Newstalk ZB's Barry Soper has a lack of brain problem.
THE CORPORATE MEDIA foghorns have, predictably, begun to wheel in behind the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Barry Soper is one of New Zealand's more high profile media foghorns, so it will surprise no one that he is fully in favour of the CPTPP.
According to the chief political editor of the conservative Newstalk ZB, it can only be described as "a no brainer" that New Zealand should be part of it. But to come to this conclusion Soper has had to lie his face off.
Writing in the NZ Herald he preposterously claims that "all the bad bits of the agreement have been suspended." This is only true if you are conned by Soper into believing that the suspension of a mere twenty provisions from the original TPPA represents sweeping change. The reality is the 6,000 page document has largely been left untouched - it is little different from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). But Soper isn't going to let the facts get in the way of the story he's peddling.
On the issue of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process,which allows multinational corporations to sue governments, Soper is even less convincing. He talks vaguely of 'side letters' that the New Zealand Government has signed to circumvent the ISDS, even though Trade minister David Parker has only acknowledged one such letter, signed with Australia, and we have yet to see it.
Having come up to with nothing but hot air to justify signing the CPTPP, then Soper advises us that we can all "rest easy' abut New Zealand signing it. Would you buy a used car from this man? I don't think so.
When it comes to being a 'no brainer', Soper certainly is that.
It also exhibits, once again, the disconnect between The Commentariat and public opinion. While journalists like Soper step forward to do the bidding of the political establishment and support the CPTPP, they do so when all the public polls on the previous TPPA found the vast majority of people opposed to it.