18 January 2020

Richard Leonard will pitch his vision for a “more equal, more tolerant” Scotland with a “strong Home Rule Parliament in a federal United Kingdom” to the Citizens Assembly of Scotland on Saturday.

As part of the assembly’s third weekend session, Mr Leonard will call for democratising ownership and expanding the role of both the Scottish Parliament and local government.

“My vision is of a Scotland which is more equal, more tolerant,” he is expected to say. “Free from fear: fear of poverty, homelessness, hunger and physical squalor amidst the huge inequalities of wealth.

“Where life expectancy is going up not going down. Where there is dignity in old age and retirement. Where we build a Scottish National Care Service which is cherished like the National Health Service.

“Comprehensive child care free for all.

" Tax funded public services free at the point of need.

"An education system built on the principle of lifelong learning: including education for its own sake but also to meet the automation revolution, the climate change challenge.”

Mr Leonard will urge the people of Scotland to think courageously about the future.

“Much of this can be driven by the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament,” Mr Leonard will say. “But we must act and engage democratically at the level where power is exercised.

“If earlier generations had not possessed vision, campaigned with conviction, there would be no NHS, no welfare state, no equal rights, no Open University, no full employment, no publicly owned housing.”
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