100 ago New Zealanders fought at Gallipoli for ‘freedom and democracy’ so we are told. Now our freedom and democracy hang in the balance depending on the result of the Northland by-election.
Stuff reports that
John Key is warning voters there is no “free lunch” in the Northland by-election, as National claims major roads and free-trade deals will be in doubt if Winston Peters wins.
For 50 years your vote in Northland never counted for anything as the default position was firmly set on “National”. If you voted for them or not the result was already determined. Now for the first time Northland voters will not only decide who will represent them in Parliament but if our Prime Minister will be able to sell our freedom and democracy to international corporations. This is exactly what would happen through the so called “free-trade deals”, which according to Mr Key will be in doubt if Winston Peters wins.
Let us remind ourselves what is happening with these so called “free-trade” agreements.
First of all the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is drafted by Hollywood, big agribusiness, big pharma, big tobacco and other international corporations. It is presently negotiated in secrecy with only governments and corporations around the table. The rest of us what is called civil society be it unions, environmental – consumer – internet user – human rights – medical and other professional organisations are kept in the dark.
Second the agreement has very little to do with trade, which only serves as a smokescreen. The core is about intellectual property and investment. Any trade access improvement for instance for our baby formula are either non- existent or negligible.
An example of what big business is gaining with a stroke of a pen is the extension of intellectual property rights, which will add billions of dollars to their balance sheets at the cost of New Zealand consumers and patients.
The biggest threat to New Zealand however is that the Prime Ministers intends to sell our sovereignty to the international corporations via the so called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which is part of the TPPA. This means that corporations can sue states in Kangaroo court like tribunals manned not by judges but corporate lawyers. If New Zealand enacts laws or regulations, which might affect the corporation’s bottom line like laws against child labour, setting of minimum wages, environmental, health or consumer protection legislation we will be sued for billions of dollars. This means we loose our democracy and sovereignty and are no longer free to run our country in our interest but have to obey foreign corporations.
To understand more and get proof that these so called “trade” deals are bad for you I refer to my previous blog post Big money in politics – final proof that TPP is bad for you posted on November 11, 2014. I also refer you to Noam Chomsky who called these trade deals A ‘Neoliberal Assault’ To Further Corporate ‘Domination’ .
As so much is at stake Mr Key and the National Party are resorting to their usual tricks.
The all of a sudden they promise to spend 70 million dollars of your money on Northland roads however “in doubt if Winston Peters wins“.
This is not only an outrageous bribe but amounts to political blackmail. The country holds its breath to find out how Northland voters will react to that.
We can only hope that it will be a bridge to far.
All this has come about because the newly re-elected local MP had to resign for “personal reason”. These reasons, which were well known to the National Party hierarchy, will shock you when they finally cannot be any longer hidden from us. So far they have managed to keep the Northland voters in the dark till after the by-election. That this man under police investigation for quite some time got selected and re-selected and made chair of the parliamentary Law And Order Committee by the National Party will shock even National Party members who so far dismissed all the evidence of Dirty Politics.
In 1915 traitors selling our freedom and democracy would have been shot. 100 years later the only hope is that they are no longer elected to Parliament. Otherwise our Gallipoli heroes will have died in vain.