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Konrad Werner: The TTIP Meisters don’t trust you with the knowledge

Today the Economy Ministry opened its special TTIP reading room. But anyone who goes in there must never speak of what they have seen, for God (i.e. the USA) will be angry and he is a jealous God.

Image for Konrad Werner: The TTIP Meisters don't trust you with the knowledge
“TTIP Trojan Horse” by greensefa is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As of today, February 1, your representatives in both houses of the German parliament are allowed to enter a special reading room in the Economy Ministry to read the TTIP trade deal documents. We should be grateful. It’s taken quite a lot of public pressure to squeeze this concession out of those secretive fuckers in charge, not least because we learned a week ago that they don’t actually care much about the secrets they’re keeping – although all the German ministers had access to the documents that had been put out in the US embassy, not a single one registered to have a look. Plus, the government only prepared reports on four of the 12 documents that were displayed. I mean, I know it’s not as much fun as coming up with new ways to fuck over asylum seekers but they could at least pretend to pay attention to major trade deals. That’s sort of what we pay them for.

But now your direct representatives are allowed to have a look (okay, if you’re reading this you might not be German so you are completely excluded from the nation’s democracy but hey at least the beer’s cheap). But there are some caveats – your MPs can only read the documents under supervision, they’re not allowed to take their phones into the reading room, they’re definitely not allowed to copy any of the documents, AND they’re not allowed to tell anyone what they’ve read, or ask an expert to assess the information or even ask someone who might speak better English to help them (the documents showing the US negotiating positions have not been translated).

All they’re allowed to do is fill their heads with the terrible knowledge of what this new trade deal will mean for the two continents – things like the details of the special extra-legal courts that allow companies to sue countries if the laws they pass might possibly affect their profits (the way Vattenfall sued Germany over phasing out nuclear power) and then when the MPs leave the reading room, they must walk the Earth like cursed creatures condemned to hide their terrible knowledge, like something out of a Greek myth where someone is blinded and gets their tongue pulled out because they’ve learned a terrible secret. (This probably is in a Greek myth.)

By the way, here’s a PDF list of all the lobbyists that have access to the Bundestag.

PS: Listen to the News des Nachrichtens podcast, with Konrad Werner and US comedian Drew Portnoy here!