According to a well known commentator who warned about the dangers of the Trans Pacific Partnership in 2015, we should now all learn to love the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
THERE IS WIDESPREAD public concern about the very real intention of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to sign New Zealand up for the corporate-friendly Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Such is the concern that an article I posted a couple of days ago outlining Jane Kelsey's view of the 'new' agreement has now been viewed by well over 6,000 people. I gather it has been doing the rounds in the social media.
Indeed there appears to have been a generally negative public reaction to the government's announcement that it will sign the CPTPP. Most people are not happy that Jacinda Ardern intends to chain them to an agreement that not only did they march against in 2015 but were joined on these very same protests by Labour MPs who are now members of a government now singing its praises. Like Trade Minister David Parker for instance.
In 2015 a well known commentator also marched in Auckland against the TPP, although he did blot his copybook by claiming, wrongly, that a particular anti-TPP group was a police front. Nevertheless, he even voiced his criticism and concerns about the TPP on his blog and on The Daily Blog. He warned that considerable pressure would be brought to bear on a Labour Party that was failing to get with the TPP program. He wrote:
"Applying the maximum of public pressure to Labour will be the responsibility of the news media and the numerous business lobby groups. Behind the scenes, however, Labour MP's will find themselves on the receiving end of one-on-one briefings from old friends and colleagues (senior civil servants, leading academics) "deeply concerned" that Labour has positioned itself in the wrong place, on the wrong issue. "
He warned that "....money and resources will, very swiftly, begin flowing in the direction of these TPP supporters is equally certain. Metaphorical megaphones will also be handed to TPP supporters within the wider labour movement. Expect to see them popping-up again and again on radio and television."
And why was the political establishment so determined that the Labour Party be shown the error of its anti-TPP ways? The answer, according to our well known commentator, was that the political establishment could not risk the danger of having an anti-TPP Labour Party voted into office in 2017:
"Were Labour's opposition to the TPP allowed to stand, an opportunity would open up for voters to elect a government committed to its rejection. The election of such a government would not only put at risk all the secret material pertaining to the negotiation of the TPP, but it would also force into the open all of the deeply undemocratic assumptions underpinning the deal. Such exposure would seriously compromise the reputations of the politicians and civil servants involved in negotiating the TPP. Even more seriously, it would expose the true intentions of New Zealand's "friends" and "allies". It is the duty of the Deep State to make sure that such potentially catastrophic political revelations never happen."
You have probably guessed by now that the well known commentator I'm referring to is our old mate and Labour Party cheerleader Chris Trotter.
Those of us who are familiar with Trotter's work will know he has remarkably "flexible" political views. He's the kind of a guy who can tell one audience that Hillary Clinton is a 'progressive" while telling another audience that she is a "conservative technocrat". Its all grist to the mill as far as Trotter is concerned.
So it comes as no surprise that Trotter is now singing from an entirely different songbook as far as the CPTPP is concerned. Now that Labour are in power, it's suddenly not the job of the left to oppose the unpopular 'corporate charter'- as Trotter himself did in 2015 - but support the government and the CPTPP.
He likes to call this "constructive engagement" but as far as Chris Trotter is concerned, the argument has apparently moved on from actually opposing the CPTPP to merely "discussing" what should or shouldn't be in it. All this amounts to is a glorified talk shop for blowhards like Trotter, who can lecture Mitch Harris about it on Radio Live every Thursday night..blah blah blah.
Who knew that when, in 2015, Trotter wrote about " metaphorical megaphones" being "handed to TPP supporters within the wider labour movement" he would be referring to himself in 2017?