No Government will ever admit to committing an act of treason. To do so is to admit the ultimate violation of their constitutional responsibilities to the country and people they represent.
During World War 2, in several occupied countries – or in the case of China, the portion occupied by Japan – there developed puppet regimes that were recognized by the occupying Axis power. These regimes were often complicit in crimes against their own people, either by committing them or knowingly turning a blind eye. Those that collaborated with these regimes were subject to bitter vengeance by their countrymen after the war.
In occupied Norway, there was a man called Vidkun Quisling who was a fascist politician. He seized power with German assistance on 09 April 1940 as the German invasion got underway. During the occupation he collaborated with the Germans, who granted his Government a degree of autonomy. He was complicit in German crimes against the Jews, responsible for turning Norway into a one party state and for providing Germany with assistance in waging total war. After the war, Quisling was tried, found guilty of treason and executed in October 1945. The name Quisling is now synonomous with treason.
During the last several years, a supposed Free Trade Agreement has been negotiated by twelve Pacific rim nations, including New Zealand. The proponents say that it will create jobs, reduce trade barriers and improve the G.D.P. It is unfortunately impossible to really flesh out the supposed potential benefits of the T.P.P. because the Government rhetoric cannot seem to go further than that, and when pressed on why not, officials clam up.
But there are credible questions about the Trans Pacific Partnership. Amongst them is the very secretive nature of the T.P.P.A., which is a significant departure from other F.T.A.’s which had a degree of transparency about them. The refusal of Government Ministers to answer questions, the reluctance of mainstream media to conduct investigative journalism about the issue combined with the increasing gravity of the Wikileaks reports further raise concerns about the true nature of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
But in the last few weeks, the criticality of the issue has reached another level. A report came out suggesting that Australia might find it difficult to pass laws pertaining to issues as diverse as the environment, health, justice, human rights and that if those laws are passed, the Australian Government could be subject to legal action by corporations if they think their profit margins are being endangered. The Australian Government is already the subject of action by Philip Morris, a tobacco company with headquarters in the United States over plain packaging laws.
So, who is in charge of negotiations in New Zealand? Tim Groser, Minister of Trade. He has maintained a consistent line about the supposed benefits, but steadfastly refused to answer questions regarding its secrecy, about the Investor State Disputes Settlement clauses, which would permit the aforementioned legal action by corporations. As Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Mr Grosers boss, John Key is also cupable.
The Dictionary description of treason did not define what could be considered a violation of allegiance to ones state. I would however guess that enabling corporations to sue the State for harming their potential profits, in the business of the day to day governance of the country they are responsible for, must come pretty close. The first duty of any Government over and above anything else is to the people of the nation that they represent. I fail to see how supporting a Free Trade Agreement that attacks national sovereignty is upholding the people and the nation they were elected to represent.But I can see how it could be the act of a Quisling.