Wednesday, 4 May 2016

EU: Democracy in action

France rejects TTIP - for now at least.

Francois Hollande has made a fairly firm statement on the unacceptability of the expansion of US legislation, or lack of it, into Europe.

This comes less than three months after he urged Mr Obama to speed up the process, so what's changed?

Well, we now have more information about just how destructive to Europe this 'deal' would be, and President Holland is already about as unpopular as it's possible to be, so Democracy wins, maybe.

But this issue has raised some important considerations.

Firstly, TTIP is not yet gone completely, and there are many ways that a 'compromise' deal could be presented to fool the unwary into accepting the bulk of what has already been negotiated and we neither need nor want.

Secondly, the secrecy with which this monstrous manifest was compiled, proves that both parties knew it was little short of a criminal conspiracy and would be steadfastly rejected by the people of Europe, if it's contents were ever revealed.

Thirdly, Democracy is supposed to prevent things like this from happening at all, not be the last resort of defence against them, and we should wonder, if Hollande were not held in such low esteem by his electorate, would he have risked the displeasure of his American sponsors by coming out against the deal in this way?

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly of all, would he have voiced his dissent if Greenpeace had not leaked details of what the EU were negotiating? I doubt it and this highlights just how ineffective Democracy is without freedom of information, investigation and exposure of wrongdoing, which used to be more succinctly called a free press, but we waved goodbye to that luxury some time ago.

So Democracy triumphs, sort of, but I guess any victory, however small, is to be welcomed.