At the ”Love Scotland, Vote No” rally, Glasgow
September 17, 2014
That is what this vote tomorrow is really about. Not about Scotland being a nation, we are a nation forever — yesterday, today and tomorrow. It’s not about the Scottish Parliament, we have it and its powers are increasing, but whether — and this is the question — you want to break every last link with the UK and I say I don’t want to end UK pensions, UK passports, the UK pound, the UK welfare state, the UK funded health service or the UK minimum wage.
So let us tell people of what we have done together.
Tell them that we fought and won a war against fascism together. Tell them there is no war cemetery in Europe where Scots, English, Welsh and Northern Irish troops do not lay side-by-side. We fought together, suffered together, sacrificed together, mourned together and then celebrated together.
And tell them that we not only won a war together — we built a peace together, we created the NHS together, we built a welfare state together.
We did all this without sacrificing within the union our identity, our culture, our tradition as Scots. Our Scottishness is not weaker, but stronger as a result.
And what we created together, let no nationalist split asunder.
And tell the undecided, the waverers and those to still make up their mind, being falsely told that you cannot be proudly Scottish and vote no, that this is our Scotland.
Tell them Scotland does not belong to the SNP.
Tell them, Scotland does not belong to the “Yes” campaign. That it doesn’t belong to Mr Salmond or Mr Swinney or to me or any other politician.
Tell them — Scotland belongs to all of us.
And tell the Nationalists, it’s not their flag, their culture, their country or their streets. Tell them it’s everyone’s flag, everyone’s culture, everyone’s country and everyone’s streets.
And tell them that our patriotic vision is bigger than nationalism; we want Scotland not leaving the UK, but leading the UK, and through leading the UK, leading in the world.
And tell the undecided, the unsure, those thinking of voting yes today but who can be persuaded to vote no tomorrow.
Tell them that we who vote “No” love Scotland. The Scotland of the Scottish Enlightenment and Scottish inventors; the Scotland that is the pioneer of the right to work and yes, the right to free health care; the Scotland that is author of the welfare state and international aid.
And we achieved all this and far more not outside the Union, but inside the Union. Not in spite of the Union, but through the Union. And there is not one part of us that is lesser as a result…
For the real separation we want is not from England, but from poverty.
The real independence we want is not from our neighbours, but from inequality and deprivation.
And the real freedom and liberation we want is not from one country, but freedom from injustice for every country, in every part of the world, now and for the decades to come.
And what message would a Yes vote send to a world of discord, conflict and division, that the Scots who for centuries had championed cooperating across borders through a partnership of solidarity and sharing with the UK, had given up, stopped sharing and smashed partnership with others.
That the Scots had abandoned cooperation and turn their back on solidarity.
That the country which had been a beacon to the world had become smaller, not bigger in the eyes of the world.
Tell them the opposite is true.
On Friday, if we wake to a “No” vote, we will still be Scots, Scots yesterday, today and tomorrow, and the work of social justice will go on…
If you, like me, believe the way forward is not separation but justice through cooperation, then I say to you today:
Hold yourselves with dignity. Have confidence. Our values are the values of the people of Scotland.