I imagined that the whole of the Netherlands nodded in agreement when Renske Leijten spoke

“We’ve known each other too long, ladies and gentlemen.” This roguish remark by Prime Minister Rutte towards the camera, because of a slyly looking at him Sven Kockelmann at the end of an hour On 1interview, was killing for the value of their conversation Monday night. Repeating rifle Rutte had kept up the momentum, survived the cross-examination, distributed all around understanding and finally showed that he had never been afraid of the WNL journalist. Viewers who watched consumer program earlier that evening Radar had watched, no doubt many questions still burned on their lips.

Because the editors of Radar (AvroTros) had been digging diligently again. And was together with the journalists of the investigative collective Follow the Money did the math: why does the Netherlands have the highest gas price in Europe, what does the energy ceiling mean in practice and what can we do against all those cowboys on the free prairie of gas and electricity?

Sven Kockelmann and Mark Rutte

The conclusion you can draw, even after Radar-conversation with beloved MPs Renkse Leijten and Pieter Omtzigt: we seem to have passed the United States by now, with our holy belief in the free market, the persistence of self-regulation despite all the derailments and the now bizarre fear of government intervention. Yes, but now there’s that energy ceiling, isn’t it? The measure was dismissed by Leijten and Omtzigt as a rush job, which may cost us all more than 15 billion, while it will not save many households and companies from bankruptcy. But it does fill the coffers of the energy companies.

How bad do we want it to be? Many of those energy companies immediately announced a price increase on 1 October, which resulted in complaints from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). The watchdog responded, but with a pitiful bark: as a customer you have to object to the rate increase yourself, for which the ACM will provide a sample letter.

I imagined that the whole of the Netherlands nodded in agreement when Leijten stated that the government should regulate the energy market.

Especially when you hear the stories of people who have really ended up in the deepest darkness because they have been tempted to sign a contract with a company like the Hollandse Energie Maatschappij (HEM), which seems to be run by real criminals. If the stories in this excellent broadcast of Radar about HEM’s working methods, such a company must immediately be taken off the market. Rather a few sad crooks than all those distraught consumers.

Also VPROs Backlight Monday made us realize how important it is to have tenacious journalists, in a world where little people are so easily bulldozed and the truth so blatantly denied. It was a portrait of young hero Christiaan Triebert, a Dutch investigative journalist who The New York Times kicked. And there his team has already won two Pulitzer Prizes for reconstruction projects: on the basis of public sources such as satellite images and private internet films, they provide rock-solid proof of what really happens in war zones. Trust me, I’m a journalist is called the documentary. And believe me, he offers hope for the future of truth.

Maaike Bos and Renate van der Bas write columns about television five times a week.

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