Saturday, April 11, 2015

Excitement at the Hustings

So far in the campaign to win Harrogate and Karesborough for the Greens, the hustings have been good natured and rather quiet affairs. That seemed to be the way last Thursday's event at the Cedar Court Hotel was going, until the subject of TTIP emerged. The Greens are confident that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership proposals are bad – bad for business, bad for Britain and particularly bad for the NHS. My assertion to this effect invoked a flat denial from the Lib Dem candidate, and the cry of 'liar' from someone in the audience.

So, what's the story?

In February this year, BBC Scotland revealed a leak from the EU negotiations, purporting to show that NHS services are exempt from the TTIP negotiations, currently being negotiated in great secrecy in Brussels. Now, one person's leak is often another mischievous plant, deliberately designed to misinform. This latter option is, I think, the situation here.

The leaked document has, in reality, been in the public domain since May 2014. So this is, in the words of War on Want, less of a news story and more of a spin operation. It confirms that the position of the NHS in the TTIP negotiations is worse than I described, the government knows this, and is deliberately trying to misinform the public to allay concerns. The whole rebuttal of the implications of the 'leak' can be seen here

Rather than being branded a liar, I should be applauded as a whistleblower!

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