- Explosion on maiden voyage of cruise ship Norwegian Escape
- Conservative Cleverly and Labour’s Copley to contest London mayoral election
- Caroline Blakesley acclaimed as Labour Leader and new Prime Minister
- Macmillan tables a vote of no confidence in the Government
[Labour's IndyRef Speech] - "We are Scotland."
Labour’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Faye Gallacher, joined previous Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Prime Minister Ariadne Suchet at a rally in her home constituency in Glasgow to address attendees, with the press in attendance. After the Prime Minister and Gordon Brown gave what we probably are assuming are nondescript speeches (ok Gordon Brown probably gave a phenomenal one), Gallacher spoke:
“Thank you Gordon. Thank you Ari. Thank you all. Thank you for coming tonight and showing the people of Scotland that whatever anger and division we see from the nationalists tonight we are here – we are Scotland, each and every one of us. That is not mitigated by our desire to see a Scotland that is stronger; a Scotland that is more influential; a Scotland that is more prosperous.
We are Scotland with our values: forward looking, compassionate, fair and just, believing in a society where we all play by the rules on an equal footing and benefit, and championing those values within the wider United Kingdom.
We are Scotland with our achievements: from the penicillin that has saved hundreds of millions around the world, to the telephones that keep us all connected, to the televisions that keep us as entertained and informed.
We are Scotland with our people: from Arthur Conan Doyle to Adam Smith. Exporting music, food, art and ideas that have inspired the world for centuries.
They are our achievements. Do not let the nationalists let us believe for a single moment that being in the United Kingdom mitigates that one bit, or that we have been held back. But we also know some of the United Kingdom’s achievements are Scotland’s achievements, the first director of the BBC who ensured it is the behemoth it is today, the Bank of England, the Prime Minister standing beside me who saw the longest period of uninterrupted growth and prosperity in our country’s history and – who more importantly, oversaw the greatest reduction of child poverty in our country’s history. The Prime Minister who, whatever the naysayers say, we Scots know saved the world [smirks].
Be proud at what we’ve done within the United Kingdom and we will let it be known tonight: we are Scotland.
And that doesn’t change: our pride does not come with condition. It doesn’t change whether we are outside of the United Kingdom or within it. The question the nationalists want us to pose it can we do it? We all know Scotland will always survive and thrive. The question is should we do it?
Should we leave a union that we have not just thrived under, but led? A union that is an aid superpower, going above and beyond to ensure the most vulnerable people in the world are empowered? Should we leave a union that joined together to fight the evil forces of fascism and hate when the odds appeared impossible? Should we leave a union that created the National Health Service every single Scot cherishes?
No. Because they are our values in action. They are Scotland’s achievements as much as they are England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s. And having us Scots at the table of one of the world’s biggest economic and diplomatic powers, championing those values, doesn’t just make Scotland a stronger and fairer place to live – it makes the United Kingdom better. It makes the world better.
That, to me, is what being Scottish is about. I won’t stop championing the vision of Scotland leading within a prosperous, forward looking and progressive United Kingdom. Don’t let the nationalists tell you that your vote and vision tonight makes you any more or less Scottish, or more or less proud of being so.
I know that in an increasingly uncertain world… in an increasingly uncertain United Kingdom… that dream, that vision, has often been more difficult than any of us would have liked. I won’t pretend it has always been easy. But Scotland can and must persevere as we always have, with our head held high, ready to champion the values that makes Scotland so great.
But I understand whatever our feelings going into the polling station tonight we need to know that the government of the United Kingdom has our interests at heart and is prepared to go above and beyond to ensure that we have that fair stake within the United Kingdom. This Prime Minister [gestures to Ariadne] has made it clear that they do. And if you won’t listen to a London lass, listen to a Scottish one who is at the centre of that government championing for a stronger, fairer Scotland – we do.
And we will make sure that Scotland’s voice is amplified, ensuring that Scotland continues to have a fair say within the United Kingdom, but that we have more power over how Scotland is run.
That includes making the Scottish Parliament a core part of the United Kingdom’s constitution, writing it into the very fabric of our union that Scotland has a voice and a stake and that this isn’t up for negotiation.
It means ensuring that the Scottish Parliament has power over its own affairs, able to amend the Scotland Act so that we don’t just have the power to run our affairs, but that we have the power to determine how we run our own affairs.
It means giving Scotland a stake in Scotland’s economy while ensuring it is still a free and fair part of the United Kingdom’s economy. That includes widening the variation of income tax by half – from 10 to 15%, meaning that on tax we will give a Scottish people a stake: taxes can be lower of higher, depending entirely on what is right not for the United Kingdom, but Scotland.
And we will establish a cross party committee comprising of all of Scotland's parties to establish a cross party consensus on what further powers can be devolved to Scotland, ensuring Scotland is empowered whilst we maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom.
That is our promise to the Scottish people. A Scotland empowered within the United Kingdom – a Scotland with a voice at the table, but with the agency to run its own affairs. A Scotland with more power over its Parliament, its laws and its economy.
The nationalists may shout the loudest, but the most powerful voice you have is your vote, however silent or private it may be. You must go out and shout out loud that you are proud to be Scottish and that you believe in a strong Scotland within the United Kingdom. That you are proud to be Scottish and that your vision of Scotland is not a nationalist vision: one that divides us and isolates us. It is one of unity, where we go forward and tackle the challenges head on, together, hand in hand with our allies and friends.
You must vote ‘No’ and make it clear to the nationalists once and for all that we are Scotland."
"[we] would rather die than leave the Labour Party." - Emily Thornberry.