Source: de Volkskrant
Until 1971, the Netherlands didn’t even have its own minister of health. The portfolio was part of the Minister of Social Affairs. The very first Minister of Health in the Netherlands was named Louis Stuyt – a name that even the most brilliant candidate of Two to twelve does not illuminate any light.
And even after that, it remained a department in which a politician couldn’t really make a name for himself. Eelco Brinkman was Minister of Health in the Lubbers cabinets, but was better known for cultural and media affairs – or for his attempt to close the open air museum in Arnhem. When he fell through the basket as crown prince, he was so unknown as health minister that after his retirement he could easily become commissioner at the tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris.
Thanks to Els Borst and Edith Schippers, the position was improved. And now there are even two who must have rubbed their hands over the media attention it received from the pandemic.
However, the former soon had to resign due to exhaustion. And the second, in the person of Hugo de Jonge, has meanwhile become so sunk that he not only had to give up the party leader, but is now a national scapegoat.
De Jonge can comfort himself that he is not alone. In Germany, CDU Minister Jens Spahn for Public Health got wind of the front line this week from his SPD colleague Minister Olaf Scholz for Finance because of his stalled vaccination program. Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has been the head of Jut since he became something of a Belgian on Monday News hour was unable to properly defend his policies.
French Health Minister Olivier Véran has been accused of “humiliating” the country for vaccinating the snail. The British were the fastest with vaccinations, but last with the lockdown. You are now living in the greatest chaos in Europe with the most radical blockade and the deepest recession. The Swedish Minister of Health Lena Hallengren has also been pushing for a long time: The restaurant is still open, but has to close at 10.30 p.m. every evening.
In short, De Jonge isn’t even the worst kid in the political welfare class. In Europe it is a large collection of bruises that rely on special education and have only unsatisfactory grades on the report. Every evening they are filleted in the media because every country has a Diederik Gommers.
Perhaps the EU would have integrated care policy better than agricultural policy. Then a minister would never have been necessary in The Hague, and a single European policy would have been pursued in a pandemic, in which countries from the same Union would not have had to completely isolate themselves from one another. That would have prevented a lot of economic damage.
And the political scapegoat had sat comfortably in Brussels.