Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst

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Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst
Minister of Economic Affairs
Political affiliation
Marital status
Married, one daughter

Mr. Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst is the Knootian minister of Economic Affairs, and has had this position for several decades, serving in vastly different coalition governments. The EIVD intelligence agency reports to him. He is a member of the liberal SLP party and said to be well connected to key persons in Knootian businesslife - especially RecDrug Incorporated (now Bonifatius) - even since before he was appointed minister.

In the past, the Economics Affairs Ministry was sometimes dismissed as a talking shop but the elder statesman Brinkhorst has managed to restore gravitas to the Ministry, making it perhaps the most important ministry of all with a sizable budget and its own intelligence agency (the EIVD) and its own 'embassies'.

Political history

After being appointed into the first government of Roel Vogels, Brinkhorst was a major force in the rise of the successful economic reforms associated with the WBO in the 1990s, stimulating free-market reform while retaining a very corporatist model for the labour market. He won national and international praise for his handling of the Knootian economy, but as a high-profile member of the SLP he tends to attract as much right-wing voters from the RCPK as he drives others with more left-wing economic ideas away to the to the green KGP.

Brinkhorst's tenure as the Economic Affairs Minister in the two governments of Lousewies van der Laan was not an outstanding success as he had to handle reversing some of his own policies of liberalising and privatising state assets such as Republican KLM and utility companies. (Privatisations which the KGP considered to have been mismanaged and inefficient). In the end, he managed to keep most of these reforms back despite parliamentary pressure, Republican KLM being the only high-profile re-nationalisation. His popularity, however, was waning. Under Vogels he had presided over an economy that was on the way up, but after the Shadow War he had to deal with post-war devestation as well as radical increases in government spending. He saw it has his task to work hard to make sure his credibility would not go down along with declining economic growth indicators.

During this period his reputation was shaped as a representative of the right-wing of the SLP which favoured coalitions with the economically conservative RCPK. His political opponents used this to accuse him of executing neoliberal policies and (later) painting him as a radical member of the Order of the Invisible Hand. Brinkhorst himself has never spoken out on being a member of the organisation or not.

He was, however, supported by Galadriël in his quest to increase the power of his ministry at the expense of Foreign Affairs, which led amongst others to the creation of the EIVD. (For more see the Galadriël article)

Under the government of Galadriël Táralóm nos Círdan his persional mission was clear: cut costs, cut and cut some more. He also had to convince the business community that the government was serious about promoting economic prosperity while also facing a constant battle with his cash-strapped fellow ministers (especially from the popular Education department and a newly prioritised Defence secretariat). During the first Galadriël government he failed to defend his budgetary restrictions and spending (especially on Defence) went through the roof while Social Equality spending remained uncontrollable. During the second Galadriël government he was notably more succesful in this fight, showing an iron will to stick to his austere financial plans while loyally executing the Galadriël tax reforms.

Recently he announced that he will retire after serving a full term in the second nos Círdan administration.