A temporary studio for a broadcast of talk show Op1 at the registration center Ter Apel.Statue Harry Cock / de Volkskrant

    Letter of the day

    After the Swedish elections, which were won by the right on the basis of the migration theme, and the recent asylum troubles at home, many opinion pieces are appearing again. Two cards are invariably played in this: the guilt and fine card (each piece contains the deceased baby) and the ‘it is illegal/not allowed/international treaties’ card.

    In terms of content, I don’t want to burn myself with the subject, it’s too complex for that. What I do want to warn about is that the blame/penalty arguments and the punitive can/shouldn’t arguments will drive more and more people to right-wing parties.

    We will not be able to avoid a thorough and open substantive discussion about the asylum issue and the interactions with, among other things, the housing shortage. I fear that otherwise a (right) rampart, just like in Denmark, now also Sweden and in a few weeks in Italy, will turn the ship.

    In Denmark, the Social Democrats were immediately the largest again after a change of attitude towards migration. Loosely translated to Bill Clinton’s famous statement ‘it’s the economy, stupid‘could you say here’it’s the migration, stupid‘.
    Ron GerritsenPurmerend


    Gert Jan Segers (ChristenUnie) accuses Minister Kaag of looking at the Netherlands from the moon with her observation that we are all getting a bit poorer. He has a different perspective on the statement ‘we won’t let you down’.

    Colleague minister Carola Schouten swears that with the new pension system we will not borrow more than 5 percent. Apparently, since ex-minister Henk Staghouwer, offering empty perspectives has been customary at the ChristenUnie.

    Of course it is also difficult to offer a perspective from heaven to people on earth. God’s ways are inscrutable. What remains is that the ChristenUnie is very concerned about all crises in society, but is otherwise of no importance.
    Martin van den BergUtrecht

    Kitchen table

    Kitchen table conversations are impossible for most of us, because who has such a large kitchen that it fits a kitchen table that you can sit around for a good conversation about unpayable bills or debt counseling?

    More realistic is to speak of blanket conversations: together in consultation with a blanket against the cold over the shoulders.
    Luc MeuweseThe Hague

    energy poverty

    The billions of euros that Stef Blok takes from Putin’s war supporters can of course be used to meet poor people with energy poverty. How much is that anyway?
    Sjoerd NienhuysHilversum


    It strikes me that a large number of drivers do a fantastic job in prosperous times, but fall acutely through the ice in difficult times. So are they really worth their reputation and salary? Of course I immediately think of Dick Benschop, but also of André Rouvoet.

    This driver lived comfortably in the shadow of a quiet GGD, but suddenly had to really drive during the corona pandemic. And then chaos struck. So let’s appoint crisis-resistant managers in crucial places instead of old-boy networkers in the fall of their careers.
    Nico EbbinkhuijsenAmersfoort

    Bicycle deaths

    207 bicycle deaths in 2021, partly due to the advance of the e-bike. That is the wry conclusion from the CBS survey (First, 16/9). Let’s quickly mandate a speed limit of 20 kilometers per hour and an automatic bell when passing. This benefits road safety and at the same time reduces a lot of irritation and palpitations in runners and walkers, who are suddenly passed by a sprinting e-biker.
    Falco VriensTilburg

    Bicycle deaths (2)

    My old grandfather died in a traffic accident, so did my old father. They remained active citizens to the last. And secretly I also hope to die in a (one-sided) accident.

    But I’m afraid that the government’s drive to regulate will stop this after the results of the research on the increasing number of elderly road deaths. No one is allowed to die in the Netherlands.

    I don’t want a long sickbed with fear of all kinds of pain or (very conceivable) the lack of good care due to lack of staff, or lonely wasting. As long as there isn’t a pill of Drion on my bedside table, I want to happily cycle to my death without a helmet or training wheels.
    Lea van SomerenUtrecht

    Government spending

    Here’s a proposal to put government spending in the media in perspective, because it’s far too abstract at the moment. For each expenditure of a country, indicate (in brackets if necessary) what that expenditure means per inhabitant. For example, if the US government spends $1 billion, that’s $3 per capita. If the Dutch government spends 1 billion, that is more than 57 euros per inhabitant.
    Gus van BronswijkHaarlem

    Revenue model

    Provided that it is sad for the family when an elderly lady dies, I also think the tribute to the Queen of England is exaggerated. She would have done so much for her people and country. What then?

    The so-called royal family experts do not get any further than ‘keeping things together’. The fans of the royal family say she was such a sweet, compassionate woman. At the same time, her aloofness and emotionless presence are publicized.

    Royal houses are an obsolete nothing, which is constantly blown up into something by bad journalists. They themselves fill in the interest of the royal family with solemn voices and moist eyes. Could it have something to do with maintaining your revenue model?
    Frits Hendrik EmmerikThe Hague

    Pension system

    The new pension system is the largest redistribution operation ever. With the specter surrounding the allowance affair and the Groningen earthquake damage in mind as two examples of redistribution, I view the whole matter with some skepticism. What if those ‘files’ cannot be completed properly after all these years?

    My retirement is expected to start around 2030, after 51 years of work. I will then at least have time to follow the parliamentary inquiry into the failure of the introduction of the new pension system on television.
    GJ SchurinkVolendam

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