A speech delivered in Glasgow yesterday by the Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband.
Thank you John.
And let’s pay tribute to Kez Dugdale for the work she does for our party and week in and week out in the Scottish Parliament holding Nicola Sturgeon to account.
Friends, it is great to be here in the East End of Glasgow.
And great to be here with your local champion here in the East End.
Margaret has worked in this community for over thirty years.
She knows it inside out.
She is the strongest voice for people here.
That’s why I urge everyone in this community to vote for their champion, Margaret Curran.
And, friends, let’s hear it for the leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
A man with the energy to fight for every vote between now and next Thursday.
Someone who has shown how he can lead the argument and the debate here in Scotland.
Someone determined to make Scotland the fairest country in the world.
1. The Choice
I have a simple message for everyone here today:
In six days time people here have the opportunity to be part of change.
To be part of electing a Labour Government.
This is going to be the closest election for a generation
It is one of the most important elections we have ever had.
And the difference between the two parties that could be in government after next Thursday couldn’t be any clearer.
It’s not simply about me or David Cameron.
It is about two different ideas, two different visions of the country.
They believe that if you help the richest and most powerful the country will succeed.
I have a different view: it is only when working people succeed tat Scotland succeeds and that Britain succeeds.
We know the damage that five years of the Tories have caused.
Working people £1600 a year worse off.
Tax cuts for millionaires while everyday people struggle to get by.
Ruthless cuts and policies like the bedroom tax that have hit the poorest the hardest.
A blind eye turned to tax avoidance.
A country of food banks and bank bonuses.
That is why we need to get these Tories out.
That is why we need a Labour Government.
And what the Tories have planned in the next five is far worse.
Cuts deeper in the next three years than the past five.
Billions of pounds cuts in tax credits that make work pay.
And after last night, we know the reality.
David Cameron had three chances to rule out cuts to child benefit.
Six hundred words he used, but he didn’t say No.
We have six days to save your child benefit.
600,000 families, 1 million children here in Scotland stand to lose their child benefit.
Hundreds of thousands of families stand to lose their tax credits.
I will protect tax credits.
I will protect child benefit.
It’s your vote, your family, your finances.
Vote Labour to put your family first.
Vote Labour to protect your family finances.
2. The SNP
And that’s why I have a clear message for the people of Scotland today:
Don’t gamble with the SNP.
When you can guarantee change with Labour.
And the tragedy is that the SNP very well might let the Tories in.
That’s what could happen if the Tories are the largest party.
I am clear there will be no deal, no pact, no coalition, no tie-in with the SNP.
And I say that for clear principled reasons, I don’t say that for tactical reasons
We cannot do a deal with a party that wants to break up the UK when we want to build it up
We believe in the principles of sharing and solidarity that underpin the partnerships of four nations that is the modern UK.
The solidarity and sharing is the essence of our belief in and vision of social justice:
That each of us helps the other in times of stress.
That those with the broadest shoulders should help those with the greatest needs when and wherever that need is greatest.
And so we cannot do a deal with a party that promises to end the sharing and throw solidarity to the winds.
The very sharing and solidarity that is the rock of social justice upon which we stand.
If we set England against Scotland, if we set any part of our country against another it does not help working people, it harms working people.
It undermines the ability to share resources.
It drives down wages and conditions in the race to the bottom.
Nationalism doesn’t understand we are stronger not weaker when we look after each other across the whole of our country.
Nationalism never built a school.
It never lifted people out of poverty.
It never created a welfare state that healed the sick and protected our most vulnerable.
Nationalism cannot create the jobs we need.
Nationalism cannot answer the problems of working people in any part of the United Kingdom.
And last night we learned something else:
There is only one thing the SNP really want
And that’s another referendum.
That’s their priority.
That’s their plan.
But it is not ours.
Our priority is social justice.
If you want social justice, not separatism vote for it, vote Labour.
3. Our Plan
And if you wonder what that change would look like, you don’t need to wonder because I will tell you.
Together we changed Scotland before and we will do it again.
The government I lead will be fuelled by the same radicalism that created the NHS here in Scotland.
That same restless urgency to improve people’s lives that made John Smith spend a generation fighting for a minimum wage.
And the same moral purpose that led Gordon Brown to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.
So here is our plan.
A Home Rule Bill for Scotland.
Devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament.
More powers over jobs, tax and welfare.
Powers to change the lives of Scots.
To make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world.
We made the vow.
We will keep the vow.
And in the first 100 days of the next Labour Government we will deliver the vow.
We still live in a country with Victorian working conditions.
