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Le Monde Diplomatique: “The corporation invasion” December 21, 2013

Posted by Tomboktu in Capitalism, Economy, Environment, Inequality, International Finance, The Far Right.
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Readers might be interested in this article in Le Monde Diplomatique

Imagine what would happen if foreign companies could sue governments directly for cash compensation over earnings lost because of strict labour or environmental legislation. This may sound far-fetched, but it was a provision of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), a projected treaty negotiated in secret between 1995 and 1997 by the then 29 member states of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (1). News about it got out just in time, causing an unprecedented wave of protests and derailing negotiations.

Now the agenda is back. Since July the European Union and the United States have been negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), a modified version of the MAI under which existing legislation on both sides of the Atlantic will have to conform to the free trade norms established by and for large US and EU corporations, with failure to do so punishable by trade sanctions or the payment of millions of dollars in compensation to corporations.

(1) See Lori M Wallach, “A dangerous new manifesto for global capitalism”, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, February 1998.

And why haven’t you heard of it?

The TTIP/TAFTA negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. The US delegations have more than 600 corporate trade advisers, who have unlimited access to the preparatory documents and to representatives of the US administration. Draft texts will not be released, and instructions have been given to keep the public and press in the dark until a final deal is signed. By then, it will be too late to change.

The full article is available here: http://mondediplo.com/2013/12/02tafta

Ailtirí na hAiséirghe – Plan to End Partition January 15, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in History, The Far Right.
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A very kind soul sent me some Ailtirí na hAiséirghe material which I’ll be posting over time.  I know that it may be of interest to some of you.

Amongst the items was their Plan to End Partition pamphlet to be seen below.
I also just posted a 1943 Louth election leaflet which has further details of their policies and a small profile of an Ceannaire, Gearóid Ó Cuinneagáin.

Political Debate – BNP Style May 6, 2010

Posted by Garibaldy in Reaction, The Far Right, UK General Election 2010.
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Footage from the BBC website showing the racist and violent true face of the BNP.

Directors’ remuneration: One long video January 30, 2010

Posted by Tomboktu in Capitalism, Economics, Ethics, European Union, The Far Right, Workers Rights.
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A few months ago, I posted an item entitled Directors’ remuneration: A few long videos with links to a set of videos from a roundtable that the European Commission held last March. Judging by the brevity of commenting (not helped by my failure to follow-up Worldbystorm’s question in the third comment), I guess few people might have watched the videos. I certainly didn’t send encouraging signals when I said of them “I think it is amazing how little attention is given to the the issue of social justice“.

If you had told me before this week’s conference in Davos that a debate at the World Economic Forum would be more — much more — positive from a Left perspective than one organised by the guardians of “Social Europe“, I would not have believed you. However, one of the sessions on Wednesday was on the topic of Rethinking Compensation Models. Speakers — with the exception of Shumeet Banerjii, who sees no problem with the levels of CEO pay — were more engaged with social justice issues, and the trade union speaker, Philip Jennings of UNI Global Union was impressive.

(I loved Jennings’s reply to one of the ‘middle ground’ speakers, who responded to his passion and anger by saying that “raising the temperature does not facilitate getting to the right answers”: “I see it as my job to raise the temperature.” And then he explained why: “What we are seeing is simply unacceptable”.)

No, I wasn’t in Davos for the WEF. I watched on the web this session. It does run to 78 minutes, but much more enlightening and hopeful than the event in Brussels last March.

Me, NAMA, TINA, EBS and the final frontier December 12, 2009

Posted by Tomboktu in Business, Ethics, Neo-conservatives, The Far Right.
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I have received notice of the EBS’s Special General Meeting that is being held next Friday to decide on a resolution that would permit the Society to issue Special Investment Shares to the Minister for Finance. Those shares could allow the Minister to have an majority in any vote on any resolution in the Society voted on by members and to appoint or remove directors of the Society.

The board of directors state in the information booklet sent to members that in the event of a “no” vote, the board “does not believe that it will identify any alternative source of capital and it could have material adverse consequences for EBS’ business, operating results, financial condition and prospects”.

I picked EBS for my mortgage precisely because it is a mutual society, owned by its members. Some years ago, I chose to bank with TSB because it, at the time, was the nearest equivalent but that has gone west with the sale by the State of TSB to Irish Permanent. In this country, I now don’t have any choice but to bank with a for-private-profit bank.

While a “yes” vote would not technically change EBS into a for-private profit entity, I do not share the ethos of the mandarins in the Department of Finance and I do not trust them to continue to respect the wishes of those of us who want to so even the minimal bit that we can in the current financial markets and structures to avoid contributing to the accummulation of massive wealth by a small group. I am worried that in a few years time a common “consensus” will “emerge” stating that it is “clear” that it would be “best” for the State to privatise EBS.

How should I vote on Friday?

Spying and surveillance claims rock the BNP… er, isn’t that (allegedly) what the far right does? December 19, 2007

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Far Right.
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nick-griffin1.jpg

According to the Guardian:

The British National Party has been engulfed by a bitter internal row with around 50 senior figures resigning the party whip amid claims the leadership has been spying on private emails and telephone calls.

Good Lord, fancy that. Sort of like a … a police state!

Nick Griffin, the leader of the far-right group, is facing widespread criticism over his handling of the situation, while police confirmed yesterday they were investigating claims that a BNP security team stole files and computer equipment from the home of a regional official.

Dear oh, dear, ‘security teams’? Allegations of theft?

The Labour MP Jon Cruddas has written to the head of the Metropolitan police, Sir Ian Blair, calling for an inquiry into what he claims are “criminal activities involving senior members” of the party.

“The BNP leadership is showing us its true colours,” said Cruddas, who is expected to raise the matter in the House of Commons today.

A party founded by John Tyndall – ‘showing its true colours’? Who would have thought it?

Simon Derby, the BNP’s national spokesman, denied the party had done anything illegal and said the equipment that was taken belonged to the party.

He said the situation had been “a bit messy” but the people involved had been plotting a coup against Griffin and needed to be challenged. A line would be drawn under the issue over the coming weeks, he said.

A coup attempt? In a party of the far-right? Who knew?

“They appear to be monitoring phone calls and emails of their members and removing computers from private households. This is not the behaviour of a normal political party and I would like to see the police investigate this.”

The B.N.P? A normal party? (allegedly) engaged in this sort of activity? With their reputation?

What were they (allegedly) thinking of?

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