Will Malcolm Turnbull Use the ISDS in the TPP to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL?

company demons

The Transpacific Partnership (TPP),  a Template for World Corporate Rule.

Note this article was originally posted as “Will Tony Abbot Use the ISDS to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL?” Its been updated to reflect the changes in teh government.

Des Pensable (c) 2015.

Australia is richly endowed with massive deposits of coal and coal seam gas but the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that to avoid dangerous Global Warming exceeding 2 C, Australia must keep 90% of it in the ground.

Imagine that you are a minister in a Global Warming denier Australian Government that is desperate to sell as much of this coal and gas before there is a binding target to reduce world carbon emissions.

Now imagine that you could sign a treaty with other like-minded  foreign denier  governments that would prevent any future Australian government from stopping or reducing the sale of coal or gas without suffering severe financial penalties. This treaty would also have the effect of slowing or stopping international agreements to mitigate global carbon emissions.

You could then happily sell as much fossil fuel as foreign countries were prepared to buy arguing that it is to the economic benefit of Australia, but ignoring any risks that the climate scientists might warn about and leaving future generation to deal with any consequences that you imposed upon them.

Effectively you would be making a deal with the devil- Trading fame and fortune for a few of the more wealthy members of society, catering to foreign investors and ignoring the consequences to the future lives of all the rest of the Australians.  Would you do it?

It might seem a bit hypothetical but the Abbot government will soon be in a position to sign the secret Transpacific Partnership (TPP)  trade treaty that contains a special section called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision. This is a mechanism that allows a multinational company to sue a country like Australia in an external tribunal composed of commercial lawyers if the government makes any laws or changes to its laws in a way that might reduce the projected profit of the multinational company.

Now imagine a fossil fuel company like Santos which has licenses to mine coal seam gas in NSW and Queensland that is currently being blocked from producing gas by environmental activists who are concerned about the effects of the mining operations on the local agricultural land, water, air and people.

If the Abbot government were to sign the TPP with the ISDS provision then Santos could sue any state government for loss of revenue that it could have made had it not been impeded by the activists.

The state governments will have their hands tied.  If they choose to use heavy handed tactics to stop the activists they are likely to cause increased civil unrest and face the possibility of being voted out of government as well as being sued for loss of company profit.

If they choose to change the laws to increase environmental protection demanded by the people they can be sued for loss of profit.

Even if they choose to cancel the company’s license to mine for coal seam gas they can be sued for loss of profit.  The same situation will apply for any foreign companies with coal mining licenses.

Effectively by allowing the ISDS clause ALL future state and commonwealth government in Australia will have their hands tied. Australia will lose its sovereign right to make its own laws about how companies operate in Australia. It will LOSE its sovereign right to make environmental laws that protect our country and the health of its citizens- you and me. It will weaken our democracy.

If you doubt that this will happen, then consider the case in Canada where the state of Quebec was worried about the health effects of coal seam gas on its citizens so it imposed a moratorium on CSG mining in 2011.  Using an ISDS clause in the NAFTA agreement between Canada and the USA, a US company is suing Quebec  for $250 million in lost profits because of the moratorium. If fact, the Canadian government are being sued by several companies for trying to introduce environmental regulations.

Australia is already being sued under the provisions of an ISDS agreement signed between Australia and Hong Kong.  When Australia decided to introduce plain paper cigarette packaging to help reduce health damage caused by smoking the Phillip Morris Company challenged it in the High Court of Australia arguing that they will lose sales and profit. The High Court found in favour of the Commonwealth government stating that the government had the sovereign right to make laws protecting the health of its people.

So the company is now suing the government through an ISDS agreement. If successful it will FORCE  our government  to change its laws and pay a penalty for trying to protect the health of Australians.  Every time we are being successfully sued by a foreign multinational company YOU and I will have to pay the bill through increased taxes.

There are already hundreds of these type of ISDS cases where multinational companies are suing countries for loss of profit. A large proportion of them are held in secret with neither the details of the case or the decisions of the tribunals being announced and there is NO APPEAL mechanism. The rulings of the secret tribunals are final and cannot be challenged.

