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banner Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
John Swinney: My message
John Swinney
Deputy leader John Swinney is standing for the leadership of the Scottish National Party. This is his message to party members from the Member of the Scottish Parliament and MP for North Tayside:

"There are three elements to my campaign.

"I want us always to make the case for independence and to win that independence as quickly as possible.

"The Scottish Parliament is only a start, but it is a good start and we must ensure the powers of our parliament are completed and we grow swiftly and confidently towards independence.

I want this to be a forward-looking and positive debate about our country's future and not just one confined to internal issues

John Swinney
"We need to build a convincing vision of an independent Scotland - one where we demonstrate the sort of Scotland we want to create.

"It must be relevant to each and every person, to each and every family in our country.

"All of us in the SNP must take part in the debate about shaping a Scotland for the 21st century that is in tune with the aspirations of people in Scotland.

"I want to re-connect the party and its elected representatives - to rebuild a team that works as one and which is in touch with the people of Scotland at every level.

'Active debate'

"After the first year of the Scottish Parliament, it is clear that the party needs greater interaction between our parliamentary groups, our councillors and our members at local level - there is a lot we can learn from each other.

"My time as deputy leader of the SNP has seen a determined effort to involve and engage our members in active debate about our future.

"That's why I spent last autumn meeting members throughout Scotland to review our strategy and why I insisted the resolution on our independence strategy came to National Council for full and open debate.

John Swinney
Mr Swinney: "Convincing vision"
"I want to transform the SNP into an election-winning force that will unseat Labour.

"That means making strategic progress at the Westminster elections, establishing a credible alternative platform to win in 2003, reviewing our policy attitudes and developing the strong local campaigning that will defeat Labour in their heartlands.

"Many of the innovations that were introduced to our Hamilton South and Ayr by-election campaigns, and the preparations for the Westminster election for which I have been responsible, will be intensified to create this winning campaigning force.

"I want this to be a forward-looking and positive debate about our country's future and not just one confined to internal issues.

"Please send me your views on the points I have raised, and tell me other issues that you think the SNP and its new leader must address."

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See also:

26 Jul 00 | Scotland
Alex Neil: My message
26 Jul 00 | Scotland
Swinney seeks leader's role
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