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Dear Napo News

Don’t ignore dangers of TTIP

In a previous issue, Sarah Friday (Napo National Health & Safety Officer), highlighted the danger posed by TTIP.

I have not seen much about this in the National press, and doubt if many people are aware of it or the potential threat to commercial and social freedoms.   It seems it is the latest follow on to GATS the General Agreement of Trade in Services which, during the 1990s, was the vehicle by which the US and WTO tried to force Britain into accepting GM – Genetically Modified foods.  Whatever ones views on that, TTIP looks to be a very real threat to every walk of life from raising standards for the poorest in society, to ensuring that small businesses are allowed to offer a service to public organisations.  In respect of the latter it means, for example, ensuring that local trades people can be contracted to do so, instead of having a large Mitie type organisation travelling from miles away just to change a lightbulb.
If TTIP is imposed, the success last year of residents of the New Era Estate in east London in preventing millionaire property developers Westbrook Partners’ plan to sell tenants homes to a billionaire US investor, thus resulting in exorbitant rent rises and potential tenant evictions, would be made impossible to resist.

Forget the Bankers bonuses, the latest celebrity scandals, and even for the time being Climate Change, I feel that the subject of TTIP needs to be on every Probation meeting agenda and, as led by Dave Prentis, Unison General Secretary, opposition total.  If it isn’t already being done, we need to lobby our MPs to find out who is ‘for’ and who is ‘against’.

I hope that Napo can continue to keep us informed about the progress of TTIP in international negotiations, as Sarah Friday’s information suggests that the urgency of resisting this development cannot be underestimated – this is an `invasion` threat like no other.

Suzanne McCarthy
PO (retired)


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