TPPA timeframe change “an attack on democracy”

MPs considering submissions on the TPPA have had the available time slashed from a month to five days. This is bad process and appalling PR from the Government on a very contentious issue.

The select committee public submission process is an important part of our democratic system, despite efforts by parties and activist groups to manipulate it.

It’s a common tactic to try and flood submissions with a particular stance and then to claim that it’s a measure of public opposition. Numbers of submissions are not a measure of opinion.

But the Government has poked a stick into a wasp nest by slashing the time Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee members have to consider submissions on the TPPA.

Radio NZ reports: New TPP timeframe an ‘attack on democracy’

MPs have been given just five days to consider hundreds of submissions on the controversial TPP trade deal after the timeframe was drastically cut from four weeks.

The select committee was originally give a month to write its report and present it back to Parliament.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee had been hearing submissions on the TPP from hundreds of people across the country and that will continue until the end of the month.

National MP Mark Mitchell, chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, strongly rejects the view that the timeframe undermines the democratic process and says there will be plenty of time for robust debate.

But a last minute slashing of time to consider submissions is an awful look – what did key say about National’s need to avoid appearing arrogant this term?

Opposition MPs are understandably up in arms.

But opposition members on the committee say they were told yesterday the government wanted to cut down the time they had to analyse the submissions, so the legislation could get through by the end of the year.

They said they were stunned by the news and felt angry and frustrated.

Labour MP David Clark…

…said he wouldn’t be surprised if the people who made submissions felt the same way.

“Submitters will be horrified if they learnt that the committee is curtailing a process of consideration of the very serious issues they have raised,” he said.

“It seems very reasonable to expect them to be frustrated and to question whether there is integrity in the process at all.”

It’s fair to question motives and integrity.

Green MP Kennedy Graham…

…said he and other opposition MPs on the committee had thought the original timeframe of a month to write the report was too short.

“It’s just a slap of indifference and dismissal of some very sincere, very capable and hard-working New Zealand people,” he said.

“It shows it up for what it is – which is essentially a roadshow with a predetermined end.”

It gives opponents plenty of cause to ridicule the consultation process as a sham.

New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau…

…said what made it worse was that the tight deadline meant the draft report would be written before the committee had finished hearing all the submissions.

The TPP has been a farcical process from the beginning, he said.

“The whole negotiation had been undertaken in secret to start with. The submission time has been months in contrast to the six years it has to write [the TPP deal],” Mr Tabuteau said.

“This is clearly an attack on democracy – it’s unacceptable.”

It looks unacceptable to me.

This is likely to stir up the TPPA opponents yet again and give them a good reason to stir up protests again.

Is this just arrogant abuse of the democratic process, or is the Government deliberately stirring up anti-TPPA protest?

Whether the latter is their intent or not it is likely to be the outcome.

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66 Comments

  1. From @GregPresland on Twitter:

    Reply
  2. Jay McCoy

     /  8th April 2016

    John “I’ve always believed in a system where we ask the people, for constitutional issues” Key has once again demonstrated his hypocrisy and contempt for the democratic rights of New Zealanders. Time is of the Essence – the TPPA is a covert transfer of National Sovereignty into Multinational Corporate rule, and if he doesn’t rush through the ratification process, the slowly awakening masses will send his treasonous ‘agreement’ into the dustbin of History, along with his ‘corporate flag’…

    Reply
  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  8th April 2016

    I can’t work out which is worse – the contempt shown by National for a democratic process on such a contentious issue, or the willingness of John Key to use an issue like ratifying the TPP to take attention away from the issue of our “Tax Haveny bits”.

    Either way, the public of New Zealand are being treated to an ever-expanding show of political hubris by Key. It’s as if he’s come to believe that he can genuinely walk on water.

    Such a pity that we have no real alternative, with which to weigh up his behaviour.

    Reply
  4. Kevin

     /  8th April 2016

    It is a bad look. Any reason given for changing the time-frame?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  8th April 2016

      From Pete’s post:

      But opposition members on the committee say they were told yesterday the government wanted to cut down the time they had to analyse the submissions, so the legislation could get through by the end of the year.

      Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  8th April 2016

    How long does it take to count a bunch of submissions using the same online protest form and checkboxes?

    Eg: http://www.tppafacts.co.nz/take-action

    Reply
    • How long does it take to carefully consider a carefully considered bunch of submissions?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson.

         /  8th April 2016

        Much longer. Are there any?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  8th April 2016

          Could be. What do all the committee members say?

