Saturday, 25 February 2012

Is McCully being treasonous ? You decide...

Has the Beehive moved to Washington? 

I recieved this:

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parliament Buildings
Fax (04)8176510
Dear Ministers,

I have just learned that this Friday US time in Washington DC the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, Mike Moore, is co-hosting on behalf of the Ambassadors to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations a corporate lobbying event, which is sponsored jointly by PhRMA, Philip Morris International, Chevron and Target.
The event is promoted as an ‘exclusive reception is a unique gathering of Governors and other top state officials, select US trade officials, Ambassadors and key embassy personnel from large US trading partners, and businesses reliant on the expansion of international trade. This reception is designed to establish and strengthen the critical personal connections at the highest levels of state/government with embassy and industry representatives to lay the foundations for growth in two-way trade, foreign direct investment, and strengthened economic ties.’

As you will be aware, PhRMA has launched a concerted attack on New Zealand’s Pharmac scheme through the TPP negotiations and New Zealand’s negotiators have taken a very strong position in resisting the industry-driven text that has been tabled by the USTR on intellectual property, transparency and technical barriers to trade.

 You will also be aware that New Zealand is a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Article 5.3 of that Convention obliges the government ‘in setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law’. Co-hosting a lobbying event in which a tobacco company that operates in New Zealand clearly violates the intention of the Article.

I have just been informed that the Australian ambassador has declined the invitation to attend the event as being inappropriate, especially given the investor-dispute launched by Philip Morris against Australia’s law on plain packaging of tobacco.

I urge you to instruct New Zealand’s ambassador that his participation is equally inappropriate and to withdraw his agreement to co-sponsor the event and not to attend.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Jane Kelsey

Here is one persons reaction to Jane Kelsey concern that is no doubt a real concern for most thinking New Zealanders and I agree completely with its suggestion that McCully and Moores behavour borders on treason...

Greetings everyone,

Today I received the message above from TPP Watch an hour too late to email a response (Jane Kelsey sent the message at 8.45am and letters had to be faxed or emailed to Ministers Groser & McCully’s before noon; I didn't see it until 1pm).  Why last minute?  Because we weren't supposed to know about Mike Moore's meeting at all.  I nonetheless sent the following brief but clear message to Tim Groser:
Tim,  Mike Moore should not be meeting with the very American corporates that are undermining our health. PhRMA?  Philip Morris?  This is madness.  I am not alone in thinking of this as treasonous.  You are acting on behalf of the 1%.  Wake up!  You're selling us out!
I am hopeful that Mr Groser will take issue with the term "treasonous" or the notion of "...selling us out."  If he does, our email exchange will go public.  I'm so annoyed that I may send it to the press, the Greens, whether or not he takes issue. 

It seems to me that we need to have another look at how we define treason.  The Crimes Act (1961) is now fifty years old.  It was passed at a time of relative innocence--before the mass realisation that multinational corporations are global predators. 

Now fancying themselves part of the "elite", our so-called leaders are actively working against the will of the people they govern and colluding with sinister offshore interests.  This is treasonous because it will do major long-term damage to our health, safety and possibly national security for generations to come.

At present, the term "traitor" has no teeth; because of its very narrow definition in the Crimes Act, it is merely a "slur" against officials in power who are perceived as acting against the interest of their constituents and their country.

The problem actually lies at the much deeper level of how we perceive reality.  We call people whose behaviour does not mesh with social reality and are a serious threat to the health, welfare and safety of others "criminally insane."

If there is broad social consensus on such fundamental issues as

-the safety of offshore oil drilling (Chevron)

-the health and safety of cigarettes (Philip Morris)

-the right to choose our medications and health supplements (PhARM)

and most New Zealanders are aware these will have a negative impact on human health and the health of our global environment, what will be the consequences of giving carte blanche to these and other corporations...including Monsanto, perhaps the most toxic and destructive corporation on the planet, whose products contain microorganisms with the potential to create worldwide famine?  Could giving these companies rights to dictate terms under a "free" trade agreement be considered sane and in our country's best interests? 

Are the Nats helping American corporations to help themselves to chunks of NZ?  Consider how Warner Bros. dictated employment terms to the Beehive over the Hobbit strike in 2010.  If the TPP is signed, there is nothing to prevent Monsanto, Dow, (or any of the corporations that have systematically destroyed America) from doing the same thing here; in short, we will give up our sovereignty for thirty pieces of silver.  

It follows that one could be excused for thinking that National Party pols are betraying Aotearoa-New Zealand, and the Maori Party pols in their greed are "in" as long as they get their share of the spoils.  Historically, the accusation of treason towards a group of people has been a unifying political message; however a`propos our current situation that accusation may be, there is nothing in the Crimes Act that supports it.

What constitutes a "verifiable treasonable action" needs to be reviewed, and the term redefined in a 21st Century context to include intentional collaboration with offshore interests in ways that adversely affect the people of Aotearoa-New Zealand or conscious acts that serve to undermine our nation's sovereignty.  It is small comfort that in
Dante's Inferno, the ninth and lowest circle of Hell is reserved for traitors.

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