People living in the randstad in the Netherlands, tend to underestimate the rest of the country, as it just is not the Randstad.
Anything beyond the large urban conglomerate spanning from Amsterdam to Utrecht and Rotterdam is not up to speed, and less developed.
I’m not in favor of this snobbish attitude towards (17-7)/17*100 = 59% of the Netherlands, but today I’m beginning to rethink my opinion…
I know I’m not allowed to generalize, nor am I allowed to make assumptions based on just one occurrence; yet an idea posed by a Council member in Leeuwarden tends to lead me to doing just that.
A man called Sieds Brouwer is completely fed up with the nuisance of premature fireworks, and has suggested the offenders who are caught lighting fireworks before10PM on the 31st of December will not only be punished for this the regular way, but will receive additional punishment as well.
Regular disciplinary actions are "task sentences" which commonly imply cleaning the streets on January 1 to clean up the mess others have made during the New Year festivities. The proposal is not only to let the offender do tasks like the one named before, but to also throw in a cap which should be worn whilst doing the task which reads the text: "I’m being punished".
Apparently, the Council members thinks this public disgrace will discourage potential wrongdoers from actually committing the crime.
Not only will it probably not work: getting caught lighting your fireworks prematurely has a very slim chance these days, publicly humiliating the offender is just not a measure belonging to the 21st century. We like to believe we live in a civilized community, but this belief is disrupted by this proposal. Public humiliation is something commonly accepted in the Middle Ages, but not in these times.
I actually think the cap will become a collectors item: any potential bad-boy would like to have a cap that reads the owner definitely is a bad boy.
My advice to the Council member: if you are that fed up with fireworks, try wearing earplugs next time and put more police on the streets. A higher chance of getting caught illegally lighting fireworks definitely will put off potential offenders.