Our corona minister Hugo de Jonge is not currently experiencing his best days. Last weekend I read with some surprise in an interview that officials from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport had put pressure on our national pet intensivist Diederik Gommers to agree during an app debate that 1600 IC beds would be arranged. Euphemistically, that did not radiate so well on our minister, who thereby carried away an unsuspecting doctor in his own political urge to survive. We are now all looking at the internal elections at the CDA. De Jonge thought this simply to win – he even wanted to bet a bottle of good wine underneath it – but suddenly all kinds of party leaders turned subtly against him, as did countless people who otherwise would never have interfered with the history of the Christian Democrats.
There were debacles with the appathon for a new application, which had to map out how the corona virus spreads. More recently, the minister promised all health care staff a bonus of 1000 euros, but the distribution of that money was not without criticism. And then it still remains uneasy around the coronas emergency law that should make it easier for the government to exercise control over the population when the virus will revive.
Despite a few adjustments, the Council of State is still not satisfied, especially because the resources that the government wants to deploy are disproportionate. The advisory body finds the temporary law vague. A number of cases are insufficiently specified and violators of the corona measures still receive a criminal record, even if this has no consequences for applying for a VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct).
What I was mainly wondering is whether we need an emergency law at all for something that we hope will disappear completely in the short term. During the first lockdown, the company proved sufficiently that it could comply with the temporary rules of the government. The Council of State writes about this: “At the same time, now that the acute first phase has passed, also because of the continuing importance of sufficient support, the coming period should return as much as possible to more normal living conditions and normal administrative relations.”
If all the above developments show anything, it is that Minister Hugo de Jonge has more ambition than tact. Not a good quality for someone who wants to lead a party.