Grumpy in politics leads to hefty ‘family quarrel’ between Rutte and opposition NOW

A dissatisfaction between the House and cabinet that had been dormant for some time suddenly became visible this week during the House of Representatives debate about the deleted text messages from Prime Minister Mark Rutte. What is going on?

“I usually let it run,” Rutte said at one point halfway through the debate. But this time, the prime minister drew a line. “I also defend my integrity here.”

The opposition made a fierce statement against Rutte on Thursday. In the words of PVV leader Geert Wilders, he was a “tout”. MPs saw the prime minister fail for the umpteenth time when it comes to openness and transparency.

Because now they were text messages, but the parliamentarians could also remember the debates about the dividend memos, the bombing of Hawija and ‘function elsewhere’ on April 1 last year.

According to them all examples of Rutte forgetting things or not being able to find documents if it seems to suit him politically. “It’s a pattern,” GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver concluded.

“False”, Rutte called the concatenation of the events that he considered to be unrelated. He warned of “a shift in values ​​and manners with each other.”

“How dare the Prime Minister warn us?”

If it was an attempt to adopt a milder tone from now on, it would have failed miserably. “Now my clog is breaking”, Caroline van der Plas (BBB) ​​responded in the debate on Thursday.

“The Prime Minister gets into trouble, can account for himself here, can say what he stands for and then it is turned to something like: those rotten MPs who all ask annoying questions.”

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SP leader Lilian Marijnissen was also not amused† “How dare the Prime Minister warn us about the declining confidence?”

‘After April 1, we will no longer take the bullshit’

What have we been watching?

According to Rutte, the confrontation could best be compared with “a family quarrel”, he said a day later during his weekly press conference. “It is good to occasionally open the windows opposite each other and let the house blow through. That is very healthy,” said the prime minister.

But among the opposition, the irritation seems more likely to be the result of a derailed legacy. Because of lost documents, that one family member benefits just a little more than his brothers and sisters from the family capital. There is no hard evidence for intentional foul play, but the trust is gone.

“After April 1, we will no longer accept the bullshit”, the opposition said. In politics, that date is now inextricably linked to a ‘function elsewhere’ for former CDA member Pieter Omtzigt.

Who suggested that? We still don’t know. But Rutte is still the main suspect. Despite his firm denial, again on Thursday. “That ‘function elsewhere’ was not mine!”

Rutte needs opposition for support

Yet something snapped that has not yet been repaired. If it can be repaired at all.

Within the opposition it can be heard that people have trusted Rutte for too long. The cabinet hopes for a little bit of humor during hard debates. “You also have to leave each other whole a bit,” said a minister.

Rutte will have to find a way to get the relationship with the opposition back in order, because the coalition does not have a majority in the Senate and the cabinet depends on their support.

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In that respect, the comparison with a family quarrel is striking: you are connected, even if the last birthday was not so pleasant.