Red Reading: Spectrezine's latest picks from recent publications

Hired-gun lobbyists in last-ditch battle against EU transparency plans
Will Commission and Parliament stand firm against backlash from vested interests?

On March 21st 2007, the European Commission announced its conclusions from two years of discussion on regulating EU lobbying in the context of the European Transparency Initiative (ETI).
Two years of heated debate had followed the March 2005 speech in which EU Commissioner Siim Kallas highlighted the lack of transparency within which Brussels lobbyists operate. Given the lobbyists' strong influence on EU policy-making, this lack of transparency could undermine the legitimacy of EU decision-making process, he warned. In his speech Kallas dismissed the voluntary codes of conduct administered by Brussels-based corporate lobby associations SEAP and EPACA as ineffective and un-transparent. The debate has since then witnessed a continuous clash between these two associations and the Alliance for Lobby Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) which has been championing the compulsory registration of lobbyists operating in Brussels. Read the rest.

Australia: Green Left Weekly highlights anti-APEC, anti-Bush protests

"There were at least 10,000 people gathered at 11am at Sydney’s Town Hall. Despite an intensive campaign aimed at keeping people away, and provocative policing on the day, up to 15,000 people come out on September 8, asserting their right to protest against US President George Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Hundreds of high school students chanting “Troops out now!” joined with hundreds of trade unionists chanting “The workers united will never be defeated!” ensured
that the crowd swelled onto George Street, sending the riot police scampering to take up new positions in front of their mobile prison buses." Read the rest, and check out Australia's socialist newspaper

Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein's newest book just out is The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism that explores the myth of "free market" democracy. It shows how neoliberal Washington Consensus fundamentalism dominates the world with America its lead exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere. Read Stephen Lendamn's review.