UT employee and BBB Luuk Buunk wins a seat at a townhouse
How did you go through the election days?
On election night, I stayed with a large BBB delegation at the district government building in Zwolle. When I saw the North Holland exit poll, I already had the feeling that something special was about to happen. This became evident when Ofrigsil followed suit. Later in the evening we joined a BBB party in Pathmen. We celebrated the win there. I think I was in bed at 2:30 in the morning. On Thursday I let it all sink in at Achterhoek, where my parents live. I went for a walk in nature with the dog to relax. It was a fantasy days.
As number two on the list in Overijssel, there will likely be a seat waiting for you in Zwolle. Do you already have an idea of what that would look like?
“I want to wait for the official result first, but for me the chance of a seat is really great. If you want to make a difference in democracy, you have to raise your hand. You don’t have to sit on marigolds just to sit on them. I want to do my best. It will be a completely new experience.” For me. I really do keep Wednesday in my schedule free of consultations, because at that time it’s always state days. Fortunately, UT is a flexible employer, and I’m glad I did.
I have joined the BBB since December 2021. Why?
‘I’ve had a strong feeling for some time that the landscape from the area is snowing in.’ I come from the countryside in Achterhoek and work at UT. These are two completely different bubbles. Differences aren’t bad, but they are if they lead to friction. I want to bring the perspective of the citizen and the farmer – and in this context you should consider farms mainly as a cultural concept – closer to each other. Combine academic wisdom and common sense. I didn’t get the idea of doing this from anyone else.
The BBB and party leader Caroline van der Plas are regularly accused of undermining the flag. In a debate, I suggested that there was an agenda to frustrate farmers. Isn’t that inconsistent with your educational work?
No, the most important thing is that there is an open dialogue between science and practice. We are a new party, and the advantage of this is that I notice that everyone is open to ideas. At BBB, initiatives find their way from the bottom up. When I was a student I was a member of the VVD, but it was the other way around.
The BBB wants Dutch to become the standard language of instruction for undergraduate students, Dutch students are given priority to student accommodation and higher education should not have a place for “wake-up ideology”. As a UT employee, how do you view these wishes?
You list national examples and I do not want to take the place of a Member of Parliament, though the same is true here: so long as we can speak frankly of such ideas internally. As a regional manager, I like to focus on topics that fit into this. If we translate that to UT, it includes spatial planning and housing. A topic with huge differences at the local level. The county can also play an important role in the connection between UT and the business community, which is a current topic at UT. I hope to be able to make a good contribution to it.
“Travel enthusiast. Alcohol lover. Friendly entrepreneur. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning writer.”