Ttip ... tafta

All the constant concentrating on the referendum means the transatlantic trade agreements can slip by without most people even being aware - so much for sovereignty. I haven't heard it mentioned for ages.

Margaret, there is always a tendency toward hysteria in some quarters. Typically it will be the people who raise the topic of the Bilderberg Group. Well, yes it exists and has done for a long time, since 1954, being an annual private conference of 120 to 150 people from European and North American political elite, with experts from industry, finance, media and academic environments. They are quite elusive and yes they have a great interest in these trade agreements but they have a special interest in Atlanticism, the bringing of Europe and North America together as a centre of power and wealth. Naturally the TTIP is close to their hearts. Sure they are pushing it but they are not a mystical cult who wish to dominate the entire world, they simply wish to make themselves richer. Greens have always been quite concerned to the point of that hysteria. It is far more subtle. The wealthiest North Americans as a body have it is their power to dominate finance, industry and trade worldwide. The corporations these people own or beholden to wish to get richer and trade is one of the sure fire ways of achieving that, preferably selling their wares. The trade treaties tend to have the stamp of US lawyer all over them, whereby he/she who makes the rules runs the roost - makes most money in short. There is nothing mystical about the associations, clubs or treaties simply that having standards imposed on us that are simply geared to making money but do little for people who, after all, provide the labour that enriches these people. At a time when things are gradually moving in terms of cleaning up Europe, to have Montsanto type of agrichemicals imposed on us because a treaty gives corporations the clout to have a say and not pay heed to the democratic voice of the majority does not suit many people, myself included. I have signed several petitions against the TTIP but I sadly acknowledge that these treaties are being taken through the European Parliament at all, albeit it is already two years longer than originally planned because too many objections and amendments have arisen. Nonetheless it is likely to be approved then signed next year. I often wish to be elsewhere too.

I must be more naive than I'd hoped, but what about those who aren't in that bracket? Is it just that the media, no more than the politicians you describe, are determined not to have these issues aired? I see the Greens are there - (and here's a petition readers can sign if they want -

As usual a major problem is lack of expertise - I look at their "explanations" and immediately want to be elsewhere.

Leading politicians are seldom 'ordinary' people. Many tend to have their finger in a very big pie already. Plenty of them are also very busy lining up their post-political career 'advising' or consulting for large corporations, banks and other money spinning concerns. Indeed, we often get to hear how their family's money was earned, what they have interests, shares, directorships and whatsoever in and there we find their raison d'être for supporting the TTIP, TAFTA, TPP and other means by which corporate lawyers will work to enrich their employers, thus themselves as a result, completely subordinate economic democracy to corporate interests and leave us paying the bills ultimately, to enrich them all the more.

What I can't figure out is why governments everywhere are happy to sign up to this. Surely it means they'll become redundant.

Yes, exactly David, whilst representatives of major corporations apparently have free access in order to have it checked by their legal teams!

Given even German members of Parliament are only allowed limited access to the draft Treaty and only,I think, two hours to study a lengthy document, are not allowed to make notes etc, it would seem s there is a certain democratic deficit in this process.