“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” (Carl Rogers)

Friday, 29 August 2014

Protesting the sinister Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - fix it or scrap it!

Tomorrow, I shall join other concerned people in the Grimsby area to spread the word about a sinister EU-US trade deal called TTIP. The campaign has been organised by 38 degrees, whose aim is to collect as many signatures as possible on a petition to stop the British Government joining TTIP. The letter from all of us to Vince Cable explains :
Dear Dr Cable,
Please do not join the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It claims to improve international trade but is used by big international corporations to make it impossible (or at least very difficult) to impose environmental regulations and propositions if they are against their interests. It's already being used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the living planet. Countries that have had to pay, or are in litigation with, big corporations under investor-state rules are Australia, Canada, Argentina and El Salvador, among others. Investor-state rules shut down democratic alternatives.
What are the effects of TTIP?
If it goes through without any changes, it’ll make privatisation of services like the NHS and National Rail irreversible. It’ll also allow big corporations to sue our government if they make changes to the law which affect businesses’ profits – like raising the minimum wage. Investor-state rules could be used to smash any attempt to:
  • save the NHS from corporate control, 
  • to re-regulate the banks and to 
  • curb the greed of the energy companies, to name just a few areas.  
More here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/us-trade-deal-full-frontal-assault-on-democracy
Even worse, the rules are not enforced by courts but by panels. The hearings are held in secret. The judges are corporate lawyers, many of whom work for companies of the kind whose cases they hear. Citizens and communities affected by their decisions have no legal standing. There is no right of appeal on the merits of the case. Yet they can overthrow the sovereignty of parliaments and the rulings of supreme courts.

Fix it or scrap it!
So, this deal is HUGE - and yet almost no one knows about it. And that’s exactly what the powerful interests behind it want. TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU.

Saturday’s day of action against this sinister trade deal will echo across the country. 8,000 ordinary people will be hitting the streets to talk to their neighbours. That’s people power in action.

By raising this important issue we are helping break the secrecy around the trade negotiations. And we're putting pressure on the government to fix or scrap this deal.

3 comments:

  1. Thought I would provide a LINK Bill

    http://www.change.org/p/to-the-eu-and-uk-governments-do-not-sign-up-to-ttip

    How the hell do we STOP the all consuming corporate beast, if it is down to DARING then how DARE they and what can the rest of us do if we too DARE? I hear you at least were out campaigning ...

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  2. Another useful link
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/01/ttip-eu-us-trade-deal_n_5747088.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

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  3. Thanks for the links - I've shared them with activists.

    The last one is especially germane, as people were not all that interested unless we mentioned the privatization of the NHS specifically. Some surprising (to me) responses in favour of privatization (image of private frazier - 'we're doomed, doomed'!) and sufficient predictable anti-immigrant, anti-EU responses (Great Gimsby might well be a shoe-in for Monsieur Farage and his 1950s Gang Show...)

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