This statement of Heijne on the Dutch Radio 1 resonated with me. On many levels. Like many people, I am worried about the rise of populism and rightwinged extremism. Also, in recent years I have become a fan of the outspoken activist politician Omtzigt. And then, I especially liked what Heijne said about politicians who act out of compassion and community spirit. That is exactly what we need in a societal, economic and political system where humans are often regarded as clients or, worse, as resources. Where humans are frequently respected and appreciated in words, but more rarely in actions.
But what resonated with me most of all, is the optimism of what Heijne says. It is easy to lose confidence sometimes in politics. To fret at the rise of populism, especially with the increase of conspiracy theorists and fact free politics. But Bas Heijne shows us the way forward. He shows us how politicians actually working from a sense of humanity and, working their fingers to the bone doing it, can help us move forward.
He shows us how, we, the people, by not losing confidence in democracy and justice, and fleeing towards those promising us ‘the good old days’, but by acknowledging these hard-working politicians with a solid sense of community and voting for them, can help us move forward. And he shows us how realizing that we ARE society and we CAN BE those politicians, can help us move forward. And that that way, yes, we can bring about change.
The values that Heijne promotes, are values that lie at the core of my activist communication: community, humanity, standing among the people, giving a voice to the undercurrent and a large dose of optimism.
However, there is one mayor difference between what Omtzigt does and my activist communication. I generally work in a context where we can make change attractive, fun and seductive. Where we can use the arts and creativity to bring the voice of the undercurrent to the surface. In the case of the hard working politicians such as Pieter Omtzigt and Renske Leijten, there is no fun or seduction for the victims. There is only justice. If that.
You can find the episode of Nieuwsweekend here. The interview with Bas Heijne takes place between 0:45:59 -1:01:53.