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Blackwater Valley Environmental Justice

Briefing 10 October 2000


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Brits say No to WTO

The Battle of Seattle last year put the WTO and the dark forces of globalisation firmly onto the political agenda. The Prague Autumn and the meeting of the IMF and World Bank last September once again pushed globalisation and the dark forces to the top of the political agenda (BVEJ newsletter #0005 October 2000). The crass comments by politicians and commentators shows how far behind public opinion they lag.

A Mori Opinion Poll in The Ecologist this Spring showed that the WTO and globalisation does not have public support. Questions were not asked directly on the WTO and globalisation as too abstract, instead, questions were asked on the consequences of globalisation and WTO rulings.

Q1:

Thinking about trade between different countries, to what extent do you support or oppose national governments being able to protect the interest of companies in their countries, (for example by offering tax advantages or setting up import barriers) against those of multinational companies?

	Support  55%	Oppose  12%	Don't know  33%

Q2:

The government has laws and regulations in place to protect a number of areas of society such as the environment, employment conditions and human health. If a conflict develops between the interest of multinational companies and these areas, what do you think, in principle, the government should do? Should it protect or not protect the following against the interest of multinational companies (that is, companies that operate widely in a number of countries):

The environment

	Protect  90%	Not protect  1%		Don't know  9%

Employment conditions

	Protect  89%	Not protect  2%		Don't know  9%

Human health

	Protect  92%	Not protect  1%		Don't know  7%

Q3:

To what extent do you agree or disagree that governments should be allowed to restrict the import of goods which they believe may be damaging to the health of the population?

	Agree  89%	Disagree  5%		Don't know  6%

The Ecologist poll (for more details see The Ecologist May 2000) gives the opportunity for some street action. Get out with a clipboard and armed with questions. You will need to question at least 100 people to have a statistically meaningful sample.

You may wish to break down your results: Male/Female; Age, 15-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+.

Follow up the questions with leaflets and other material. Use the results of the poll to put a story in the local press. Compare your results with those in The Ecologist.

[Mori representative sample of 982 adults 15+ 17-21 February 2000]

The Ecologist Poll produced stunning results, and yet it got meagre press coverage (a few lines in the Grauniad). The ideal time to conduct your poll is the week beginning 18 November 2000, and release your results to coincide with the anniversary of the WTO/Seattle debacle (29 Nov to 3 Dec). This will guarantee maximum media exposure. Link in the local TAG/Farnborough Airport angle.

If possible, church groups, third world, fair trade, human rights, and environmental groups should all work together to show the breadth of opposition to globalisation.

Please e-mail results to:

	bvej@hotmail.com	chris.keene@which.net

The Green Party has produced globalisation leaflets and anti-euro leaflets. WDM has produced a globalisation campaign pack, as has the Green Party.

Farnborough has experienced the downside of globalisation at first hand with TAG steam-rolling an unwanted airport onto the town and the destruction and damage it will inflict on the local community and environment. The TAG operation will be for business aviation only. Corporate suits will use Farnborough Airport to control their global empires and wreak further havoc on the world. If they had no global empires to control there would be no demand for business flying at Farnborough.

BVEJ newsletter #0006 November 2000 will feature globalisation.


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BVEJ Briefing 10 October 2000
Published by Blackwater Valley Environmental Justice
www.bvej.org bvej@bigfoot.com bvej@hotmail.com

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