By Sajjad Amin Bangash
The diameter of modern politics has taken a new shape as more and more people are getting politically aware, understand the strategies of traditional politics and people’s behaviors towards nationalism has emerged up giving birth to ‘polarization’ to nations. People are following the trends in modern politics, foresee the performances of political parties in the shape of inflation, lowering the unemployment and poverty, indexes of tax raise or cuts, health care, safeguarding the social and economic security, and overall dynamics of ever changing geo-political contours of the world.
The election which held in UK on 7th of May, 2015, gave an exact replicated picture of the above paragraph, where the people of Scotland entrusted their will to Scotland National Party (SNP). This victorious clout was quite obvious for SNP after the failure in referendum. In simple words, people of Scotland retaliated aggressively towards the policies of Westminster policies towards Scotland. Scotland people emerged up as ‘nationalists’ and they found SNP a pure platform which is replica for their demonstrations and gave SNP an overwhelming majority to give a roaring voice in Westminster kicking away Scottish Labor party leader Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander, Lib Dem’s Danny Alexander and etc.
Although, this victory was celebrated with full elation in Scotland, however on the part of the UK, the conservatives (Tories) again retained their dominance over Westminster. This arithmetic seems quite imbalanced in many ways. The people of Scotland didn’t want Tories to win on the premises that Tories government will further extend the tax-net over Scotland and enhance austerity measures on Scotland. Now, this poses another challenge for SNP as to how to deal with this paradoxical situation. David Cameron is at mandatory position to impose £12bn of welfare cuts, replacing Trident, an in-out Europe referendum and faced by meager Labour party and the pulverized Lib Dems. Off course, now the Scots seeing this majority of 56 seats out of 59 of SNP as driven vitality and mandate to give stronger voice in Westminster and oppose more public spending cuts and the privatization of NHS in England.
So this pyramid of opposite contingents exposes more belligerent questions as:
Will David Cameron negotiate and consult Nicola Sturgeon or will he overlook this part of people’s representation?
This seems quite challenging for both SNP and conservative led dominance in the House of Commons. Since, now SNP in other words people of Scotland have a say in the affairs of Westminster. Off course they do since, that’s the constitutional rights of Scots and in a better position of ‘home rule and full fiscal autonomy’.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has insisted Scotland will no longer be “sidelined or ignored” at Westminster after her party won an unprecedented 56 seats in the general election, sending political shockwaves across the UK.
The First Minister said the landslide victory – which saw the SNP claim all but three of the constituencies north of the border – had given the nationalists a “mandate on a scale unprecedented for any political party, not just in Scotland but right across the UK”.
The initial strategy of SNP was to win the election with overwhelming majority which they did and now, they’ve a complete grip in their hands. They are in a strong position to bow down Westminster in every way. Similarly, they will further see, if Westminster goes for EU membership or not. If they don’t, SNP wants EU membership so they’ll aggressively opt for it, will force the EU to recognize their worth. SNP based on their majority will eye on EU enrollment.
To my political wisdom it seems that “The British Union has the naked menace of collapse and UK needs reassessment for constitutional reformation for the power devolution. Since, you can’t negate the people’s representation under fully functional democratic set up.” Even, the nationalist tsunami in Scotland has totally jolted the Westminster. The Scotland parliament has now more autonomous hand to control all the tax and spending, reducing cross-border relations and will benefit their own earnings on the Scotland produced, defense and macro-economic policies which were once directed to South part of UK before after every five years for the shared services of foreign office – at least until the oil price recovers and new progressive policies reduce dependency and increase productivity.”
Furthermore, if Holyrood sets and raises its own taxes, then the need for Evel (English votes for English laws) will be reduced and the house of Common can be reverted to a de facto English parliament. However, the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and English representations have to be given more leverage and space with renewed demands for proportional representation and perhaps, this will further turn the Lords into a fully elected federal-style second chamber – especially, if the newly rejected Scottish Labour will be move up to upper house. Another inept deal could easily leave the federal spirit well and scattered it at both sides of the borders.
The glorious victory of SNP is half sided blessing for Westminster. Nicola Sturgeon proved to be Britain’s most trusted social democrat and Scotland’s most popular political leader but Nicola Sturgeon already foresaw every scenario after the referendum, and will be prepared for what’s coming next and would definitely look for better options and political wisdom to see contours of the battlefield to win before she decides to go in another referendum.
This general election of May, 2015 broadcasted three things very clear – the inadequate Smith Commission package of more Holyrood powers is mandatorily sunken and union has reached to a delicate look of ‘fracture’ while the Scots enjoyed the luxury of overpowering majority and shown their rage in the form of SNP victory.
Karen Martin, Glasgow, Scotland.
“We are all delighted that the SNP have won so convincingly here in Scotland causing a political landslide. I think it will be interesting times ahead! The Tories’ intend having a referendum in Europe within two years and that will be the catalyst I believe for us to gain our Independence. England wants out; we want to stay, so if we’re taken out of Europe against our will, the outcome will be inevitable and disastrous.
They no longer have any kind of mandate to govern us. Nobody expected such a landslide, and we are so happy. But there will be some tough times ahead before it gets better.
People get so hung up on the oil issue, but even taking oil out of the equation, we are still a rich country with natural resources most could only dream of. The English are being brainwashed into believing that they are subsidizing us, when in actual fact it’s the other way around. One way or another, they’ll find that out for themselves in time!
Unfortunately the Tories have a majority in Westminster now so won’t need a coalition with any party so won’t be negotiating with anyone, however they still can’t ignore what’s happened here, and at least we’ll have a louder voice. I believe Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon already foresaw every scenario after the referendum, and will be prepared for what’s coming next. They are very shrewd and have been constantly underestimated by the establishment who will pay in the end. Westminster is afraid of them, and so they should be. As for the EU that’s not going to happen under Cameron’s tenure as he knows what will happen if they vote to come out! They need us and our resources, and would be broke otherwise so can’t afford to risk it. I can’t wait to see how this will pan out but either way the major political parties are finished in Scotland, and there’s no turning back from what is now inevitable, our Independence! The people in Scotland have woken up and are now politically aware and active; we don’t believe the lies anymore. We are a sovereign people, unlike our neighbours, and we will decide what’s next, not an establishment that is there to further the interests of the rich and powerful, while holding the rest in contempt. They must realize now after those results that it’s over. The swings from the main parties to the SNP were unheard of and a lot of that was down to the way they had started to refer to us. It was borderline xenophobic even. Cameron and Boris Johnston didn’t hold back with their racist comments and that’s what put the final nail in the coffin. They could have offered us Nirvana but it was too late because they’d already let their real racist beliefs show, so even the unionists here voted SNP.
Alex Salmond is a genius and Nicola has been mentored by him. They both speak exactly the same. I have never known two politicians to be so in tune with each other, and the people. They are two peas in a pod so it was really a political masterstroke when he stepped down as first minister for her. He took us as far as we could go in Scotland, and she’s raised the profile of the SNP in the rUK as a whole. He is Westminster bound and without being restricted with the chains of the first minister’s office, he will let rip down there. Quite a team.
I don’t think there will be another referendum until the people decide and that’s a couple of years away. Some more of these austerity cuts, and more punishment for daring to go against them and we’ll be calling for one. Like I said if Cameron does hold a in/ out of Europe referendum, that will probably be the time. That’s in the next two years apparently, so if we’re taken out, that’ll be it! Finished for good!”