Reality and Ritchie

The bill that failed actually referred to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which very obviously has little to do with the UK or EU, but the implications of the vote are significant for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well, because it would very likely suffer a similar defeat. The TTIP is a trade deal between the EU and USA.

I warmly welcome this decision, backed by many US Democrat Senators who share my concerns about these treaties.

I am also aware of the paradoxical nature of that comment, precisely because I do not know what the TTIP says, and nor do those Senators.

The Senators do know what is in the TTIP. Because they are extensively briefed upon, they can go read, exactly what is in it. They’re not allowed to go public with that knowledge (seriously, who would negotiate a deal in the open? Where every special interest group gets to shout about each and every comma?) but Congress as a whole and every elected member of Congress as an individual has full and complete access to every single line of both the proposed treaty (ies) and all negotiating positions.

Ritchie and reality, not very connected at all, eh?

23 comments on “Reality and Ritchie

  1. The thing that makes me so happy that the Tories won the election is how irrelevant Ritchie is fast becoming. His pet project ‘The Office for Tax Responsibility’ is a fast fading pipe dream, and his chances of ever being involved in government are a distant wish. Even his veiled application for a peerage under Ed Miliband is a non-starter.
    Let’s not forget that he is mostly funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, who gave bucketloads to CagePrisoners until they started to stick up for Jihadi John and they realised they were granting terror organisatons.

    Unite is pretty much finished and the final nail in the coffin will be the new strike laws by the Tories.

    I would suggest that Mr. Murphy quietly retires to his Norfolk pile and spends his days watching his beloved birds or watching his little trains go round and round.
    Although, if he did this then who would we be able to take the p*ss out on a daily basis?

    RIP Ritchiebollocks.

  2. The politicos are to be fair making an enormous gravy train out of this. Surely a free-trade treaty would read as follows:

    Clause 1: We won’t ban imports from you of stuff we don’t ban at home, and you won’t either

    Clause 2: We won’t apply any taxes to imports beyond the taxes we charge on home-produced variants of the same stuff, and neither will you.

    Clause 3: The end.

    Can I claim my million dollareuropounds?

  3. bloke in Northern Germany

    The entire post that was fisked by Tim yesterday ‘the issues where tax policy will make a difference’ was hilarious – the idea that someone whose entire philosophy was rejected at the ballot box soundly has anything useful to contribute is vaguely risible – but still he seems to cling to his own self-importance. As you say, he was inadvertently being funded by people who gave moral and financial support from ISIS, and the Unions are likely to face severe curbs. Whilst he may place much importance in ‘civil society’ – much of what he claims it constitutes is dependent on taxpayer funding which the Conservatives are looking at stopping.

    In short it looks bleak for him and his vision – which is great news for Britain and most of the population. However, a cautionary note – no doubt those contemplating the failed putsch in 1923 and Hitler in Landsberg Castle probably said the coast was clear – ten years later look what happened. We must not be complacent……

  4. @ BiG
    You may be surprised to learn that politicians tend to put higher taxes on stuff that is not produced by their own voters than stuff that is.
    Your proposal amounts to little, if anything, more than MFN under GATT. Non-tariff barriers have been the main problem for decades.

  5. BiG

    I think you’ll find at both Clause 1 (1)(a) and Clause 2 (1)(a) that the eurodollarpounds are mine

    Yours sincerely
    Anthony Blair (what do you mean “I thought you were a socialist, where are your principles?”)

  6. Actually, the bill that failed was the fast track authorisation bill – the Trade Promotion Authority. This limits (but does not block – they could have voted to consider any specific treaty outside of the TPA-2015) the ability of Congress to alter Trade Bills – they can accept them or reject them but the monkeying with the clauses gets done in the negotiation phase.

    Now, the TPA renewal (or lack thereof) will affect the TPP, TTIP, a China specific bill and something else a quick Google doesn’t find.

  7. It’s worth noting for all the nativist sentiment coming from bad actors like Elizabeth Warren—which is thinly-veiled yellow peril alarmism—that TTIP does not involve China at all.

  8. Bloke in North Germany/Van_Patten:

    Ritchie’s in the same position as the all the new SNP MPs. Before the election, gleefully relishing all of the power and influence they would wield over a minority Labour government.

    Now they are left looking anguished from the sidelines at a Conservative majority.

    At least the SNP can gorge themselves on expenses and try to make trouble. All Ritchie has is a hotline to Caroline Lucas.

  9. “bad actors like Elizabeth Warren … thinly-veiled yellow peril alarmism”: squaw hate yella fella.

  10. The Senators do know what is in the TTIP. Because they are extensively briefed upon, they can go read, exactly what is in it.

    Uhm, *technically* this is true. but getting the text of a bill/treaty this large and complicated a week (or less – see: PPACA and PATRIOT ACT) before the vote . . . doesn’t exactly allow for anything but the most cursory examination.

    In *practice* – no, those people voting did not know what was in it. They weren’t involved in the negotiations, didn’t have access to previous versions as negotiations progress, nothing until the final treaty was dumped in Congress for a quick review and vote.

    Personally – I think that if they had done anything *other* than vote against it, they would have been failing their duty.

  11. Bloke in Germany
    May 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    The politicos are to be fair making an enormous gravy train out of this. Surely a free-trade treaty would read as follows:

    . . .

    Can I claim my million dollareuropounds?

    Or, better

    Clause 1: We won’t ban any imports from you nor impose tarrifs.

    Clause 2: We really don’t care what you do on your end. Free trade is still a net benefit to us.

    End.

  12. @ BiCR
    Thanks for reminding me that things could be much worse – at least the unions funding the Labour Party over here are not controlled by organised crime like the US unions that back the Democrats.

  13. Speaking of the SNP hordes, does anyone know if Westminster bars and cafes accept Scottish banknotes?

  14. Matthew L – “Speaking of the SNP hordes, does anyone know if Westminster bars and cafes accept Scottish banknotes?”

    Does anyone? I think the real question is the Sinn Fein parallel. They don’t take their seats because they hate the Queen and they are open about it. They refuse to take the oath. So how can we make sure the SNP also refuse to take an oath to the Queen? Can we insert a “and all of her territories, indissoluble” clause?

    Think how much nicer Britain would be if the SNP refused to turn up.

  15. Just in passing, and of course off topic, Charles turns out to be quite sensible. I am a little surprised:

    In a comment which has led to much derision on the internet this afternoon, he added: ‘I particularly hope that the illegal fishing of the Patagonian toothfish will be high on your list of priorities because until that trade is stopped, there is little hope for the poor old albatross, for which I will continue to campaign.’

    Apart from the alternative medicine nonsense, is there any subject on which he would not be a better ruler than Cameron or anyone else from the Lib-Dems? I can live with the homeopathy. It is not as if coloured water ever hurt anyone.

  16. Noel Scoper

    Priceless – I am of course barred from his timeline so cannot respond but it has raised my opinion of the BBC!

  17. I’m not sure that I’m going to hold fast track negotiating authority on the TTP to higher standards than other bills in the Senate. Who, for example, really does think that Senators read, with attention, each clause of every law they vote on? Does anyone at all think that any one person read all of Dodd Frank?

  18. Who, for example, really does think that Senators read, with attention, each clause of every law they vote on?

    No, but maybe they should.

  19. @ Tim
    PS Thirty/forty-odd years ago, we used to get, first thing in the morning (not every morning but occasionally we might get two on the same morning), documents for underwriting Rights or other share/convertible issues and we had to read through every single clause and come to a decision as to whether or not we should accept them (and then advise/persuade the boss) before 10 am , US Senators have massive staffs with days not minutes to read this stuff.

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