Sunday, 6 February 2011
The Struggle for Freedom
President Hosni Mubarak has rejected protesters' demands that he quit now, as he says it would cause chaos. But Mr Mubarak - who has been in office since 1981 and has tolerated little dissent - has said he will not stand in elections due in September. Huge crowds have been on the streets of Cairo and other cities in the past two weeks demanding his immediate resignation and calling for democratic reforms.
From the BBC News Website
The crisis in Egypt has been a major new story these last few days. It is clear many Egyptians want change for their country, having had thirty years of a president who appears not to listen to the wishes of many of his compatriots. It seems the capital city Cairo has finally succumbed to years of pent-up frustration. Previously, government forces were quick to quell any signs of an uprising but now, it seems, enough is enough for a country with a population of 85 million. President Mubarak has said he will stand down in the Egyptian elections in September but for many people this is too little - and far too late. They want action now and it is a situation developing each day.
Now you may think it a bit crass to compare Egypt and its oppressed people with Scotland, a tiny country in comparison with a population of barely 5 million. People in Scotland aren't oppressed, aren't living in a hostile environment and aren't taking to rioting in the streets of Edinburgh demanding change. However, I do sense a mood for change here. Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom, is ruled by a government in another country - from London, England. Yes, the Scots do have some devolved powers such as education and health which is administered by the Scottish Nationalist government which sits in Edinburgh. As with the UK, this is a coalition government with the Scottish National Party holding a slender advantage. But the UK is in such a mess and decisions are taken by a coalition government in London that aren't always in the best interests of Scotland. The UK Prime Minister David Cameron is a Conservative - a party with minimal support in Scotland and, consequently, nothing to lose by forcing many of the 'difficult decisions' on the Scots. As with the despised Tory Government under Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, Scotland doesn't vote Tory so it doesn't really matter to those in power in London.
The elections to the Scottish Government are due this May. The election build up has already begun. Many Scots traditionally vote for the Labour Party but given they lost power at the UK election last year one would seriously have to ask what would be the point in voting for them at the Scots election? Do they really have Scotland's best interests at heart? Or are they merely setting their sights on getting back in at Westminster - which could be another four years away?
The Scottish people could show real courage and increase the power for the Scottish National Party at Holyrood in May. Isn't it time Scots finally spoke for themselves? Time Scots took matters into their own hands and governed their own country rather than continue to take orders from a London based government that really doesn't give two hoots (if you'll pardon the pun) about Scotland or its people?
The good people of Egypt have finally seen the light after thirty years of being dictated to. Scots don't need to riot for change. We have a democracy we should be proud of. If only we had the courage to make real change happen for our nation. I live in hope.