The Future of Scotland

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:21 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Kenny MacAskill Kenny MacAskill Scottish National Party 11:21 am, 29th March 2007

Not at the moment.

It is time for us to take political, economic and social responsibility. Politically, we have to decide whether a war should be in our name. Members should be under no illusion: people elsewhere in the world think that the Iraq war is in our name because it is being carried out by our Government. The elected representatives of the people of Scotland should be able to decide whether our young men should die in a ditch in Basra. We should decide whether our young men should go to war and what they are fighting for. Is it a cause worth dying for, or is it simply to prop up the relationship with the President of the United States?

We need powers that actually matter. For example, we need a justice minister who can tackle the scourge of air weapons in our communities. How can we trumpet the powers that we have over our justice system, when we do not have the power to tackle such matters?

We need more economic powers in order to find out whether we have been undermining our own efforts to take our people out of poverty and to treat our elderly with dignity and respect. The question is whether we have to continue the failures of London and this Executive.

The fact is that not all of Scotland's social problems can be placed at the door of Margaret Thatcher or London rule, and our people and Government need to accept responsibility for tackling issues such as domestic violence and alcohol abuse. As a result, we need to take political, economic and social responsibility if we are to drive Scotland forward in the 21st century.