Saturday, January 24, 2015

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Trans-Atlantic Trade And Investment Partnership Another String In The Bow Of Imperialism

Aidan Hamill, a student and member of the Sean MacDiarmarda Society in Ardoyne, with a piece on the secretive ‘Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ and its likely effects on an Ireland within the EU – with the North still attached to the UK state, itself inside the European Union. The piece is reproduced from the 1916 Societies.

That the vast majority of people in the community are unaware and yet to have heard of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – usually referred to in its abbreviated form of ‘TTIP’ – should come as no surprise.

Any kind of discussion or critical analysis of TTIP is not something we’re likely to encounter on RTÉ, BBC News, Sky News or any of the other multitude of corporately owned media outlets or newspapers – for the simple reason that TTIP is a massive trade-deal being negotiated in secret by representatives of the US, the EU, and by hundreds of corporate lobbyists, who together are representing the interests of the world’s banking and corporate elites.

These are the same global elites who own, fund and control the mass media and therefore decide what will and won’t be news.

TTIP has recently ended its seventh round of talks in Washington, yet the public is not permitted to know the agenda of the negotiations, or what exactly is being negotiated supposedly on our behalf. The only reason we have any insight into its existence is due to leaked documents (thanks to WikiLeaks) and freedom of information requests, which have enabled alternative media sources to inform the public.

There is good reason why this trade deal is being negotiated in secret. The aim of the TTIP negotiations is to further the neoliberal agenda of deregulation of trade and labour markets, thus globalising the world economy, which will mean the removal of any of the rights, protections and standards that have been hard fought for over the years by trade unionists, socialists, republicans and workers.

TTIP will give the global elites near-complete control over every facet of our lives, by removing any semblance of democratic accountability we may once have had, as the sovereignty of nation-states is replaced by the interests of an elite minority of bankers and the CEO’s of large trans-national corporations.

The most insidious aspect of the agreement is the Investor-Trade Dispute Settlement (ITDS) provision that would; ‘enable US companies investing in Europe to bypass European courts and challenge EU governments at international tribunals whenever they find that laws in the area of public health, environmental or social protection interfere with their profits. EU companies investing abroad would have the same privilege in the US’ [1].

What this effectively does is allow corporations to sue national governments for billions if domestic laws, that protect our rights, are felt to ‘interfere’ with their profits or ‘future’ profits’, through specially set up secret courts that almost always rule in the interests of big business’ rights to ‘free-trade’.

‘EU and US companies have already used these lawsuits across the globe to destroy any competition or threats to their profits by for example challenging green energy and medicine policies, anti-smoking legislation, bans on harmful chemicals, environmental restrictions on mining, health insurance policies and measures to improve the economic situation of minorities. Even the threat of litigation can mean governments shelving socially progressive policies’ [2].

In a similar pact where this process is in use ‘a tribunal recently ordered payment of more than $2 billion to a multinational oil firm. Just under U.S. ‘trade’ deals, more than $14 billion remains pending in corporate claims against medicine patent policies, pollution clean-up requirements, climate and energy laws, and other public interest policies’ [3].

TTIP would also open up the public sector of European countries for privatisation. The UK’s NHS, already in the process of being privatised by stealth as a result of the Social Care Act 2012, has, according to Len McCluskey of UNITE, ‘massively increased the number of private providers in the NHS. Since this act came into force, 70 percent of health services put out to tender have gone to the private sector.’

Furthermore, he states how TTIP will allow ‘American investors to haul any UK government that tries to reverse privatisation to a tribunal – the Investor State Dispute Settlement that would operate outside the law of the land. These tribunals will have the power to award billions in damages and compensation for lost profits and the loss of projected future profits, with no right of appeal. Yes, that is right – no right of appeal’ [4].

A report published by the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B) revealed the true human and environmental costs of the proposed deal. The report highlighted how the European Commission’s promises of ‘up to one percent GDP growth and massive job creation as a result of the deal were not supported even by its own studies’. On the contrary there is potential for further job losses in several economic sectors, including agriculture.

Kim Bazzarri, the author of the report, asserts: ‘Big business lobbies on both sides of the Atlantic view the secretive trade negotiations as a weapon for getting rid of policies aimed at protecting European and US consumers, workers and our planet. If their corporate wish-list is implemented, it will concentrate even more economic and political power within the hands of a small elite, leaving all of us without protection from corporate wrongdoings’ [5].

The US, acting on behalf of the global firm Monsanto, also wants to see the de-regulation of the EU agriculture and food sectors, so they can force upon us genetically modified ‘Frankenstein foods’ that are dangerous for human consumption and are currently banned in the EU. The aim of the likes of Monsanto is to obtain a monopoly over the world’s food supply, thus ensuring complete control of what we eat, not to mention massive profits.

