I don’t think “the Nazis did it” is an adequate reason not to do something (They had a military, so we better not build a military!), but when you pull something out of the more troubling half of Hitler’s playbook, it should raise a few eyebrows.
The authorities in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, plan to move persistent nuisance neighbours into container homes for six months or more.
They have set aside 1m euros (£800,000; $1.3m) for the scheme, whereby special hit squads will identify offenders.
These will then be housed in the caravan-style containers, under the eye of police and social services.
The council denied seeking to create ghettos – or “scum villages”, as have they have been called by some.
Troublemakers are to be moved out of the picturesque centre of the city and placed in isolated areas, with access to only basic services.
…Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan believes that at the moment the system is “upside down”, that innocent families are being forced to move out because of their bullying or anti-social neighbours.
What the council wants is to force those responsible for the trouble to leave instead.
Tahira Limon from Amsterdam council explained: “Our plan is to combat bullying.”
“Usually people are scared to report problems for fear of intimidation. It’s an upside down world and we want to change it so the people who cause the problems are moved.”
The new rules will only be enforced in extreme cases. For example, they say, if gay people are being harassed or police witnesses intimidated.
If people are breaking the law, then they belong in jail. If they’re not breaking the law, then why are they being forced to move to a ghetto? Sure, we’ve all heard of these family feuds where difficult neighbors annoy everyone around them, but how many people like that are there in Amsterdam? Setting up a special section of your city to house bullies seems to be utterly bizarre — especially since bullying is often an extremely arbitrary term. Some of the biggest bullies you’ll find in American life are liberals who claim to be fighting on behalf of victims. Somehow, people like that always seem to be able to skate for their bullying while the people who defend themselves from their attacks end up being treated as the bad guys. That’s certainly how it worked in Germany where they forced Jews into ghettos to protect the poor, innocent Nazis from them. Is that how it would end up working in practice in Amsterdam?