Today’s Opinion: “Screening”POSTED: 02/25/11 12:52 PM
The Freedom Party is a scary gang, as everybody knows, but just how scary – that we are about to discover. Yesterday the Volkskrant lifted another tip of the veil that covers the dirty secrets of Wilders and co.
The party actively screened supporters that wanted to attend party-meetings in the run up to the elections last summer. People who wanted to attend a meeting had to email their name, first name, address and BSN-number.
Richard de Mos, who organized the meetings, sent this information to the national terrorism coordinator, who in turn advised him whether someone should be invited to a meeting. People with a criminal record did not get invited.
There is something to be said for screening candidates for sensitive government positions. That would have saved St. Maarten a major headache last year, had it known about Maria Buncamper-Molanus’ magic business deal with a piece of leased land on Pond Island. But screening ordinary citizens who want to attend a political rally?
That sounds just like the level of paranoia many people associate the Freedom Party with.
Privacy experts in the Netherlands say that the party crossed a line and that it should have told potential visitors about the screening process.
Maybe most Freedom Party supporters think it is a good thing that the party screens potential visitors to its meetings. That may be so, but that does not make it right
In St. Maarten, such screenings will never take place. Here, the responsible authorities have their hands full with the screening of our new Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor. That makes us wonder: what’s taking these people so long? Is there a problem?