This afternoon, Angus Robertson MP, SNP Campaign Director, set out the road map to independence and detailed the four steps that the party is taking to win the referendum.  One of those steps is to “engage with different sectors of society to raise confidence, optimism and understanding of the independence case” and Humza Yousaf, recently elected MSP for Glasgow, was asked to say a little about his work as one of these Independence Ambassadors.

His speech had people in tears and earned a rousing, spontaneous standing ovation.  He has kindly agreed to share it with Better Nation – exclusively.

Conference, it is a delight to be standing her before you as the elected representative of that SNP stronghold of Glasgow!  I truly feel privileged to be in this position at all.

I say that, delegates, because it was merely 70 years ago, while our party was in its infancy, that my grandfather was working in the family run business in a small village in India.

He was a master tailor and so in the morning and afternoon, he would sew clothes for the locals and in the evening he would shut up shop.  However, instead of going home to have his dinner he would take to the streets and peacefully protest against British rule in his homeland.

Of course, his fight for freedom and self-determination was successful in 1947 with the creation of an independent, sovereign India and Pakistan.

Conference, he could not have imagined that merely seven decades later, his grandson would be carrying on this proud family tradition of fighting for independence in a country called Scotland.

Delegates, I tell you this story to highlight that Scotland truly is a land of opportunity for all regardless of your race, religion or ethnicity.

Having a multicultural society is at the very ethos of what we believe in as civic naitonalists.  We’ve accepted people can be Polish-Scots, Pakistani-Scots, Chinese-Scots and Italian Scots.

So fellow Nationalists, as a party we have been making links with all these communities over the last twenty years and that relationship, built on the foundations of mutual trust and respect, has served us well.

Scots of all diverse communities have thrown their weight behind the nationalist cause.  At a recent dinner in Glasgow, over 500 people from every strand of our diverse tartan pledged to give their all for the cause of independence.

Just as so many have done for their own homelands, they promised to pound every pavement, to knock every door, to speak to every person, in every language, for this, the most noble of all noble causes – self-determination and Independence for the people of Scotland.

Conference, we will continue to work with every community in Scotland, because our party is all about communities and societies.

We have some amazing individuals in the SNP but let us never forget that we are not about individuals, nor a party brand.  We are truly a global movement.

We are the wind that blows in our city’s streets.  We are the water that flows in our gallant glens.  We are the ink that dries on the pages of history, as we go forth to write another chapter in our nation’s story.

If we reach out to all Scots, new and old, and work harder than ever before, then I have no doubt that the next chapter will start with the words:

“And so Scotland fulfilled her promise and rose once more, to become a nation again.”

Conference, let’s make history!


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