‘Throw Kaag and Jetten out of the cabinet’

Ministers Sigrid Kaag and Rob Jetten are already close to the end. And voters know it. Here are the latest figures from kies.nl, Maurice de Hond’s website:

Report figures this week from Minister Kaag: VVD 4.1 CDA 3.9 CU 3.6; average of three governing parties: 3.8. But the score at PvdA is 5.2 and at GL 5; 30 percent better on average for the two left-wing opposition parties of 5.1. Exactly the same picture with Minister Jetten: a much higher score with the left-wing opposition than with VVD, CDA and CU.

Kaag (D66) and Jetten (D66) score so bizarrely. Supporters of the co-governing parties do not like them at all, and Kaag even gets the lowest score of all twenty ministers for all three, VVD, CDA and CU. Meanwhile, the two important left-wing opposition parties PvdA and GL welcome her.

Hard priorities

Sigrid Kaag’s decline among the coalition partners is striking. During Route 3, she was the most popular D66 minister among supporters of all four governing parties (and also among PvdA and GL voters). Her finance ministry has reversed that. Inflexible to the billions reserved for CO2 and nitrogen, and at the same time determined that there is no money for long-term support with the energy bill, she now not only has the lowest score of all ministers in three of the four governing parties. but she is also at the bottom of the list JA21 and on the BBB by Caroline van der Plas.

If the criticism of Kaag is based on her hard priorities, Jetten is seen as a climate pusher. On January 20, 2019, Maurice de Hond asked: ‘Is the debate on climate measures dominated by pushers like the Piano and the Jet?’ We see a clear division again: Almost all VVD and CDA voters condemn Klaver and Jetten as pushers; with the ruling party D66, as with the PvdA and GL, only a small minority agree.

Climate religion

And yet: Rutte has entered into a coalition with the pushers with open eyes, even though according to all these opinion figures they are much closer to the PvdA and GL than to the VVD, CDA and CU. With Sigrid Kaag, he has acquired another pusher, which is extra dangerous for his fourth and final cabinet, because as finance minister she can ‘combine enforced standards for nitrogen without a standard for social security’ (Omtzigt).

Kaag and Jetten are so attached to their climate religion that they accept the growing chance that the VVD and CDA will no longer go ahead and remove the D66 from the cabinet.

Hobby horses

In itself, a cabinet could work well together for the country, even if there are individual ministers with different views. Was VVD in the Kok cabinet before the Melkert jobs? I do not think so, but Kok and its own VVD minister Zalm gave VVD a nice number of years with an ever smaller funding gap, and it was a success for VVD. Does one party have a hobby horse? Then the other parties place their hobby horses next to each other and a hobby horse from each party is allowed to go to the finish line. This way, a closet can accommodate.

uncompromising

Former Minister Ad Melkert was nicknamed ‘the caterpillar never enough’ by political opponents, but he understood that each extra demand from his PvdA had a price in the form of an extra demand from VVD and D66. Kaag and Jetten apparently do not want to play that game, put their own demands on the table and then stop moving.

Kaag and Jetten are not crazy about making compromises and also giving other parties something. It was immediately clear when Minister Kaag said that despite the war in Ukraine and despite the gas and electricity bill of 300 euros a month, it was impossible to talk about drawing on part of the 70 billion against nitrogen and CO2. No concrete budgets had even been presented yet, but the amounts could not be changed.

Crypto to CO2

Difficult also for the collaboration with Kaag and Jetten: a blindfold on the eyes of the outside world, and persistently untenable, unscientific claims about their own right.

Minister Melkert, for example, consulted intensively with the OECD in Paris on his Melkert job. Minister Kaag also likes to cross the border, but then lands in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Boboers who meet there do not excel in their knowledge of environmental issues. Recently, they advertised cryptocurrency as a remedy against CO2. It does not get much crazier than that.

To my knowledge, Kaag has never spoken well of the mixture of combating and adapting to the CO2 problem. However, it would help to achieve greater consensus.

untruths

Meanwhile, environment ministers continue to speak untruths. This week, Agriculture Minister Staghouwer argued that organic farming can be just as effective as fertilizer farming. He could see the reality in Sri Lanka this year: famine as rural yields have been halved.

Also about the costs and benefits of wind turbines in the North Sea, ongoing untruths are claimed (omission of the costs for the cables; efficiency calculations as if the turbines could supply 24 × 7 power; negligent costs of keeping fossil energy in reserve for when there is no wind, over-optimistic assumptions about lifetime, neglect of the cost of demolition and disposal).

Hopefully the hearts will be warmed

If we have a cold winter and Kaag is still the Minister of Finance, the one and a half million people who cannot afford the 300 euros a month for energy must sit in the municipal library to keep warm. EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans – the chipper – is afraid of this and now accepts that sensible politicians should order as much coal and oil as possible before it gets cold: “Europe must return to coal and oil in the short term … we ‘Get nowhere when lack of energy leads to even more unrest and division. We must ensure that people do not stand out in the cold in the coming winter.’

That statement will not have come easily to Timmermans. If Kaag and Jetten do not agree with him quickly, and this means that CO2 and nitrogen budgets are released for the purchase of coal and oil and for serious support for energy costs, then this unrest and division will also threaten in the Netherlands. But then the hearts will hopefully be warm, because VVD, CDA and CU throw Kaag and Jetten out of the cabinet and make us happy for new elections.

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