No sex please, we’re British tourists in Amsterdam

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Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.

Terrible news for the summer holiday plans of the Friends of Boris Johnson Association … Amsterdam no longer wants rowdy British tourists.

The authorities in the Dutch city, famous for its easy access to drugs and sex and absolutely nothing else (the Rijksmuseum? Never heard of it!), have had enough of badly behaved groups and launched a campaign to encourage them to go somewhere else instead.

People who Google terms such as “stag party Amsterdam,” “cheap hotel Amsterdam” or “pub crawl Amsterdam” ahead of a visit to the Dutch city will have to sit through short videos stressing “the risks and consequences of nuisance and excessive alcohol and drug use,” the city of Amsterdam said in a statement. “Cheap hotel Amsterdam” seems a particularly harsh search term to target seeing as the average price of an overnight stay in the city is one signed Vermeer.

“Coming to Amsterdam for a messy night + getting trashed = €140 fine + criminal record,” says the captions on the ads, adding: “Stay away.”

The campaign will at first target “British men aged 18 to 35,” but if successful it could be extended to tourists from elsewhere in the Netherlands or EU countries “in the course of the year,” the city of Amsterdam’s statement says.

The sentiment is great but the Dutch may have made a misstep here. British public information films have long been way more graphic than the latest fare served up by the Dutch. Generations of Brits have been scarred for life after watching mini-horror films in which children were electrocuted, caught rabies or were confronted by pedophiles. Somewhere there must be a film in which a 10-year-old is electrocuted after climbing up a pylon while fleeing from a sex offender and his rabid dog!

But what’s bad for the Netherlands could be good for neighboring Belgium. A recent analysis of Europe’s toilet water shows that Antwerp is at the top of the pile when it comes to cocaine use. The volume of cocaine residue was highest on Mondays, reflecting that — in Antwerp at least — the drug is most heavily used on Sundays and Mondays. Even odder than cocaine on a Monday is amphetamines on a Tuesday. But that’s what the same study found, with a clear spike of residue from illicit amphetamines in Brussels’ wastewater on Tuesdays.

If Belgium can stomach thousands of drugged-up Brits in Union Jack shorts, it could make a bid to replace Amsterdam as Europe’s party capital, although it might have to ask the shops to open after 8 p.m. to cater for the evening lager drinker’s needs.


“Welcome to Brussels, M Macron.”
“To make me feel at home, could you please fill the place with stinking trash and rats.

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Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.