          Reply
        • I don’t know if there are any carefully considered submissions?. I presume there are. That presumption is based on accepting there are thoughtful, knowledgeable, interested and concerned people with a range of viewpoints in New Zealand who think the topic is important.

          That might contrast with your seemingly dismissive attitude of the submissions typifying them as no more than pro forma, robotic, shallow responses.

          Possibly that is also the attitude of the Government in making their decision to shorten the process. What it signifies is that they are not really interested in hearing from people, their minds are made up.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson.

             /  8th April 2016

            Give me a link to a carefully considered submission which thinks it is a great idea not to sign up to a hard fought trade agreement with most of our important markets.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              Are they available online? I can’t find anywhere they’re accessible.

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              No worries. Ignore previous. They are available online.

            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              Here’s an article by Jomo Kwame Sundaram, who was the Assistant Secretary-General responsible for analysis of economic development in the United Nations system during 2005-2015.
              His careful analysis estimates – at best – that tppa would only increase GNP by .9 percent by 2030. For that you would give away our National Sovereignty to multinational corporations?
              http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/02/tpp-lessons-from-new-zealand/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              First, being outside the TPPA would almost certainly decrease or GNP.

              Second, we do not give away sovereignty to multinational corporations, we just undertake to treat their investments here fairly and honestly. Why do the Left have a problem with that?

            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              First, “almost certainly decrease GNP” ? Show me a link to where you get that assumption.

              Second, Under TPPA their ‘investments’ are not decided by you or the Government – they are decided by;
              3 Arbitrators, with;
              No representation. All Arbitration can be in secret.
              No right to know what evidence was brought.
              No right to know who brought it.
              No right to know logical process to reach decisions.
              No Right of Appeal.
              All arbitration decisions final and binding.

              What fool would agree to this?

              Here’s the latest example of the US using TPPA style ‘arbitration’ through the WTO to overrule the National ‘Will of the People’ in India.
              “By putting pressure on India’s solar program, and by hiding behind the biased WTO agreements, the United States wants to boost its solar exports to India, which it argues have fallen by 90% from 2011, when India imposed the rules. Claiming that India was unfairly restricting access to American suppliers, US trade representative Michael Froman justified the perverse move in February 2014: “These domestic content requirements discriminate against US exports by requiring solar power developers to use India- manufactured equipment instead of US equipment. These unfair requirements are against WTO rules, and we are standing up today for the rights of American workers and businesses.”

              “The USA has its own domestic solar initiatives that generally have “buy local” rules, but those are permissible under the WTO. The WTO court ruled that India’s buy-local rules were not, and ordered the initiative’s cessation despite its role in helping India to meet its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC”).

              https://boingboing.net/2016/03/13/usa-uses-tpp-like-trade-court.html

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              “TPP will create new trade opportunities, diversify New Zealand’s export
              destinations and help firms do business overseas. Not being in TPP would put New Zealand at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries.”
              https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/TPP-Q&A-Oct-2015.pdf

              NZ has made at least 9 claims against other countries under the WTO rules you cite, invariably successfully. Not a single claim has been lodged against NZ.

              Your Indian example is absurd nonsense. If the US is allowed fair competition against local Indian suppliers the price can only reduce, thus improving rather than reducing India’s ability to dance to the UNFCCC fantasies.

            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              Your link to the National governments ‘estimation’, and is worthless.

              “Absurd nonsense” ?
              The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was on track to deliver deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 (“more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined”) but because India wanted to produce their own panels and build their own solar industry, the USA sued it in WTO trade court and killed it.
              Fantasies? Attempting to build solar panels in their own country and power their Nation with the Sun instead of oil?

              Wake up.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              More rubbish. India got sued because they wanted to block foreign competitors, not because they wanted to build their own panels and solar industry.

              UNFCCC fantasies – yes:

              The consequence of promoting unreliable and uncontrollable “renewables”: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/07/uk-will-have-too-much-electricity-this-summer-national-grid-fore/

              and their cost: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/07/closure-of-tata-steels-port-talbot-could-trigger-20-years-of-une/

              while achieving nothing:
              http://ecocidealert.com/?tag=critique-of-paris-accord

            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              Your links are ridiculous! What does the UK excess electrical capacity have to do with India trying to build their own solar industry instead of paying billions to the US solar panel producers?
              The tppa forces underdeveloped nations like India to continue to be raw materials suppliers and prevents them from developing value added industries.
              Large industrial countries like the US are allowed under tppa to prevent underdeveloped countries from ever lifting themselves out of the raw materials stage and lock them into endless poverty.
              And this will also happen here. By locking NZ in as a raw material producer, it hinders our progress and is projected to reduce employment and increase income inequality.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              @Jay, your mixups, not mine.

