Think you know Orwell? Read 1984? Well my comrade, welcome to our historic future. 1984 became 2014; our battle for humanity has begun.
Great movie title don’t you think? Reading my opening puts me in mind of a conspiracy thriller, Government reading email, emergency powers and person vs. state. I’d watch it if it was a film, regrettably, I think we are close to living it. That 1998 film ‘Enemy of the State’, has become the reality of today. Rhodes stood astride Africa; the burgeoning corporatocracy grasps the planet like Atlas did.
Don’t be surprised if anything you read from here is new to you. It was designed that way. Free trade sounds like a nice idea doesn’t it, it has the word ‘free’ and ‘trade’ surely means nice people exchanging goods? That is just bullshit. We are bombarded with the notion that trade means jobs and therefore we are asked, ‘what’s wrong with that, more jobs is good right?’ After all it’s the 99% that need jobs to survive, the so-called working class. The Transatlantic Trade andInvestment Partnership is designed to cement free trade between EU states and the US at all costs, the 99% that require work for survival, well, we don’t come out well from it. So why my suspicion? Free trade is one thing; the fact that this agreement is presently being brokered in secret is a huge problem. I refer back to a document from CitiGroup in 2006, one that describes our transition to a corporate serving society, through free trade of course.
If you braved that document, let me say that TTIP does not just offer free trade, it seeks to demolish workers’ rights, making present employment rights a statutory maximum, our pesky rights are a barrier to free trade it seems. There is an area of the ‘partnership’ agreement called the ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ clause. This clause would enable large corporations to sue governments before a secret arbitration panel composed of corporate lawyers, bypassing domestic courts and national parliaments. Imagine the aftermath of the privatisation of a nationalised healthcare provider in your country, the public elect a party seeking its re-nationalisation, it could never happen. A corporation could sue a government in secret, through an international tribunal of businessmen that would sue the nation state through anti-investment clauses built in to the agreement.
Sounds a bit farfetched I’d imagine maybe a bit conspiratorial. Well I imagined you would think that. I thought that, then I read hundreds of official papers (leaked) and official briefings (not leaked…just published). I’m sorry to say, it’s here. The Guardian reported in December 2013 of the German state being sued by Vattenfall (a Swedish energy giant) for that State’s decision to close nuclear facilities in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Corporation vs. state, here already, if TTIP is signed, you well never here about Branson vs. NHS. You will however see the removal of the logo. The effect on our rights does not warrant comment, it warrants our opposition. The consequences are grotesque.
It seems that in the UK at least, a Governmental reshuffle has today clouded the reporting of the commencement of TTIP talks and the hurry through parliament of something called DRIP. DRIP is the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers bill; in a nutshell it enforces communication providers to retain data for ‘emergency’ use by the government. It is in effect Britain’s patriot act.
TTIP and DRIP should worry everyone, left or right, they seek to increase surveillance on national populations, withdraw our rights and enforce the fact that we will no longer be able to challenge this new order. Our movement won our rights through solidarity, turmoil and campaign. It has led to the death of many of our own. We cannot allow our rights to be removed at the stroke of pen and be forever challenged by an unelected body of corporations. We fought for the vote, we literally died for it. Yesterday was the time for thought and analysis, today we must fight – We have to – TTIP and DRIP sound cosy, their impacts will replace democracy with the rule of profit, the future can never look bright if we don’t fight back.
This article should call us to do what we do best, Educate, Agitate and Organise. This isn’t a message of hope, but it is the truth and it is a warning.
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