Column | See and hear the gap between the elite and Holland, who dropped out

Even on the beach in Brittany I was reminded every day of what awaited us. The tidal difference is impressive. A few hundred square meters of plain appear in front of the door twice a day. Even in high season in the busiest seaside resorts, there is an incredible amount of space. A thousand bathers and yet so peaceful. Enough place to fly a kite and play tennis. The children fish or throw stones.

But then comes the water. First discreetly, then faster. The great migration is underway. Beach mats are increasingly being rolled up in a hurry. The sandcastles are defended bravely, but are always a lost cause. We underestimate the ascent and the camps must be broken up again. And even higher. Forgotten children’s sandals float in the surf.

And suddenly the remaining strip of beach is busy. Tennis, fishing and kite flying are over. The one sane family that has been sitting high and dry on a large stretch of sand all afternoon looks disapprovingly at all the migrants, tidal refugees, coming closer and closer. Grandma almost gets a rock on her head by the new neighborhood kids. A billowing sheet blows a sandstorm in their faces. And what is it actually called. Why is it so hot every day?

Am I the only one who sees a kind of daily practice in this beach walk in learning to deal with what’s going to happen in the world in a playful way? Not only is space becoming scarce. Water, energy, staff, food, money, shade, everything is gone. Forecast for this winter: worldwide famine due to expensive food due to failed harvests, expensive fertilizer due to expensive electricity, and expensive transportation due to minimally loaded ships trying to get as far inland as possible over the last river current . Nuclear power plants that cannot be cooled. Hydropower, which once sounded like a sustainable idea. Coal plants making the problem worse. And the hidden methane bombs that dry up everywhere in the beds and accelerate everything to even greater acceleration.

Are we prepared for the poverty trap in our own country? Everyone knows what it does: that you can smell inequality. You appear perfumed and showered at school, training or work. The other student can no longer afford hot water. And you can hear it too. Scapegoat-seeking voices. They mutter that there must be many Tanzanians, Algerians and Turks speaking in the reporting from Ter Apel. What are these people actually doing here? Since when is it our duty to protect them?

And weren’t we laughed at when we said they would take our homes and land? But it is happening: Utrecht reserved all social rental housing for immigrants for six weeks. The government announces 20,000 houses to deal with the crisis. Why are they allowed to look?

It really doesn’t take much for the Netherlands, which has dropped out, to build a bridge between all the individual crises. Just as it doesn’t take much for the elite to sweep those votes into a populist or racist pile. There are rioters among them. Minister’s visitor. hooligans. And I’m sure we can pull some more facts to send all your comments into the anti-science fables. Then we won’t go into it anyway.

The apostates will see that they are right again and again: yes, we will be called racists again. Or wappies. Or both. But why don’t they buy a hotel in Benoordenhout? In Kralingen or Gamle Syd? And why does Finance Minister Kaag claim that there are no extra funds for purchasing power repairs this year, while the government is now in Brussels asking if we can please support the energy-guzzling industry for 835 million euros because they are having such a hard time with the costs. Why not my Eneco account?

And can you, dear hooked friend, help me remember why it was so nice to be part of ‘Brussels’ again? Send billions in arms and aid to Ukraine in these times. Billions in printed money to help Italy and Spain with their debts. And what do we get in return? Nitrogen standards and an asylum flow over which we have no control.

These whispering voices first turn into murmurs and finally chants, which will soon reach their maximum strength at the end of the gloomy winter, just before the provincial council elections. Assuming the Cabinet is still alive around that time, how will the Coalition fare with a Senate no longer participating?

Forgive my pessimism. That’s what I think. Somehow lately I’ve lost every ounce of optimism about the near future. It will probably be low tide again, but not for six hours. Earlier in six years. Or sixteen.

Rosanne Hertzberger is a microbiologist.

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