Resignation for gas survey? Apart from abuse, political reality also counts

The results of the parliamentary inquiry were serious, leading to outrage. They can expose the failures of ministers still in power. But will they resign?

Successive cabinets, along with oil and gas companies, have created a “disastrous situation” for Groningen residents, a parliamentary inquiry concluded on Friday. The question then quickly arose: Who would step in?

But it’s not just the severity of the abuse that matters. Another factor is no less important: political reality.

The first modern parliamentary inquiry already showed this. In 1984, the ‘RSV survey’ severely condemned VVD minister Gijs van Aardenne. He misled the parliament about the losses incurred on a part of the shipyard Rijn-Schelde-Verolme. After years of mega-subsidies it went bankrupt.

Nevertheless, Van Aardenne was allowed to remain Minister of Economic Affairs. The reason? “He was deputy prime minister,” says parliamentary historian Bert van den Braak. Thus one of the key players in the first Lubbers cabinet. His resignation will have far-reaching consequences.

After a survey about the Bijlmer disaster

Bijlmer says that’s how it went after the survey of the plane crash.

Zoritsma and Borst have become deputy prime ministers, and you don’t just abandon them

Bert van den Bragg Parliamentary Historian

In 1999, he harshly judged ministers Else Borst (D66) and Annemarie Joritzma (VVD). Zoritzma misinformed the House of Representatives about the cargo of the crashed plane, and Borst began a health check too late. Meanwhile, both served as Deputy Prime Ministers. “You don’t give it up.”

What does it say about political reality now? The departure of State Secretary Hans Wilbreif (Mining, D66) will have some consequences for the coalition. But it was precisely him that the people of Groningen did not blame much. The feeling is that he is listening.

See also  Eurostar announces fourth direct train

read more: A bad feeling prevails, but many Groningen residents agree on one thing: ‘Rutte must go’

Anger is heaped on Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) for not intervening after four cabinet terms. His resignation will be harsh.

Unlike in the United Kingdom, Dutch prime ministers do not leave alone: ​​they take the cabinet with them in the fall. There will be new elections, followed by a slow build-up. And until then: stand on important files like shelter, nitrogen and spatial planning.

Twice in recent times, the entire cabinet resigned over an important statement. The previous cabinet after a parliamentary inquiry into the issue of vice. Second Coke cabinet in 2002 after the NIOD report on the Srebrenica genocide.

Notable similarity: Both boxes are almost sold out. Parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held within two months. The political consequences were minimal.

The survey creates urgency

But the history of parliamentary hearings also shows something else: it creates political urgency and the will to improve.

After 1996, the IRD introduced stricter rules on investigation procedures for the police and judiciary. The inquiry into Srebrenica, set up after the NIOD report, forced a rethinking of new military missions, says parliamentary historian Anne Bos. “How do you decide that? What mandate do you need to act properly?”

The results of the parliamentary hearings were completely unexpected. It is already broadly clear from the media or previous research what went wrong. In addition to more detail, the survey creates a sense of urgency to implement improvements, says van den Braak.

See also  In 1889 the village of Llanwdin was again flooded due to drought

He says that parties who want to further delay the rescue operation in Groningen will be ‘concerned by this report’.

Additionally, Baz says surveys are a purification ritual for politicians. “That makes sense, too: gathering all the facts, dealing with your sins, and doing a clean sweep.”

Ferdinand Woolridge

 "Subtly charming analyst. Beer maven. Future teen idol. Twitter guru. Lifelong bacon fan. Pop culture lover. Passionate social media evangelist."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *