Kalkar, now and then. The nuclear reactor was abandoned and is now a theme park.

It was in 1980 that the green party was founded in Germany. I was 15 and just living on the other side of the border. The Germans were building on their side nuclear reactor (Kalkar) that inspired a lot of protests from both the Germans and the Dutch. Another factor that accelerated the protests was that both countries had already their share of chemical scandals. Scandals that threatened the direct environment of people's living space. In Germany both the Christian-Democrats and the Social-Democrats turned a deaf ear to the protesters. That was a mistake. Especially the German Social-Democrats suffered because the protesters were largely a group of left wing activists. In the Netherlands the most left wing groups became inspired by the German movement. They looked for a new view on the world and in the end the communist party, the pacifist party and a party of protestant radicals merged into what is now called “Green left”. Why the the term “Green left”, why not just “Greens”? Left as both the German and the Dutch green parties are, there is still no “Green right”. This has of course to do with the roots of those parties. At beginning they were very anti-establishment. Throwing a stone at the police was not uncommon. However nowadays they are part of system. Even the managing director of Greenpeace found it necessary to take the airplane to go to work. So the gap between conservative people and the greens seems to be closing.

There is no reason why it should not. Green principles are actually quite conservative. Conservatism and conservation are almost the same term. If you like to stick to things as they always were you would like preserve the environment you live in. That means a clean environment, and strict environmental controls in your immediate surroundings to keep it that way. Just as law and order apply to everyone when drinking and driving or plain thievery is concerned, so environmental laws should be defended by any conservative. It appeals to traditionalism and care for your own immediate surroundings.

So why is there still a distance? Can it be true most true conservatives have mixed themselves too much with Neo-Liberals to have their own say. Neo-Liberalism is not about law and order. It is about freedom to do what you want. Laws usually stand in the way of this, therefore deregulation is a virtue. That's a clash within for most parties that have a Liberal/Conservative wing. No one in these parties wants to make an issue of it because it can be divisive, but individual conservative representatives can be persuaded to deal with their left wing counter partners. That would help on both sides to create jobs and prosperity without the drawbacks of pollution and destruction of natural resources. I hope we can make this come true in Forssa. It would set a good example for the rest of Finland.

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