As government becomes secretive and undemocratic and mainstream media aids the process, it generates a climate that allows for the formation of equal and opposite alternatives, and to mobilise affected communities.
These manifest as a range of “whistle-blowers”, online polls and surveys, blogs published over the Internet and news aggregators that attempt to provide a platform for all these alternate sources that offer opposition to mainstream media, and help to create their visibility to as wide a population segment possible.
i2P identifies with, and is part of this movement, and for that reason I have been asked to comment on a recent survey organisation called GetUp, which is trying to inform on a range of issues, but in particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that is going to create a massive and supposedly “free” trade linkage through a range of Pacific Rim countries, Australia being one such participant.
i2P has previously commented on these types of treaties because they seem allow for the Treaty Organisers to be able to overrule local legislation and provide a mechanism for a range of global companies to manipulate trade treaties for their own benefit, even to allow tobacco companies to sue democratic governments through secret “Treaty Courts” if legislation alters corporate market shares or impacts on revenue in any way.
Organisations such as GetUp are beginning to thankfully impact and help preserve our democratic freedoms.
It was established to give everyday Australians more powerful voices in decision-making that impacts our lives, economy and the environment.
It was also founded on the belief that the most effective and lasting way to make change is by building and empowering a movement of people to stand up for the issues that matter to them.
Well, they must be worrying someone, because in their most recent advertisement aired on Channel 9, they attack the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and its affect on Australian interests.
However, Channel 9 must have had a telephone call from Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, because in a media release sent to i2P, GetUp says:
“We just received word that Channel 9 has banned our new TV ad from airing during the evening news — and they refuse to say why.
The ad simply shows, in irreverent fashion, what the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will mean for Australian families. The Abbott government is trying to keep this deal secret from Australians, and now Channel 9 is joining in.
But we won’t give up. We’re scrambling right now for ad spots during the news on other networks, before next Saturday’s critical Canning by-election (Channel 10 says they’ll air it!). “
GetUp has reason to believe that the TPP will provide negative benefit in the following areas of Australian interests:
* Weaken environmental standards.
If a state government placed a ban on coal seam gas fracking for contaminating water tables, the company could sue in secret corporate courts and force Australian taxpayers to cover the lost profits.
* Make medicines more expensive.
The US Pharmaceutical lobby is pushing to delay the introduction of cheaper generic medicines, making medicines more expensive for Australians.
* Put public health at risk.
Right now, US tobacco giant Philip Morris is using a clause similar to one in the TPP to sue the government over our plain packaging laws, which help keep children from taking up smoking.
The case has already cost Australian taxpayers more than $50 million.
* Reduce protections for workers.
The TPP won’t enforce basic workers’ rights and safety standards, leaving both Australian and foreign workers open to exploitation.
The banned advertisement is available for viewing here:
GetUp’s influence and direction comes from over 965,000 online members.
Online surveys help them determine the campaign priorities and direction of our movement.
If you would like to support GetUp, please join, and take a few minutes to let them know what you think GetUp should be focusing on?
A link is provided: https://www.getup.org.au/weeklysurvey
This survey is sent out to a random selection of GetUp members every week, so that each GetUp member will get a chance to help set their priorities at least twice through the course of the year.
This is your opportunity to have a say on what GetUp should prioritise.
GetUp isn’t like other NGOs.
Campaigners don’t decide alone what to campaign on; that comes from you and the rest of the GetUp movement.
Your answers to these questions will help them understand what’s important to you and set the course of action for more than a million people, particularly as they in turn influence their friends and close family relatives.
i2P urges its subscribers to be involved with the TPP campaign because it adversely affects Australian health initiatives and overrules local legislation. In particular, it increases financial burdens on Australian taxpayers through government being able to be sued, by those corrupt companies that have fraudulently contaminated the medical evidence databases globally.
We should oppose these immoral corporations with every mechanism available to us.