by Julian Rose
November 04, 2016
Julian Rose is an
early pioneer of UK organic agriculture, a writer,
activist and President of The International Coalition to
Protect the Polish Countryside.
He is author of two
acclaimed books: 'Changing Course for Life' and 'In
Defence of Life' which can be purchased by going to
So, after what appeared to be a great
act of resistance,
Wallonia dropped the bag. A bag
that contained the grievances of millions of Europeans, not just
those of Wallonia's farmers and human rights supporters.
All hoping, hearts in mouths, that this
little French speaking region of Belgium would hold firm and defy
the callous might of corporate hegemony.
But it was not to be, yet. The spin, it seems, must take a further
twist; the ball kicked further down the road. This particular line
of resistance lacked the fortitude to bring
to its knees; although by winning certain compromises, it has
certainly hobbled it, and this may well prove significant in the
Just prior to
Wallonia's intervention, we were
treated to an extraordinary capitulation by all EU States to towing
the line of an unamended status quo. A collective unwillingness to
demonstrate any resistance to the further passage of this egregious
It's important to recognize here, just how much of a gap has
opened up between the voice of the people and the political
institutions which claim to represent them.
Close to 3.5 million people had signed
petitions demanding the cessation of the secret negotiations that
form the basis of this Canada/EU trade deal. Pretty much the same
figure as those who spoke out against the better known
Yet, this virtually unprecedented number
of voices were completely ignored by EU heads of State.
This offers a vivid picture of just how far 'solidarity between
thieves' operates in the in-bred political institutions
the European Union. And of course
it's the same on the other side of the Atlantic...
What we are witnessing is the near complete collapse of the
democratic political framework. A framework in which citizens voices
were once recognized as the foundation stone of self governing
And from citizens' perspectives, it also
represents a rapidly waning love affair with the global
neo-liberal free-market ideology, that has for so long been
embraced as the centre-piece of 'progressive economics' in the West.
So what will happen to the CETA deal now?
It's passage towards becoming a permanent legal entity looks to be a
rocky one. Already there are a plethora of 'TTIP/CETA - free zones'
amongst local authorities across Europe.
Strong similarities are emerging with
the anti GMO movement's 'GMO Free Zones' - and it's not surprising -
GMO are exactly what would flood
Europe if either TTIP or CETA were signed.
The secrecy surrounding the discussions is a hallmark of the largely
successful resistance Europeans have shown to GMO. Now they aren't
going to tell us what is being negotiated because they know it is
unacceptable to a great swathe of European citizens.
Against this back-drop of growing hostility to these 'fixed' trading
agreements, the CETA deal will now be scrutinized by the European
Parliament, and after that it will require ratification by Member
State Parliaments, including some ten regional parliamentary
This is significant, as the concessions
granted to Wallonia will have set a precedent for other authorities
to demand similar concessions, and that could soon make the whole
Wollonia, in spite of its compromise agreement, has already stated
that it will not accept the package in its current form when it
returns again, citing the corporate court issues as a major
Even more significant is Belgium's promise to take the whole
corporate court element of CETA/TTIP to the European Court of
Justice, in order to get a ruling on its legality within the
That could be very interesting...
This is no time to let-up on citizen pressures to completely scrap
this infamous deal.
We need to keep our voices raised in
support of something very different:
Trading that respects human
rights and environmental concerns, for a start.
That supports social concerns
and a more equalized distribution of wealth.
That redresses the absurdity of
trading similar commodities and foods over thousands of
miles when they can be accessed in each country with the
minimum of trade miles.
That puts an end to the
insistence on 'global competitiveness' which is nothing more
than trade speak for rendering others bankrupt so that one's
own interests can thrive.
Don't loose heart, we 'the people' are
increasingly marching together on a road of radical reform - which
will soon be unstoppable...