Sunday, March 10, 2013

'Brussels Rules' on RT

RT is showing an extraordinary documentary, 'Brussels Business', that falls like a golden apple in my lap.  Ever since the European financial crisis of 2008 I have been convinced that the American financial/corporate sector was responsible for it.  In my non-expert way I assumed the Europeans had more or less individually been seduced by American ways and propaganda.

RT documents a step by step process begun in 1985 that allowed the heads of Europe’s great industries - which were already players on the world stage - to dictate to the leaders of the European Union how business would be conducted by a group of countries known for cradle-to-grave protection of its citizens: they would push for more flexible labor markets and fewer worker protections.

The documentary, based on material uncovered by an American researcher, features a European commissioner, Siim Kallas who tried to introduce lobbying transparency, but failed, thanks no doubt to the major European lobbying organization called ERT. It concludes with the testimony of an American lobbyist who tried to tell members of the commission that its lobbyists were as dangerous as their American counterparts, to no avail.

Though none of this is a surprise, it reminded me of an old suspicion on the part of ordinary Europeans, that the United States probably did not view with pleasure the rise of a powerful trading competitor who could still afford to offer its workers cradle-to-grave security.

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