Hey everyone In a statesman like speech to the SNP conference Alex Salmond set out his vision for an Independent Scotland. It was a speech which can best be described by three words patriotism pragmatism & principles. This was a speech which I’m sure will have resonated beyond the conference hall. It was pitched not at the party faithful or our traditional core support but at those voters who may not previously have considered voting for Independence preferring the option of more powers for the parliament.
However the Edinburgh Agreement has removed that option & it now no longer exists. So those voters who wanted the comfort blanket of a second question now face a choice independence & the chance of a better Scotland or stick with the union & put at risk the gains we’ve made since devolution. Yesterday the First Minister sought to reach out to those voters & reassure them that the prospect of Independence was nowhere near as scary as the unionist politicians have attempted to paint it.
In fact he tried & I believe succeeded in painting the a future as part of the union as a far more frightening prospect.
Throughout his speech Salmond conducted himself as a man of dignity, a man of stature a man prepared to work to persuade our people that independence is not only in their best interests but also in the best interests of all of our people.
He began his speech by praising his deputy First Minister & our party’s deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon by saying ‘one of the great things about having Nicola Sturgeon as Deputy First Minister is that I don’t have to worry about running back to parliament for First Ministers Questions.’ indeed you don’t First Minister, Nicola is more than capable of dealing with anyone that the unionist parties can put up to face her.
The First Minister then went on to talk about a home rule journey & reminded the audience in the hall that he as part of that home rule journey had shared a platform with the then Scottish Labour leader Donald Dewar to advance the cause of devolution. That cause was won & we now have a Scottish parliament because of it. A Scottish parliament may I add in which many Labour Liberal Democrat & Conservative MSP’s have served & continue to serve the people well. However, Devolution has limits & therefore limits the potential for Scotland’s economy to grow & develop as it unquestionably could with the full powers of nationhood.
Unlike the speeches of Scottish leaders of the unionists parties & in particular the Labour Party leaders Johann Lamont Leader in the Scottish Parliament & Margaret Curran the would be Scottish Secretary which were filled with hateful comments about him & the SNP Salmond resisted any personal attacks on his opponents . He did however comment on Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson’s remark that only 12% of Scots contribute to the wealth of the nation, reminding her that even Mitt Romney only wrote off 47% of the American population but she wrote off 88% of Scots.
He then attacked Labour’s something for nothing comment asking if they believed that free personal care or free transport for older people or free education were something for nothing saying that he knew many pensioners who had never abused a police officer or dodged a fair. He then sent a chilling warning to them saying ‘some people call it universality & say its time has passed I call it common decency & say its time is now’. This was Salmond at his devastating best reminding not only the TV audience but also delegates & other party members in attendance that only Independence can safeguard the social contract made with the people. Only with independence will we have the powers to create the better Scotland not for ourselves but for the people we seek to serve.
Our country deserves better than what Salmond described as ‘incompetent Lord Snooty’s’. He spelt out his alternative to the austerity this Government & let’s not kid ourselves any future British Labour Government would gladly dish out to the working people of Scotland. This included not only a commitment to protect the gains of the devolved era but also to provide every child in the country with an equal start in life.
I do hope Willie Rennie Ruth Davidson & Johann Lamont I list them in order of the influence I believe them to have within their parties were actually listening instead of shouting at the telly. If they were, they may have discovered that equality means treating people fairly not as was pointed out by the First Minister
‘putting this first class nation in the second class carriages’. There, will he said, be ‘no more second best for Scotland’.
As he concluded his speech Salmond told the audience both in the hall & more especially those watching from the comfort of their living rooms that in the autumn of 2014 & that choice could not be clearer. vote No & get nothing vote yes to build a better Scotland & remember ‘what was gained by devolution can only now be guaranteed by independence. As he said at the beginning of his speech its game on’ & the country has a majority for change. It will be the job of members of the Scottish National Party, to work along with others in the broad based Yes campaign to transfer that majority for change to a majority for independence for our nation.
Having a man of stature who is a principled patriotic pragmatist leading us in to the most important campaign in our country’s history can only assist us in achieving the desired result. The home rule journey he referred to in his speech is almost complete. We are almost home & don’t our opponents know it . Make no mistake we are closer now to reclaiming our independence than at any time in the last three centuries & with a team who have far more talent than our opposition let there be no doubt this is game on, let’s go out & win it for Scotland.
Love & Best Wishes