The Political Parties Backing Yes! Yes! Tell Us Why We Must Vote for a Scots Parliament

Article excerpt

Scotland's main political parties have united in an historic truce to win a Parliament for the people.

Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats have put aside the differences that had them at each others' throats in the General Election.

Now they are saying with one voice: Vote Yes! Yes! on the Government's plans for a Scottish Parliament.

The only party-poopers are the Tories, who are still licking their wounds after being trounced at the polls in May.

In total, the supporters of the three partner parties make up more than four out of five Scots.

They have joined together in an organisation called Scotland Forward to argue a unified case for Devolution.

It is an astonishing alliance that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

Strictly speaking, the SNP and Lib- Dems actually believe devolution does not go far enough.

The Lib-Dems want to see a federal system set up in Britain, with Scotland, England and Wales ALL having their own parliaments and very little left to a UK Parliament at Westminster.

And the SNP want Scotland to be an independent state within the United Kingdom.

But ALL three parties agree that the devolution plans put forward by Tony Blair's Labour Government are an historic step forward for the nation.

And they are ALL all backing them 100 per cent.

Here, the leaders of the three main Scottish parties, plus the Greens, tell why Yes! Yes! is the only vote for Scotland's future and prosperity tomorrow.

SCOTTISH

LABOUR - DONALD DEWAR

A Scottish Parliament will be what YOU make it. You will elect it. You will decide between the people, the parties and the policies.

Because that is what's on offer in the referendum.

Giving YOU more power, more influence over the decisions which matters in YOUR life. On health, education, jobs, law and order and the environment.

So although there will be two questions on the voting paper tomorrow, the real question you have to answer is simple: Do you believe the Scots can be trusted to run their own affairs?

I've never had any difficulty answering that question. I KNOW Scots can be trusted to make sensible decisions about Scotland's future.

But that is not the view of the Tories and the No, No campaigners. They don't trust you with decisions that affect your families' lives.

For that is what we are talking about - ordinary Scots and our families.

And who better to see Scots better educated, better cared for, with decent prospects and living in a safer, cleaner environment than the Scots themselves?

And ignore the Tory scares. Same old Tories, same old lies. There is nothing in our plans which means taxes will go up.

I make no apologies for wanting this parliament to have tax powers. Grown- up Parliaments have that power and I want this to be a grown-up Parliament.

But it is a power which the parliament might or might not use. Whether it did would be up to you when you elect the Scottish Parliament.

And remember, Tony Blair promised at the General Election that income tax will not be raised by Labour for five years. That pledge covers all the UK, including Scotland.

As for fears that our plans will be a stepping stone to independence, I don't agree.

I am confident Scots will want to see Scotland continue to prosper within the framework of the UK.

It isn't often we get the chance to make history. That is what is on offer tomorrow.

I believe Scots will seize that historic opportunity to vote for greater responsibility over our own domestic affairs - and then work together for a better Scotland.

Vote for Scotland. Vote Yes! Yes!

SNP - ALEX SALMOND

Scots have been longing for a change - and voting for it - for over a century.

Now is the time to vote decisively to take the cause of Scotland forward. …