Between Queen Beatrix and D66 leader Hans Van Mierlo, a “palace quarrel” raged in 1994. Its in diary notes from the time of Van Mierlo. Journalist Hubert Smeets writes about it in a biography of the D66 politician that will be published tomorrow: A miraculous politician, Hans van Mierlo 1931-2010.
D66 achieved a major election victory in 1994 and Van Mierlo was a great supporter of a cabinet without the CDA. When the formation was at an impasse, the Queen Van Mierlo asked, according to his own notes, whether he wanted to keep the country uncontrollable. “The country is waiting for you, Mr Van Mierlo. (..) If you do nothing, you will be put aside.”
Others were annoyed by him
Van Mierlo would have replied that he did not want to sacrifice his party to something he could not explain to the voters and that he did not think that the CDA could join the PvdA and D66. “She looked up from that,” quotes Smeets the diary of the D66 foreman. At one point the queen would have become “false” in another conversation with Van Mierlo. She told him that others were annoyed by him, says in the diary.
Smeets also writes that, according to Van Mierlo, the Queen spoke in her voice about what had happened to the CDA. (That party suffered a huge defeat in 1994). She would have been “erschüttert” about “what they did to Lubbers. And Brinkman, by the way. And Hirsch Ballin.” Those three were leaders in the CDA at the time.
The book of Smeets also contains critical quotes by Van Mierlo about Pvda leader Kok. “Cook is a crusty man, who does his best not to be permanently in a state of incineration.” And a little further, “Cook looks at me dark. Has a classic bully.”
A little later in the formation, the queen forced a breakthrough. When the opinions were not one way, she asked Kok as an informer to write a concept of a general agreement and to submit that draft to different parties. Kok then came to the conclusion that PvdA, VVD, D66 and CDA all reacted positively to his design, but he headed for a coalition of the first three parties and eventually came there: the first purple cabinet led by Kok.
High Level Poker
In the CCEit Radio 1 Journal, biographer Smeets said this morning that Van Mierlo kept a diary irregularly, but that he supplemented the 1994 election campaign and formation on a daily basis. Smeets understands that with his quotes he “perhaps put Beatrix into a difficult prosecutor”, because the head of state is inviolable.
“ But I wrote a biography of Hans van Mierlo. So I describe the cabinet formation of 1994 more or less from the perspective of Van Mierlo. His notes are important to me to show that he really played poker at a very high level in those months.”