The Dutch PM's use of dog handlers and police with batons at a protest on the eve of an election is a jarring sight in a democracy | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The Dutch PM's use of dog handlers and police with batons at a protest on the eve of an election is a jarring sight in a democracy

With the Netherlands at the polls after a scandal saw the government resign, ‘Teflon’ Mark Rutte ignored the campaign optics by using mounted police, snarling dogs and baton-wielding cops to disperse an anti-lockdown protest.

As an ideology-free politician, the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte affords himself a certain flexibility in shifting his position depending on the winds of public opinion, but if he thinks police firing water cannon, beating people with batons and even cancelling public transport to prevent protestors travelling is a vote-winner he needs to re-think his strategy.

On Sunday, the eve of the extraordinary three-day election, as thousands of protestors decided to descend on The Hague, the country’s seat of government, they were dispersed with the sort of jackbooted brute force most Nederlanders had only witnessed on the TV news taking place elsewhere.

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