              UNFCCC fantasies about switching off fossil fuels in favour of renewables come to grief on the consequential costs and inflexibilities currently being reaped in the UK and EU.

              India is not prevented from developing a solar industry, merely from unfairly blocking international competition to it. It is certainly not prevented from implementing a project by allowing access to cheaper inputs. Economic logic is obviously not your strong point.

            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              The solar industry in the US is growing 12 times faster than the overall economy. It is gigantic. India could never develop their own industry without protection.
              It makes no sense to their trade balance to pay billions to the US when they can put up their own systems and create thousands of new high-tech jobs for their citizens and put that money back into their local economy.
              I realize that must be difficult economic logic for a National supporter to understand. You guys are used to giving away Kiwi gold for american peanuts.

              Solar systems in tropical India are far more efficient than systems in the UK.
              Geography is obviously not your strong point…

            • Forty years ago, in my lifetime, it would have been unthinkable that a nation couldn’t protect its own industries, its own economy, protect its own ‘financial’ borders.

              What sort of logic has led us into a situation where a government doing this today, for the good of its own people, is effectively acting ‘illegally’?

              One day in the future people will look at a video explaining this situation and at a video of Monty Python’s “Witch” sketch and they will think “Wood sinks, she sinks, therefore, she’s a witch!” is the real, serious logic of the two.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              “India could never develop their own industry without protection.”

              What utter nonsense. They have a huge market and huge technological infrastructure. Indian Tata owns British steel and car makers. There is already an enormous Chinese solar industry close at hand.

              “It makes no sense to their trade balance to pay billions to the US when they can put up their own systems and create thousands of new high-tech jobs for their citizens and put that money back into their local economy.”

              More nonsense. The only reason they would buy American is if it is cheaper. If it is, they can put the savings into their own needs and investment in what their own people want or can sell to others. If their trade balance can’t cope the exchange rate will ensure that the American product is not cheaper.

              The efficiency of solar systems is not as big a problem as their unreliability and uncontrollability. You need a complete duplication of supply for when the sun doesn’t shine which doubles the cost.

              Geography is irrelevant.

              “What sort of logic has led us into a situation where a government doing this today, for the good of its own people, is effectively acting ‘illegally’?”

              Because it is doing harm to its own people for the benefit of the few favoured “protectees”. Which is why we abolished import licences and all the costs, constraints and privations that they produced.

            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              Alan, first they have to build their solar industry before they can export and they can’t build their industry if they’re sending billions of dollars to the US instead of putting it back into their own development!
              Why is that so hard to understand?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              “they can’t build their industry if they’re sending billions of dollars to the US”

              India’s GDP is $2.2 Trillion, they can afford to allocate a few billion to whatever, even to subsidising grossly inefficient solar power. They could also create joint ventures to reduce capital requirements. But at the end of the day they are trying to produce a sheltered industry whose products can only be sold where governments are prepared to subsidise the expensive electricity they produce. Good luck with that nonsense.

  6. Dougal

     /  8th April 2016

    Jane Kelsy will be frantically surfing Ebay to stock up on dildo’s.

    Reply
  7. If nothing else, the discussion between Alan and Jay McCoy [above] indicates there is plenty to debate and assess about TPPA. The restriction to 5 days for MPs to consider submissions therefore effectively is an attack on democracy.

    The move doesn’t surprize me in the least, yet another example of this National government’s arrogance and disdain for any dissenters among the populace, if not for the electorate as a whole, including their own supporters.

    There will, I hope, be ultra-TPPA supporters who will also decry this restriction (or travesty) on purely ‘democratic process’ terms? To paraphrase an old standard, if there’s nothing wrong with TPPA, there’s nothing to fear in full consultation about it.

    It doesn’t even matter much to me if people’s submissions aren’t “carefully considered” in Alan Wilkinson terms. The important thing is that the democratic process is preserved, remains intact and retains its integrity.

    Reply
    • Couldn’t agree more Pz.

      Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

      Do not go gentle into that good night,
      Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
      Because their words had forked no lightning they
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
      Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
      And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
      Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Rage.

