IT IS NOW CLEAR that Helen Clark’s Trans-Pacific Partnership advocacy in New York was just the beginning. The opening move in a chess game that will end with the Labour Party knocking over its King and returning to the bi-partisan fold on the issue of “Free Trade”. To achieve this turnaround will require the mobilisation of all of the non-elected elements of the New Zealand political system.
Applying the maximum of public pressure to Labour will be the responsibility of the news media and the numerous business lobby groups. Behind the scenes, however, Labour MPs will find themselves on the receiving end of one-on-one briefings from old friends and colleagues (senior civil servants, leading academics) “deeply concerned” that Labour has positioned itself in the wrong place, on the wrong issue.
These “old friends” of the Labour Party will warn Caucus members that their failure to support the TPP will only end up driving Labour further and further to the Left. Just as they were beginning to make up much-needed ground, the party will spurn Middle New Zealand for the tin-foil-hat-wearing brigade. Not only will this render Labour unelectable, but it will also serve as an invitation for the news media to start casting about for a Caucus member whose prepared to act in a more responsible fashion.
That such individuals exist within Labour’s caucus is indisputable. That money and resources will, very swiftly, begin flowing in the direction of these TPP supporters is equally certain. Metaphorical megaphones will also be handed to TPP supporters within the wider labour movement. Expect to see them popping-up again and again on radio and television.
Even further behind the scenes, a mounting surveillance effort will engage the resources of both the SIS and the GCSB. Relying on the legal clauses that empower these agencies to protect the “economic well-being” of New Zealand, leading figures in the Anti-TPP movement will have their communications intercepted and their movements tracked. Opposition strategies, being known, are more easily countered. Any material likely to prove embarrassing, or, even better, discrediting, will find its way to sympathetic bloggers and/or journalists.
Why will the key elements of the Deep State: the upper echelons of the news media; senior civil servants and academics; judges; the Intelligence Community; act in this way? Why is the restoration of bi-partisanship on the Free Trade issue so vital? The answer is brutally simple.
Were Labour’s opposition to the TPP allowed to stand, an opportunity would open up for voters to elect a government committed to its rejection. The election of such a government would not only put at risk all the secret material pertaining to the negotiation of the TPP, but it would also force into the open all of the deeply undemocratic assumptions underpinning the deal. Such exposure would seriously compromise the reputations of the politicians and civil servants involved in negotiating the TPP. Even more seriously, it would expose the true intentions of New Zealand’s “friends” and “allies”. It is the duty of the Deep State to make sure that such potentially catastrophic political revelations never happen.
With Labour and National – the two parties indispensable to the formation of stable government in New Zealand – both singing from the same TPP song-sheet, that fraction of the New Zealand electorate opposed to the TPP will find itself reduced to voting for a party (or parties) too small to successfully negotiate their country’s exit from the agreement.
To paraphrase Henry Kissinger: The Deep State doesn’t see why it should stand by and watch New Zealand’s membership of the TPP put at risk because of the irresponsibility of its own people.
UPDATE: Well, well, well.