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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Corruption of our Politicians

A letter to some MP's in New Zealand

Isn't it ironic or some might call it perverse.  On one hand if we sign up to the TPP, it includes regulations with real teeth.  If we do something to protect our people like insisting on plain packaging on tobacco, the tobacco industry can sue our country.  No use denying it.  Such provisions already exist in other trade agreements and our neighbour, Australia is right now embroiled  in such an action.  The court consists of a collection of judges who in their private law practice often work for the very companies that are suing governments.  There is no recourse to our sovereign courts and we, the tax payers are obliged to cough up the money.

On the other hand we have carbon emission agreements under Koyota et al..  these agreements have no teeth what so ever.  If the scientists are even 10% correct we are on the way to triggering a suit of mutually re-enforcing tipping points which will send us back into the dark ages.  If they are 50% correct, we are heading for the stone age and if they are completely correct It is well withing the bounds of possibility that we, and many of our fellow travellers on the planet are heading for extinction.

And, to put the cherry on the cake, it is the very same giant businesses; the banks, arms manufacturers, fossil fuel merchants, Monsantoes of the world and so forth that are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their bottom line and, in the process, stop any actions which might avert the coming climate disaster.

Do you think I am exaggerating.   Have a look at the following.  This is a small sample of things that happened under Globilization and the imbedded trade agreements with the enforcement or threatened enforcement of the WTO (world trade organization).  small caps intentional

A soft drink company successfully sued Brazil when they wanted to reduce harmful fructose in soft drinks.

Australia is at present embroiled in a stramash with a tobacco company over plain packaging

An extremely successful program in Ontario, Canada to replace coal fired power stations with renewably generated electricity was closed down.  The program, as is the case with many renewable energy projects,  was also providing thousands of new jobs.

The USA challenged a Chinese wind power subsidy program.

China filed a complaint over Italian and Greek wind power programs and has threatened to challenge wind power programs in 5 US states.

The USA has challenged India's Nehru National Solar Mission; a program to generate large amounts of renewable power.

India has replied, threatening to challenge a number of US renewable energy programs.

Free trade agreements and Globalization under the auspices of the WTO have the following effects.

    Stops the world from weaning itself off fossil fuel

    Ties your hands when you want to protect your citizens from harmful products. 

    Turns your farms, businesses and houses into international commodities.  Great for the real estate agents and the now famous 1% but not so good for your citizens if they want to buy a farm, house or business.  A wall of money out there  is searching for a safe haven from the abuses of Northern Hemisphere banks,hedge funds and wall street.  If it falls on us it will send our own assets way beyond the means of our citizens. 

      Stops you from protecting your citizens from companies like Monsanto. (are you familiar with the Percy Schmeizer story.  If not, click on this link).
Stops you from implementing many measures you could put in place to create jobs in your country.
If you have a drug buying institution such as exists in New Zealand to get the best prices for the countrie's drugs, this will be shut down.   

Now the American government (not the American people) want us to enter into multi-lateral trade agreements which will result in these multiple sorts of abuse from all sides.   I just don't get it. Implicit in the word 'Democracy' is that it is "for the people".  For heaven sake, it is actually written into the founding documents of the greatest abuser of her own citizens; the USA but is also implicit in the foundation of all democracies.

These corporations have subverted our so-called democracies by buying our politicians.  People stage huge demonstrations against the abuse.  Occupy Wall Street, March against Monsanto, Protest against the Iraq war and so forth and these actions and demonstrations have absolutely no effect.  And they will continue to have no effect if we don't sort out the core problem.  PPCT

Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.  With  most things, my own country, New Zealand is too small to have any  directly effect any outcome in the world.  If, for instance, we went completely carbon free tomorrow, it would have no effect on the world's carbon pollution.  However, we do have an ace in the hole. 

Countries, like people, are sheep and we are experts on sheep.  They follow a leader and we have been that leader many many times in the past.  People need a concrete example that they can refer to when they are telling the story.  Humans are the story telling ape.  Everything we do is based on "story".

The one  action which is necessary so that all the other very necessary actions will bear fruit is to get big business out of politics.  Then the politicians can start to do what is needed for their people.  For a change we might just have government for the people, not for the corporatocracy. 

It is not just the case that once a politician has been paid by big business,  he returns the favour. Much worse, he knows if he does not do the bidding of his financial supporters, then the next time he needs election funds, the tap will be closed.  It's insidious.

It is time for New Zealand to set the example and make it illegal for any person or business to give money to a politician for any reason what so ever.  Take a legislated amount of money from the public purse with each prospective MP getting so much, Each leader of a party so much and so forth. (with complete accountability for every cent they spend) 

Does this sound expensive.  Look at the complete gutting of the people of the world under our present system and then tell me it is too expensive.  Look at the likely consequences of the present system and tell me it is too expensive.