TTIP and Crapitaville

The issue of TTIP and local government has been extensively explored in Germany and on the website

The latest development is quite exciting

Press Release
Barnet LB have turned down a petition  on TTIP twice.
The first time they said that this was outside the remit of Barnet Council, and the 2nd time was that they didn’t see what this had to do with a local authority.
.By doing so, Barnet have put themselves out of line with, to date, over 19 local authorities across the UK , including the conservative-run North Somerset Council, 35 in Spain and over 200 other local authorities in France and Germany .
Here is the wording of the Petition:
We the undersigned petition Barnet Council to publicly declare its
    opposition to The Transatlantic Trade and Investment
    Partnership (TTIP), and to write to the Secretary of State for
    Communities, London  MEPs & the Local Government Association
    raising concerns about the impact of TTIP on local authorities

    The EU & the USA are currently negotiating the goods and
    services to which TTIP will apply. There is no impact
    assessment of effects on local authorities, and no scrutiny of,
    or consultation on, the negotiating texts by local governments
    or bodies representing them.

      The proposed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) requires
    disputes to be settled in secret courts outside the British
    judicial system and allows no appeals. It has been used by
    corporations to overturn democratic decisions by local
    authorities. TTIP could stop councils trading with local
    businesses, as investors could challenge government actions
    they consider harmful to their investments
This petition is well within the terms and conditions of the LBB Assurance Group, which governs petitions submitted to Barnet LB.(Please see attachment).
 That is to say that a certain body (Barnet Council) was being petitioned to take a certain clear course of action (to write to the Secretary of State, London MEPs  and the Local Government Association) and explains why they should do this, as is self-evident in the wording of the petition.
On the face of it, one would have thought that any local council would be gravely concerned that there has been no impact assessment on the effects of TTIP on Local government, that there was no consultation of any bodies representing local government.
It must surely be within the remit of a council solely to accepy or reject a petition on the grounds of their own terms and conditions and not because they don’t like what the petition is asking them to do. It is surely up to the residents of that local authority to decide if they think a petition is a good idea, simply by signing a petition, or not.
Have Barnet rejected this petition purely out of ideological reasons?
If so, this flies in the face of democratic principles. ( Or, “we suspect that Barnet have rejected this for purely ideological reasons, and is highly undemocratic” just different wording!
After all, Barnet Council are hell-bent on outsourcing over 90% of services within their remit to international corporations such as Capita,  who stand to benefit from trade deals such as TTIP and CETA.
(Link to digital map showing local authorities which have passed motions against TTIP)

Here are the terms and conditions I refer to in the Press Release above. (I forgot, when writing this, that you can't send attachments on this email group!)
The purpose of the e-petition service is to enable as many people as possible to make their views known. All petitions will be accepted and published on this website, providing they meet the criteria below.
Petitioners may freely disagree with Barnet Council or call for changes of policy. There will be no attempt to exclude critical views and decisions to accept or reject will not be made on a party political basis.
However, to protect this service from abuse, petitions must satisfy some basic conditions.
To submit a petition, you must use the online form to provide:
·                 the title or subject of the petition;
·                 a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition. It should state what action the petitioner wishes Barnet Council to take. The petition will be returned to you to edit if it is unclear what action is being sought;
·                 the petition author's contact address (this will not be placed on the website);
·                 a duration for the petition.

Petition Guidelines

The information in a petition must be submitted in good faith. In order for the petition service to comply with the law, you must not include:
·                 Party political material. Please note, this does not mean it is not permissible to petition on controversial issues. For example, this party political petition would not be permitted: "We petition Barnet Council to change the Labour executive's policy on education", but this non-party political version would be: "We petition Barnet Council to change their policy on education".
·                 potentially libellous, false, or defamatory statements;
·                 information which may be protected by an injunction or court order (for example, the identities of children in custody disputes);
·                 material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which may cause personal distress or loss;
·                 any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication;
·                 the names of individual officials of public bodies, unless they are part of the senior management of those organisations;
·                 the names of family members of elected representatives or officials of public bodies;
·                 the names of individuals, or information where they may be identified, in relation to criminal accusations;
·                 language which is offensive, intemperate, or provocative. This not only includes obvious swear words and insults, but any language to which people reading it could reasonably take offence (we believe it is possible to petition for anything, no matter how radical, politely).
We reserve the right to reject:
·                 petitions that are similar to and/or overlap with an existing petition or petitions;
·                 petitions which ask for things outside the remit or powers of Barnet Council;
·                 statements that don't actually request any action - ideally start the title of your petition with a verb;
·                 wording that is impossible to understand;
·                 statements that amount to advertisements;
·                 petitions which are intended to be humorous, or which have no point about government policy (however witty these are, it is not appropriate to use a publicly-funded website for purely frivolous purposes);
·                 issues for which an e-petition is not the appropriate channel (for example, correspondence about a personal issue);
·                 Freedom of Information requests. This is not the right channel for FOI requests; information about the appropriate procedure can be found at (new window).
We will strive to ensure that petitions that do not meet our criteria are not accepted, but where a petition is accepted which contains misleading information we reserve the right to post an interim response to highlight this point to anyone visiting to sign the petition.

Common causes for rejection

In order to help you avoid common problems, we've produced this list:
·                 We don't accept petitions on individual legal cases such as deportations because we can never ascertain whether the individual involved has given permission for their details to be made publicly known. We advise petitioners to take their concerns on such matters directly to the Home Office.
·                 Please don't use 'shouting' capital letters excessively as they can make petitions fall foul of our 'impossible to read' criteria.
·                 We cannot accept petitions which call upon Barnet Council to "recognise" or "acknowledge" something, as they do not clearly call for a recognisable action.
Petitioners may freely disagree with Barnet Council or call for changes of policy. There will be no attempt to exclude critical views and decisions will not be made on a party political basis.
Petitions that do not follow these guidelines cannot be accepted. In these cases, you will be informed in writing of the reason(s) your petition has been refused. If this happens, we will give you the option of altering and resubmitting the petition so it can be accepted.
If you decide not to resubmit your petition, or if the second one is also rejected, we will list your petition and the reason(s) for not accepting it on this website. We will publish the full text of your petition, unless the content is illegal or offensive.
Once accepted, petitions will be made available on this website for anyone to sign. Anyone signing the petition must provide their name, address and a verifiable email address. No personal details other than their name will be published on the site. Information about any individual will not be used for any other purpose than in relation to the petition, unless they choose to sign up for other services offered on this website. You can read more on this in our privacy policy.
It will usually take up to five working days from the time a petition proposal is received for it to appear on the website, although during busy periods it may take longer. For more information on the process, read our step-by-step guide.
Your petition will be available on this website until the specified closing date. If, however, during this time it becomes clear that your petition is not being run in accordance with the terms, we reserve the right to withdraw it. If this happens, we will contact you first to allow you to address the concerns we raise and we will only remove the petition as a last resort.
Please note that to keep the system manageable, and justify use of resources, we can usually only respond to petitions of 100 signatures or more.

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