Hirsi Ali and the Crabs

My father used to tell a story – a Manx parable. He used to say that if you went to a fishing harbour in England, you’d see creels (fishermen’s baskets) full of crabs. Crabs would be sorted, with crabs of the same size put into each creel. Occasionally, you’d see a small crab laboriously struggle out of its creel, and try its best to get into a creel containing larger crabs. Nothing unusual in that, my father would say. However, he would continue, if you go to the harbour in Douglas, and look at the creels of Manx crabs, you’d notice something different. There would be the creel of little crabs, and yes, there would be a crab trying to pull itself out. The difference was that all the other little crabs would be doing their damndest to pull it back
I am reminded of that story when I look at the Hirsi Ali affair. The nastier side of the Dutch character is currently on display in many people and it is not a pleasant sight. This article by Okke Ornstein – the Stoning of Hirsi Ali  describes the situation well. And Hirsi Ali’s own press release from yesterday is a dignified response to the recent sorry events.
It seems to me that some people in Dutch society are confusing the letter of the law with the spirit of the law. They do not have the wisdom of Solomon, and would be all too willing to split a baby in two to follow the letter of the law.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
This entry was posted in Society. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s