“The most vulnerable people in society, instead of getting protection and support, will be interrogated and humiliated in order to deprive them…who would vote for that union?” ~ Yes Scotland

“And, on top of all that, the most vulnerable people in society, instead of getting protection and support, will be interrogated and humiliated in order to deprive them of the very meagre level of provision to which they are entitled.

“I ask this conference – who in Scotland would vote for that package? Who in Scotland would vote for that union?”

~ Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive, Yes Scotland Campaign

‘UK one of most unfair societies in developed world’ 

Posted by Ian McKerron on October 20, 2012

The UK has become one of the most unfair and unequal societies in the developed world, Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, said today.

And the blame lies with both Labour and Conservative Westminster governments:

“This didn’t happen as an act of God. It was an act of policy”

he told delegates to the SNP’s annual conference in Perth.

Delivering the prestigious Donaldson Lecture on the third day of conference, Mr Jenkins said independence would give people in Scotland a unique opportunity to shape the kind of society they wanted, based on strong Scottish values, aspirations and priorities.

“This is a cause that transcends political parties and, indeed, is a new kind of politics”

Mr. Jenkins said.

As the great debate over Scotland’s future gets underway – and equipped with all the information Yes Scotland will provide over the next two years of the referendum campaign – more and more people will realise what kind of country an independent Scotland really can be.

Mr Jenkins continued:

“We know that under successive Labour and Conservative governments, the UK has become one of the most unfair and unequal societies in the Western world. That didn’t happen as an act of God. It was an act of policy” 

“We are coming to a clear fork in the road – a choice of direction. Let’s not be part of an increasingly unequal society. Let’s continue on the journey we have started.   The vision of an independent Scotland that many of us have is of a country where all of us look out for one another, and where our sense of duty and responsibility to other people doesn’t begin and end at our own front door.

“Most of us value the notion of a society that is inclusive, where communities and individuals are not left behind and are not marginalised; a country where access to Higher education does not depend upon the wealth of your parents; a country where your health and your lifespan does not depend upon where you were born or where you live; a country where we value investment in people and investment in society.

“And where old age is not a time of loneliness and fear.”

Mr Jenkins criticised the pro-union No campaign for its negativity and pessimism.

He said:

“We knew it would be a campaign founded on a very negative view of Scotland’s prospects and of Scotland’s future. But things seem to have gotten worse. The underlying rationale – the No narrative – seems to be that the rest of the world, other countries in the world, and international institutions would adopt immediately an irrational and hostile view to an independent Scotland.

“It seems to me to be a profoundly pessimistic view of our future, of how an independent Scotland would be received and welcome. I do not believe such a view has any rational or substantial basis at all. The No campaign has no shared vision or ambition for Scotland. The only thing holding them together is the desire to hold Scotland back.”

Mr Jenkins asked delegates to imagine that the debate was not on whether Scotland should vote for independence, but that it remained independent and the referendum was on whether to join the union.

“A campaign being run now to persuade Scotland to join the union would be, in my view, an impossible campaign to run.

“Just imagine some of the leading propositions, the case that would be put to the Scottish people:

“Your main parliament will move hundreds of miles away, and your MPs will be in a tiny minority; you will get a government you didn’t vote for; all of your oil and gas revenues will be handed over to the London Treasury; the biggest nuclear weapons arsenal in Western Europe will be built on the River Clyde, 30 miles from your largest city.

“You will be joining a country where the health and education services are rapidly being privatised; now and then you will get dragged into an illegal foreign war; an austerity budget will be imposed from London, cutting jobs and threatening the provision of vital public services; weak regulation of the banking sector will bring your economy to the brink of disaster.

“And, on top of all that, the most vulnerable people in society, instead of getting protection and support, will be interrogated and humiliated in order to deprive them of the very meagre level of provision to which they are entitled.

“I ask this conference – who in Scotland would vote for that package? Who in Scotland would vote for that union?”

Mr Jenkins said the referendum presented Scots with a unique opportunity to build a better Scotland that was inclusive, fairer and more equal and that was why he was convinced 2014 would be the “Year of Yes”.

This, he said, will be “the first time a generation of Scottish voters will be given the chance to vote for independence and shape the future of their country”.

He told delegates that Yes Scotland – which is on course to become the biggest community-based campaign in Scottish history – is built on foundations of hope, aspiration and strong Scottish values.

It was entirely fitting and symbolic that Yes Scotland had its headquarters in Glasgow’s Hope Street.

“By the same token, I have to assume that the No campaign is even now looking around Scotland for Pessimism Place,” he said.

He described Yes Scotland as a “very big tent” comprising people of many political colours and none.

While it will be Yes Scotland’s responsibility to provide high-quality information so that Scots can make an informed choice in the referendum, it was for the political parties to also set out their visions and ambitions for Scotland, whether or not they supported independence.

“As far as Yes Scotland is concerned, all we ask is that you support the core principle – the core democratic principle – that the best people to make decisions about the future of Scotland and what is right for Scotland are the people of Scotland themselves, the people who live here, the people who work here.

“There is no other admission ticket. You simply need to buy into that core principle of independence for Scotland.”

Yes Scotland

Comments
  • Roy Davis October 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

    An independent Scotland will lead to a Tory government for the rest of us in perpetuity.

  • Humanity2012 October 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I Understand the Desire to Escape the Con Dem Regime in Scotland but
    England and Wales would Still be Under the Con Dem Regime which would be
    a Tragedy

    We Need Better Government with Better Policies throughout the United Kingdom

    Constitutional Protection For Welfare Benefits and Mass Redistribution of Wealth
    from Rich to Poor

    Who could Vote Tory or Liberal Democrat Now is Gormless

    Let Us have a Change of Government Now Not Never

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