Salmond's Declaration Of Arbroath
17 August 2014, 06:30
Alex Salmond is to make a new Declaration of Arbroath - pledging to protect the NHS from privatisation and create a fairer society.
The First Minister will visit Arbroath Abbey tomorrow, the birthplace of the original Declaration of Arbroath which affirmed Scottish sovereignty in 1320 following the wars of independence.
He will view a copy of the original declaration in the Abbey, before making a new declaration with just one month to go until the independence referendum.
"A Yes vote on September 18 is the opportunity of a lifetime to build a more prosperous and fairer Scotland,'' he is expected to say.
"Those of us lucky enough to cast our votes on that day are truly a privileged generation: perhaps the most privileged in this nation's history.
"The opportunity we have isn't unique, but it is very precious. We have the chance to take power out of the hands of the Westminster elite and into the hands of the people of Scotland.
"Everybody agrees that Scotland is a country of extraordinary talent, resources and wealth.
"Our gross domestic product per head is higher than the UK, France and Japan.
"We have contributed more in tax revenues, per head of population, than the rest of the UK in every one of the last 33 years. We have oil and gas reserves that will last for decades and renewable energy reserves that will last forever.
"We have a world-class food and drink industry, brilliance in creative industries, and strengths in a range of other growth sectors such as tourism and life sciences. We have more universities in the world's top 200, per head of population, than any other country in the world.
"But for far too many people today it doesn't feel that way. We need to ensure that as well as being a wealthy nation, we also become a fair society.
"So today, here in Arbroath, I am setting out a Declaration of Opportunity.
"A declaration based on the vast potential of the talented people of this country that independence can release. One which sets out three key opportunities from independence.
"The opportunity to protect our publicly-owned, publicly-run NHS forever from Westminster privatisation and cuts.
"The opportunity to create a fairer Scotland, ending the assault on the most vulnerable members of our society, and the unfairness which has seen a huge rise in the use of food banks in a land of plenty.
"The opportunity for young people to stay in Scotland, to choose to build their future here because an independent Scotland has a strong economy, a just society and a good quality of life for all.
"It is because of these great opportunities that we'll be better off with Scotland's future in Scotland's hands.''