The way in which Khadija Arib was able to turn the accusation of unfair treatment of the chamber’s staff into a personal dispute between her and Vera Bergkamp can be described as clever, if not so sad. After the first day, it was no longer about the staff of the then Speaker of the House, who, if the accusations were true, led a six-year reign of terror, but about Arib himself, who would have been stabbed in the back. Van Bergkamp.
What is this nonsense. As if Vera Bergkamp has something to deal with with her predecessor. If so, it would have already happened two years ago when Bergkamp defeated her presidential opponent in one round by big numbers (74 to 38). Of course this was due to a deal between VVD and the D66, the two election winners. There was absolutely no reason to hold Arib mercilessly to account. This does not matter.
Arib pointing the finger at Bergkamp is a sign of evil genius. As if Bergkamp decided on her own to investigate her predecessor’s behavior. Arib knows all too well that the presidency made this decision unanimously: the presidency, in which VVD, D66, PVV, CDA, SP, PvdA, GroenLinks and Party for the Animals sit. Eight parties, they don’t all have a bone to pick with the former Speaker of the House, do they?
The fact that PvdA’s Henk Nijbauer also supports the RIPP investigation is not a betrayal of a fellow party member as many Social Democrats believe, but shows a difficult but conscious and well-thought-out choice. He could also have abstained from voting. But the complaints of the room staff were obviously so serious that Negpur had no other choice. It is sad to resent his fellow party members.
Labor knows best. Arib’s difficult dealings with her employees were well known in the group. Party Chairman Itci Koyken has a lot to explain to his supporters during today’s Council of Political Members. In the invitation letter, party chair Esther Mirjam Sint wrote, “We will not leave anyone out in the cold.” A big goal that applies not only to Arib but also to the room staff.
Of course there is also support for Arabs in the party. That she was to be thrown in front of the bus, that the presidency had no right to conduct an investigation, and that it was shameful that she had to read the investigation in the newspaper. Everything will be. But isn’t it more important that in six years 23 employees have complained about the then Speaker of the House of Representatives? – Complaints that have not been dealt with, but are now approved by the Clerk of the Court, the Director and the Works Council of the House of Representatives.
It’s time to turn attention to the employees who say they have suffered for years from ARPI treatment. Stories of people who were blocked, who were humiliated by being taken from their desks, and who were no longer welcome at meetings because their opinion didn’t matter. I told these stories in this place six years ago. Arib and the rest of the room denied the silence. Because in the end there was a president who could lead the discussions and maintain order. The rest was secondary.
But at that time, the room staff was happy to pay attention, even if it was not useful to them. Six years later, at least their complaints are heard, right down to the state attorney. There will be an end to the idea that you are on your own, that you may only be yourself, and that no one is helping. For this reason alone, formal investigation is a form of recognition. Whether it pays off or not.
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