John Swinney: Scots are rejecting ‘lies’ of populist politicians

Scots are choosing to reject the “lies and division” of populists in favour of backing independence, according to Scotland’s Deputy First Minister.

Speaking at the SNP conference in Aberdeen, John Swinney said that people across the country are “holding fast to the values of truth, integrity and honesty”.

Delivering a rebuke to US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Swinney said the campaign for independence would walk a road of tolerance and persuasion in winning over ‘no’ voters.

“While we deride their behaviour, we must learn the lessons of the victories of Trump and Johnson,” said Mr Swinney.

“They chose – and still choose – the gutter and it will be their downfall. Winning on their terms is never worth it.

“Their road does not lead to a better nation. Their road leads to ruin and we will never walk that road.

“Instead, we will walk the road of tolerance, persuasion, debate and dialogue.

“We will set ourselves the goal of living every day as though we are in the first days of a new nation.

“We do so for two simple reasons – first, because it is the right thing to do, and second, because it will make our country anew.

“It is right that we bring people together – old Scots and new Scots, rich and poor, young and old.

“We will fight for their right to be heard, to take part in the great national question at the heart of our political debate – whether or not we agree with their view.

“We will celebrate the diversity of our country and see it as the strength it truly is.

“And it will make our country anew because we must always believe we are living in the first days of our new nation.”

Mr Swinney said that voters are holding to the principle of ensuring that no-one is seen as being above the law.

“When the history books come to be written, I believe these days will be seen as the moment Scotland took control of its own path,” said Mr Swinney.

“Faced with the choice between independence and the UK of Brexit and Boris Johnson, people are choosing independence.

“They are rejecting the lies of the populists and holding fast to the shared values of truth, integrity, honesty.

“They are holding fast to simple principles. Principles like no-one – not even those in power – are above the law.

“Johnson and Trump choose lies and division. We choose to live as though in the first days of a new nation. They choose fear, we choose hope and we will win. We will win our independence, and our better nation.”

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