Opinion - mayor critic as first crack into societal upheaval

Updated: Apr 1



An interesting report came out made by the Gent university. It is related to the City mayors view during the past year in full pandemic.


You can read the information here (Dutch) or here for Brussels


My analysis:

- it is a very first critic on the public authority coming from the public authority I have seen. Good point.

- it highlights the human person behind a function: human tragedies in own commune, measures that are imposed from above, frustruation about measures itself but also about the too late timing etc.


Than again:

- the critic shows the siloed organisation style, where no contemporary transversal cooperation method exists to look at wicked problems like pandemic, climate change, etc.

- the critic is going from one government level to another one. The need for what is called 'unit of command' is forgotten for a fast crisis response, and the absence of it has also than caused the frustration on the late measures. (circular thought)

- the mayors seem feel first after a year the enormous critic of the population on a failed legitimate response from public authorities, and chose the side of the population it seems.


So it seems that mayors are choosing the side of the population. This is clearly for me the first crack into a systemic change that will happen.


The analogy I take is looking at the period between august 1989 and october 1990 in East Germany. There the first cracks of people movement (Hungary, etc...) led at a certain moment to a situation


Past weeks, students have come together in parcs (Boverie, LA Cambre,...) just as a breathing ground in order to be able to continue coping with the strict pandemic regime. They are fed up with it, but just need this positive boost it seems. The reaction of the police and other institutions unfortunately starts treating these as 'criminals' and does not understand that at this point the students have no political message, just need a little breathing ground. Let's see in 4 months where we are at and if protests will change and be steered. Evolution, we know, also the fall of the Berlin wall, did not come from established authorities, but from normal citizens aspiring for a better future.

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