It is a disgrace that a text message at 6am tells people on zero hours contracts whether they are going to earn a wage.
That should be the story of our past.
And it will not be part of our country’s future if I am Prime Minister.
So we will ban the exploitation of zero hours contracts and legislate that if you do regular hours you get a regular contract.
Across Scotland people can’t fulfil one of the foundations of family life – keeping your home warm – without being overcharged by one of the big energy firms.
Over 18 months ago I announced that we would freeze gas and electricity prices until 2017.
We heard loud protests then from the big energy companies.
And from the SNP Government here in Scotland who said it would never work.
If I am Prime Minister next Friday, I will not shrink in the face of opposition from the energy companies.
We will freeze energy prices so they can fall but not rise.
And we will go further. With a law to ensure falling energy costs are passed on to consumers this Winter.
Working people should not have to pay the price for a crisis not of their making.
So we will reverse the Tory’s tax cut for millionaires and introduce a 50p tax for people earning more than £150,000 a year.
Because under my government those with the broadest shoulders will bear the greatest burden.
And in the country I lead, there will be no hiding place for the hedge funds who don’t pay their taxes, the tax havens who shield the tax avoiders, the Tory Party donors who say tax avoidance is something everyone does.
We will do what hasn’t been done for hundreds of years.
We will abolish the privilege that allows people to work here, live here, be permanently settled here and not pay taxes here.
We will abolish non dom status.
Right here in the East End of Glasgow, and across Scotland, too many young people are out of work for too long.
So we will tax the bankers’ bonuses.
And we will use these resources from those at the top of our society to help people right across Britain.
And put young people back to work here in Glasgow and right across Scotland.
Friends, tonight I want to go further.
I want to add another line to my contract with Scotland.
Another pledge I can make to you.
We’re going to abolish the bedroom tax in every corner of the United Kingdom.
The bedroom tax is indefensible.
I think it tells you everything you need to know about a Tory Government.
And it tells you everything you need to know about a Labour Government that the first thing we’ll do is scrap it.
We will legislate straight away to abolish the Bedroom Tax.
Not just in Scotland.
But in England.
Right across our United Kingdom.
So simple truths about what a Labour government would bring:
Home rule for Scotland
A ban on exploitative zero hours contracts.
Freezing energy bills
A fair tax system
Opportunities for the young
The bedroom tax abolished
And yes, the NHS rescued too.
A mansion tax, money from the tobacco companies, and ending tax avoidance by the hedge funds to pay for 1,000 extra nurses here in Scotland.
A true rescue plan for the NHS.
So this is what I offer.
Now I’ve never pretended that changing our country, standing up to vested interests, would be easy.
It will be hard.
But I appeal to the people of Scotland to join me, join Labour, join people across the United Kingdom, in making it happen.
We could be under a week away from a Labour Government.
I don’t want anyone here to look back and wish you had been part of the change we are going to make.
Because throughout Scotland’s history you have always been part of change.
Always led change.
Led change when others said it couldn’t be done.
Think of all the people you know who have built Labour in Scotland.
Your grandparents who fought for their rights in the shipyards and mines across this country.
They won through and built workers rights when others said it couldn’t be done.
Your mums and dads, many of whom delivered leaflets for Labour or knocked on doors.
They fought and won the fight for an NHS, a Scottish Parliament, a minimum wage, when others said it couldn’t be done.
And remember our great leaders.
From Keir Hardie to Jennie Lee.
John Smith to Donald Dewar.
They changed the country when others said it couldn’t be done.
Now what they would want us to do today?
We could be on the verge of electing a Labour Government.
They would want Scotland to be part of making it happen.
Not David Cameron’s last best hope of stopping it happening.
They would want to be part of building the better future.
In the vanguard of change.
To be part of booking the removal vans rolling up outside Downing Street next Friday.
And they would want all of us to realise that we can win too when others say it cant be done.
The party that was born when others said it couldn’t be done.
This party that built the NHS when others said it couldn’t be done
Every time we have made change happen it has been when others said it couldn’t be done.
And now let us do the same again.
When others say it cant be done, let us redouble our efforts.
When others try and write us off, let us show them what we are made of.
When others say this election is decided before most people have voted, let us tell them they are wrong.
And to every voter who has not made up their mind.
Let us tell them: we offer the road to a fairer economy, while the SNP offer the road to another referendum.
This is your chance to vote Labour to put working families first.
This is your chance to vote Labour to put the NHS first.
This is your chance to vote Labour to put your family first.
This is your chance. This is your time.
Vote Labour for an end to David Cameron’s government.
And let’s change the country together.