The possibility of being sued is already stopping countries from making laws to protect the health of their own citizens. The UK and several other countries  were going to introduce plain paper packages like in Australia but have suspended the laws pending the outcome of the Phillip Morris challenge to Australia.

WikiLeaks released draft text of the TPP Environment Chapter in early 2014, prompted WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange to state, “Today’s WikiLeaks release shows that the public sweetener in the TPP is just media sugar water. The fabled TPP environmental chapter turns out to be a toothless public relations exercise with no enforcement mechanism.”

Imagine now if the fossil fuel companies decide to use ISDS provisions in the TPP or its sister agreement the TTIP.  They could make all counties involved pay for their loss of profits resulting from them having to leave their fossil fuels in the ground. It’s been estimated that the fossil fuel companies will lose at least $10 trillion  if they have to leave 80% in the ground.

The world will NOT be able to afford to pay the bill and would have to let Global Warming run its course. The likely outcome will be a 6C rise in Global temperature by 2100, mass extinction of many species of animals and plants together with the probable demise of our civilisation.

The TPP and its ISDS provisions are an EXREMELY BAD IDEA for any country to agree to. The Australian Productivity Commission examined the TPP and came to the conclusion that there were NO benefits for Australians signing the TPP. The Howard Government refused to include the ISDS provisions in the US – Australia free trade agreement as there were no benefits for Australians.

The Canadians have been attacked 35 times for billions using ISDS clauses in their NAFTA agreement with the USA over mining pollution problems. What does it take to have common sense?

So is the Abbot government likely to sign the TPP with the ISDS provisions?  Unfortunately the answer is likely to be YES. The course of action is quite clear we need to convince the Abbot government one way or another, NOT to sign the TPP without thorough public scrutiny and not at all with the ISDS provision.

The AFTINET and GETUP consumer organisation are running campaigns to get the government to reveal the contents of the TPP agreement BEFORE it is signed so Australians can see what they will be committed to. The multinationals drafting the TPP want Australia to sign BEFORE showing it to the people. That’s not democratic nor in our national interests.

GET INVOLVED – It’s your future and the future your children and grandchildren which WILL be adversely affected by the TPP. The time to act is NOW before it is too late.

You might also like to read TPP   Part 1 Control of World Intellectual Property (IP)

TPP Part 3 – The Hidden Agenda of the TPP- to Block Global Warming Mitigation

Watch the GETUP video- ‘The TPP: The dirtiest deal you’ve never heard of.”

Watch this video in ISDS clause US-Europe TTIP agreement

Further reading.

Guide to Global Warming literature

Despensable web site

An Invitation to a Revolution


Des Pensable (c) 2015

I’ve just been on a short holiday to visit remote members of my family and like many people decided to buy a book to read on the journey.  I chose Revolution by Russel Brand as I had seen videos of Russel on Facebook marketing his book in his typical poke-fun-at-the-establishment style which provoked a Pavlovian response among the Tories and Republicans ensuring that his marketing would be successful.

I didn’t quite know what to expect as Russel is hardly either an academic or a revolutionary and I don’t generally bother reading books from media celebrities as they’re written by ghost writers as a public relations exercises for fans and have little of substance within. This book surprised me in that while it was written for fans it contained a few gems of revolutionary thought borrowed from such legends as Carl Marx, Che Guevara and Noam Chomsky.

At first glance the book could be considered as a cynical exercise in egoism. The first 80 pages are little short of an autobiography of how Russel was a lost soul as a child who related to nothing and no one and used drugs to drop out of society.  Then he found spirituality, eastern philosophy, yoga and meditation and it changed his life.  He accidentally became the American dream, the rags to riches story and now having tasted the fruits of capitalistic success has decided that it’s not the answer to the meaning of life.

He now sees the uber-rich champions of capitalism as little more than a hierarchy of drug dealers flogging drugs in the form of materialistic goods and mental diversions to an addicted enslaved populace trapped in a false reality.

He sees western society as more like a prison where the people are held in a tranquil, hypnotic, mindless, helpless state by a complicit mass media of morally corrupt commercial puppeteers. In this way they can be deceived, coerced, exploited, looted and discarded with psychopathic disregard as if they were no more than depleted human battery hens.

Consequently, it’s not surprising that he’s been labelled a hypocrite by both the rich and the poor who see him as little more than a name dropping dog that bites the hand of the system that is feeding him.

