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Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into thirty languages, and have won several awards.

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Go Dutch

Ten reasons I want the Netherlands to win the World Cup

Ten reasons I want the Netherlands to win the World Cup

1. More than almost any nation since the Phoenicians, the Dutch traded rather than plundered their way to prosperity in their Golden Age.

2. They were cheated out of winning (hosting?) the industrial revolution by invasions and attacks from jealous neighbours, especially Louis XIV.

3. When thwarted at home they took their trade model to Britain by taking over the monarchy in the Glorious Revolution and installing merchant-friendly policies.

4. Their trade created some of the most sublime works of art of all time. Rembrandt and Verneer would not have happened without trade and prosperity.

5. They founded New York.

6. Despite having one of the highest population densities in the world, they are encouraging biodiversity. They may even manage to recreate the aurochs.

7. They suffered terribly in the Hunger Winter for standing up the Nazis.

8. They are living proof to climate pessimists that dwelling below sea level is no problem if you are prosperous.

9. They discovered Spitsbergen, the last land mass in the Northern hemisphere to be discovered by human beings

10. They have yet to win the World Cup.