Professor Michael Hudson – cited in a Colin Todhunter article written for Global Research, an online alternative news stream [6] – notes how ‘it’s by agriculture and control of the food supply that American diplomacy has been able to control most of the Third World. The World Bank’s geopolitical lending strategy has been to turn countries into food deficit areas by convincing them to grow cash crops – plantation export crops – not to feed themselves with their own crops.’

Imagine a world where all the basic necessities for human subsistence are owned and controlled by an elite group of oligarchs and financiers, necessities such as oil and gas, raw materials, water, food, not to mention the means of production. How much power would this accrue to them over our lives? The ratification of this trade deal would take us a significant step closer towards that nightmarish scenario.

Senior Research Scientist at MIT Stephenie Seneff dropped a shocking bombshell regarding the affects of GMOs in America when she declared, ‘at today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic’, as a result of glyphosate toxicity from the overuse of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on their food [8].

This is just a brief insight into some of the consequences of this trade deal – and others like it such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – which are about ‘democratic control of nations being subservient to control by global corporations’ [7]. The agenda is to enslave us all for the purposes of the 1 percent.

It is then incumbent on us, not only as republicans and socialists but as citizens of the world, to resist these attempts to create a ‘corporatocracy’. If this agreement comes into effect it will prove catastrophic for the vast majority, impacting severely on whatever semblance of democracy, self-determination or sovereignty we may currently possess.

Indeed it would render the concept of the nation-state itself obsolete, as we edge closer and closer towards a unipolar world, controlled by elite corporate and financial interests and centered on their insatiable lust for profit and power.

Aidan Hamill, Student, Sean MacDiarmada Society Ardoyne

References:

[1] [2] [5] The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): A Brief History of an Agenda for Corporate Plunder. Colin Todhunter. globalresearch.ca

[3] Investor-State attacks: Empowering Corporations to Bypass our Courts, Challenge Basic Protections. Citizen.org

[6] Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO): Profit, Power and Geopolitics. Colin Todhunter. Globalresearch.ca

[4] [7] The Truth Behind TTIP. Steve Turner. Labourlist.org

[8] Half of All Children (in US?) Will Be Autistic By 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist At MIT. Indymedie.ie

3 comments :

James said...

Excellent post. Well done Aidan. Great to see this stuff circulated.

Please readers think about this well known Irish saying if you may.

"You can polish shite"

As I see today another pilot scam financial seeking proposal led out by S/F to "A proposal for Belfast City Council to give political parties £175,000 each to allow them to employ Stormont-like special advisers".

Apparently according to Sinn Fein councillor Deirdre Harge "This will mean additional powers for councillors, including planning, with hundreds of applications expected each month".

"If we can provide support for councillors it will lead to quicker and effective decision-making from council."

Jobs for the boys you say in this political and financial curve up to appease the relatives,friends, supporters of S/F functionaries, maybe the natives are getting restless. Sure its worth a punt for funding. lol

Did she forget about about American Philanthropist Donates £600,000 To Assembly.

An American billionaire philanthropist has donated £600,000 to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

It is the second time that Chuck Feeney has made a donation to the stormount executive. The money is to be used to pay for the promotion of women in politics and to offer MLAs courses on speech writing, dealing with the media and how to manage your online reputation.

An additional £60,000 of public money will be spent by the Assembly to help fund the projects. Funny that, I wonder who has won the tender? out of tax payers money, they must sit all day thinking about these money making scams.

Mr Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies made the donation through a charitable fund established by the Irish-American to help "the development of political leadership" at Stormont. lol. Cant help myself.

When I heard this it was so funny at the time I simply could not sit straight for two hours. How condescending, chuck obviously wants to see the political representatives on power with the USA representatives. As if that is something to aspire too, Jesus wept.

Now in fairness they are in hot pursuit. How ironic is it that you get a american billionaire donating money to improve the political leadership of the MLA here and then you have the S/F council workers asking for £175k to help aid them make quicker decisions in the new council.

Yeah, thats real leadership that.

They had no problem making decisions based on slashing "quality of life santions that do not effect their standard of living".

"Cant polish shite". #Satire

P.S I see Peter the great has went full circle on integrated education, from supporting in 2010, to 2015 dismissing its implication in my opinion he never wanted it anyway, its far to cosy in this sectarian state, sure his power and privilege of his own depend on the continuation of it.

Martin must have had a quiet word.lol

gerard hodgins said...

good article aidan, the neo-liberal philosophy overrides the laws of any state in the interest of profits for the few. w

james,
true you can't polish shite, and truer too is £600,000 won't teach our political elite basic manners and courtesy.

mcclafferty32 said...

Well written article. It calls to mind the Illuminati and the Bilderberg theories of which I have always felt were closer to the truth than just being labeled conspiracies.