I am very much thankful to my friend David McGuinness, Airdrie, North Lankashire, Scotland for sharing his insights, political experience and helping me compiling this article.
The Wave of Change
By Sajjad Amin Bangash, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Our political systems are at fault and people are badly suffering due to incapable, inefficient, and less productive policies of our governments. The policies of our governments really didn’t uplift the socio-economic conditions and well-being of ordinary citizens which created a big gap of income disparity, unemployment, deprivation, injustice and countries like us ‘the status quo politicians’ just filled their pockets, enhanced their business empires and as a result, the economic conditions got worsened, given rise to incessant inflation, unemployment, social injustice, crime, intolerance and bigotry which badly impacted and effected the lives of common, poor people. This has led to the realization among the ordinary citizens to rise against all odds and remove this ‘triangle of industrialists, power mongers and status quo politicians.’ In the recent wave of political paradigm shift and political awareness among people all over the world is indeed an early attempt to bring an open honest and progressive Governances to our systems which need a complete resurrection, overhaul and empowerment of the ordinary people.
To attain this, several countries seen a torrent wave of right of self-determination, more political freedom, participation and a meritorious change. Starting from Egypt to Libya, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Catalonia and Scotland, people are politically woken up with a wise sense of nationalism, deliverance and equal rights to every citizen of our countries. Our resources are occupied and enjoyed by the aligns and we are deprived of the luxuries of own resources.
Being a political activist for Imran Khan party, PTI, I campaigned wholeheartedly for the noble cause to free our country from ‘status quo politicians’ who caged our democracy for their own purposes and vested interwoven interests. Partially, we’ve managed to break the two party ‘swap of governments’ and given power to ordinary people. I was happy to see that we the Pakistani nation were not alone, there are several other nations were marching in parallel doctrine of change, economic and political freedom and a systematic approach to decentralized delegation of powers so that normal citizens can be benefited from. One great example is the political awareness and movement of the people of Scotland who were going through abysmal bog duly entrapped by the few power mongers.
I have met with a friend of mine who has similar experiences, political ideologies as I have and then I took this opportunity to have a detailed insight and discussion with him so as to enhance my political knowledge and share our parts of experience to others.
He is David McGuinness RE from Airdrie North Lankashire, Scotland. David is ‘Online Coordinator and by role in S.N.P, he is the member as to officers of the party and he tries hard to use his talents, devotion, committed and spirited heart for the development, progress and freedom of Scotland and actively participated in the “Yes Campaigning of Scotland.”
I eagerly requested David for a discussion and said “David I am thinking of writing another article on the political and Scotland movement. I would eagerly want to include your views.”
David equally returned his cordial cooperation and said “Dear Sajjad! That would be great I’ll offer any help. I really liked the fact you made the effort to call. Pleasure is mine to interact with other minds from other world/cultures enrich us all and reminds us that or struggles are universal.
I then pushed forward our discussion with a saying “Let’s begin our discussion if you’re free or let me put some questions based on which you can answer if you’re having busy schedule at the moment. ”
My first question from David was ‘Do you think an independent, sovereign Scotland is the ultimate option for the people of Scotland or sending MPs to Westminster in upcoming election?’
David: We only have 59 constituencies in Scotland under the current model at Westminster. I strongly believe that the devolution road will lead to independence so does Westminster.
I asked David as “Do you think that people of Scotland pay higher taxes than that of Southern part of UK. If so then to what percentage or extend?”
David said that “The People of Scotland pay on average £1700 pounds per year in tax while receiving only £1200 per year back of that revenue.
These figure are false because in 1997, 3,000 mile of the north sea where stolen by Westminster to undermine Scotland’s wealth.
With in those 3,000 mile where Scotland have 05 most productive oil wells and the 12 most productive gas fields so it is common knowledge with our youth that the figures are have been corrupted”
Our conversation moved along and I further asked him “You mentioned about the demographic model of Scotland as you’ve a huge population portion comprises of elderly people who will be dieng off in next coming 10 years and what impact it will leave afterwards on the demographic contours of Scotland?”
David replied ” We like most nations are having a baby boom at the moment as our youth are all un-employed so to Westminsters distress our population is growing at the moment. Secondly, UK is tightening up its immigration policy which further shrinks the chances of more people coming into Scotland.”
Sajjad : What is fracking and how does it effect the environment, socio-economic and geographical and geological shapes of Scotland?
