In less than two weeks, the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations will meet in New Zealand to sign the final agreement. And once it’s signed, there are no changes, and no going back.
If TPP countries sign, we will enter the final phase before the agreement becomes law, and locks us into an extreme Internet censorship pact that will overwrite our national laws and restrict how we innovate and share culture online.
If you weren’t suspicious of the TPP’s sketchy process already, media outlets are reporting that Japan’s chief TPP negotiator has been accused of taking a bribe of over $100,000 while he was negotiating this secretive agreement.
If these allegations are true, it not only calls the whole process into question, but also underlines the dangers of agreeing to something negotiated under such a cloak of extreme secrecy.
AND DON’T FORGET, EUROPEAN FRIENDS – The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is much the same and it’s on its way. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, is the European equivalent of ‘Japan’s chief TPP negotiator’. After over three million signatures were collected for initiative opposing TTIP, plus massive demonstrations opposing TTIP, Malmström claimed that the “silent majority [of Europeans]” were in favour of the treaty. She’s a clairvoyant too, then? How the HELL can she even think about justifying saying that?
In an interview with John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want, in which Malmström reportedly acknowledged “that a trade deal has never inspired such passionate and widespread opposition”, she is reported to have commented: “I do not take my mandate from the European people.” So she takes her ‘mandate’ from who instead? Or perhaps from WHAT might be more to the point. The multinationals? Which begs the question – what ELSE might she be taking from them…?
John Whittingdale, the government minister in charge of the BBC, is complaining that too many 38 Degrees members have responded to the public consultation on the BBC’s future. Too many 38 Degrees members responding = 177,000 members of the public! It looks as though he didn’t like what we told him, so he’s suddenly changed tack – opening up a new consultation, and planting smear stories in the papers about 38 Degrees members.
He’s had ‘too many’ responses to his ‘consultation‘ – so what’s his reaction? Effectively, ignore those 177,000 voices and depend on a new public ‘consultation’ which will take the form of focus groups and opinion polls. Well, we all know how reliable opinion polls are (especially after the last General Election) and ‘focus groups’ can be – shall we say? – ‘focussed’ by those who are organising them! As can opinion polls, of course. Heard this before. It’s a variation on referendums producing the ‘wrong result’ – so go back and have another vote until you, the public, come up with what we, the ‘Establishment’, say is the right answer. Shades of referendums on the Maastricht Treaty – brutally massaged by the European ‘Establishment’.
It seems that Whittingdale has been leaking information to the papers to fuel a smear campaign against 38 Degrees members. The Mail and Telegraph have claimed that 38 Degrees members have “hijacked” the public consultation, and a “government source” has said that we’ve caused loads of extra work for the government. Well, big bloody deal!!!
No-one thinks the BBC is perfect, but it belongs to the public – not politicians. And the government’s real agenda to undermine the BBC is becoming clearer and clearer. Just like the National Health Service! And, a while back, British Rail(ways). The Central Electricity Generating Board. And the rest! The ‘Establishment’ – it knows best what’s good for us? No! It knows best (or thinks it does) what’s good for itself and itself only! The ‘Establishment’ seriously merits decapitation.