The Horrors of TTIP and Why Action is Needed!

Posted on October 10, 2014

A Facebook friend (Wendy Billingsley) sent me an article the other day which was, basically, a chilling insight to TTIP, an unelected trade body that makes George Orwell’s ‘1984′ look like the tale of a picnic by the trout stream on a warm summer meadow.

TTIP stands for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerships which undertake, what are, in effect, secretive trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States. TTIP as a trade agreement is an agenda to smash down the barriers to trade for large corporations, including food safety, environmental laws, regulation of the banking industry and sovereign powers of our country, or any other country in the EU for that matter. Does Ukraine know what it is letting itself in for?

TTIP is described as “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.”

The TTIP negotiations began last February and are carried out in secret, with the only information getting into the media and campaign groups coming from insiders brave enough to leak documents and run the risk of being found hung from a light rose in a pair of suspenders with an orange stuffed in their mouth.

On the TTIP agenda is the NHS, Food and Environmental Safety, Banking regulations and Privacy. It is basically a wholesale attack on the democratic process, make no bones about it.

One of the main aims of TTIP is to open up Europe’s public health systems to the US giants. This could essentially result in the privatisation of the NHS or at least a hideous two tier system of have and have nots…Free healthcare at the point of delivery is staring down the barrel of an American gun.

The European Commission has frantically tried to deny public services will be in the firing line, however, various media reports have confirmed that our very own Trade Minister,  Lord Livingston (lovely bloke) has admitted that talks about the NHS are still very much on the agenda. This is really bad news.


Campaigns Against TTIP Are Gathering Strength

If you think you are healthy and you don’t need healthcare, it may be worth checking out the food and environment agenda that will look to bring EU standards on food safety and the environment in line with America. The regulations in America are far less draconian than in the EU with a mind blowing 70 per cent of all processed foods sold in American stores featuring genetically modified ingredients. The EU does not allow genetically modified foods and has much stricter laws on the use of pesticides and growth hormones in its beef due to strong links to cancer.

Because the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) policy, a company in the Europe has to prove a substance is safe before it can be used but the opposite applies in the US where in my opinion, any substance can be used until it is proven unsafe.  The EU currently bans 1,200 substances from use in cosmetics whilst the US have just 12. Jeez, what are they then, plutonium based lipsticks and mascaras? It is little wonder that a trip to Disneyland is like a cosmetic and obesity freak show that is far more terrifying than any of the roller coasters.

Of course, as is always the case with greedy cretins like the TTIP, banking is right up there on the agenda and this time it is the UK and the City of London looking to help out their pals across the water with loosening of US banking regulations. Our bankers are so indestructible that, would you believe, because of the crash of 2008, America’s financial rules are actually more stringent than ours. We are Olympic Champions at banking corruption, bigger than the Yanks. Congratulations lads. It is widely predicted TTIP will remove the US laws, handing all power back to the bankers, so watch out boys, once unregulated, the Yanks will be after your throne again soon.

You can also forget any internet privacy in the future if TTIP get their way, meaning independent blogs like this may soon cease to exist. Some of you may remember when the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was chucked out by a massive majority in the European Parliament a couple of years back after an inspired public reaction at an attack on individual privacy where internet service providers would have been be required, by law, to monitor people’s on-line activity. TTIP are thought to be keen on  bringing back ACTA’s under a different guise and if we are not careful, they will create something to deflect the masses (a war or a plane crash perhaps) and bring it in without anyone noticing.

Still, for me anyway, TTIP gets worse the more I read as it is, without a doubt, an enormous threat to democracy. One of the key policies of TTIP  would to introduce Investor-State Dispute Settlements allowing corporations to sue a governments if a democratic policy causes a loss of profits. Yes, you did read that properly! It won’t take long for you to register that this means that large corporations will dictate Government policy. Some (including me) may argue that this is already the case, but TTIP could confirm the end of the democratic process altogether.

ISDS agreements are already in operation in other bi-lateral trade deals around the world and one classic case that I read about is going on in Germany right now,where the Swedish energy company Vattenfall is suing the German government for God knows how many billions simply because of Germany’s decision to rid themselves of nuclear power stations due to fears of a repeat of the Fukushima catastrophe. So, there we have it, an environmental and public health agenda, set out by an elected government, could cost German tax payers billions because the loss of profit caused to an Energy Corporation.

How is that democratic?

Apparently, there are over 500 cases of businesses suing nations across the globe as I write this post. These are held in front of  ‘arbitration tribunals’ which are essentially made up of corporate lawyers who can’t wait to receive a pile of cash by ruling in favour of business over Government. John Hilary, spokesman for ‘War on Want’ described these tribunals as  “Little more than kangaroo courts with a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”

Don’t tell me that isn’t frightening!

You can’t vote against TTIP but you can do your bit by signing a petition by the brilliant campaign group 38 Degrees by clicking the link below; it can and will make a difference.

I don’t normally do this sort of thing but whatever your political persuasion, TTIP is a threat to us and in particular, future generations.

Power to People, not Corporations.

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