King's Day 2014

Submitted by hadrian on Sat, 04/26/2014 - 00:00

Today, a day before Willem-Alexander's actual birthday, is king's day in the Netherlands. I'm not exactly sure why Sunday is so inappropriate for a king's day (or queen's day) but my assumption is that the royal house is still god-fearing or likes to pretend to be. Idiots.... Woops, there I go. Let me explain what was wrong with saying "idiots."

First of all, I greatly dislike the concept of a king. Let me start by quoting the Dutch constitution's first article (translation by myself): "All those within the Netherlands are treated equally in equal cases. Discrimination because of religion, life principles, political affiliations, race, gender, or any other reason is strictly prohibited."

And still we have a king! The very definition of inequality, the very epitomy of discrimination. One person to stand over everyone precisely because of hir birth! One single family who, through no reason but heritage, are given millions of euros a year. Cue the acolytes of royalty who will now start screaming nonsense like: "but he helps international trade!" and "he only has a ceremonial function!" The first is a fallacy, international companies want to sell stuff anyway and if the country needs a figure-head to facilitate this we can just as easily select one or more presidents to do the job. Germany has become internationally famous for its relative economic power and guess what, they don't have a king. If one wants to keep this a kingdom just because of ceremonial reasons then I would remind that same person that those many millions of euros which could be spent on improving lives are spent on your vanity.

To quote Mark Twain: "why, dear me, any kind of royalty, howsoever modified, any kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult." To add injury to insult the Dutch government have passed some very authoritarian laws to further discriminate the king from the people. Let me quote article 111 of the penal code: "Deliberately insulting the king will be punished with an imprisonment of no more than five years or a fine of the fourth category."

Yes, comrades. We are not allowed to say to the king that he is an idiot. We are not allowed to tell him that he is a dweeb, a miserable wretch, and a thief. This probably doesn't strike citizens of the Netherlands as very odd. After all, it's not allowed to say similar things to civil servants either. Of course, it's perfectly fine to tell a significant portion of the population that we should just leave the country "if we don't like it here". What hypocrisy!

The Dutch government pretend to respect human rights so I will damn well use those rights. Moreover, the entire notion of a kingdom is, to me, in violation of the spirit of the first article of the Dutch constitution. Now, I rarely miss an opportunity to bash the Dutch constitution and I won't do so now either. It doesn't actually matter what the constitution says because in the end the judicial power is made almost completely impotent by the constitution. Contrary to, for example, the Bundesverfassungsgericht the Dutch courts have no rights to review any law as: "the judge does not evaluate the constitutionality of laws or treaties." In other words, I could prod every judge in the Netherlands about the constitutionality of article 111 of the penal code and none of them can do anything about it.
So long live Willem-Alexander, allegedly the head of the oligarchy.