Like all European monarchs, he doesn’t have any political power, but Dutch King Willem-Alexander is certainly using the bully pulpit to great effect:
King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone. In its place a “participation society” is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.
The king traveled past waving fans in an ornate horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights in The Hague for the monarch’s traditional annual address on the day the government presents its budget for the coming year. It was Willem-Alexander’s first appearance on the national stage since former Queen Beatrix abdicated in April and he ascended to the throne.
“The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care,” the king said, reading out to lawmakers a speech written for him by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government. “The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.” Rutte may be hoping that the pomp and ceremony surrounding the king and his popular wife, Queen Maxima, will provide a diversion from the gloomy reality of a budget full of unpopular new spending cuts he revealed later in the day.
It really is true that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money, as welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic are discovering. The Dutch, however, are the canaries in the coal mine, a small country with big problems that include a declining birthrate, high levels of Muslim “immigration” and a general cultural lassitude that if unchecked will spell the end of the Dutch people. It may be too late, but at least somebody’s trying…
Unlike, say, in Finland, where 15,000 Finns rallied in favor of “diversity” the other day, after a member of the Finnish parliament had the effrontery to post his opposition to “multiculturalism” on Facebook.