Who will save this statue? City and countryside: a false contrast? And when will we finally return to the rhythm of the earth? Read the past week’s 7 best reader letters here

Art in impossible places, complaining ranchers and Heineken. Our readers have an opinion on everything. Below is a selection of the best reader letters from the past week.

False contradiction

Some make the nitrogen battle a contrast between city and country (‘ The flag of unrest flies in the countryside ‘ read the headline newspaper Saturday).

It is a false contradiction. Out in the countryside there are also people who like to preserve a beautiful landscape with a rich flora and fauna, both in nature reserves and on agricultural land. And they understand that milk production needs to change for that. Note: change, not disappear. On the contrary, in sustainable agriculture there is room for more farmers. So who can be against it?

Noordwolde, Henk van den Brink

Livestock farmers complain stones and bones: right?

The farmers will come up with the toughest measures ever, it said newspaper last Saturday. With that, you shave all farmers with the same brush. I will add some nuances.

That the cattle farmers are now being dealt with has been in the air for years. For years, companies continued to expand. Rabobank recently pleaded guilty, although they are reluctant to offer compensation.

Now the farmers are complaining. They feel attacked and threatened. I can imagine it, but I don’t think it’s right.

Another point in the misery is the question of the necessity of livestock farms. The gardeners are constantly shouting ‘without us no food’, but this is nonsense. Three quarters of their products go out of the country. We could therefore manage with three quarters less livestock for the Netherlands. And probably with an equally large reduction in livestock farms. Nitrogen problem solved.

I don’t understand why people are so massively behind the cattle farmers. It’s scary when your business becomes redundant, but how many businesses aren’t. In my native town there were more than thirty traders in my youth, now there are only four. The rest have succumbed to the supermarkets in particular. And the car, which made the shops easier to reach. These middle-class people retired or, like their children, looked for other work. Why couldn’t a rancher do that? He or she will at least receive substantial compensation from the state.

Groningen, Wim Maat

Profit Price Spiral

Since the 1980s, the wage share of that earned has fallen from 92 to 75 percent. The employers’ club VNO once said that it aimed at 85 per cent. You would think that there is enough room for entrepreneurs not to pass on higher wages and other costs. The opposite is true. The costs are passed on through higher prices. The supermarkets are fully involved in this. It is not a wage-price spiral, but a profit-hunger-price spiral.

Drachten, AP van Dijk, FNV director

The dancing children

Followed the discussion about the statue with interest Olga with Cat . Would have liked to have given her a more prominent place in the face of many tourists and Groningers, at the ultimate location, Nieuwe Markt. But another statue appears, crying out for a better place, with more light, space and visibility.

The statue The dancing children by Gunnar Westman now stands in an impossible place right in front of the main entrance to the new Jumbo (formerly V&D), sandwiched between flags and billboards in the middle of the pavement. Judge for yourself and see.

How nice it would be if this statue could move to the Nieuwe Markt/Forum, next to the water fountain with children playing, a nice match with The dancing children.

Groningen, M. Booij

Ad van Liempt

The discussion about Ad van Liempt’s thesis, which was gnawed to the bone a few years ago, is being revived (‘ Controversial biography under fire again ‘, DvhN 08-08). Van Liempt has been acquitted by the highest instance (the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences) of violating the rules of scientific integrity. So what do Van Liempt’s detractors do, who apparently want to spend the rest of their lives fruitlessly trying to get Barbertje to hang anyway? They set up a parallel scientific universe, with its own legal rules, with the predictable, because ingrained outcome that the author of the treatise on Gemmeker is no good.

Van Liempt’s promoters are not good either. According to Ruud Abma ( Nordens Avis 8 August 2022) led by greed for money and therefore tolerated scientific misconduct.

There is little point in arguing against such crazy proposals, because stupidity, laziness and prejudice cannot be countered by rational arguments. However, those who have become curious as to why there is no Maserati parked in front of my door, but a used Volkswagen, I can easily advise against them. The so-called bonus scheme for promotions, which Abma has heard the bell ring about without asking about the clap, does not apply to retired university employees. When Van Liempt got his PhD, I had already been drawing from Drees for five years. So my financial interest in his doctorate was exactly zero euro cents.

Groningen, Doeko Bosscher, Professor Emeritus and former Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen (RUG)

Heineken growth

A dizzying insight into the perverse capitalist world of Heineken in its pursuit of (endless?) economic growth. With a smile on the picture, Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink maintains a revenue increase of 37 percent and profit growth of 22 percent for the entire year. Heineken tries as far as possible to pass on cost increases to customers. How sick can you imagine.

Customers and citizens are confronted here and there with large cost increases. Heineken does not know of any social/community sentiment to distribute cost increases. No, citizens can bleed to the benefit of shareholder profit growth and dividend payments. The same story can be read for Shell and Unilever. And our government of ‘economic growth and market forces’ stands by and watches…

Zuidlaren, P. Pelle

The rhythm of the earth

We have finally come to the conclusion that our way of life is the cause of the problems on Earth that we are now facing. And now we are making a big mistake again: All the measures we take to combat global warming and climate change, for example, have only one goal: Our standard of living must be maintained and, if possible, also continue to grow. It is time for us to realize that there is only one solution: Back to the earth’s rhythm that we can live on. Modesty is good for man!

Koekange, Jan Breeschoten

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