      Reply
    • Robby

       /  8th April 2016

      The move doesn’t surprise me in the least, yet another example of this National government’s arrogance and disdain for any dissenters among the populace, if not for the electorate as a whole, including their own supporters.

      The arrogance of this government is not going un-noticed PZ. I don’t know where the pollsters get their numbers from, or if they just make them up, but I can’t recall the last time I heard a positive comment from anyone about them. To be fair, I haven’t heard any positive comments about Labour either.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  8th April 2016

        Labour has an uninspiring leader with the charisma of a potato who probably wears a stab-proof vest just in case, a few tired old has-beens who have basically retired already and are just warming their seats, some inarticulate middle aged know-littles who don’t shine, a couple of youngsters whose abilities are untested and seem very limited, Grant Robertson, and an economic policy that is missing in action. The people they used to represent – the masses of paid employees working in manufacturing and producer industries and aren’t really there any more. Even their name now is quaintly outdated.

        Reply
        • Robby

           /  8th April 2016

          The people they used to represent – the masses of paid employees working in manufacturing and producer industries and aren’t really there any more

          As an ‘ear on the ground’ in that particular environment, I hear that National are corrupt, and Labour are a joke.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  8th April 2016

            Yup. There’s possibly a sizeable market for a suitable competitor to National amongst low and lower middle income contractors who are now self-employed businesspeople. Labour isn’t showing any signs of recognising that market exists and having any idea how to package an economic policy that might appeal to it and seem workable. It probably needs a complete cleanout, rebrand, restaff and redesign and I don’t see that happening.

            Reply
            • Robby

               /  8th April 2016

              Labour have ‘poisoned their brand’ Gezza. While they were once true representatives for the blue collared masses, they have become the voice of beneficiaries and minorities. Hardly surprising that they have been stuck on the opposition benches for so long

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              That rings true Robby. That’s why I think they have to completely rebuild and reinvent themselves, and then sell themselves to the other sectors they need to convince they’ve got something better than National, and they don’t look like they have any idea how to do it. They’re competing for the same market as the Greens.

          • Maybe Labour need to re-invent themselves as representatives of the growing Precariat? Low-waged, underemployed, unemployed, beneficiaries and the dissillusioned already constitute about 35% of the population in my estimation – those adversely affected by inequality, poverty and loss. This proportion will grow as neoliberalism abandons more unnecessary, unproductive, inefficient human flotsam to become homeless and beggars on the streets … (I exaggerate for effect) … as more people, perhaps like tradesmen, enter the Precariat rather than remain ‘the Trades’?

            In their ‘Future of Work’ and other initiatives, Labour at least appear to acknowledge and recognise the signs of ever increasing numbers of jobs disappearing through digi-robo-tech and the need to upskill and become entreprenuerial. It remains to be seen whether these two strategies alone will be enough, and what else they [or anyone else] comes up with.

            Somewhere along the line someone might say, as Kevin Rudd did in 2009, “The neoliberal experiment of the last four decades has failed”?

            Labour will need to make themselves into a sound opposition before they have a chance of becoming government, leastwise under the current adversarial, oppositional, factional, majorative, imminently corruptible model of “governance” we adhere to, outdated, partial and archaic though it obviously is …

            With reference to the topic, it will be interesting to see what effect TPPA has on NZ’s labour laws? I anticipate trouble here …

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              Labour will need to make themselves into a sound opposition before they have a chance of becoming government

              Agreed PZ. I think everyone knows that. The current strategy of Andrew criticising every single thing National Ministers, or John Key, do or say, is not, IMO, a winning one though.

            • @ Gezza – Yes, agreed, what I really want people to know is I don’t agree with the current model of governance I outlined after my statement of the obvious … “adversarial, oppositional, factional, majorative, imminently corruptible” et al … outdated and archaic.

              Even MMP has proved to be just another version of it, Doc Newman’s magic number, 61 votes. Men in black robes … “Mr Speaker” …

              I am firmly of the opinion that it’s time for monumental democratic reform. Perhaps it will go along with Constitutional Transformation? The Matike Mai report talks about alternative forms of governance which are consensual and conciliatory. Our new constitution might lead to democratic transformation? That would be awesome eh?

              Time for “democracy” as we know it shed its ‘juvenile skin’ and emerge into its young adulthood (with wings) … or something … ???

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              @ PZ Yes. Good food for thought. I think when MMP was brought in people were maybe envisaging multi-party coalitions that had a broader spread of philosophies and a co-operative approach to policy development and implementation. That looks really naive now.

