The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as it is known in all its glory, never heard of it before? Well it is the biggest threat to our democracy in a generation, and far from our democracy going up in glorious smoke, it is silently and slowly fading away into the night.
TTIP is a trade deal being negotiated between the United States and the European Union, which sounds alright, doesn’t it? After all we have plenty of trade deals all around the world. That is until you scrape underneath the spin and get to the essence of the deal.
All power to the corporations! Pretty much sums it up.
If you check the EU website on TTIP it all sounds pretty good, which can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/
Just looking over this and you would think “why the concern Steve?” – However if you check out this campaign: https://stop-ttip.org/ you will see we are not getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
The scariest part of TTIP for me is that it will allow something called “Investor-State Dispute Settlements,” what this boils down to is the right for corporations to sue governments if government policy has caused those corporations to lose profits.
Government policy will therefore be crafted not in a democratic fashion by the will of the people, but by corporations maximising their profits. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the right to hold governments to account in this way? If we could hold them liable for all the deaths that have been caused in relation to benefit sanctions for example.
One of the scariest aspects of this is that these disputes will happen in complete secret, not even elected officials will know about them, or be part of them until after they have already taken place.
When laws are being formed corporations will be allowed to sit at the table and draft the legislation, as well, so from beginning to end corporations will effectively become part of our government.
I will give you an example of this at work, a corporation sells a product which is found to cause cancer and has led to x amount of deaths, the government then bans this product. Under TTIP the corporation would then in turn be allowed to sue the government for eating into its profits.
I don’t know about you but I want my government to be concerned with the welfare of its citizens, not of its corporations. I want my government to protect my rights, not be more concerned with the profit of corporations.
All I hear about is economic growth and paying down the debt, I don’t care about these issues – I care about what my government can do for me, what my government can do for society, not what it can do for the 1% and there banker buddies.
Who lets face it, have surely had enough help by now and don’t need anymore?
The debate is all about human rights isn’t it? How human rights are being abused and how we need to scrap the human rights act. We never hear about the rights of corporations and how they abuse it to destroy the planet, or rip us off.
It just so happens that corporations in many countries have had the same rights extended to them as human beings, but you can bet that their rights to exploit and profit will not be coming into question in the near future.
The NHS that lovely institution which saved and continues to save an untold amount of people from disease and death could and likely would come under threat within the trade deal. Free simply doesn’t make enough profits you see.
The scope of TTIP is that wide that it is impossible to say just how it will begin to take hold over our country, either way when it does it will be done in secret so we won’t even know about it anyway!
At the very least there needs to be a national and international debate around TTIP, something of this magnitude should be a heavily debated and publicised isse which we are informed and educated on, because the rammifications of this whether they are good or bad (bad incase you are still not clear on my position) are absloutely massive.
TTIP has the power to reshape our democracy, effect every part of our lives, the environment, what we eat, how we eat it and an untold amount of possibilities. The tentacles of TTIP will wrap their oily slimey way around everything we now hold dear, so get angry, get mad, and get out there.
This is our democracy, it is time we took it back!