Then watch this. Who knew Gordon Brown could be so brilliant? Seriously, though, if you are still undecided tonight, you haven’t been convinced by the Yes campaign’s arguments. You probably haven’t been convinced by the No campaign’s either. But if you vote No, you have the promise of more powers. If the parties don’t deliver, we will be back fighting another referendum in a few years. If you vote No the worst that can happen is that things stay the same. If you vote Yes and it all goes wrong, there is no way back.
But do me just one favour before you go down the polling station. Watch Gordon Brown’s speech from start to finish. Watch it all the way through. It may be a bit late in the day, but the pro UK campaign has shown the heart that it’s always had. It’s been lost in too much argument over dry facts and figures. And sometimes, frankly, they just talked bollocks. But, just in time, they managed to articulate a head and heart case for staying in the UK.
I’m a liberal. I love change. I want to smash up the establishment. But the Yes campaign’s plans in this referendum have been shown to be too risky. Too many risks have been identified, not least having to find an extra £6 billion every year to have our public services stay the same. It’s not the Better Together campaign that’s saying that. It’s the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies who also said that the NHS was safer if Scotland stayed in the UK.
For me, it might be worth it if we really could help the most vulnerable in our society. But then I think that those south of Hadrian’s Wall shouldn’t be abandoned. What we need to commit ourselves across the UK is a real drive for social justice. To be honest, I think that’s more important than more powers. We need to show the sort of vision that was around post 1945 when the welfare state and the NHS were created. We need to make sure that everyone has a decent place to live and enough money to be able to afford the basics.
But over to Gordon. I was there. He was incredible. I’d never seen him before. He has an incredibly powerful presence but in a good way. We’d heard from Alistair Darling, the three Scottish party leaders, and five people from various walks of life. One was the amazing Clare Lally, who had taken a whole host of abuse on the internet. Another was a trainee surgeon, Vicky, who said that she was speaking there because of the SNP’s lies about the NHS and because she wanted to keep the cross border co-operation between Scotland and England. Gordon came on at the end, though, and spoke with such passion about how Scotland belonged to all of us, not just the SNP, how, actually, we do know most of the risks with their plans. But he went beyond all of that. He talked about all that the UK had achieved, how its spirit of sharing, of solidarity had made it worth being part of and showed its potential for future change. It’s one of the best speeches I have ever heard. I hope you enjoy it too.