I see stark parallels between the Northland by-election and the United Kingdom general election. They’re both stories of ordinary people, who work hard and play by the rules, who love their country, who celebrate their identity and care for others. They’re both stories of ordinary people who have enough.
In Northland there is a disturbing feeling of oppression and anger towards business as usual. That is, the cities such as Auckland and Wellington see multi-million dollar roading upgrades, new overpasses and highways whilst rural roads are left crumbling. Just the other day I had the honour in being one of the first Wellingtonians to stroll around the new Pukeahu war memorial park, which also includes the new underpass. I was torn in my emotions. This was of huge benefit to my city. But in the back of my mind I could only imagine what $120m could do to our rural, backroad communities. Would $120m be better spent on a new road and park for Wellington, or decent services and much-needed road upgrades for our rural areas?
Our government’s city-centric infrastructure is to be detested. It is ignoring our regions, and therefore farms and family businesses. The backbone and a crucial pillar to our economy. Without the regions our economy would be dead overnight through the loss of the dairy, fishery and timber industries. What rural New Zealand gets back, as opposed to what it puts out, should be abhorrently spoken out against. In these last few days, since it became clear Winston Peters was due for victory, the government’s tone has changed from one of blissful arrogance to one of sorrow. Rural New Zealand has had a guts full.
So what on earth does this have to do the United Kingdom’s general election? What is Britain’s equivalent of the Northland region? Once again you need only to look at very northern end of the country; Scotland. The battleground for Scottish rights is happening here. The Scottish people want their country back. Since the Scottish referendum for independence ‘Yes’ vote was defeated in resounding fashion with 55% opposed to absolute sovereignty, there has been a movement back to Independence with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats completely failing to live up to their promise to give more powers and a fairer percentage of the budget to Scotland. Just proving further that political promises go nowhere. Take note, Northland.
Many had predicted the full on the Scottish National Party. Numerous English villages paraded effigies of SNP leader Alex Salmond.
Which links back to Northland. The vast majority of the criticism against Winston Peters has come from the cities. MPs from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have found the audacity to lecture Northland that National is best for them as local Osborne followed them around silently.
But since the referendum, and the broken promises from the Westminster establishment, support for Scottish independence has rebounded to 51%. As a result, Scotland is set to become Tory-free for one of the few times in history, and almost rid Labour of all its seats. Even the seat of former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to go yellow. The excitement generated by new SNP leader Nicola Strugeon has reignited the nationalist cause.
Unfortunately the mood in Wales has not changed. The vast majority still support Labour and the Conservatives despite the Welsh nationalist leader quite rightly pointing out the sitting Labour majority in Wales has echoed the Conservatives’ austerity measures which have cut Welsh health and education services “to the bone”.
It’s high time Wales rose up to the oppressor, like Scotland, and regained its pride. The Celtic revolution is coming, and England can ignore it no more.
To inspire you:
‘Wind of Change’ ad for SNP:
Ad for Plaid Cymru:
To be added to this article soon: ‘Why we left the Greens out’ – Finn Jackson.