Monday, 19 April 2010

Speech by the First Minister of Scotland

"For 23 years, I have been a Member of a Parliament dominated by a cosy Westminster arrangement among the London parties.

"All three want to waste billions on obscene nuclear weapons - stored here in Scotland - as they slash Scotland's budget, putting at risk Scottish jobs and our cherished public services.

"All three London parties have played starring roles in the scandals which have totally discredited the Westminster parliament. From dodgy donors to duck houses and cash for access to cash for peerages, the UK parties are implicated.

"And all three are denying the people of Scotland a say over their own constitutional future - despite backing referendums for just about everything else.

"People are raging against the tired, grubby Westminster machine, but Scotland doesn't have to be a cog in that machine. A vote for the SNP can change the system and make it work for the people of Scotland, not against them.

"Westminster has failed us and that is why we need a fresh start - a new approach that will allow us to make the most of the opportunities that exist in such abundance for our nation.

"In the past few days the prospect of a balanced parliament has come to dominate the political agenda. Labour and Tory are now in a state of panic. They fear this outcome because they fear the people.

"This weeked, David Cameron looked close to hysteria as he realised his chances of a Tory majority was slipping away.

"For the old and tired parties, a balanced parliament is a difficult.
For Scotland, it is an opportunity.

"The success of the Scottish Parliament demonstrated that a balanced parliament can achieve far more than unbalanced one party rule at Westminster.

"On polling day it is the people not the politicians who have the power and at this election the people can give real power to Scotland by voting SNP. A vote for the SNP here, and Plaid Cymru in Wales, is what will help create the balanced parliament - and what will open the door for big wins for the people of Scotland in that parliament.

"The opportunities for Scotland are not with a vote for the London parties - Tweedledee, Tweedledum or for that matter the Tweedledems - they are with the local and national SNP champions who will always put Scotland first.

"The people want an alternative to the cosy London consensus. In Scotland, the way to achieve this is with the SNP and in Wales with Plaid Cymru.

"The London parties think they can keep the SNP off the television
debates, but they cannot keep us out of the election. From our activists at grassroots level to our high profile media appearances, we will make this an election about what Scottish votes can achieve.

"Working in a Celtic Alliance with Plaid Cymru, we can secure a better deal for Scotland and Wales.

"For too long Scotland has been short changed by the London parties. But with a balanced parliament the issues that matter most to the people here will come centre stage. The tide of this election is now moving towards Scotland. Scotland can be the real winner of this election with the SNP."

Alex Salmond

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