On the other hand, if you are prepared to be a little less cynical and see him as a man that has genuinely travelled a hard road through adversity, deprivation, self-hate and suffering; a man that has genuinely found a path to a level of spiritual enlightenment allowing him to see beyond the smoke and false shadows cast on the walls of our Platonic cave society then maybe he has a message to give you.

He says quite honestly that the short cameos of revolutionary wisdom within his book are the product of others and are not his. He states that owing to the fact that he is a media celebrity he has been privileged to be able to share the story of many others that are currently working on revolutionary new ideas on how to transform our western materialistic society away from the capitalistic neoliberal nightmare that it is today. He even drops a few names that might be termed celebrities in the world of revolutionaries such as Naomi Klein and Thomas Piketty.

While not a scientist or even professing to know much science, he is a firm believer in Global Warming and sees it as the writing on the wall that we MUST seriously address or the world will see suffering beyond all imagination.

He calls for a revolution to start the transformation of western society away from the failing destructive exploitative materialistic form of society that we currently have imposed upon us by faceless commercial oligarchs. He calls for a revolution without violence based on love and empathy, sharing and cooperation and his path to this revolution is through adopting a more spiritual life style with yoga, meditation and organic farming.

I couldn’t help feeling that within his book there was a genuine call for the people of the western world to wake up, take notice and join the revolution. The book was not meant to be DIY book on Revolution or the Idiots Guide to Revolution but an Invitation to the Revolution that is already happening around the world quietly behind the scenes.

The Climate Scientists of the world have shown convincing evidence that our whole civilization is threatened by runaway Global Warming and we have only limited time to fix the problem. It will need a revolutionary transformation of society that involves moving away from a fossil fuel based civilization currently tightly controlled by obscenely wealthy energy oligarchs, to a more enlightened renewable energy based civilization.

It will also mean a revolutionary move away from environmentally damaging exploitative crony capitalism to a more environmentally friendly, socially sustainable society. That transformation must come before we reach the death of hope of irreversible Global Warming and it will not come easily.

We are already on the road towards that revolutionary change. Millions around the world walked in protest about inaction on Global Warming last year. More than twenty million concerned people from around the world called for a complete shut-down of the use of fossil fuel by 2050 in an Avaaz petition to the Lima Climate Change conference last December. Hundreds of millions around the world want a better life and a more even distribution of the world’s resources.

Global Warming is forcing a revolutionary change on the world whether any of us like it or not. There are likely to be many pathways and outcomes in this energy revolution. Russel Brand has wisely suggested one pathway, a peaceful spiritual eco-friendly sustainable pathway to the revolutionary transformation of our civilization based on love not hate. No one can fault him on that! What road will you choose?

Book Review : Revolution by Russel Brand. Published by Century Press, London , 2014.

ISBN 9781780893068.

Another interesting book review of Revolution

Russell Brand was nominated by George Monbiot as one of the Heroes of 2014.

Russel Brand nominated 4th Most Influential Thinker in the World 2015

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You can find more stories satire and poetry on the Des Pensable web site.

The Corporate Guide to Sheeple Farming

Proudly sponsored by NEO-LIB FARMING ENTERPRISES USA INC. (specialists in sheeple control)

sheeple 01

by Des Pensable (c) 2015

Sheeple are a species of Homo Ignoramus found in large numbers around the world. They are the basis for all good profitmaking for the modern corporate entrepreneur if carefully cultivated. While they are simple creatures with simple desires they can be problematic if not handled properly. In this guide we’ll explain how to keep them happy and under complete control so that you can maximise your profitmaking with minimal problems.

Sheeple love to believe in fantasy and adore rules. Give them lots of rules and they will be happier than pigs in mud. The early religious corporations learnt that if we instil in their young a sense of absolute obedience to rules then they will follow these blindly throughout their lives working profitably for you until they can be discarded when they get old and unproductive.

Historically, the sheeple were selectively bred by the religious companies to be mild and meek and have absolute faith in fantasy concepts. Consequently, they could be mentally enslaved and controlled by offering them illusory wealth after they died. They loved it. It was the perfect scheme to have them happily work making profit for the imaginative ruler with minimal problems.

