“Equal partners, but not too equal”Posted: April 29, 2014
07 April, 2014
The Editor, The Wellingtonian
The headline on Gordon Campbell’s 20 March article captures well the relationship between Australia and New Zealand which Campbell describes: “Equal partners, but not too equal” (recalling George Orwell’s famous satirical novel, Animal Farm: “All are equal, but some are more equal than others”), where Australia expects to be able to take advantage of its junior partner, NZ, in some significant ways. We can see the same process at work in so-called ‘free trade’ agreements where the beneficiaries have been large corporations usually based in the dominant countries.
These trade agreements, which usually involve some interference with national democratic governance processes, have been so successful for these global corporations that they have boldly proposed the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which is not a trade agreement at all but a governance agreement where in several clauses the wants of these corporations would be able to override the ability of parliaments to make certain laws.
Will we stand up for our democratic rights and reject the TPPA?