Tuesday, 11 March 2014

TTIP - Not sexy, just very important

This post is about an unsexy, very boring but very important transatlantic trade deal. I previously posted how the deal was being done in secret between the US and the EU, a deal that would benefit only the big corporates and harm the interests of ordinary consumers, small firms and the Mittelstand;
Everything related to the talks is being kept highly classified. Even though the deal will affect the futures and interests of 500 million EU citizens, member states agreed to keep them in the dark about TTIP negotiations. All papers, documents, emails and negotiating minutes have been marked secret. Only the senior-most party members in the European Parliament's International Trade Committee are allowed to see documentation relating to the negotiations and they are forbidden from discussing what they see. Not even the negotiating mandate, upon which the talks are based, has been made public. In addition, the US has forbidden the EU from passing along American position papers, even to members of the European Council and European Parliament -- despite the fact that these same papers have been shared with 600 industrial lobbyists in the US.
 Today George Monbiot writes in the Guardian about TTIP with exceptional lucidity;
Nothing threatens democracy as much as corporate power. Nowhere do corporations operate with greater freedom than between nations, for here there is no competition. With the exception of the European parliament, there is no transnational democracy, anywhere. All other supranational bodies – the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, trade organisations and the rest – work on the principle of photocopy democracy (presumed consent is transferred, copy by copy, to ever-greyer and more remote institutions) or no democracy at all. When everything has been globalised except our consent, corporations fill the void. In a system that governments have shown no interest in reforming, global power is often scarcely distinguishable from corporate power. It is exercised through backroom deals between bureaucrats and lobbyists.
Of course this blog and Mr Monbiot suffer from the same inherent disadvantage; the Peter and the Wolf syndrome. Our polemic against sundry wrongs, injustices and neglected matters has been so long and so vocal (though radically different in focus and in many cases opposed in position) that when something really serious comes along, it gets lost in the White Noise. Se well done all at Ford, Nissan, General Motors, Monsanto, Renault, Thyssen, Nokia, Siemens, BP, Lafarge, Wal-Mart, Apple, Chevron, Erikson, Alcatel and General Electric and the rest; you win. 


Elby the Beserk said...

"With the exception of the European parliament, there is no transnational democracy, anywhere"

That's not lucid, it's a fantasy.

Visc said...

When will "right wingers" (and I would include myself in that definition) in general wake up and stop being blind and wilful apologists for Corporates? (Corporatism, like facism and communism are different labels for similar evils - dontget hung up on the label but the actions.)

TIP like its sister treaty TTPP is a threat to us all.

Remember a corporation is a legal entity that wishes to impose its agenda without anyone being responsible for its actions.

Anonymous said...

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel.


Anon 2 said...


Post and comments - all right on the money.

G. Tingey said...

This, of course, is the entirely valid "Left-wing" argument against the EU.
As put forward, all those years ago, by Wedgie Benn.
And I didn't believe him.
I voted FOR the EU.
As we all know, I have changed my mind since then, but .....

Flyinthesky said...

G. Tingey, You've changed your mind but sadly so have they.
The strange thing is that the "left wing" populace rail against corporate interest the most but the the left wing estabishment is the most facilitating.

Cuffleyburgers said...

Unfotunately having Monbiot on our side makes us look stupid.

This is a man whose uninformed rants misdiagnose everything and then prescribe the wrong medecine.

Corporatism is a huge danger but there is a whole political class working towards it.

Without government including Brussels involvement these big companies would be forced to compete to the benefit of consumers and citizens. Once again therefore we see the malignity of the whole EU set up.

For the likes of the ignorant and rather stupid Monbiot the enemy would be the multinationals. In reality the enenm is brussels and their lackeys in Westminster.

But then you know that.

G. Tingey said...

Almost, but not quite.
The Corporates have bought Brussel & Westminster, long since.
They are all our enemy.
Can you see the important distinction that I have made, I hope?

cuffleyburgers said...

G. Tingey - once again, I find myself in full agreement with you. what is happening? it must be spring!