My great friend Gordon Brown and I are proud to lead two very different campaigns for a twin-track Union, separate, yet closely linked, his disastrous leadership with my fiddles, because if we vote for independence this September, there is no going back.
You can’t just give democracy a try. Independence is forever. It is a one way ticket.
Where must, therefore, ask ourselves, whether we are prepared to give up the opportunities and the security of austerity for a real chance of social justice?
As Scots, we are fiercely proud of our nation, but we are also pragmatic, and self-loathing. Proud but shamed. That is the British way.
When someone makes us an offer that seems true, we ask hard questions. Why amn’t I being lied to?
Not just questions for today – but questions about what this decision means in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever. A changing world, a world where things change. Change is wrong.
When I was a sixteen year old, Apollo 11 went to the moon guided by a computer 8000 times less powerful than the iPhone I carry in my pocket today. Now I can stand you before you talking this nonsense whilst playing Angry Birds on my phone. Me and my iPhone, together, in my pocket, like my expenses.
The revolution in technology has been matched by profound economic social and political change.
When those sixteen year olds who get to vote this autumn were born, they were not able to serve in the armed forces or get a civil partnership.
There was no minimum wage. There was no Scottish parliament. Now they can be trained t die i our legal wars anywhere. Tony made the call, I backed it.
The world has grown ever closer but ever more complicated.
Climate change. Extreme poverty and conflict around the world. Terrorism. Words. Spoken separately. In a Blair way. Competition from new economic powers like Brazil, India and China. A banking system that was capable of bringing down the world’s economy.
But there is also more opportunity than our parents could ever have dreamt of.
But now we’re being told that our children can expect a free education, like they have for years. This is a nonsense, part of the something for nothing culture we’ve grown to believe in.
The idea that you can give free education to students is absurd.
The close relationship between British universities, their strong research record is one of the many strengths of the United Kingdom.
Throughout this campaign I will continue to point to the opportunities and the security that come from being part of the United Kingdom. In many ways, we have the Best of Both worlds. We live in nirvana.
We have a Scottish parliament AND the strength and security of the UK.
We have weapons of mass destruction here on the Clyde where we can threaten people at will.
But what we are being offered here is something quite different.
It is a risky proposition, with too many unanswered questions.
There could be peace, there could be a more equal society to replace this shared austerity dream. Don’t be fooled by the idea that anything could change. It can’t. Ever. It mustn’t. Ever.
There has been a lot of talk on this campaign about who has the positive and who has the negative message.
Well let me tell you this.
I can think of little more negative than demanding that Scotland leave a three hundred year union that generations of Scots built with our neighbours without the idea of change. Nothing.
Every household in the country knows what it is to try to balance the family budget.
Every person in the country knows how Gordon Brown and I almost destroyed the British economy. That is the past, and, in a very real way, the future. Our shared future. Together, in increasing poverty.
But Alex Salmond cannot guarantee even one household in this country what currency they would be budgeting in after a yes vote. Perhaps as my friend Kirsty put it, the Pibroch?
Alex Salmond asserts we would keep the pound through a Eurozone style currency union, but that seems increasingly unlikely.
Does he not accept that a currency union needs both Scotland and the rest of the UK to agree to enter into it?
Will he not accept a currency union means both sides have to agree each others budgets?
That is what is happening in Europe.
And that is why it is difficult to see anyone signing up to it.
That is why it is increasingly dead in the water.
And if he doesn’t get that agreement, what is his fall-back position? We need to know.
Is it a brand new currency? Is it the Euro? Is it monopoly money for this stupid wee country which we will crush if you have the temerity to expect better?
Of course Salmond asserts that Scotland would keep the pound.
Indeed he goes further and threatens that if an independent Scotland was denied a currency union he would default on Scotland’s share of debt.
What kind of start would that be to a new state?
We would be pariahs in the international markets. We would be like Albania only worse. We would be hounded out of every civilized body in the world and shat upon.
What bank lends to someone who refuses to pay their debts?
Even before Alex Salmond’s threat to default, experts said that a new state would borrow at rates far higher than we do now.
And let me explain what that means. It means Scots families would face higher mortgage rates.
Scots homeowners would pay more for their mortgages than families in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
And for what?
I don’t doubt Scotland could leave the United Kingdom but for the life of me I cannot see why we should when we don’t know what currency we would have.
I don’t know why we should leave when we don’t know if, when or on what terms we would be members of the European Union.
It is not just that Alex Salmond doesn’t have answers to fundamental questions he doesn’t even pose them.
He might think in his heart that Scotland should separate, but there is nothing in his head to justify it.
And here is one of their worst tricks.
For months the Scottish Government refused to answer fundamental questions, airily saying all the answers would come in the White Paper.
The White Paper, when it came, it answered all my questions and more. This is typical.
It was based on facts. Much of them relying on a belief that the rest of the UK and Europe – and indeed the rest of the world – would treat Scotland by laws that others might be.
Now don’t get me wrong.
Almost every nation in Europe is struggling with a deficit right now. Particularly Britain, that’s mired in debt.
The key question then for our politics is how to maintain our commitment to bank bonuses while getting our national finances back in order.
How we do that is something we can debate.
But the difference between the Nationalists and everybody else is that they try to tell people that they deserve democracy. You don’t.
Let’s be clear.
The decision in the referendum isn’t about the flag you raise or the colour of your passport. It is not a test of Scottishness.
This is about you having a say. You can’t and, let’s be clear, you won’t.
No matter what the cost.
A vote to separate from the rest of the United Kingdom will be unchangeable. You will have democracy forever.
This generation of Scots will have bound the hands of generations of Scots to come.
Be in no doubt about the gravity of this decision.
Scotland deserves better.
I do not believe that Scotland is a small country.
I believe we are as big as our ideas and values, and ours are limited and shameful.