WHAT IS TTIP? Aaaahhhhhh!!!
It is a travesty that so many of us are oblivious to TTIP. Everyone should know all about TTIP and have an opinion.

TTIP is a very big deal. In every sense of the word. And yet when you ask someone about TTIP the most likely response will still be: What is TTIP?

TTIP stands for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and is a mega deal being drawn up between the EU and the USA right under our very noses, but somehow suspiciously off the radar. If you do already know about the TTIP agreement it is highly unlikely that you first learned about it from a debate related to our recent General Election, where its mention was conspicuous by its absence.

So, what is TTIP in essence?

Basically the idea behind TTIP is to cut barriers and tariffs and introduce common testing and common standards to facilitate simplified, accordant trading between the EU and the USA. David Cameron believes that this will add significantly to the UK, EU and US economies and is firmly behind TTIP.

TTIP trade deal

The Green Party is completely opposed and has stated that “TTIP is globalization in its worst form, designed to submit democratically elected governments to the will of private corporations. If adopted, TTIP will also increase the power of corporations to influence our health, food and environmental protections and to sue governments over new laws.”

Here at GreenScotland.org we promote green businesses who provide the people of Scotland with first rate products and services that are environmentally friendly, efficient, ethical, and sustainable. Our attitude is not anti-progress, anti-trade or twee, but we are very wary of large corporations and global capitalism, where the rate of profit is the driving force of production, way ahead of factors such as workers’ rights and the environment.

We believe, when creating a business plan, that the number one priority should always be our planet and its atmosphere and any activity that is unable, first and foremost, to move synergistically with our planet and its atmosphere should be a non starter. We believe in accountability and the protection of human rights, animal rights and environmental rights by our neighbours, communities and government.

What is TTIP? TTIP would sign away rights so that large corporations could flex their muscle to a far greater extent and blatantly and legally hijack the sham that would be our democracy. Surely the level of power already afforded to big corporations is scary enough? Incredibly, companies would be able to sue a government if one of their public policy decisions led to a decrease in that company’s profits.

It is true that regulations differ greatly between countries, but what is so wrong about that? Scotland should have the ability to decide its own standards, following its own judgement, not the judgement of big business with its eyes firmly fixed on profits. Priorities should be the protection of the environment and the high standards of key industries such as food and health.

What is TTIP? TTIP would crush democratic alternatives such as campaigns to keep fossil fuels below ground and pave the way for more privatisation of public institutions such as the NHS. The SNP, by the way, has called on the UK government to veto TTIP unless it specifically exempts the NHS.

TTIP deal

What does the future hold?

Are we destined to become ever more plugged into the matrix of big business-fed, technology-propelled message streams that fling us about like senseless submissive playthings? Or will we wake from our slumbers, throw off our shackles, reclaim our rights and take responsibility once again for our community, country and planet?

Should we not be fighting tooth and nail for a society that better represents the people, a true democracy of educated and energetic, politically-aware people whose fingers are on the pulse and whose government listens? We, the people, are the only ones who can make this happen. It will not be handed to us on a plate.

TTIP would take us further from this objective, a lot further, maybe too far to ever return. It is vital that people readopt the stance of getting involved in their community and their country as a whole, making sound, sustainable, ethical and environmentally-friendly decisions because they are informed, compassionate and brave.

This attitude is the polar opposite of that which would be conducive to life inside TTIP, within the ever-tightening grip of big business, where we take what we are given and like it or lump it. A massive test of our resolve is right here right now in standing up against TTIP. The first thing we all need to be doing is informing people around us so that no one is asking: What is TTIP?

Recent months have seen a wave of protest marches all over Europe and the USA. The European Citizens’ Initiative Petition against TTIP at www.stop-ttip.org has already gained over 2 million signatures and should be the first port of call for new recruits to the cause.

For those who would like to get more involved in demonstrations, debates and lobbying here in Scotland please check out the links below. The next six months are vital if the TTIP agreement is to be dislodged.

Let’s all get involved!

Stop TTIP Edinburgh (Facebook group)
Scotland against TTIP (Facebook group)
Stop TTIP (Facebook page)
Global Justice Now
38 degrees
The Scottish Greens


Featured photo by wdm / CC BY 2.0