Tag Archives: Corporations

Mass Slaughter By TPP!

Now the toxic TPP trade deal is out in the open we can see why it has been kept so secret for so long. Many news reports carried the same headline theme – and I paraphrase – “Worse than anticipated”.

Whilst most attention has previously concentrated upon the dilution of democracy, by allowing corporations to sue governments if legislation they introduce in anyway threatens future profits, it is the insidious fine print that now shows us just how aggressive and dangerous these new trade agreements actually are.

All we need to look at are two areas of the deal to see that not only is it threatening to our health, it could also create life threatening situations across wide ranges of global Society. The two areas I am looking at are food standards and the rules concerning the blocking of generic medicines, at affordable prices, from entering the marketplace.

In the first place, it is taken for granted that the job of governments is to look after their citizens by protecting them. At its most basic laws are implemented to stop us from murdering each other and thereafter rules to ensure we have a safe environment in which to interact both commercially and socially.

Food standards are a critical aspect of our rule making, so we do not poison each other for the sake of profit. In some countries hygiene standards are so low that more advanced societies need to implement aggressive legislation and scrutiny procedures that carefully monitor these food imports.

To ram the point home, in Vietnam farmed shrimp is nurtured in pools fertilized by human excrement and then plenty of antibiotics are added, before the shrimp are harvested, to deal with the possible effects of the human waste. Obviously food inspection from here needs to be more thorough than from other countries. Under TPP however, this can be challenged because you are discriminating against one country and challenging competition.

I have selected one extreme example to make the point but this odious agreement undoes many safeguards that have been built up over the centuries of experience that has been gained in international trade. Indeed the recent frightening revelations about VW and exhaust emissions demonstrate our need for continued vigilance.

Time and time again corporations show us they simply cannot be trusted, making government oversight and regulation essential for our own wellbeing and safety.

But let’s get back to food poisoning. It’s bad enough that scrutiny of food quality and production would be thrown out of the window, causing a dramatic increase in health problems but this whole scenario is further threatened because we could be limited in our ability to cure illnesses caused by shoddy food!

The pharmaceutical industry is being spoilt rotten by this trade deal. For decades it has ranted about the poor conditions that hold it back from properly protecting its patents and exclusivity of product range. With this new agreement Big Pharma will be able to extend its monopoly protection, which will have the direct effect of keeping prices high by stopping generic products from entering the marketplace.

The present 20 year period will be extended, potentially indefinitely. Only small modifications to current medicines, such as changing dosage or minor changes to formulation, which make little or no improvement to the drug, enable patents to be renewed. This protects company’s high prices, thus keeping the drugs out of the hands of the poor and stopping cheaper generic drugs coming to their assistance.

It doesn’t take rocket science to work out from all of this that one part of the bill is a licence to seriously infect mankind with dubious food products, whilst hamstringing the healing profession from coming to our aid!

We have ample evidence that corporations are raping this beautiful Planet of all it provides and now powerful agreements are being enacted to turbo boost this destruction by placing us in life threatening situations.

What I can’t get my head around is that in producing shoddy food we will quickly refrain from buying it. (I am particularly sensitive when it comes to buying seafood and will only purchase from respected and trusted suppliers.) Why are they pushing away the very people who make their profits? Evidence is already emerging that world trade is falling dramatically so how will this agreement help matters? DUH!!!!

It seems as though, like politicians and EU bureaucrats, there is only corporate contempt for the population at large. Not only are they reducing employment with increasing technology but those with a job suffer lowering wages. All of which will make it increasingly impossible for them to afford the necessary medicines for the treatment of the unregulated food (with reduced labelling!) that will start entering our shops.

This whole trade agreement has focussed solely upon corporate power and profits, with scant regard for the knock on effect to Society. A Society that has built up standards from experience gleaned over centuries of interaction and mistake. What we have is far from perfect but this abomination is taking us back to feudal times.

Crunch time is approaching, because there is no way we can be taken back to the dark ages with autocratic trade agreements such as TPP. Evolution has brought us to where we now stand and it is not capable of backward movement. The current breed of politician have demonstrated their total inability to lead and rule in a responsible fashion and it is here that the day of reckoning will birth itself.

Corporations are for (democratically regulated) trade . . . not the management of Society.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

EU . . . Let’s Start Again!

