Scottish Actor and campaigner David Hayman received a standing ovation at the Radical Independence Conference 2013 when he read out the Declaration of Radical Independence. Here’s the text in full.
A community, a society and a nation. An economy, an environment and a home.
These are not objects that exist because they are measured and weighed and counted.
They are not commodities, they are not someone’s gift.
They are the footprints each of us leave. They are the sum total of our actions and of our will.
Scotland wills itself to be a better nation, one we rebuild with our own hands. Who then will tell us our will is not big enough? Who then will tell us our hands are not strong enough?
Must the hope of the Scots for a better Scotland be the hope of the beaten for a less painful defeat? Must the will of the Scots once again come second to greed and privilege?
This despair has a name. It’s name is No.
It is a despair that believes poverty inevitable and the decline of public service necessary. It is the cry of people who believe that wealth should belong to whomever has the sharpest claws.
Our poverty, our decline, their wealth, their No.
For 30 years we have waited for Britain’s rulers to live up to our hopes. They either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
But now they notice. Now they see the chance for working men and working women to take back a nation. Now they tremble at the thought that we might really do it.
Because what drives No forward is the fear of those who stand to lose their privilege. They fear their kingdom of greed faces its demise. They fear real democracy. They fear that in a land beyond Westminster we will rediscover hope.
That hope has a name. It’s name is Yes.
It is a hope fashioned from knowledge. We know a better economy is possible because we have seen it in other nations. We know greater equality among citizens is possible because we have seen that in other nations. We know that ending poverty, reviving democracy and respecting our environment are possible because we have seen these things too.
And we know how to bring these things to Scotland. We must abandon 30 years of the politics of exploitation, the damning, corrosive exploitation that makes a few rich from what the many lose. We must replace it with the politics of sharing, where we all gain from the riches of our land and the fruits of our labour.
It is a fine Scottish tradition; to find what works, to find out how it works and to make it work better. For centuries Scotland’s ingenuity has been a gift to the world. Now let it be a gift also to ourselves.
Let us gift ourselves an economy where we make and create. Let our creativity make working people prosperous. Let prosperous people sustain a great welfare state. Let that state end the fear that comes with insecurity. Let us gift ourselves that Scotland.
Look at the forces that stand behind No. Look at the forces that stand behind Yes. Choose your side.
Together we can raise up our heads and work for a Scotland yet to come but visible already. A Scotland of the Common Weal, of shared wealth and shared wellbeing.
Our Scotland. All of us first.