Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.

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Published in World Culture, Political Philosophy


Published in World Culture, Political Philosophy


Do you also notice that trivializing “problems” is becoming the new trend?

Effective leadership crucial. Trends of downplaying issues stem from staffing shortages, impacting justice and societal safety.

In my opinion, a minister is someone who should lead his ministry in the first place. As in almost any other self-respecting organization, the best minds are often not in the driver's seat, but the most influential people, "the thinkers," are often elsewhere in these "departments.".

They generally don't speak much, but when they do speak, everyone listens with their lips tight. They often determine the direction in which the organization ultimately goes, they come up with new strategies, which often must be implemented by others. In addition to those thinkers, "extra thinkers" are often flown in, "the external consultants.".

These are often the most expensive employees, These expensive people research the most difficult challenges and often come up with the solutions needed to cope with the extreme changes of the current time that come their way for companies or other organizations. I have had the opportunity to participate in various activities at different companies while sitting in different chairs in the past.

In doing so, I have sometimes been allowed to come up with things.  You must realize that, as an advisor, you are only asked to give advice. The manager of the organization you are currently working for decides whether to do something with your advice or not. This is important in connection with the liability of these external consultants.

This is legally regulated. After all, the consultant is not officially part of the body in question.  When I sometimes look at politics with a slanted eye, I secretly wonder: "what advice ministers receive and how they deal with it in practice." When I look at the trend that I feel I am now observing in politics, I see that the current civil servants are downplaying a lot. 

(Downplaying means 'to present as less (big, very, important, etc.) than something actually was', specifically: 'to present as insignificant'. You can trivialize with gestures (making a dismissive gesture), but the law will mainly focus on trivializing through words).

I suspect that this is due to the current staff shortages among civil servants caused by the ageing of the population in Europe. In practice, I believe that this means that the correct penalties are not always imposed for a crime or misdemeanor in the ever-increasing number of criminal trials.

Many perpetrators currently get away with a more lenient sentence, a warning, or even a suspended sentence during the trials against them. Sometimes that's a good thing, because it even says in the newspapers that there are not enough guards for all cell complexes in the Netherlands. This has also created enormous waiting times for criminals to be allowed to serve a sentence. (?)

(Even the prisons are short of guards!) So, there are more and more criminals walking around freely in our society. I am not the only one who sees that our society is becoming increasingly rough, and that people are becoming more and more alienated from each other. In my opinion, this is because more and more are allowed by trivializing the government. It is unfortunate that weaker people in our society are at risk of falling victim to this. These weaker people just need "the strong hand" to help them keep their heads above water. In the Netherlands, many police officers have also been replaced by volunteer police assistants and special investigating officers (BOAs), with far fewer powers and a lower salary than regular officers.

(Isn't it just a "dirty" cut at the expense of the inhabitants?) Because if I knew in 1995 or earlier that an aging population was coming, what about the personnel strategies once devised by those expensive external consultants and the "managers" at the responsible ministries regarding our current time?

Have they deliberately allowed the current unsafe situation to arise? Did they not inform their recruiters properly, or was this method of trivialization coined much earlier as a "cheese slicer" method, as a camouflaged cut? It is a pity that the citizens must figure it out for themselves. But then again, a person can do more than he thinks, and it's not that bad, is it?

In my view, effective leadership is crucial in any organization. External consultants play a significant role, yet ultimate decisions lie with organizational leaders. Trends of downplaying issues in politics may stem from staffing shortages. This impacts justice and societal safety. It's unfortunate that weaker individuals suffer. Strategic foresight is vital in addressing current challenges. Citizens deserve transparency and accountability in governance.

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