            • Robby

               /  8th April 2016

              In a perfect world PZ. Unfortunately, too many already have their snouts in the trough, you could wrap a chain around their necks, attach it to a tractor, and you would still struggle to drag them out….

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              😀

          • Robby

             /  8th April 2016

            @Gezza & PZ
            IMHO Labour are pretty much fuct. Don’t get me wrong, minorities deserve to be represented, but if a political party represents only minorities, it will never achieve a majority in the house.
            The working classes no longer consider Labour their voice. They don’t like National much either, but maybe their boss does, and if National helps their boss, at least they still have a job next week.
            In my work I deal with what I consider to be a pretty good ‘cross section’ of society. It could almost be the beginning of a joke….
            “A Maori, an Indian, a Pom, two Scotsmen, and three Pakeha guys walk into a workshop, and they all agree that nobody in parliament has a clue about what goes on in the real world….”

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              That’s what I think too really Robby. There has to be an alternative to National if not now at some time in the future. Any party entrenched for too long eventually goes bad. Looks like someone will have to start a new one or someone has to grow an existing one to something better than now.

            • Robby

               /  8th April 2016

              @ Gezza
              Have you not noticed NZF slowly but surely sneaking upward in the polls? You are most likely aware of why Winston won up north, using the slogan “Send them a message”.
              If I was a betting man, my money would be on another message being sent in 2017. There will be an alternative. There already is, they just need to update their drug policy and improve their marketing

            • There has to be an alternative to a ‘House’ divided into government and opposition, that’s where I’m coming from. Labour oppose stuff they essentially agree with for the sake of being ‘opposition’. It’s the system what’s fuct Robby IMO.

              I envisage a ‘Parliament’ (drop that name for a start) which is effectively a single coalition of 120 elected members whose allegiances are somewhat fluid and mobile because their goal is the best possible legislation for the good of the people … They use group dynamics ‘best practice’, facilitation, openness and guidance to reach consensus decisions or as near as is humanly possible.

              For entertainment they will watch videos of themselves or their predecessors brainlessly opposing each other in the old Parliamentary system and they’ll nearly die laughing … “We did that!? We functioned that way?”

              Not a new Party but a new way with less Party (though perhaps not none). It’ll probably take a new Party, something like a ‘Reform Party’, to bring it about …

              I know, I know … I’m a hopelessly naive, innocent political romantic …

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              @Robby

              Have you not noticed NZF slowly but surely sneaking upward in the polls?…

              Yes I have and they’re who I’d think might be the party to fill the void. It’s just it’s currently so much completely the Peters Party I can’t really guage how robust and effective it would be when Luigi moves on one way or another.

            • @ Robby – Very much agree with you about NZF. If they can get their act together – no pun intended – with, as you say, an appealing drug policy, much else besides – e.g. Winston has talked in the past about community work for the dole [for long-term unemployed] and flexi-Super – a leadership succession plan, a dissemination of responsibility and publicity among their representatives so its not Winston’s personality cult … business policies … a whole bunch of stuff … they could be a “send them a message” alternative of a sort … maybe the Kingmaker? …

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              That all sounds really promising PZ. Winston doesn’t look all that well these last couple of days. He’s got a helluva load, he’s a term smoker, and he’s not getting any younger. One hopes he’s getting on to these things already.

            • Robby

               /  8th April 2016

              @PZ & Gezza
              “Winston first”? “Personality cult”? “Kingmaker”? “Peters Party”???
              Really guys? You both obviously need to stop reading the Herald. It’s not all about him.
              http://nzfirst.org.nz/sites/nzfirst/files/manifesto_2014_final_version_3.pdf

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              @ Robby. Cheers for the link I did have a look over their policies before the last election. Maybe I need to watch Parliament a bit more. All I mean is I am used to Winston doing all the talking and being the undisputed leader and engine of the party.

              I remember a few of his MPs from a few years back who weren’t all that sharp. Hard to assess the range and depth of talent beyond Ron Mark so how effective they would be. I’ll be paying more attention to them now though.

            • Robby

               /  8th April 2016

              Pay particular attention to this guy..
              http://nzfirst.org.nz/clayton-mitchell
              Tauranga’s next MP…….

            • Gezza

               /  8th April 2016

              Hmm. I will. That’s a pretty impressive, useful sounding background.

  8. Alan Wilkinson asked, “Why do the Left have a problem with that? (undertaking to treat multinational corporations investments here fairly and honestly.)

