Nieuws - 29 november 2012

Proposition: Shops should always be open on Sundays

Marlies Bos (the left-wing fluffy type) and Jillis Herweijer (the right-wing Hooray Henry type) rarely see eye to eye on matters of politics, the environment or student life.

Marlies: I feel having one day when almost everyone has the day off is a very good thing. Mainly because I think it is good for everyone to have one day without any obligations, when they have time for friends and family. Society is already hassled and stressed enough. The environment also benefits from one less day when all the shops are heated. And then the 'freedom' which is always cited as an argument for getting rid of Sunday closing is not real freedom, in my view. At least not for everyone, by any means. Not for small businesses, which hardly have the staff to open seven days a week. And not for employees (or potential employees) who may well by pressurized to work on Sundays. In short, a bad idea to open shops on Sundays as well just because 'it is possible so we should allow it.'
Jillis responds: Nice that you want a day off on Sunday but please don't decide for other people whether they can open their shops. You don't need to bring the environment into it, since you can always close on another day of the week. And I am very surprised that you think it's up you to decide when society is 'stressed enough'.
Jillis: It is time we called a halt to the way all sorts of believers appropriate the right to decide how other people think. In a time of economic crisis, a government should do everything it can to enable citizens to earn money and pay tax. Unfortunately, there is resistance to that in the Netherlands from a narrow-minded Christian tradition. Sometimes on the 'honest' basis of mediaeval ideas about Sunday being a day of rest, and sometimes based on hypocritical  arguments about protecting small shopkeepers and employees. All nonsense. A shopkeeper can choose whether to open on Sunday and close on Monday - when high streets are dead still anyway. And employees can always say that they are only prepared to work on certain days of the week - there will always be 10 others ready to take their place and earn extra for working on a Sunday. Besides: you don't have to open on Sunday; you are allowed  to!
Marlies responds: Consumers can only spend their money once, so the amount of extra income will be disappointing. And why do you feel the need to display your distaste for the 'narrow-minded Christian tradition'? Let's stick to substantial arguments. Maybe not all the ideas of  'all sorts of believers' are so crazyl.