Posts Tagged ‘Netherlands’

Dutch beat England AT CRICKET!

March 31, 2014

In the cricketing world this must be the equivalent of a magnitude 9 earthquake or of Jamiaca beating Canada at ice hockey.

Except that this happened 5 years ago as well.

Cricket has in fact been played in the Netherlands for over 150 years – mainly by expats. Their first recorded match as a national team was in 1881. A number of Dutch cricketers have also played at the first class level in England, Australia and India.There is even a Dutch women’s team.

BBC:

England ended their winter of discontent on a new low as they were beaten by minnows Netherlands at the World Twenty20 in Chittagong.

With neither side able to reach the semi-finals, the Dutch raced to 84-1 in 11 overs before Ravi Bopara’s stint of 1-15 limited them to 133-5.

In reply, England were all out for just 88 as Bopara top-scored with 18.

England’s 45-run loss echoed the four-wicket reverse they suffered at the hands of the Dutch at Lord’s in 2009.

 

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Wilders is now getting up their noses

March 24, 2014

When populism goes over the top.

Wilders hasn’t said exactly how he is intending to reduce the Moroccans in the Netherlands but it is unlikely to be very pleasant for them.

Photograph: Marcel Antonisse/AFP/Getty Images

Geert Wilders Photograph: Marcel Antonisse/AFP/Getty Images

(Reuters)Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders has lost his top position in opinion polls after making anti-Moroccan comments that unleashed a public backlash and prompted several high-profile resignations from his party. ….. 

Wilders has been hit by a series of resignations after leading a chant against Moroccan immigrants in The Hague on Wednesday. Among those who quit was the head of the PVV in the European Parliament, Laurence Stassen.

The next big test for the party will come at European Parliament elections in May. The PVV slipped five seats from a week ago to 22 and would come in third place behind the Socialist Party and the right-of-center Democrats 66, the poll showed. The PVV won 15 seats in the Dutch parliament in the 2012 election.

Wilders led the chant at a rally after municipal elections. He asked supporters in The Hague: “Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands?”

“Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!”, the crowd chanted. Wilders responded: “We’ll take care of that.”

The comments drew widespread condemnation in the Netherlands and abroad. Thousands of people filed complaints of discrimination with Dutch prosecutors, while several PVV members have quit from the national assembly and city councils.

On Saturday, Wilders said he wasn’t sorry, had not violated anti-discrimination laws and would not apologize to anyone.

While Wilders also lost some support among his electorate, 85 percent of people who voted for him said they still backed him as leader of the Party for Freedom.

The fertility rate in the rapidly aging Netherlands is at crisis levels. From around 4.45 per woman in 1900. and 3.2 in 1960, it is now at about 1.68 per woman in 2013. The post-war baby boomers are now entering the ranks of the retired and will be adding to the proportion of the elderly for the next 25 years. Without bolstering the working population by immigration, the care of the elderly at current levels would not be sustainable.

So if Wilders plans to reduce immigration, he better plan to reduce the number of the aged as well.

Netherlands fertility rate (World Bank data)

Netherlands fertility rate (World Bank data)

Demographics of the Nertherlands: The Dutch population is ageing. Furthermore, life expectancy has increased because of developments in medicine, and in addition to this, the Netherlands has seen increasing immigration. Despite these developments combined with the population boom after the Second World War, the low birth rate has caused extremely low population growth: 2005 saw the lowest absolute population growth since 1900. …

According to Eurostat, in 2010 there were 1.8 million foreign-born residents in the Netherlands, corresponding to 11.1% of the total population. Of these, 1.4 million (8.5%) were born outside the EU and 0.428 million (2.6%) were born in another EU Member State.

As the result of immigration, the Netherlands has a sizeable minority of non-indigenous peoples. There is also considerable emigration. In 2005 some 121,000 people left the country, while 94,000 entered it. Out of a total of 101,150 people immigrating to Netherlands in 2006, 66,658 were from Europe, Oceania, the Americas or Japan, and 34,492 were from other (mostly developing) countries. Out of a total of 132,470 emigrants, 94,834 were going to Europe, Oceania, the Americas or Japan and 37,636 to other countries.

Another fraudster unmasked in Dutch academia: Anthropologist Mart Bax

September 23, 2013

After the unmasking of the massive scientific misconduct committed by Dirk Smeesters, Don Poldermans and Diedrik Stapel, the Netherlands can ill afford yet another scandal. But that would be living in hope. Now comes this scandal involving an anthropologist, Mart Bax, which appears to be just as massive a fraud.

It does seem that Dutch Universities are cleansing their academic stables. And by the amount of excrement being found it seems to be quite a task! I don’t think that attitudes and pressures in Dutch scientific research are much different to those in other parts of Europe. Which only suggests that while the Dutch are cleaning house, there is a great deal of muck waiting to be found in other countries.

(The picture in the earlier posting was not of Mart Bax but of the journalist who exposed him. The picture has been removed. My thanks to thinkerandtinker for pointing out my error and my apologies to Mr. Frank van Kolfschooten).

Bax retired as a Professor from the Free University (Vrije Universiteit) of Amsterdam in 2003. But for 15 years – at least – he has been making up data. He has invented places where he has claimed to have carried out research, he has made up titles for himself along with claims of non-existent teaching at prestigious universities. Some 64 papers of his 161 claimed publications do not exist.

