You can create up to 5 ads

Make a use of our Facebook groups to share your ads for more views

Anyone for Hennis: why the defence minister took one for the team in Mali

Basic information
Date of placement
35
0
0

Sometimes the last five minutes of a football match can provide enough drama to make the spectators forget all about the turgid spectacle they had to endure beforehand. The row that brought down Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert was an unexpected late twist just as Mark Rutte’s second administration looked to be trundling towards the buffers. It was […]

WordsForPress | The website of Gordon Darroch, freelance journalist

8637296314_c8e2392afb_b
Jeanine Hennis with Mark Rutte and Tom Middendorp (centre) on board the frigate HLNMS De Ruyter off the coast of Somalia in 2013. Photo: EU Naval Forces via Flickr

Sometimes the last five minutes of a football match can provide enough drama to make the spectators forget all about the turgid spectacle they had to endure beforehand. The row that brought down Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert was an unexpected late twist just as Mark Rutte’s second administration looked to be trundling towards the buffers. It was a particularly welcome slab of red meat for The Hague’s lobby correspondents, who have had to get by on scraps and thin gruel for nearly seven months now. At the weekend Hennis was adamant that she would ‘step up, not step down’ as defence minister following the safety board’s scathing report on two preventable deaths in the field in Mali, but by Tuesday evening, when Parliament debated the report, her resignation was a fait accompli.

In stepping down she spared the incoming coalition the headache of a no-confidence vote before it had even drawn breath. Her tenacious performance before Parliament went some way to restoring her reputation after a clumsy series of weekend interviews – something Rutte made a point of emphasising in his response. Hennis has almost certainly surrendered her chance of a seat in Rutte’s new cabinet, but even this could work in her favour. Chief of staff Tom Middendorp’s resignation – a symbolic gesture, since he was due to be replaced next Thursday anyway – was a move calculated to keep up the pressure on the political masters in The Hague to invest more in the armed forces. That now becomes a problem for Hennis’s successor.

Poisoned chalice

It took time for Hennis to win over the political and military hierarchy, a task that was made extra challenging not only by the fact that she was the first woman to take charge of the defence department, but by Rutte’s decision to dispense with the junior ministerial position, putting her on a solo mission. At first Hennis, who had no previous experience of government, seemed to struggle with the high workload and military protocol, relying on a placemat to remind her of the difference between a major’s and a general’s stripes. She was handed a poisoned chalice by the previous government in the form of a €1 billion cuts programme that compelled her to lay off thousands of military personnel. In the subsequent years she succeeded in reversing many of the cutbacks and supervising the first increases in defence spending in decades, undoubtedly aided by growing public anxiety about the threat of terrorism. By the end Hennis had earned the trust and respect of the military high command, as Middendorp acknowledged in his resignation statement, describing her as a ‘fighter’ and ‘a minister who refused to look the other way’.

Her departure was both sudden and unsurprising. The Dutch Safety Board’s (OVV) report into the fatal accident in Mali in July last year put the blame squarely on the military and political leadership. Two soldiers died and another was seriously injured when a grenade exploded that, it later emerged, was substandard and had not been properly tested. It was the outcome of years of cost-cutting and a ‘can do’ culture that prioritised the success of military missions over soldiers’ safety. By taking ministerial responsibility, Hennis deflected the anger of the victims’ relatives and awkward questions from the senior commanders who put their sons’ lives at risk. She also defused a political crisis that had the potential to lame the new government at birth. Having been tipped as a future VVD leader – and it’s worth remembering that no woman has led any of the three major parties of government since the war – Hennis will start Rutte’s third term on the Parliamentary benches. But she earned plenty of credit in the process, and given the VVD’s recent tendency to shed ministers like confetti (Hennis is the seventh to quit the current administration) her return to cabinet may not be long delayed.