David: Basically, fracking was invented here is Scotland many years ago to extract coal oil but the methods used back they used sea water/saline which was safe. Today they are after Shale Gas and that’s a whole other tale. Not a good idea! in order to release shale gas you need to inject heavy metals and bromide or uranium to fracture the rock it also triggers the release of radon gas or methane very bad for health or Eco-system including the water table.
Sajjad: What role Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgen played in the awakening of Scotland people for their self determination and ownership of nationalism?
David: As to Alex or Nicola what they did was wake up the nation how?
They pointed out in simple terms that the people of Scotland are under law and have the right to speak up. As a small nation people can have a say.
Sajjad: What’s the devolution of power and do you think that Scotland drastically needs more powers at decentralized and lower level?
David: If Scotland was a big nation I would see the need for de-centralisation but as a small nation I have to look at the expense of duplication of human resources such as pay offices and tax collection offices.
As to the model for influencing Central government we have a great system under the petitions office where in this small nation citizen can petitions the Government and must be heard in the parliament within 28 days. Under our system you do not lot’s of signatures to be heard just your own. So having a say in national our size at local level needs a different model.
Sajjad: What was the prime reason of ‘No’ in the last referendum and what message you learned from the last referendum?
David: The big thing we learnt from this referendum is our youth trust themselves and do not identify with the U.K and that they wish to govern themselves . The prime reason for the no vote info now available to us shows it was age related.
Sajjad: Do you foresee that with the inclusion in EU, will Scotland receive better prospects and benefits?
David: That is a very complicated question would an independent be a member of the E.U yes as to the benefits of the E.U to Scotland. Most of the improvements to Scotland over the past 30 years where financed by the E.U and not Westminster.
Sajjad: According to an opinion polls, SNP stays at the top with 52% vote bank, and
By comparing the growing popularity of SNP in Scotland’s politics as compared to other contemporary political parties, what is the reason behind this?
David: With 1.6 million people in Scotland voting yes on social equality they are now bringing the Scottish vote home.
People have deserted the main stream U.K parties as they have become nothing more than C.E.O thanks to Tony Blair administration the people of Scotland now know we are pawns in a bigger game that we are not aloud to play.
Sajjad: Do you think the the manifesto of SNP, is that lucrative and effective which will address the core issues of the people of Scotland?
David: No not yet but it’s getting there. As to the value of a manifesto you are a clever man so I won’t say lol
Sajjad: Knowing the treasure of oil resources being the vital factor of Scotland’s economy. Do you think that, the Oil Reserves are in real sense being utilized by Scotland?
David: The North sea is the least of Scotland oil reserves the north Atlantic merging and Clyde basin holds vast reserves. During the referendum oil was talked up by the U.K but dismissed by the Scottish people. We are also dismissive of the current oil price as Scotland’s economy is a present (9% as strong or on a par with rUKs economy is at present 99% as strong as rUKs economy in like for like terms.
Sajjad: What are your general practices in propagating your political party campaigns and how do you spread the message?
David: On promoting our message in a small nation we use social media a great tool. Door step speaking and through leaflets although the last is the least effective in our nation.
Sajjad: How do you see women’s participation and engagement in politics in Scotland. Our party (PTI) equally gives a bigger roles to women as they’re MPAs( Member of Provincial Assemblies and MNAs(Member of National Assembly).
David: Now that is a very good question on the surface we tend to be gender balanced and we are getting there but underneath there are institutional gender bias but we as a party and a nation are getting there.
Sajjad: So what’s the representation of females in Scotland parliament?
David: About 60/40 male to female.
Sajjad: That’s nice and we have similar. In our party, women are given equal representation as they represent 52% of population and the greatest aspect of Imran Khan’s politics is that for the first time, women have came out from their houses and duly participating in the political process of our country which is a great sign for the development of our society and country while in past women were reluctant and hadn’t participated that energetically as they’re now.
Sajjad: What future do you see for Scotland and SNP?
David: Predictions are hard to make but over the next 10 years I see the end of the union and then the end of the S.N.P over the following 10 years.
Sajjad: That means Scotland will be an independent country and several democratic parties will emerge up.
David: That’s how I read it but time will tell. I must go now my friend my father is here and to continue would be rude to him.
This was a wonderful, productive and thought provoking discussion between I and David McGuinness, and together we learned a lot from each other. I believe that in today’s modern time with the availability of free social media networking, we the people have biggest power to transform and convey our message across and create awareness and give power to the people. Together we can. So let’s do it. We then concluded our discussion and I extended my gratitude to David with departing words as
“Thank you so much David for your time and appreciation.”