The disadvantage of a democracy is that, in principle, everyone is allowed to participate in the conversation, even the people with whom it makes no sense to talk because they only think about themselves. At the VVD congress in Halfweg, a well-chosen place name, the VVD prominent people looked at ownership in the mouth from the front rows. As if a dentist held up a mirror to them for the first time in a long time and no reassuring image appeared. The rot was everywhere and also threatened the few healthy teeth.
They must have felt what everyone could observe: the VVD is succumbing to its own shortsightedness. The years of ostentatious stroking of the lower abdomen has resulted in a fat bulge that you would rather not show off. One that crawls under the T-shirt or whose shirt pops open. The much-acclaimed seat gain after all those Rutte cabinets was suddenly also at the table.
The congress adopted motions against the nitrogen policy and for 130 kilometers per hour on the highway and clapped hands for party leader Sophie Hermans, daughter of VVD icon Loek Hermans and ex-assistant of Mark Rutte, who declared aloud that she is mainly Sophie Hermans. . What exactly that is, remains unclear.
If Congress made one thing clear, it was that the rats are about to leave the sinking ship. They have had their fill, but elsewhere suddenly larger and even hotter portions of self-interest are being served. And so they go again. To farmer’s wife Lientje, to Joost and Annabel 21, to the PVV or FVD. They shoot in all directions and they will hang there until one of those parties also takes responsibility and has to make compromises. Then they move on furiously.
Until new elections are held, the rest of the country is left with a runaway VVD elite, some of which are prepared to implement the coalition agreement out of hunger for power and others, out of self-preservation, prefer to sabotage all agreements made. At the VVD you get and Christianne van der Wal who defies angry farmers at her villa and at the same time cautiously announces that there is indeed something to talk about with her and Member of Parliament Daniel Koerhuis who wants more nitrogen emissions, because he knows that this will make him popular. It is the aunt who is already waiting for a visit in the candy jar with one hand and the feeder who says that sugar does not make you fat, which together provide the unique VVD sound. There is no such thing as a symphony, all instruments simply make as much sound as possible. Only conductor Mark Rutte pretends to enjoy it.
Marcel van Roosmalen writes an exchange column with Ellen Deckwitz here.
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of 13 June 2022