After yesterday’s glance at Scottish politics, today I thought I’d have a look at international politics. Not the obvious stuff like the not-so-cold war that’s been running between the US and Russian in Ukraine for quite a while now, nor the current mess called the Middle East, which is only the latest manifestation of several thousand years of idiocy at work.
Closer to home. Within the EU. But not something that writing to your MEP can affect, nor will anyone get a chance to vote on it (for those who thought we lived in a democracy).
TTIP. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
It’s dressed up to look like a free trade agreement on trade tariffs between the EU and the US. Hidden away within the weasel words, however, are the clauses that will ensure that European citizens (including us in the UK, unless by some miracle the sheeple come to their senses and force the politicians to exit the EU – I’m not holding my breath) will be fed GM food, like it or not; forced to accept US levels of toxic ingredients and pollution (EU standards are much tighter) and watch US companies take over our public utilities and health services (though admittedly the Chinese currently own most of the UK water companies). TTIP will also remove the curbs on banking greed that caused the 2008 crash, in line with US legislation, and re-introduce the internet censorship that the European parliament threw out only a couple of years ago, to allow the US federal agencies free access to all the “private” data in Europe. And on top of all this, if any EU government tries to introduce legislation that might reduce the profits of US companies, TTIP gives those companies the right to sue governments to recover thoir ‘lost’ profits. There’s an article in the Independent from last October that sums up the clauses that should have every EU commissioner before a firing squad for even allowing the paperwork to sit on a table in front of them.
There is a European Citizens Initiative – a sort of petition demanding EU parliamentarians do something – though what they can do when the Commissioners are all working away in favour of it, I don’t quite know. But what the H, I’ve signed it – if we don’t bother saying anything, then TPTB have every justification to say they thought we were happy for them to go ahead.
This will almost certainly go through, because the big US companies want it and they can afford to buy off the politicians both sides of the Pond. When it does, I expect to see job losses (the US has much less stringent worker protection, so it’ll be cheaper to outsource work to the US), a massive handover of national sovereignty (what little we haven’t already handed to Brussels) to US multinationals and a huge step backwards in environmental protection, pollution control and food standards.
The only way to control what you eat will be to grow your own – and don’t forget that the US companies like Monsanto are the ones who tried to ban the sale of all seeds that aren’t produced by them, unable to grow except when doused in their pesticides, even in our own back gardens! I wonder how long it’ll be before that legislation is re-introduced and you get prosecuted for growing your own food? It’s been going on for years in the States, and if (when) the morons in Brussels dump TTIP on us, the door will be open for it to happen here too.