I don’t want, however, to pretend that I have a deep understanding of other people’s motives. For instance, it has been reported that the Dutch government has fallen due to its actions against Hirsi Ali. Without debating the specific merits, I am left completely puzzled by what in the world Rita Verdonk, the immigration minister, was thinking when she summarily stripped Ali of her Dutch citizenship.
I understand about hard ball politics, but don’t smart players send out some stalking horses first, to test the waters? Verdonk instead started with the strongest possible action and then looked around to see if it went over well. Perhaps it was Verdonk who was the stalking horse, but then one is left wondering who she was stalking for — some opposition party?
It seems so inexplicable, the only explanation I can think of being that Verdonk simply disliked Ali so much that she didn’t worry about consequences when the opportunity arose. If so, it says something disturbing about how sensitive a topic Islamic immigration is over there.