Is The Transatlantic Trade Deal A Conspiracy?

February 15, 2014
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In Part One of his series on The Transatlantic Trade & Investment PartnershipHenry Vespa introduced us to the controversial initiative. In this second part, he looks at how the TTIP can be seen as a conspiracy…

Nobody likes a conspiracy nut, right? They’re all uber-paranoid geeks, hippies and weirdoes telling us to be afraid. At best, they’re irritating pests spoiling our modern fun and at worst, anarchists deviously and subtly undermining the very society that cradles us so gently. Of course, we’re all going to look pretty foolish if it turns out there was a conspiracy after all…


And that’s a problem with the TTIP trade agreement. Not only does it enable a corporate opt-out from the legal system of any country that signs it, up until the last few months of 2013 it was being negotiated in conditions so low-key as to be almost secret. If it wasn’t for the efforts of some of the more left-wing press and all those petition websites that are slowly taking over my Facebook newsfeed, we wouldn’t know it was happening. But we should, shouldn’t we? When our countries’ constitutions are being legally sidestepped for the sake of profit, we ought to at least be informed. And this is where the conspiracy theorists start sounding reasonable. If you reflect on the implications of some of the media silence, you can’t help but wonder why? Where do their loyalties lie? Who benefits from their keeping quiet?

Let’s face it; the right wing press are usually pretty quick to react to threats to national sovereignty and our “god given” way of life (the lack of capitalization is deliberate, by the way). But in the UK, the Daily Mail – so quick to indulge in Europe-bashing should anyone suggest we adopt the metric system or the Euro or anything else ‘non-British’ – has only printed one article online about the TTIP and that was all about how wonderful it was and we Brits shouldn’t miss out on a good deal. Similarly on the other side of the pond, no matter how creatively you Google, I defy you to find any coverage at all by Republican cheerleading network, Fox News.

No, the sole dissenting voices are those in the left-of-centre press, the lone bloggers (and ranters), and WikiLeaks, who have helpfully been publishing chapters of the TTIP agreement online for all to see. Much to the annoyance of the negotiators, no doubt. So why aren’t more people worried by this? Why is there a clear split along political lines between the voices for and the voices against? If the press and politicians on the right are happy to barter away the rights and protections of citizens in exchange for bigger profits for big business, we don’t need Occam’s razor to find a clear implication that those same politicians (and press) must also stand to benefit. In fact, this whole TTIP debacle may be one of the clearest indicators in recent history of just where people’s interests lie.

So maybe the conspiracy nuts aren’t so nuts after all. It almost makes you wonder about the Moon landings…


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