  • Of the 161 publications claimed by Bax, 64 are non-existent.
  • The book Medjugorje: Religion, Politics, and Violence in Rural Bosnia (1995) mentions a blood feud for which there is no evidence at all. None of the inhabitants of the area are aware of anything like this happening.
  • Shortly after the publication of book mentioned above, Bax acknowledged that he misinterpreted some information, but claimed he did not have the chance to make any rectifications.
  • The commission established he did have the opportunity to rectify these errors at various occasions, yet never did.
  • After the publication of Medjugorje: Religion, Politics, and Violence in Rural Bosnia, Bax referred to the blood feud in three other articles, after he already acknowledged to be aware of the misinterpretation, which the commission labeled as “serious scientific misconduct”.

Retraction Watch: Bax, who studied an Irish town he called Patricksville, a Dutch pilgrimage site he called Neerdonk, and Medjugorje, a Bosnian pilgrimage site, retired from the Free University in 2002. The university began investigating Bax’s work last year after science journalist Frank van Kolfschooten published Ontspoorde Wetenschap (“Derailed science”). In that book, van Kolfschooten raised questions about Bax’s work into an alleged massacre at Medjugorje during the Bosnian War.

 NRC Handelsblad: Again fraud in science is exposed by a university inquiry. Former professor of political anthropology Mart Bax from the Free University has invented research, published nonexistent items put on his list of publications and  committed forgery in university documents. That concludes a commission of inquiry headed by historian Prof. Michiel Baud from the University of Amsterdam.

Volkskrant: The retired professor of political anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Mart Bax has committed at least 15 years of serious scientific misconduct, forgery and plagiarism itself. That is the conclusion of the inquiry led by historian Michiel Baud in a report released today.  ….

The committee also calls it “very likely” that Bax has made up much of his fieldwork in Brabant and the Bosnian pilgrimage site of Medjugorje from his imagination. But the committee can not formally call it science fraud since Bax insists he was misled by informants themselves. Notes have been destroyed and the informants themselves are untraceable or deceased. The Committee therefore holds it as “serious scientific misconduct “,” deception” and “unethical scientific behavior”.

Beatrix retires (abdicates) but Elizabeth dare not

January 29, 2013
Prince Willem-Alexander is the host on veteran...

Prince Willem-Alexander

The retirement age in the Netherlands is 65 years and the intention to increase this to 67 has already been tabled. Royals of course are exempt from such “regulations”. Queen Beatrix will be 75 on Thursday this week. Just as her mother Queen Juliana abdicated in her favour at the age of 71 on 30th April 1980 , Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard will abdicate in favour of her son on April 30th this year. Even Juliana came to the throne with the abdication of her mother Queen Wilhelmina on 6th September 1948.

Independent: The Dutch head of state, Queen Beatrix, is to abdicate in favour of her eldest son, Prince Willem-Alexander, after a 33-year reign marked by controversy and even civil disobedience.

Beatrix, who is 75 on Thursday, announced in a national television address this evening that she would step down on 30 April, enabling her son, 45, to become the first Dutch king for more than a century. She has ruled since 1980 following the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana.

“I am not abdicating because this office is too much of a burden, but out of conviction that the responsibility for our nation should now rest in the hands of a new generation,” she said. “I am deeply grateful for the great faith you have shown in me in the many years that I could be your Queen.”

While the Dutch have established a tradition of abdication while the successor is still of “reasonable” age, the British precedent is for abdication only when royal scandals have become publicly unacceptable and not for any consideration of the age of the heir. The Royals just don’t have the numbers to establish a trade-union presence so, in Britain Charles cannot expect any support from this quarter. Moreover his scandals as heir have been sufficiently sordid that it could be considered that he has already fulfilled the conditions – in advance – for an “abdication”. But of course the law of succession would put him on the throne if his mother abdicated. His son William could not succeed Elizabeth directly without a special Act of Parliament to disinherit Charles.

Moreover Charles will be 65 this year but he does seem to be more relaxed though even more bizarre in his views. Elizabeth will be 87 this year and her mother lived to be over 101. Charles probably still harbours hopes of becoming King and making Camilla his Queen but even if Elizabeth felt like retiring – she probably does not dare to do so.

Of course in the event of his succeeding to the throne, Charles could always do the right thing and abdicate before he was crowned!

Now Holland cannot afford to subsidise off-shore wind power

November 17, 2011

Most subsidies for the introduction of  uneconomic technologies are in an effort to make them commercially viable. But after 30+ years in the power generation industry I have yet to see a case where this has happened. Instead, subsidies have nearly always been counter-productive. In virtually every case I have seen, subsidies have always been used first to maintain margins rather than to reduce costs. If costs are not reduced then the “indirect” costs for every taxpayer which a subsidy represents eventually end up becoming direct costs for the consumer when the subsidies end.

This is happening to an increasing extent with solar and wind power as subsidies are reduced or withdrawn in the current financial crisis. The costs have then to be borne directly by the consumers and it is not surprising that virtually all countries which have introduced wind power to any extent have seen electricity prices to the consumer increase.

Now it is the turn of the Dutch government to reduce subsidies and pass on the costs directly to consumers.

Reuters reports:

Dutch fall out of love with windmills

(more…)


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