Queensday 2009


Around 12 o’clock today, a 38 year old man drove a Suzuki Swift at high speed towards the bus holding Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands and her family, injuring 13 people and killing four. The queen and her family were celebrating Queensday in Apeldoorn.

This event joins the murders on Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh as one of the most serious in the (formerly) uneventful and politically stable Netherlands.

The mayor and police chief of Apeldoorn are currently giving a press conference. Festivities in Apeldoorn and Rotterdam have been cancelled.

Job Cohen, mayor of Amsterdam, has not announced any actions yet. Apparently the Amsterdam council is worried that stopping the festivities will cause chaos. As the full significance of what has happened is sinking in, their hesitation is looking more and more inappropriate.

Similarly, the decision by Dutch internal affairs minister Guusje ter Horst to leave matters to the council of Apeldoorn instead of taking charge, when everything indicates that there has been an assasination attempt on the Dutch Head of State, at a time where the Dutch monarchy is in a period of transition, shows a disturbingly bureaucratic sensibility that can only serve to deepen the disconnect between the people and the political class.

Mister mayor, shut down Queensday – now.