he’d been doing so well because he galvanized all his constituents, and there simply aren’t any more people that think like him left untapped.

I expect his party has just achieved high water, and the ebb tide is beginning to run.

He is now confirmed dead from his injuries.

This from the BBC. Apparently other Dutch politicians have expressed great sympathy. I’m afraid my response to that was a rather cynical recollection of a Not The Nine O’Clock News sketch several years ago about politicians on a talk show savaging one another; one has a heart attack, the other moves straight into his eulogy with hardly a pause for breath.

No matter what a person’s politics, though, assassination is a shocking thing in a democracy.

The facts:

[li]Pim Fortuyn was shot at a few minutes past six, right after an interview on national radio, in which he claimed, amongst other things, to expect to live until the age of 87.[/li][li]The killer was seen in the building in which the interview was held, claiming to be a reporter. Because the man was unclear about his business, he was sent away.[/li][li]The shooter had shot several shots, of which three entered Fortuyn’s head, neck and chest. [/li][li]Right after the shooting all exits and entries to the compound were sealed. Four eye witnesses went after the man who ran away from the scene in the direction of another media building.[/li][li]About an hour after the crime the police had apprehended a man who was brought in for questioning. The man has remained silent until now. The police can’t tell anything new until the invetigation has started proper. All four eye witnesses have been brought in for questioning.[/li][li]The suspect is a white, Dutch man.[/li][/ul]

That’s all that is known so far. Luckily, the suspect is white and Dutch, otherwise all hell would break loose even more so than it has now.

yes, like I said some time ago.

Pim Fortuyn was a horrible man with stupid political ideas.

If I hear another politician praising his “new” politics, I’m gonna puke.

Prime Minister Kok made more sense; “Let’s keep calm.”

I’m shocked anyway.

Yeah, there’s a debate. On the one hand, we have the obvious benefit of having silenced a right-wing voice. On the other hand, his fellow travellers might make a stink about his being shot in broad daylight. Tricky, tricky question. How can we make sure an enlightened society can benefit from a well-intentioned assassination, without giving rise to the nasty side effects?

On the one hand, address those issues that fed support for Fortuyn – easier said than done, I realise – and on the other hand, ensure that the assassin is brought to justice and punished as would any other murderer be.

yes. There’s always the risk of seeing Fortuyn as a “martyr”.

The broad daylight thing wouldn’t be much of an issue. All our politicians walk around with little or no protection. That will change now, ofcourse.

I’m very afraid of the nasty side-effects nevertheless.
Some skinheads have allready threatened our Prime Minister Kok.

I know it’s hard to believe, but Holland is stunned.

Would someone like to address Fortuyn’s policies that got him labelled as a right-wing nutjob?

Because the closest I can find is his concern that people who do not share western values are entering western nations in great numbers, and he thought this would damage the values of a free society. He specifically spoke up about female gender apartheid amongst muslims and the doctrine of ‘honorable revenge’ violence.

I’ve also heard it said that while he was considered ‘right-wing’ in Holland, he’d probably be a centrist politician in the U.S.

So what’s the scoop? Was he the victim of a media smear campaign before he was a victim of an assassin’s bullet? Or did he deserve all the condemnation thrown his way?


It is easy for me to believe Holland is stunned. I ended a ten-week work assignment in Holland a few weeks ago. I was very impressed with the high level of tolerance and acceptance of a wide range of lifestyles that I witnessed during my stay in Holland. I hope that this incident does not significantly change the free movement of Dutch politicians. The lack of violence and openness of Dutch society is a jewel that should be preserved as an example to the rest of the world.

Whitewashed sepulchre?

From what I know (informed only by NPR), Fortuyn would be considered in the US to be an unelectable, way out in left field extremist, not a right-winger (even though NPR called him “right wing.”)

He was a gay man, in favor of gay marriage, and just about everything else that makes the Netherlands a “progressive” country.

The only “right-wing” opinion he held (AFAIK) was his anti-immigration views, which seem to be not unreasonable, considering that (many of) the immigrants in question oppose many of the things that make the Netherlands such a tolerant society.

Are there any Dutch Dopers who can explain Fortuyn and his politics better than “a horrible man with stupid political ideas?”