Advertisements

(0)
0.0
Dislike 0
ОТН 0
Like 0

News list


16:42 F1 chiefs unveil provisional 2020 calendar
16:42 Denmark striker Dolberg signs for Nice
16:03 Bachelor's degree programme Religious Studies
16:00 Producer confidence unchanged
15:59 Bachelorprogramma Theologie
15:48 Vietnam and Netherlands races put on 2020 F1 schedule
15:46 Bachelorprogramma Informatiekunde
15:40 Bachelorprogramma Taalwetenschap
15:34 Bachelorprogramma Nederlandse taal en cultuur
14:50 Bachelor's degree programme Chemical Engineering
13:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Sterksel - Pastoor Thijssenlaan
11:32 Police- Argument leads to Amsterdam gas station shooting, nobody hurt - The Daily Gazette
11:32 Klarna "VAR football shirt" by 72andSunny Amsterdam
11:32 Family of couple killed in Schoharie limo crash sues Mavis Discount Tire
11:31 Amsterdam man charged with illegal videoing in a public restroom
11:31 Artists in Amsterdam, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a slight but evocative sketch
11:30 Amsterdam-based fintech startup Dyme lands 600k from Peak Capital IV's new fund
11:30 New Amsterdam Adds Ana Villafae as Dr. Valentina Castro in Season 2 - TVLine
11:30 Watch Roger Waters perform Pink Floyds Us And Them live in Amsterdam - Louder
10:31 Tropical storm watch for Dorian discontinued for Saba, Statia - Saba News
10:29 Governor General of Canada to visit the Netherlands and Poland
10:28 Governor General to Visit the Netherlands and Poland
10:28 Paralympian athletes train in the Netherlands again, eyes set on Tokyo 2020 - Namibia Economist
10:28 BRIEF-SHL Telemedicine To Acquire 51% Of Netherlands Based Kadima BV
10:27 Andersen Global Announces Agreement in the Netherlands Wire
10:27 Savannah pastor to be honored in the Netherlands - WSAV-TV
10:26 U-17 MNT Heads To 4 Nations Tournament In Netherlands For Final Pre-World Cup Training Camp
10:26 The Dutch ACM approves Sanomas acquisition of Iddink Helsinki Stock Exchange-SAA1V
10:26 Doctor on trial in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case
10:26 BGHL (EUR)- NAV(s) Amsterdam Stock Exchange-BGHL
10:26 Tourists spent 87 billion euros in Netherlands last year - NL Times
10:26 Brexit pushes almost 100 firms to move to Netherlands - The Independent
09:29 Best centre-back pairing on the planet make the Netherlands a force to be reckoned with Oranje
09:29 New approach needed to tackle Amsterdam's drugs crime, mayor admits
09:24 The Dutch Connection Remains Firm - Taiwan Business TOPICS
06:20 10 Dutch municipalities to participate in government-grown weed pilot
01:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Staphorst - Leidijk

01:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Staphorst - Leidijk
16:03 Bachelor's degree programme Religious Studies
16:00 Producer confidence unchanged
15:59 Bachelorprogramma Theologie
15:46 Bachelorprogramma Informatiekunde
15:40 Bachelorprogramma Taalwetenschap
13:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Sterksel - Pastoor Thijssenlaan
11:30 New Amsterdam Adds Ana Villafae as Dr. Valentina Castro in Season 2 - TVLine
11:30 Watch Roger Waters perform Pink Floyds Us And Them live in Amsterdam - Louder
10:31 Tropical storm watch for Dorian discontinued for Saba, Statia - Saba News
10:28 Governor General to Visit the Netherlands and Poland
10:28 Paralympian athletes train in the Netherlands again, eyes set on Tokyo 2020 - Namibia Economist
10:26 Brexit pushes almost 100 firms to move to Netherlands - The Independent
09:29 Best centre-back pairing on the planet make the Netherlands a force to be reckoned with Oranje
06:20 10 Dutch municipalities to participate in government-grown weed pilot
16:42 F1 chiefs unveil provisional 2020 calendar
16:42 Denmark striker Dolberg signs for Nice
15:48 Vietnam and Netherlands races put on 2020 F1 schedule
15:34 Bachelorprogramma Nederlandse taal en cultuur
14:50 Bachelor's degree programme Chemical Engineering
11:32 Police- Argument leads to Amsterdam gas station shooting, nobody hurt - The Daily Gazette
11:32 Klarna "VAR football shirt" by 72andSunny Amsterdam
11:32 Family of couple killed in Schoharie limo crash sues Mavis Discount Tire
11:31 Amsterdam man charged with illegal videoing in a public restroom
11:31 Artists in Amsterdam, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a slight but evocative sketch
11:30 Amsterdam-based fintech startup Dyme lands 600k from Peak Capital IV's new fund
10:29 Governor General of Canada to visit the Netherlands and Poland
10:28 BRIEF-SHL Telemedicine To Acquire 51% Of Netherlands Based Kadima BV
10:27 Andersen Global Announces Agreement in the Netherlands Wire
10:27 Savannah pastor to be honored in the Netherlands - WSAV-TV
10:26 U-17 MNT Heads To 4 Nations Tournament In Netherlands For Final Pre-World Cup Training Camp
10:26 The Dutch ACM approves Sanomas acquisition of Iddink Helsinki Stock Exchange-SAA1V
10:26 Doctor on trial in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case
10:26 BGHL (EUR)- NAV(s) Amsterdam Stock Exchange-BGHL
10:26 Tourists spent 87 billion euros in Netherlands last year - NL Times
09:29 New approach needed to tackle Amsterdam's drugs crime, mayor admits
09:24 The Dutch Connection Remains Firm - Taiwan Business TOPICS

