Jonathon Shafi from the Radical Independence Campaign on why he is voting YES!
Jonathon Shafi from the Radical Independence Campaign on why he is voting YES!
As citizens who wish to live in a fairer society, many of us are hard at work getting the message out into the public domain.
Over the last few months we have traveled across Scotland and Europe discussing the importance of what a nation in control of its powers can achieve.
Just look at what we have accomplished so far as a devolved nation – an excellent NHS, free higher education, assistance with care of our elderly, free prescriptions to name but a few.
Last night Tasmina Sheikh, Angela Constance and Manmohan Tagore spoke passionately and eloquently on why it is only through independence we can move forward as a progressive nation to tap into all our potential, where our citizens are our most prized assets.
Angela went on to talk about investment led recovery where we invest in our most vulnerable members of society to support and help us move forward, instead of punishing them with further cuts. Scotland offers support whereas Westminister responds with penalising the already most marginalised in our society.
Today was a great day out canvassing with other supporters of an independent Scotland. It was heartwarming seeing so many folk coming out to talk to us and also the number of Yes posters on windows all over East Pollokshields.
You should so check out Leven Street, where Tasmina Sheikh, Josh and I canvassed earlier today! Amazing.
Best part of the day was bumping into old friends and colleagues. I was absolutely delighted to meet Professor Henry Maitles at the event and it was lovely to catch up with what is happening at the UWS campus in Ayr.
It was great to see so many of us out today, even though we were fasting ( fasts are nearly 20 hours long this year too, if you are a Muslim practising Ramadan), so a big thank you for everyone who was out campaigning today.
Change won’t happen by itself – we need to make it happen. When we become complicit and avert our eyes from those that need our help the most, even though we may not see ourselves as ‘the problem’, what does that as a society say about us? Scotland is a caring society – long may that continue, but let’s enhance and build our own infrastructure to care for our citizens and play our part on the world stage.
Another thoughtful and well written piece by Wasim Mahmood. Wasim is a Glasgow-based commercial property researcher with a keen interest in current affairs. A politics & philosophy graduate from the University of Glasgow and his latest article has been copied below from the Huffington Post
It is entirely fitting that His Holiness Pope Francis, President Obama and the Chinese Premier, amongst others, should choose to speak out against a Yes vote and insist that Scots remain subservient to a Westminster government. In doing so, each have made it resoundingly clear that their concern is not for the people of Scotland as much as they are simply looking out for their own self-interest. Esteemed international figures though they may be, none match the political reverence of perhaps the greatest international statesman of our time, Nelson Mandela. A man granted the freedom of the City of Glasgow back in 1981 during his epic struggle for political equality. “One man, one vote” was his mission and it is worth noting that this is a basic democratic right still denied to Scotland when it is regularly given a government it does not vote for. To that end, the importance of your decision on Referendum Day cannot be overstated. Though free to vote as you please, it is an obligation that your choice is an informed one and based upon sound reasoning. Should it be the wrong outcome, the consequences will be transhistorical.
As the debate intensifies, what is accepted by both sides is that Scotland requires dynamic change if it is to lift itself out of its current malaise. Consider then for a moment what type of change each proposes: On the one hand, the thrust of the argument underpinning the Yes campaign is that only an independent Scotland would grant full decision making power and deliver the economic levers required to make decisions exclusively in Scotland’s interest. On the other hand, the message from Better Together is that the best way to deliver change and reverse Scotland’s fortunes is to remain in the hands of a Westminster system that leaves Scotland as an afterthought.
The question is moot whether any change could actually take place in the event of a No vote when nothing at all will change. It stands to scrutiny that the very same system, the same parties and the same policies that have led Scotland to the point it finds itself at today, simply cannot be the force of change and that is why the reality of what a No vote will deliver is abundantly clear: business as usual and the very same as has passed before. Broken promise after broken promise in addition to a distinct lack of humility towards the very electorate they are responsible towards.
At the most recent General Election in 2010, both Labour and the Conservatives campaigned hard on a ticket of social equality. “A future fair for all” was the Labour tagline despite their fateful economic record in office. As documented by Robin Mcalpine in his thoroughly enlightening article, the common perception of Labour as a party of the masses is bunk given that nobody quite shafted the working and middle classes as they did. An economy in peril, crippling national debt, record personal debt and the premier institutions of the country, such as the NHS and Welfare State at breaking point. It is this ghastly legacy that should leave voters in no doubt over exactly what a No vote means.
It is as a direct result of Westminster that the UK is now amongst the most unequal societies anywhere in the developed world and nowhere is this inequality depicted more starkly than in the City of Glasgow. For at one end of the River Clyde, towards the west, we have a naval base housing an arsenal of the most destructive weapons ever created by mankind and costing billions. Yet, at the opposite end of the same river, towards the east end of the city, we have some of the most impoverished streets in Western Europe, home to a forgotten generation many of whom now rely on food banks for survival. You see, it is not a question of money, it is simply a matter of priorities.
If you are undecided or find yourself wavering in your decision to vote Yes, pause, step back and take a clear-headed look at what more the Union could possibly offer. One glance at the political, social and economic landscape before you is evidence enough that it is time to take a different course. Yes, there will be challenges, yes there will be differences, yes there will be trepidation but that is why we must follow the words of the great Robert Frost who uttered that “I took the path less trodden, And that is what made all the difference.”
The Milan Group are hosting a referendum meeting on Saturday 28th June, 7.30pm, Forrestbank Community Centre, Ladywell, Livingston. Please do join us as our Scots Asians for Yes representatives Tasmina Sheikh and Manmohan Tagore who will be answering your questions on independence.
We will shortly be adding information about canvassing events throughout Scotland. Do join us, as we work towards shaping a more progressive nation.
N N Riaz
22nd June 2014, over 1000 activists, some of them seasoned campaigners, others new yet passionate about playing a part to bring about change, joined the Radical Independence Campaign on a mass canvass throughout Scotland. It is empowering to see so many of us working together because we have a vision for a fairer and more equal society. Without a doubt – another Scotland is possible.
Meet Kiren Zubairi, the latest member of The Yes Campaign and Scots Asian for Independence.
Thanks to Nighet Nasim Riaz for putting me in touch with her. Nighet met Kiren in Glasgow at a campaign stall. Kiren expressed an interest in getting involved with the campaign in Edinburgh and so we met up today to discuss it.
Kiren is a trained economist and also has a masters in middle eastern politics. As you can imagine she is a very smart girl who knows her stuff when it comes to independence. I pity the No campaigner who has to take her on in debate!
Kiren and I will be attending the debate at Central Mosque on Wednesday night between Aamer Anwar and Talat Yaqoob. At the weekend we will both be out canvassing for the YES vote with YES Edinburgh North and Leith on Saturday and then part of the mass canvassing on Sunday.
Scots Asians for Independence in East Scotland keeps going from strength to strength!