    They shouldn’t have a problem. Alan why do you not have a problem with the time for considering TPPA submissions being cut so dramatically?

    Reply
    • Jay McCoy

       /  8th April 2016

      Yes Alan, you also wrote an article in 2012 where you stated;

      “The Government has a major role to play in fixing the economy – to allow New Zealanders’ skills and enterprise to work their magic unfettered by bureaucratic obstacles.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/7807616/How-to-fix-the-economy-Get-rid-of-bureaucracy

      What happened? Don’t the people of India deserve the same right – to develop their own industries without bureaucratic obstacles?

      Must have been a different Alan Wilkinson…

      Reply
      • @ Jay McCoy – Yes, although if Jane Kelsey is even somewhat correct in ‘The Fire Economy’ getting rid of bureaucracy is actually a euphemism for replacing one form of bureaucracy with another. Replacing relatively open and transparent professional government bureaucracy with “fused and confused” private and political power brokerage and its attached ‘parallel’ and ‘serial’ conflicts of interest – (ref Hodge & Bowman pg 131)

        The new bureaucracy is international rather than national, embodied in the rules and conditions of so-called “free trade agreements” …

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th April 2016

        “Don’t the people of India deserve the same right – to develop their own industries without bureaucratic obstacles?”

        Certainly Jay. And that right is strengthened by the ability to export in fair competition. If India indulges in protectionism it will harm its own exporters as well as its own people. In addition, the protected industries it shelters will be unable to compete internationally against those who have been forced to be efficient. The usual consequence is those protected sectors demand even more subsidies to help them meet international market prices thus harming their own country and people even more.

        Reply
        • Jay McCoy

           /  8th April 2016

          It was the removal of protectionist policies that shifted the auto industry out of Detroit into Mexico with Nafta that destroyed the US auto industry in the 90’s.

          Try to sell your logic to the people of Michigan, Alan.

          The purpose of these trade agreements is to remove National identities and create a world economy where only the fat cats prosper and the rest of us fight over the crumbs from their table…

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  8th April 2016

            These trade agreements have been responsible for the greatest shift out of desperate poverty in the planet’s history and which is continuing. I love how the Left claim higher morality while focusing their entire cost benefit analysis on themselves.

            As for the US car industry, production remained quite constant at 6M vehicles per year during the 90s: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/car-production

            Neither does Mexican car production show any confirmation of your allegation: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/mexico/car-production

            Where do you get your appalling misinformation?

            Reply
            • Jay McCoy

               /  8th April 2016

              Nafta caused the net loss of 1 million jobs. It destroyed the US middle class.

              http://economyincrisis.org/content/nafta-has-destroyed-the-middle-class

              This is not a question of right or left, it is a question of National Life and Death.

              I’m very sorry to see that you would so heartlessly betray our beautiful Nation.

              She will not forgive you.

              Goodbye Alan.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  8th April 2016

              This is a lot more balanced view of NAFTA showing both pros and cons: http://useconomy.about.com/od/tradepolicy/p/NAFTA_Advantage.htm

              By far the worst aspect of it is the disgraceful US Farm subsidies which put a lot of Mexican farmers out of work.

              But overall it was of immense benefit to the region and especially Mexico.

            • Jay McCoy

               /  9th April 2016

              Yes, those disgraceful US subsidies that kept US farmers on their land,,, just like those disgraceful Kiwi dairy farmers trying to hold onto their land. So what if they are selling their incredible grass-fed, radiologically pure nectar for less than it cost to produce it – I’m sure it’s been an immense benefit for the Northern hemisphere to pay the same for it as they were paying for the poisoned milk they produce…

              You really are a globalist aren’t you Alan? It must be painful for you to walk among us peasants…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th April 2016

              It is painful to see the nonsense you believe, Jay.

              US Farm subsidies go to big farms, big politicians and big companies. Then they buy the politicians to keep the money flowing. Go look it up if you don’t know this already and are just avoiding the truth like a good Lefty.

            • Jay McCoy

               /  9th April 2016

              Almost every agriculture-producing country provides some form of government support for their farmers. Without it farming would cease and the country would be dependent on other countries to feed its people.
              Is this what you think is best Alan? How long do you think NZ farmers can continue when they’re selling their products for less than it cost to produce it?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th April 2016

      Because I don’t know if it is a problem. Submissions closed almost a month ago. There has been plenty of time for politicians and bureaucrats to analyse them for merit. Is the only constraint now on windbags listening to the sound of their own voices?

      Reply

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