However with industrialisation, things changed. The complex nature of the machinery meant that they needed a little knowledge and training. They needed to be able to read and write to work in the more complex work environment to reduce accidents that damaged the profit making machinery.

Of course this caused problems. A few started to think outside their station in life. They talked about people being free, and cooperating and sharing the wealth. They began organising as groups to challenge the power of the elite and their corporations. Some actually believed they were entitled to share the wealth of the land with the wealthy elite. What an outlandish idea.

Concurrently, the religious institutions began failing in their duty and many of their young were not properly conditioned with the appropriate beliefs. With a little education they began to see through the sales pitch of religion and began demanding wealth in the real world rather than in the afterlife. The religious corporations fought back with extreme punishments, torture, burning the unbelievers alive but nothing worked. This crazy idea about them having a say in their lives was like a virus and it corrupted them.

With the growing failure of religion a new belief system was needed and developed to control the sheeple where they could be allowed a basic education but remain under control of the wealthy elite and their corporations. This was called democracy. In this system they are taught from birth to follow an infinite number of rules and regulations and are given the belief that they have a say in what happens in their lives and they are free.

This is of course untrue but it is a fantasy that keeps them happy. The trick of course is that it allows the corporations, the un-elected government to make secret mutually beneficial deals with their greedy elected leaders behind closed doors. Their leaders can then create an unending supply of new rules favouring the corporations which the sheeple normally accept and mindlessly obey.

If something goes wrong the sheeple blame their leaders not the corporations or the wealthy elite. It’s not as elegant as selling them life after death but it keeps them deluded and has been found to be more profitable than religion over the longer period.

It might be imagined that after a thousand or more years of selective breeding and culling by the religious corporations that the sheeple are now thoroughly domesticated and any wildness bred out. That would be a mistake. While the bulk of the sheeple are totally malleable there are always a small percentage of wild types that call themselves activists lurking within the flock that wish to think for themselves. These are a danger to every corporation as they can cause resistance to corporate control, loss of profits and should be weeded out ruthlessly.

The desired way is to contact your local or state politician responsible for sheeple control and pay them to use their police resources to find and restrain any activists that cause a problem. In difficult cases where the activists resist, it may be necessary to hire alternative peacemakers to use more rigorous methods of persuasion.

It should be remembered that prevention is better than cure. By taking the following actions all corporate entrepreneurs can minimise their problems with errant sheeple and the occasional nuisance activist.

  1. CONTROL the LEADERS. Make sure that only the right people are elected. These people will always ensure what is good for the corporations is their first and main priority.
  2. MEDIA DIVERSIONS. Keep the sheeple occupied so that they don’t get the time to think. Sport, idiotic unreality shows, fantasy, celebrity gossip are all good fillers in between your company’s positive message that everything is wonderful. Keep them working long hours so they are too tired to think. Be sure to censor the Internet as it is a known source of the truth and that will make them unhappy and start them thinking unhealthy thoughts.
  3. PRIVATISE. Keep government small. Do not allow the governments to own or control essential services as this will give the sheeple a feeling of independence from corporate control. You should endeavour to own everything. The sheeple will then have no option but to seek all of their necessities for life from you and your peers. If they become a liability at any time you can then cut off their resources and thus easily remove them from your books.
  4. BAN UNIONS. Stop all attempts of sheeple forming trade unions or cooperative ventures as these will breed wild types that think they have some rights of their own. That’s bad for business.
  5. LIMIT EDUCATION to the absolute minimum and privatize it to make them pay steeply for any advanced learning above elementary level. Where possible control the education so that the average sheeple is locked into minimal skills so that they cannot move freely to your competitor. Remember education teaches sheeple to think and that it is bad for business.
  6. CONTROL MEDICINE. All sheeple will get sick sooner or later especially if you are involved in an industry that creates noxious by products and you don’t wish to limit profit by installing costly pollution control equipment. Privatize medical access. They should be taught that they have no right to be healthy. It’s a privilege retained for wealthy and those who do the company’s bidding.

Remember sheeple are not real people. Their only value is their potential for work and for making you a profit.


What is neoliberalism

The Invention of Capitalism

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You can find more satire , stories, poetry and politics on the Des Pensable web site.