16:42 F1 chiefs unveil provisional 2020 calendar
16:42 Denmark striker Dolberg signs for Nice
16:03 Bachelor's degree programme Religious Studies
16:00 Producer confidence unchanged
15:59 Bachelorprogramma Theologie
15:48 Vietnam and Netherlands races put on 2020 F1 schedule
15:46 Bachelorprogramma Informatiekunde
15:40 Bachelorprogramma Taalwetenschap
15:34 Bachelorprogramma Nederlandse taal en cultuur
14:50 Bachelor's degree programme Chemical Engineering
13:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Sterksel - Pastoor Thijssenlaan
11:32 Police- Argument leads to Amsterdam gas station shooting, nobody hurt - The Daily Gazette
11:32 Klarna "VAR football shirt" by 72andSunny Amsterdam
11:32 Family of couple killed in Schoharie limo crash sues Mavis Discount Tire
11:31 Amsterdam man charged with illegal videoing in a public restroom
11:31 Artists in Amsterdam, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a slight but evocative sketch
11:30 Amsterdam-based fintech startup Dyme lands 600k from Peak Capital IV's new fund
11:30 New Amsterdam Adds Ana Villafae as Dr. Valentina Castro in Season 2 - TVLine
11:30 Watch Roger Waters perform Pink Floyds Us And Them live in Amsterdam - Louder
10:31 Tropical storm watch for Dorian discontinued for Saba, Statia - Saba News
10:29 Governor General of Canada to visit the Netherlands and Poland
10:28 Governor General to Visit the Netherlands and Poland
10:28 Paralympian athletes train in the Netherlands again, eyes set on Tokyo 2020 - Namibia Economist
10:28 BRIEF-SHL Telemedicine To Acquire 51% Of Netherlands Based Kadima BV
10:27 Andersen Global Announces Agreement in the Netherlands Wire
10:27 Savannah pastor to be honored in the Netherlands - WSAV-TV
10:26 U-17 MNT Heads To 4 Nations Tournament In Netherlands For Final Pre-World Cup Training Camp
10:26 The Dutch ACM approves Sanomas acquisition of Iddink Helsinki Stock Exchange-SAA1V
10:26 Doctor on trial in landmark Netherlands euthanasia case
10:26 BGHL (EUR)- NAV(s) Amsterdam Stock Exchange-BGHL
10:26 Tourists spent 87 billion euros in Netherlands last year - NL Times
10:26 Brexit pushes almost 100 firms to move to Netherlands - The Independent
09:29 Best centre-back pairing on the planet make the Netherlands a force to be reckoned with Oranje
09:29 New approach needed to tackle Amsterdam's drugs crime, mayor admits
09:24 The Dutch Connection Remains Firm - Taiwan Business TOPICS
06:20 10 Dutch municipalities to participate in government-grown weed pilot
01:00 DUTCH RAILROAD CROSSING - Staphorst - Leidijk
I agree and close
x Cookies text