Tweeting MPs get Minister ‘down on her knees’

As the Dutch Parliament is officially still on its annual summer leave, several MPs turned to Twitter to raise questions about the conduct of Dutch Environment Minister Tineke Huizinga, who rented a private jet to travel back and forth to attend a budget debate during her holidays in Italy.

MPs of other parties expressed their discontent through Twitter leading to hundreds of negative Tweets by the general public.

The end result: due to the ‘unexpected’ public scrutiny, the Minister will now be paying for the private jet trip herself.

Poetic justice…



Ralf Grahn
August 27, 2010 | 3:04 AM

Most of us accept that our governments and democratic systems more generally entail overhead costs, especially if the politics and policies pursued lead to good outcomes for society. However, ostentatious lifestyles and obvious waste go beyond this silent accord. By the looks of it, the instincts of Twitterers have played out in a sound manner in this case, since Italy is hardly devoid of normal commercial flights. Instant reactions like these are not free from dangers. False rumours, campaigning media giving a distorted view, lack of needed background information etc. can lead to witch hunts by lynch mobs. We need people who question the campaigners as well.