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As always I went to exercise my democratic right last Thursday, casting my vote at the polling station in Windsor House on Belmont Road.

There was a long wait in the queue, after which I enjoyed my half a second’s worth of democracy, before being shovelled back into the political wilderness again.

The voting paper was extraordinarily long, with a bewildering number of parties, many of which I’ve never heard of before.

A lot of them were anti-EU parties, which I agree with. The trouble is most of the anti-EU protest votes went to UKIP, who have made a lot of gains, both in the European and in the local elections.

This is very odd, because although UKIP make a big thing about protecting UK sovereignty from the Europeans, they don’t seem to mind giving UK sovereignty away to the Corporations.

So far we’ve heard no words from UKIP about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a trade agreement between the European Union and the United States – even now being negotiated in secret – which threatens to take away our national sovereignty in a number of areas: not least the right to protect our environment from greedy energy companies, or the right to protect our National Health Service from profiteering private health companies.

The trick is in a mechanism called the investor state dispute settlement, which will basically allow the corporations to sue national governments if their profits are threatened.

Tribunal meetings will be held behind closed doors. Judgements will be made by corporate lawyers. Citizens will have no right of appeal.

This is how one of the judges describes the tribunals: “Three private individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from parliament.”

Or as the US-based Democracy Centre described it: “a privatised justice system for global corporations.”

UKIP is very vocal about the protection of British Sovereignty when it comes to social legislation emanating from Europe, but it remains strangely silent when the threat to our sovereignty comes from the Corporations.

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