Dave Nellist outlines the Socialist response to the TTIP deal
Over recent days we have received dozens of emails from residents across Coventry regarding the TTIP deal. The emails were sent to all candidates that have announced they are standing in the General Election via the 38 Degrees campaign website. The Socialist Party welcomes the opportunity to state our position on this, and if you agree with our response please fill in the form at the bottom of the article. Remember nothing will change unless we get organised!
The email that was sent to us is below, followed by the response from Dave Nellist, and our other two parliamentary candidates, Judy Griffiths and Nicky Downes.
Dear Dave Nellist, Parvez Akhtar, and Mr Geoffrey Robinson MP,
As a candidate in my local constituency, I would like you to oppose the TTIP trade deal.
I’m really worried about the effect of TTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Patnership) on further privatisation of our NHS and public services, as well as the inclusion of an ISDS clause which could allow corporations to sue governments. A document leaked last week showed that the NHS still isn’t exempt from the deal. You can read more about it here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/ttip-leaked
Please can you tell me what you will do to stop this deal and protect our public services?
Myself and my party are resolutely opposed to the TTIP trade deal for the very reasons outlined in your email. We believe it would further open up our public services (particularly the NHS) to be privatised and run in the interests of profit, not the public.
The way that TTIP has been devised is completely underhand and shows the undemocratic nature of the forces behind it. Little wonder they want to keep it behind closed doors given that it represents another attack on ordinary people and the services we rely on.
In an article in our weekly newspaper The Socialist we wrote:
‘Despite its alleged boost to economic growth, the TTIP would further deregulate finance, genetically modified organisms and fracking, and also harden copyright laws. But probably the most dangerous aspect of the TTIP is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
The European Commission defines ISDS as a system that “allows an investor to directly bring a claim against the authorities of the host country in front of an international tribunal”.
Corporations could bring claims against states whenever they feel that their business interests have been affected by national laws or policies.
It means, for example, that the Tories’ NHS privatisation agenda would be accelerated as US private healthcare companies demand access to run NHS services and be entitled to legally claim against a government if denied.’ (From The Socialist Issue 825, 17.09.14 – full article here http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/19231)
So we also think it represents an attack on our democratic rights, with multi-national corporations trumping the interests of ordinary people and voters. It is worth noting as well that my party has a very good record in Coventry on the issue of NHS privatisation unlike the Conservatives and Labour, both of whom supported the Private Finance Initiative at Walsgrave which has resulted in scandals like the rip off car parking charges. We would add that Labour do not oppose TTIP on principle, indeed in the neighbouring Coventry North East constituency their candidate has responded that they support TTIP albeit with some reservations and they do not even call for all public services to be exempt from the agreement. This really highlights the problem in that Labour only disagree on with the Tories on certain issues of detail, not fundamentals. They are not prepared to oppose TTIP in its entirety which is being created wholly in the interests of the big multi-national corporations to open up markets to the detriment of ordinary people.
What is stark about TTIP is that it reflects clearly what the current economic system is about – making profit at the expense of working people. So we resolutely oppose TTIP now, and would continue to do so if elected. I would also use the platform as an MP to help mobilise opposition to TTIP, both through raising awareness but also protests and demonstrations which can force change. I also believe TTIP is yet another example of how we need to change the type of society we live in, where people are put before profit so I will continue to campaign for a new socialist society.
If you would like any more information or have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or visit our websites at the bottom.
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