I have never hidden my contempt for what the EU has now become and I am sure this reflects the attitude of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels who increasingly hold sway over 500 million of us.

Originally it was a project that made sense, as it focussed on free movement of labour, capital, goods and services. When it’s true size and potential was recognised (the EU now accounts for 15% of global GDP), monetary and fiscal ‘union’ became the new goals, as financiers waded in and democracy began to whither.

Control of political ‘union’ became the priority and Bernard Connolly’s paper ‘Europe: Driver or Drive. EMU and the lust for Crisis’ identified how crisis could achieve that control.

Environmental Issues would increase control over member countries. Terrorism would increase control of state surveillance, police and judicial issues. Global Financial Crisis would provide the excuse for Europe wide regulation and global financial governance. European Monetary Union would create the crisis to force the introduction of European economic government.

Britain was not prepared to accede to both political and financial union and so ‘contrived crises achieved the desired control behind our backs. These tactics demonstrated that we are dealing with un-elected representatives whose primary loyalty and concern is not with the people of Europe.

As Oliver Hartwich wrote in Why Europe Failed “The people of Europe did not suddenly wake up one day and demand they be bound together by a supra-national organisation. Neither did they demand to give up their national currencies in return for the euro. Indeed there has never been a popular movement for any sort of European integration”.

So how did it become so large an entity? If ‘crisis’ provided the goals, three disciplines fuelled the growth, of which language was the first. In 1957 when the Treaty of Rome lauded the famous four freedoms of “labour, services, goods and capital” it also had an innocuous commitment to “ever closer union among peoples”.

At the time this was lost in the excitement about a Common Market but provided the powerful with the tool with which to push for closer ties and the greater centralisation of power. And what better way to achieve this than by the second discipline of law-making?

The European Court of Justice was brought into being with the express purpose of asserting its own supremacy over and above the role of our parliaments. The European Communities Act 1972 states that:

Section 2 (1) means that provisions of EU law that are directly applicable or have direct effect, such as EU Regulations or certain articles of the EU Treaties, are automatically “without further enactment” incorporated and binding in national law without the need for a further Act of Parliament

Having control of the language and law-making all that is left for absolute control is the third discipline . . . money! The inauguration of the European Central Bank and its plaything, the euro, provides a level of control that is truly sinister. It allows peripheral nations to borrow cheaply under conditions that provide an ‘ever closer union’ and bring them into line through the application of debt. (I am indebted to Nick O’Connor of Capital and Conflict for his insightfulness here.)

Margaret Thatcher immediately saw this threat when the ECB was first muted and warned against it:

“If I were [in charge], there would be no European central bank accountable to no one, least of all national Parliaments. The point of that kind of Europe with a central bank is no democracy, taking powers away from every single Parliament, and having a single currency, a monetary policy and interest rates which take all political power away from us.” 

How prophetic her words, as the IMF and ECB have now demonstrated by bringing Greece to its knees with debt. Followed up immediately by the invasion of unelected technocrats who pour over and interfere in every aspects of the countries workings, down to the processes used by bakeries!

What we are now moving to, with fiscal union, is a United States of Europe and if Britain does not join it will remain a fully paying member, obeying its rules but without the ability to influence decision making.

This is what the “Remain In” campaigners are threatening, amongst them the twice disgraced member of Tony Blair’s government, Peter Mandelson. Given his long standing membership of the Bilderberg group, one of the corporate world’s most powerful groups, I take his words with a pinch of salt. A view supported by recent words from EU President Juncker’s deputy, Frans Timmerman who said:

“What was unimaginable before now becomes imaginable, namely the disintegration of the European project. The European ideals still have very strong support among the population across Europe. What do not have strong support are European politicians and European politics”

As more and more countries demand the return of sovereign powers to national governments the power grab by the technocrats is seeding its own self destruction. Democracy is an integral part of every one of us and the EU’s growing dictatorship flies in the face of this natural order.

If Britain leaves others will follow, because the whole project is now fatally flawed, with the financial crisis, limited growth, unemployment and now immigration. We need a new ‘Phoenix’ to rise from the ashes in the shape of, say, a European ‘Trade’ Council, focussing upon refining trading between member countries and run by the people who pay for it all and have the greatest interest in its success . . . Companies, Unions and Taxpayers.

From this foundation growth can occur organically, with political power contained within the borders of each country, jointly committing to a mandate to support the development of a people driven union.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes