A look at the Times; Monday 20th October. Finishing what the Marshall Plan started

Today’s issue is dominated by a large picture of Brad Pitt looking dashing as he adjusts his sunglasses; beneath that whopper is the main headline: Police use loophole to hack phones and email.

I don’t have too much of a problem with this; although I doubt that the government could “force telecoms and computer companies’ to hand over anything. It’s good to know that ‘Civil liberties campaigners’ are working hard to preserve my privacy, but in an age where the bad guys have all sorts of new techniques, I feel an effort must be made to keep up with them.

Next is the secondary headline: ‘Negative’ Cameron is forcing UK out of Europe.

This is almost certainly true; since 1945 the Europeans have endured tantrum after tantrum from our newly humbled island. For Britons, the end of Empire has meant the humiliation of working with other nations like an adult – just imagine! Now is the time to realise that we can’t have it all our own way; or rather 50 years ago. UKIP fails to realise that without our membership of the EU, the ‘English-speaking peoples’ wouldn’t be anywhere near as keen to trade with us.

Speaking of trade with the English-speaking peoples, surely UKIP would be revealed as the empire-nostalgics they really are when, after all their EU huffing and puffing, they failed to make so much as a squeak about TTIP? TTIP stands for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. To call it a free-trade deal would be a fallacy, because any existing trade barriers between the US and European countries were removed after the Second World War; such was a condition of the Marshall Plan. To open up our markets to an intrusive, dominating and mundane American brand of Capitalism.

This is an agreement which seeks to re-install corporate fascism in the nations of Europe. Legislation which would threaten the profits of an American corporation would be unacceptable, and the offending government liable to legal action according to the judgement of panels of corporate lawyers. This is a travesty; which until recently has been pieced together under cover of secrecy in the European Commission. George Monbiot, incredibly, was a lone voice calling for greater openness, and warning the citizens of Europe what havoc this agreement would play with their democracies.

Surely we can expect our champions – the real knights in shining armour for British interests in Brussels – to make a fuss about this? Surely we can expect to find something, at least a teeny-weeny article on UKIP’s website, protesting this obscene piece of ultra-national legislation?

Apparently UKIP views regulations on the shape of vegetables, and restrictions on life-damaging smoking habits as more of a threat to our freedoms than TTIP; which after all is something UKIP’s donors (90% of which are former Tories) would cherish. A vote for UKIP is an incredible confidence trick, perpetrated by the enemies of democracy, the enemies of the people, and the champions of international corporations which are anything but ‘proudly British’.

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/12/02/managing-transparency/

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