Arib could have said something about the pain that people inside and outside the hall seem to be experiencing

Former chamber president Khadija Arib before the start of a parliamentary debate.Statue Freek van den Bergh/ VK

What saddens me most about Mrs Arib’s case is that it is mainly about procedures and arguments between the current Speaker of Parliament and MPs.

Do you know how difficult it is for a civil servant to report something about the behavior of a Member of Parliament and a Speaker in particular? And certainly if the picture is mainly about an otherwise excellent ex-President of the House of Representatives?

It is very difficult to do and requires a lot of courage.

In recent years, several journalists and the House of Representatives have regularly written very aptly about the other, less attractive side of Mrs Arib.

Nevertheless, the time was not yet ripe enough to act for the safety of the officials.

I hope that the current Speaker of the House will allow the investigation to continue so that officials now and in the future dare to speak out in safety and above all in public about the reprehensible behavior of their superiors and the Speaker of the House. in particular.

Mrs Arib would have appreciated if, in her initial reaction, she had said something about the pain that people inside and outside the House are apparently experiencing and have experienced because of her behaviour.
Christa van ZeggerenThe Hague

food banks

At the end of August, we enrolled de Volkskrant on ‘extending the eligibility criteria for the food bank’. The message was delivered with a dizzying neutrality, as if it were a new algorithm. And the reporting on the resulting scarcity in the food banks was also overwhelmingly matter-of-fact. It’s like a normal industry.

The speech from the throne and the accompanying million memorandum for 2022 gave no reason to hope for change. To me, the existence of food banks marks 20 years of Christian neoliberalism under government control. In 2002, the first food bank in the Netherlands was opened. Now there are already more than 150 in our increasingly rich country. Wouldn’t it be better to talk about 20 years of unchristian neo-asocialism?

What will it take to make food banks obsolete? Start guaranteeing everyone a decent income? Why don’t we? When will the good people finally shout: I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore! (Network 1976, still current).
Ludo GregoireTo lead


It’s the week against loneliness. Ask someone how they’re really doing, and keep asking if you get a socially desirable answer. Listening is more than just shutting up.
Ilona DekkerNieuwegein


On Saturday I read in the newspaper about Lidewij, daughter of the author Bart Natter. Beautifully expressed how people with a ‘disability’ have such a special outlook on life and how they interact with each other and how to put it into practice. It touches me when Bart Natter says that Lidewij, because she contributes little to society in an economic sense, is ‘put away’ on the fringes of that society.

I wonder who then has a ‘handicap’. Those who keep the world alive in a human sense, or those who keep society going in an economic sense.
Corien NelemanBroad


Jean-Pierre Geelen wrote a fascinating piece on animal communication research. This rightly implies the danger of “anthropomorphization”, attributing human characteristics to animals.

Researchers are now aware of this and even point to an equally great danger, namely ‘too little anthropomorphisation’ (as Frans de Waal, for example, regularly emphasizes). We are all animals after all.

An important fact is unfortunately not discussed in this story: Animals do not communicate exclusively vocally, but equally or even more by other means, such as smell and smell, but of course also visually (body language).

‘Dogs see the world through their noses’, it is sometimes said. One can say that people’s extremely weak sense of smell and too one-sided emphasis on vocal communication in this kind of research can be projection and thus an anthropomorphic pitfall.
Frans Ellenbroekbiologist, Hilvarenbeek


It is convenient that the thermostat shows the level of inflation.
Scarf EntiusThe heel


Every year in the Netherlands, tens of thousands of students obtain their master’s degree and move abroad. A fraction continues in the natural sciences and starts a PhD research. Whoever completes this becomes a ‘doctor’ and then belongs to the academic elite.

The promotion ceremony is serious business. Upon awarding the degree, the supervisor states: ‘By virtue of the authority vested in us by law and in accordance with the decision of the Doctorate Committee present here, I hereby declare that I hereby promote you to a Doctorate with all the rights attached thereto by law and custom and duties to science and society. Do you promise that you will always act in accordance with the principles of scientific integrity, honestly and diligently, critically and transparently, independently and impartially?’

The PhD student says: ‘I promise’, after which the supervisor closes and hands over the diploma with the university’s seal on it.

It has been written about these ‘obligations to society’ that a doctor occupies a position ‘not only in the scientific field but also in society as a whole’ and that society values ​​and derives confidence from a doctorate. The person who carries this title should be aware of this. The person can be expected to refrain from actions or behavior that embarrass or undermine confidence in science.

‘Yes, I promise’, said Mr Baudet also in 2012, when he received his PhD. in law in Leiden. What if the university that awards such a degree later finds out that nothing comes of that promise?

Will they abandon that promise from now on? Or does academia have a self-purifying capacity and is a university able to strip someone of his or her doctorate?
Piet van WijkAmsterdam

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