Seeing Red, not Blue
The 'winter dike' position, more authoritarian government and democracy in the time of Covid-19.
A policy of “extreme containment” by a government primed to move faster than democrats or scientists is the best response to coronavirus, says Wim Schellekens, a former Chief Inspector of the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate. But critics of a new Corona Act say it turns democratic principles upside down - op hun kop - by giving ministers powers normally reserved for a state of emergency.
In an interview with Trouw, Schellekens described corona policy in biblical terms: if the trumpet sounds a muffled call - “Indien de bazuin een onduidelijk geluid geeft” - who will prepare for battle? (Numbers 10:9). He argues for a precautionary principle, meaning a more authoritarian government willing to act on the basis of strong suspicion before any hard scientific evidence.
Why, he asked rhetorically, do guidelines always take the form of recommendations: En waarom is alles een aanbeveling?
In the red corner
Schellekens has assembled an unofficial group of 12 experts, known as the Red Team. Re…