We must go into this campaign, united. The path to our goal is clearer than ever.
Conference. I wasn’t born into this fight, but I chose it. In the spirit of what Phillipa Whitford said yesterday, I am 50% German, 50% South African and 100% Scottish. I’ve only lived here for six years and I’m already impatient for our independence. Young people are impatient for independence. And we will be at the forefront of that campaign as Scotland’s future, and it’s present. And I am so lucky to be leading the campaign body for young people, alongside my team in the YSI.
But conference, we must go into this campaign, united. The path to our goal is clearer than ever.
First, it without a shadow of a doubt must be BOTH votes SNP. Because we all know that every vote not for the SNP will be used by the unionists, as an example of how Scotland doesn’t want a referendum- when we all know that poll after poll has shown us that that this is not the case.
Next, we win the Scottish Parliament elections. And it is crucial that we do not take this for granted. It is ours to lose.
We cannot get complacent. And after the election, when we are successful because of the hard work of all our activists, we demand a section 30 immediately.
If Boris says no. Then it’s up to us in the SNP as the political leadership of our country, to gather Scottish civil life, cultural life, businesses, trade unions, Scottish society, to demand a referendum and agitate as much as we can. It is already unsustainable for the UK Government to keep up their position, it is only a matter of time.
Friends, that is how we’re going to get a referendum and that’s how we’re going to get the country ready.
But when we do this, we must make absolutely sure that our campaign includes everyone, so that our country includes everyone. How we conduct ourselves now is going to be the legacy we will set for generations to come in our new independent country.
Right now is so important. If we go into a country intolerant and divided with room for bigotry, that will be the future of an independent Scotland. If we are dignified and inclusive our country will benefit for decades. After all, is independence not the means to the end? With the true end being a society that is fair and just for all Scots, old and new, a country where poverty is eradicated, LGBT people live freely, women are equal and racism and ableism are not tolerated. That’s the independent Scotland I want to live in.