Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

The TPPA New Zealand’s Democracy

The TPPA New Zealand’s Democracy

Chris Perley
7th October

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations are concluded, and have shifted to the next phase - ratification by parliaments.

The government is spinning like a top telling us how wonderful it will be for New Zealand. Forget the figures of $2.7 billion. They are mere guesstimates, and carefully avoid the costs. The Government's negotiated access to overseas dairy markets are continually trumpeted as some sort of economic panacea. They are a delusion to anyone but those with a narrow vision that extends no farther than the commission or the closing of the 'deal'.

They are a delusion because there is no way Japan or Canada want to kill their family farm dairy operations in the interests of industrial production from New Zealand. There are very good economic, environmental and social reasons for that. It’s the same reason the French won’t kill off their rural communities by allowing factory dairy products in, and see the dispossessed move to the slums of Lyon and vote for extremist parties in their despair.

We and the Anglo-American west are about the only countries who think industrial agriculture is a sane approach, and I don’t know why – production of dross with an ever-larger factory, rather than creation of multiple co-values. Other than State Communist collective farms, of course. Now there's a similarity in authoritarian hierarchical thinking worth examining.

And then there’re the increased costs for medicine and the impact on our local communities and businesses – forgotten in the haste to get a dairy deal that will never happen. Other governments are not that naïve.

So what’s it for, this so-called trade ‘partnership’.

Well, they are careful not to discuss that. Trade Minister Tim Grocer won’t mention the fact that only some five out of over 20 clauses deal with trade and the rest are about the investment rights of mega-corporations – including the ability to sue both our central and our local government – that’s you and me.

Here’s what Nobel prize economist Joseph Stiglitz says – "The reality is that this is an agreement to manage trade and investment relations – and to do so on behalf of each country’s most powerful business lobbies."

Bryan Gould argues there is a need for an agreement on managing trade. He thinks – and I agree – that we should look very carefully at the activities of corporate investors across national boundaries to ensure they comply with our laws, protect our people and avoid damage to our environment.

The TPPA does the very opposite. It reverses our democracy. It extends their interests without having to bother to consider ours. We – the people – now have to be mindful of their corporate interests in making our laws – or else.

Or else they can sue. "How dare you reduce our profits for the public good."

It happened when Australia wanted plain packaging on cigarettes. It happened when Egypt wanted to improve labour laws.

If you believe in Adam Smith’s village – local enterprise with no powerful outside exploiters coming in the make our lives worse – then you should be against this ‘deal’.

This deal goes to the core of our democracy. Prof Jane Kelsey issued a challenge to our government that needs to be addressed:

"Who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to affordable medicine, to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?"

This is far from over. The dealmakers haven’t disclosed the details – they should immediately – but when they do, expect outrage. The US congress may be our greatest ally.

Chris Perley

Thoughtscapes

Havelock North

chris@thoughtscapes.co.nz

www.chrisperleyblog.wordpress.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The disruption and destruction of the interconnected biodiversity of Earth is the most serious challenge humanity has ever faced. It is devastating non-human life everywhere and disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems humanity depends on.

It is increasingly clear that the primary underlying driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>

 
 

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>

ALSO:

Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Sustainable NZ Isn't Self-Sustaining

Asking whether this new, environmentally focussed party can make the 5% MMP threshold may be the wrong question, though. It's more achievable goal would be to knock the Greens below the 5% threshold ... More>>

ALSO:

Report On Consultation: Future Of Tomorrow's Schools

“The 1989 Tomorrow’s Schools reform introduced one of world’s most devolved schooling systems where each school operates largely in isolation of each other... It empowered local communities and modernised an overly bureaucratic system but also led over time to uneven outcomes between schools.” More>>

ALSO:

National Education Doc:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels