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PvdA: 2x hundred million added for culture and NPO. Or not?

It really is there, although it is unclear whether there will be an additional 100 million twice or whether public broadcasting and the entire cultural sector will have to make do with one additional 100 million. But at least it is clear: as in the rest of the draft election programme, the party mainly distances itself from the VVD and the four-year yourself policies implemented.

Knowing that participation in government is as unlikely as some of the plans, we take a look at them anyway. Whereby it is immediately noticeable that candidate list leader Jacques Monasch, who, according to him, did not co-write them himself, clearly influenced the culture paragraph.

200 million, that's good news right?

Er... the party links an amount to A Plan. At the same time, in the introduction, the Labour Party stubbornly keeps repeating an old and demonstrably incorrect mantra. Namely, we read 'In the past period, we have made a correction to the cuts made by the Rutte I government, but that is not enough to remove the pain of those cuts.' The latter is correct: pain is still there, but the Rutte I cuts have by no means been corrected. On the contrary: deft budget shifting allowed minister Bussemaker - to her own chagrin - to make some more money available in one place, at the expense of budget elsewhere. Not one euro was added over the past four years.

The Labour Party fixes and sells that as more.

In the most optimistic scenario, €200 million more goes to culture and/or media. Congratulations. With this, after four years of governing with the minister responsible, the 2012 election promise will be fulfilled. However, the chances of the Labour Party governing next year are minuscule. There is a very real chance that this percentage-wise small programme component will be immediately exchanged, as it was four years ago, during the unlikely evening of quartet for the coalition. Indeed, the entire election manifesto can be read mainly as a deliberate distancing from the current coalition partner and settling for the role of opposition party after the elections.

The soap opera surrounding the internal list leader election, even arguing about who should become prime minister, is downright laughable - especially since none of the candidates is about the content of the election programme. At the same time, the programme exemplifies the internal divisions in the party.

Curious amalgam

In both the culture and media sections, we see the minister's influence abundantly clear. Creators' labour and copyright rights should be protected. More focus on education. Rightly so. Although the programme strikes out when they think European legislation can be adapted.

It sounds so nice:

"Therefore, self-employed workers who carry out an assignment for others will also get the protection of the minimum wage, including compensation for social insurance. We also adapt the (European) competition rules to allow them to make collective rate agreements. We prohibit tenders below the minimum wage level."

But of course it is easy (especially in the arts) to bid below minimum wage; you simply bid on a job with far fewer hours than you will actually spend on it. This is already standard practice in the construction industry. Healthcare followed, with disastrous consequences.

We recognise Monasch in the emphasis on festivals, the urban region as a leading factor. In it, however, we also see, above all, the further erosion of the BIS, sidelining the Performing Arts Fund and giving every lobby all the space it needs.

It remains, in short, a feast of randomness, if it is up to the Labour Party.

Henri Drost

Henri Drost (1970) studied Dutch and American Studies in Utrecht. Sold CDs and books for years, then became a communications consultant. Writes for among others GPD magazines, Metro, LOS!, De Roskam, 8weekly, Mania, hetiskoers and Cultureel Persbureau/De Dodo about everything, but if possible about music (theatre) and sports. Other specialisms: figures, the United States and healthcare. Listens to Waits and Webern, Wagner and Dylan and pretty much everything in between.View Author posts

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