Malawi recently enjoyed a rare mention in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom when newly-elected parliamentarian for Glasgow North showed off his necktie to underscore the growing solidarity between Malawi and Scotland.
Delivering his maiden speech in the House on June 2, Patrick Grady, drew special attention to himself when he said: “The tie I’m wearing today, Mr. Speaker, is the Malawi-Scotland tartan. It symbolises the friendship and solidarity between our two countries. I believe solidarity should be the mark of relationships between human beings and the basis on which we can end the scandal of poverty around the world and bring about world peace.”
A press release from the UK-based Scotland-Malawi Partnership — an umbrella organisation which exists to coordinate, support and represent the many civic links between the two nations — reflected that Grady mentioned Malawi passionately from a position of strength.
The new parliamentarian has been closely involved in Scotland’s special friendship with Malawi, having previously worked and volunteered in Malawi.
UK-based Malawi-Scotland Partnership principal officer David Hope-Jones was happy with the highlighting of Malawi’s close relations with Scotland.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted that Patrick Grady, MP, was able to represent Scotland’s links with Malawi in his maiden speech as a Member of Parliament. The spirit of solidarity which he spoke of is close to the heart of all who work together between our two nations.”
Commenting on the development, the partnership’s Malawi national coordinator, Happy Makala, said it is heartening that the historic bilateral ties seem to be growing stronger by the day.
“At a social level, we knew, all along, that we have many close friends in Scotland. But to see that such friendship can now be a flowing and interesting testimony even in the House of Commons, we are truly excited that this friendship is having an impact on the key political front, as well,” Makala added.
Malawi and Scotland enjoy a 156-year friendship, based on mutual respect, understanding, social justice and a commitment to good global citizenship. The ties date back to the days of a renowned missionary who helped to spread Christianity in Malawi, Dr. David Livingstone.