video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
In 1959 Holland discovered the biggest gas reserve in Western Europe. From the early sixties, the Dutch exploited these reserves and used them for both consumption and export. Throughout the 60s an...d early 70s, the Dutch government took two important decisions about Natural Gas. The first decision concerned the state's share in the revenue from Natural Gas. The second concerned how best to spend that revenue. This programme looks at those decisions and illustrates how they reflect the nature of Dutch politics. In the 1960s and 70s there was considerable agreement between the major parties on decisions affecting Natural Gas. In the programme spokesmen from the three major political groupings in Dutch politics are questioned on this agreement and why accommodation was possible. The structure of Dutch politics is considered alongside the decisions on Natural Gas and students are asked to make any relevant connections.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D232, Comparative politics
Item code: D232; 05
First transmission date: 07-07-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:10
+ Show more...
Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: Frank Castles; F. Bolkestein; G. M. Veldkamp; J. M. Den Uyl; Edward Phillips
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Economics; Holland; North Sea Gas; Politics
Footage description: The programme opens with shots of gas installations in The Netherlands. F Bolkestein of the Liberal Party and J M Den Uyl of the Socialist Party describe how the state decided on the allocation of the gas revenues. F Bolkestein and Dr G M Veldkamp, of the Catholic Party, describe how the government decided to increase welfare expenditure. Francis Castles describes how from the late 1950s onwards Dutch welfare expenditure increased. There then follows an extract from a 'Newsday' programme, March 1978. about an unemployed couple in Holland and the extent of their unemployment benefits. F Bolkestein argues that the gas revenue was not earmarked as such for welfare payments. Dr Veldkamp agrees with that assessment. Francis Castles argues that the different speeds at which European countries developed their welfare services can be explained by political and cultural factors as well as simple economic considerations. The programme now considers the political factors which led to the rapid growth in expenditure in Holland in the 60s and 70s. These are seen to be the weakness of the 'right' in Holland and the tradition of consensus politics. Francis Castles discusses the state of right wing parties in Holland. F Bolkestein compares his party to other Liberal parties in Europe. Views of Amsterdam. Francis Castles talks about consensus politics in Holland and coalition government. F Bolkestein argues that all political parties in Holland have wanted to increase welfare payments. J M Den Uyl agrees with this view and argues that people have been prepared to pay higher taxes to get this policy through. Views of Amsterdam. J M Den Uyl argues that the Christian Democrats are more left wing than similar parties in other countries. Francis Castles talks about the importance of the Catholic Party in Holland and its contribution to the 'politics of accomodation'. Dr Veldkamp explains that in the 60s his party was glad to spend growing economic resources on welfare payments. Views of Amsterdam. Francis Castles talks about how Dutch society is split at the mass level between Catholic, Protestant and secular groups. Consultation between groups occurs only at the highest level. Views of canals and oil installations. J M Den Uyl questions the wisdom of using up the gas resources so quickly, as was decided in the 60s. F Bolkestein describes the climate of optimism in which these decisions were taken. F Bolkestein describes how the policies of the Socialist Party since 1968 have helped to polarise society in a harmful fashion. J M Den Uyl discusses the importance of conflict in society during the 60s and the 70s. Views of Amsterdam. Dr Veldkamp describes why the politics of accommodation in Holland is breaking down. F Bolkestein argues that people still agree on 90% of political issues. J M Den Uyl argues that Dutch society can accommodate still wider divergences of opinion quite easily.
Production number: FOUD005R
Videofinder number: 109
Available to public: no