For quite some time now we have known about a huge, all encompassing trade agreement between the US and Europe, we have known it’s name but that’s about all we knew for sure. Because it was classified, tops secret, forbidden knowledge.
We, the population, the voters, we weren’t allowed to know what it contained, we weren’t allowed to know about the things that our elected leaders were agreeing to in our names. Because the whole agreement was confidential.
Need to know, and we didn’t.
Even those MPs and others who were allowed to see it faced restrictions, they had phones and tablets taken off them, they weren’t allowed to copy any part of the documents, notes with pen and paper and bound by non disclosure agreements to not discuss the deal with anyone.
Now you don’t have to be paranoid to be worried about something like this, the level of secrecy around it should set the alarm bells ringing in even the most trusting of people. For suspicious types like me, the whole thing stank of bad news but we were never allowed to know just how bad.
Oh we had rumours, politicians who saw bits of it dropped hints, other people spread gossip about what it contained and even those few rumours were bad. But we had no idea just how bad it truly was, because, well us dirty peasants and stupid proles didn’t need to know about it, our ‘Betters’ were dealing with it and we should just shut up and get back to working in the mill.
The leak is here if you want a long boring read because it’s written in the language of politics and lawyers with the really bad stuff couched in such incomprehensible terms you have to read it several times to find the meaning.
If you are interested download it before it vanishes though.
Now Greenpeace Denmark have got their hands on most of it and published it and everyone is jumping up and down and celebrating the end of this trade deal that would have had such a massive and negative impact on 99% of us.
Everyone is saying it’s done for now, the secret is out so its dead, pushing up the daisies, popped its clogs, DEAD!
This specific deal, this set of documents, this name, they have been uncovered and will probably be dropped. But is the concept dead, will we be able to sleep in peace (those who do sleep) safe in the knowledge that the evil TTiP has been defeated.
NO WE WILL NOT !
This agreement didn’t spring up fully formed, it wasn’t dropped by a passing flying saucer. No one found it at the bottom of a cereal box. This is the end result of a massive project involving large numbers of the biggest corporations, thousands of negotiators and lawyers and politicians.
People who knew how bad this agreement would be for 99% of the populations AND YET THEY WENT AHEAD WITH IT ANYWAY. Keeping it secret so we couldn’t know what they were doing to us until it was too late.
Campaigns, protests, elected representatives contacted, over 3,000,000 signatures on a petition to stop it and the people behind it never blinked, never slowed down. They drove this monster forward, crushing anyone who got in the way underfoot.
Our elected representatives went along with this, our MPs sat and looked at the thing and refused to leak it, the people we voted for to represent us, how many were a party to this, how many directly supported it or kept it’s secrets.
FAR TOO MANY !
Still now it is out in the public eye. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead, because it isn’t, this specific agreement may have been stopped but the people behind it are still out there and they will be writing the second version, and the third and the fourth. The massive document may be broken down and tucked into a hundred separate items of legislation. And the same politicians and corporate leaders who were pushing it forward will be doing so again.
TTiP may have been stopped, may have been because it’s too early to see if anything happens. But the people behind this are just going to start again.
We need to take a hard look at our leaders and which of them supported this, because they will support the next one and the one after that.
The greatest threat posed by TTiP was not the wording of the agreement, but that so many of our leaders were prepared to pass it and make it law despite knowing full well the damage it would do to our democracy.
TTiP isn’t dead while the people who supported it are still in power.