Big Northern Get Together – TTIP Session Notes

Below are notes from the TTIP session where we came up with 3 ideas for campaigning on TTIP:

What’s our strategy?

  1. Expose the public to TTIP, to educate and then turn into opposition
  2. Add pressure to decision makers, to force TTIP off the table

Campaign idea 1: TTIP free zones

Why might it work?

Local councils will have a lot of power over TTIP:

1) if they all reject TTIP, that’s the whole UK saying no

2) council decisions feed back to party HQ / MPs / MEPs. If the local council rejects TTIP, that’s big pressure on other local politicians or the political party.

Local Group Objectives

Get your local council to pass a motion rejecting TTIP

  1. get a motion tabled
  2. get a motion voted on
  3. amplify a victory to other local politicians OR think about how to expose a bad council

What we might need to do this

  • find out where your local council stands on TTIP already
  • 38 Degrees campaign launching in New Year probably
  • campaigner pack available
  • other local groups who have succeeded could offer tips

Ideas from the session

  • We need to “make it personal” – how will TTIP affect our councils and our areas – think local
  • Can ask questions in council meetings
  • Present local petitions to councils
  • We would like some information on how TTIP might affect local government
  • Would like, more generally a “library of information”
  • Local press can be really effective to pressure council and expose the issue in the local area

Campaign idea 2: Strengthen Labour MPs position on TTIP

Why might it work?

Labour don’t have a very strong stance against TTIP at the moment. Some MPs are against TTIP totally, others are sat on the fence. But we need Labour as a whole to take a much stronger stance.

The opposition taking a stronger position against TTIP is:
1)  more pressure on the government to oppose TTIP
2) bad news for TTIP officials who want all politicians in all countries to be on side

Local Group Objectives

Get your Labour MP to take a stronger stance against TTIP

  1. find out where your MP stands on TTIP
  2. get them to strengthen their position on TTIP: whether that’s a part of the deal (like the NHS) or the whole deal.
  3. amplify any Labour opposition to TTIP to pressure other Labour MPs and show opposition always growing. Also it holds them to account.

What we might need to do this

  • toolkit for emailing your MP, meeting your MP, writing to local paper, persuasive material for MPs about TTIP (and the opportunity to get other local members involved at times in the campaign)
  • Up to date briefing documents and resources.

Ideas from the session

  • Ways to contact Labour MPs – email, letters, call, petition, day of action, visit local surgery; can make it personal as well as doing it en masse – make them actually give you an answer, not a standard response!
  • Could focus directly on Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition
  • When doing local petitions, add a checkbox asking people if they are interested in joining in with future work on the issue – then you can invite them to future group meetings.
  • Would like help from the office team to create accurate and simple messaging around the issue

Campaign idea 3: Expose TTIP to the public

Why might it work?

TTIP is being thrashed out in secret – that’s what the people in charge want. It’s up to us to:

1)  let people know about how dangerous TTIP is
2) offer people the chance to get involved in the campaign

Local Group Objectives

Increase public awareness of TTIP

  1. the more people who know about TTIP, the more ambient pressure on decision makers
  2. we have a duty to let people know about something so big that puts big businesses rights above theirs

What we might need to do this

  • day-of-action materials and can invite other 38 Degrees members to events

Ideas from the session

  • Need to take a personalised approach – TTIP is an issue affecting everybody in diverse ways. Think about who we are talking to and why they should care about TTIP e.g parents might care about education or chemicals in the food they give to their children etc.
  • Some groups have done local screenings of films exposing TTIP – a church hall or community centre can accommodate you cheaply/for free and the office can help with printing leaflets etc to drop in your local library, gym, cafes, shop windows etc.
  • Alternative ways to get the message out – stand up comedy, a documentary, on local radio, local celebrities to speak out.
  • Again, we need clear, accurate and compelling information – a “library of resources” would be good.