Worldlog Week 18 – 2012

1 May 2012

I’m back. From today I will regularly be writing a new weblog each week! My baby daughter Amélie is almost two months old now and she is doing well. On 14 May I will be returning to my duties in the Lower House. Esther Ouwehand and Anja Hazekamp did an excellent job during these past few months while I was on maternity leave! And now I am ready again to give my all to making the Netherlands a more animal-friendly and sustainable society.

In Dutch politics, the minority government of prime minister Mark Rutte has fallen after his one of his government’s coalition partners, Wilders of the PVV, refused to support a package of measures designed to ensure the Netherlands 2013 budget deficit does not exceed three percent. I am pleased that this government will no longer be able to continue with its misbegotten schemes. We will take this opportunity to do everything possible to advance the cause of animals, nature and the environment! Moreover, I would like to see more competition from the parties during the coming election campaign on the themes of animals, nature and the environment than is currently the case!

The new elections will be held on 12 September. However, snap elections do not necessarily mean that the eventual governing coalition will be formed quickly as recent Dutch history testifies ;-). We would prefer to have an interim green cabinet of professionals that seeks broad support for tackling the crisis rather than a quick summons to the polls. People of repute who have our respect and who are not affiliated with any political party should then “mind the store”. We can no longer afford to define growth purely in terms of money. This political crisis is as nothing compared with the climate crisis, food crisis, biodiversity crisis, water crisis and animal disease crisis. New policy that focuses on our long-term interests is vital.

We can already report the first positive reversal of old policy: The VVD and the opposition are able to agree to the immediate dismantlement of subsidies that are harmful to the environment. Ending these subsidies may yield between 5 and 10 billion euros. Even former minister Maria van der Hoeven (CDA) has come round as we can read in the Guardian: “Removing fossil fuel subsidies while ensuring all citizens have access to affordable energy”.

And some special news. A pair of swans have decided to build their nest across from our party office in Amsterdam. They seem to have adapted to our consumer society: their nest is constructed of plastic waste. While it is rather sad to see that their nest is mostly built of plastic, happily an animal friend has placed some straw in it for the pair!

Will be writing again soon! Marianne