Benno Baksteen: State agent and parliamentary debate

There were two low points in the various developments. The first is the state agent’s recent report and his statements about whether or not the conditions for the loans to KLM are met. Conditions that, incidentally, according to the ILO, part of the United Nations, are also partly illegal. Apparently those conditions suddenly have an absolute right to exist. That is strange, because especially in aviation, at least in the cockpit, rules and procedures are always a means to an end. If circumstances change, you often have to change or deviate from the procedures. Especially if you wouldn’t reach your goal otherwise. The virtual world of proceedings is static, the real world is not. It is messy and requires constant adjustments. So always with that intended goal in mind.

Refund
The purpose of the terms was to ensure that the loans could be repaid. No one knew how the consequences of the Corona epidemic would turn out, so a large amount of loans worth three billion was rightly invested. It has now become clear that thanks to the unbridled effort and creativity of all KLM employees, only a third of the available loans have been used. In addition, a third of this has already been repaid. The remainder is expected to be repaid later this year. So clear. KLM can go back to work and, as always, respond to all kinds of developments. Including sharply increased fuel prices, higher airport costs and high inflation. All things that probably weren’t in the virtual world of the state agent’s spreadsheet. And that you can’t solve that way either.

parliamentary debate
The second low point was the discussion in the House of Representatives about Dutch participation in the share issue of the AirFrance-KLM group. In itself, I think that participation is sensible, but you can certainly have a meaningful substantive debate about it. Instead, the debate has been dominated by framing-based nonsense and a great faith in the malleability of the world coupled with a worrisome lack of knowledge. And that’s an unfortunate combination.

Not complicated
It is also unnecessary, because it is not all that complicated. For a brief summary, see the ‘Summary’ page. For the real enthusiasts, at the end of that page there is also a link to a pdf with backgrounds. Warning: That PDF is boring, because it’s now 60 pages and it’s full of numbers and percentages. So only fun for someone who likes facts and finds analysis interesting. That is of course the power of framing, because for imaging you only have to quickly shout something mediagenic.

This column also appeared on notthebigbadwolf.com.

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