It is a little known fact that international treaties can be and too often are the greatest threat to a country’s democratic life-style, decision-making and traditions.
Cobbled together by civil servants and lawyers, often in great secrecy and with no public oversight, they are invariably rubber-stamped by legislatures and only later when it is too late are their inherent dangers recognised.
In the past four years I have had personal experience of this. For example, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, under whose terms the British state have confiscated interviews from Boston College, gives the British government the right to subvert rights that are guaranteed to American citizens under the US Constitution, for example the Fourth Amendment whose protection of requiring probable cause before court orders can be issued does not apply to the MLAT.
Equally, new UK guarantees on privacy can be brushed aside by the MLAT as though they never existed, as former Red Hand Commando leader, ‘Winky’ Rea is in the process of discovering in the Belfast courts, as the PSNI attempt to confiscate his BC interviews.
Bad enough as the MLAT is, it is though in the ha’penny place compared to a new international trade treaty currently being negotiated by the major Western capitalist powers.
Called the ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ or TTIP as it is more widely known, the powers that this treaty gives corporations to subvert domestic governments and to brush aside democratic decisions makes the US Supreme Court’s decision to grant corporations the same status as human beings seem like a petty thing of no consequence – although others might argue that the Supreme Court decision and the TTIP are two faces of the same beast. (A similar treaty between the US and Pacific powers called the Trans-Pacific Partnership is also close to final negotiation. Between them the two treaties will encompass the entire planet.)
The video below is an explanation of the TTIP and its hidden dangers given by David Malone who runs an excellent blog called GOLEM XIV. He gives the clearest explanation that I have yet heard of a very complex and arcane subject. He calls his talk “The Death of Democracy” and once you have heard what he has to say I am sure you will agree that it is an appropriate title.
The TTIP is very close to becoming a reality. Be frightened. Be very frightened.
I wrote to my MP, Mr David Heath, expressing some concerns about the TTIP. Apparently there’s nothing to worry about because both William Hague MP and the head of the European Commission have offered their assurances.
The message was clear. Wiith those paragons of democratic integrity behind the Treaty no reasonable person could possibly doubt its benign intent.
If only Sir Jimmy Savile were alive to add his imprimatur, too. Then I could really rest assured.