column | The Hague suffocates in déjà vu

column |  War speeds everything up

In retrospect, I know why the experiment didn’t provide the answer we were looking for. The problem at hand was very similar to one I encountered during my PhD research. At the time, the experiment provided surprisingly clear answers, and produced the most beautiful piece of science in my dissertation.

Ten years later, the same approach has failed miserably. I forgot how lucky I was at the time. How coincidental all of this was actually.

I believe that many failures and blunders in the world can be explained by personal experiences of déjà vu. You are faced with a situation that seems familiar to you and you remember very well how you resolved it at that time. This is why some of the greatest scientific geniuses and Nobel Prize winners, such as Linus Pauling and Lynn Margolis, later in their careers put forward absurd theories. After all, their original innovative and paradigm-changing discovery was a ridiculous idea, and colleagues at the time also rejected and laughed at it. It all sounds terribly familiar to me. So I will be right in the end. Don’t deviate. Keep track.

I suspect that this is the same reason why Thierry Baudt went to extremes. When your conservative ideology continues to be resolutely rejected in the mainstream media and political circles, you get used to the constant chorus of boos. And this chorus might have sounded exactly the same if this time it had spoken not of the importance of the nation-state, but of the threat of a secret domination of the reptilian world. Just keep going, and see the angry establishment as nothing more than encouragement that you’re on the right track.

deja vu. I guess that’s why our prime minister is always there, after every affair and every crisis. He faced similar problems early in his political career. An unexpected victory over Rita Verdonk for the leadership of the VVD, after which it threatened to split the party and the VVD did not become the largest opposition party. It was a very dreary time that the conversations at the coffee machine came to a halt when Rota arrived. But he persevered and eventually became the longest-serving prime minister in the Netherlands. When everything goes wrong in his closet and some really negative time arrives, do you think he’ll throw in the towel? Keep track.

You know this is all cold earth psychology. Nothing is more annoying than marginalized callers who put those in power on the couch. All of these theories remain true until their validity expires, and then there is another theory that can explain behavior and decision-making.

However, this week in the Nitrogen Fund debate, I’m back to the same déjà vu effect. The fund is equivalent to a debt of 1,300 euros per Dutch person. Peter Omtzigt gave a nice summary of what happened last Wednesday. It is neither effective nor legal. It’s not even clear in what time frame the problem should be resolved, what exactly the problem is, or what the solution is. In short: It is the third largest expenditure of this government and we have no idea where it is going. or In Omtzigt’s words: “This is not a testing ground.”

Why, then, did a cabinet of smart, knowledgeable people decide that this was a good idea? Could it be because it worked before? Because there was support to confront Corona with about 80 billion euros, a climate fund of 35 billion euros, a growth fund of 20 billion euros, in addition to InvestNL with a value of 2.5 billion euros, and that all this passed through the rooms without any problems? All “non-political” long-term money across periods of government, for the good and important things. Moreover, it was comfortably outside the national budget and outside the control of the House of Representatives. Once given it is always given away.

After the May holidays, it will be clear whether there is still enough confidence to spend this large amount of money again this time without supervision. But The Hague stifles in deja vu, in the same feedback, the same melodies, the same criticism, the same solutions. It is really time to use new tools.

Roseanne Hertzberger He is a microbiologist.

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