President Obama addressing the United Nations

17
776

Neil Caple
Aberdeenshire

Yesterday I watched President Obama addressing the United Nations. Parts of his speech, near the end, really struck a chord with me so I later searched for the text of his speech and have quoted the relevant passage below.

Neil Caple
Aberdeenshire

Yesterday I watched President Obama addressing the United Nations. Parts of his speech, near the end, really struck a chord with me so I later searched for the text of his speech and have quoted the relevant passage below.

Mr. Obama is talking about the right to self determination and he is pledging the United States’ support to all those who seek it. If I were a Scottish Unionist I would read this speech and tremble, but I am not, I am a nationalist, so this speech makes my heart soar with joy!

Please read Mr. Obama’s words in the context of the Scottish independence movement. All bolding is mine.

“Now, the changes that I’ve spoken about today will not be easy to make. And they will not be realised simply by leaders like us coming together in forums like this, as useful as that may be. For as in any assembly of members, real change can only come through the people we represent.  That is why we must do the hard work to lay the groundwork for progress in our own capitals. That’s where we will build the consensus to end conflicts and to harness technology for peaceful purposes, to change the way we use energy, and to promote growth that can be sustained and shared.

I believe that the people of the world want this future for their children. And that is why we must champion those principles which ensure that governments reflect the will of the people. These principles cannot be afterthoughts – democracy and human rights are essential to achieving each of the goals that I’ve discussed today, because governments of the people and by the people are more likely to act in the broader interests of their own people, rather than narrow interests of those in power.  The test of our leadership will not be the degree to which we feed the fears and old hatreds of our people. True leadership will not be measured by the ability to muzzle dissent, or to intimidate and harass political opponents at home. The people of the world want change. They will not long tolerate those who are on the wrong side of history.

This Assembly’s Charter commits each of us – and I quote – “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women“.

Among those rights is the freedom to speak your mind and worship as you please; the promise of equality of the races, and the opportunity for women and girls to pursue their own potential; the ability of citizens to have a say in how you are governed, and to have confidence in the administration of justice.

For just as no nation should be forced to accept the tyranny of another nation, no individual should be forced to accept the tyranny of their own people.

As an African American, I will never forget that I would not be here today without the steady pursuit of a more perfect union in my country. And that guides my belief that no matter how dark the day may seem, transformative change can be forged by those who choose to side with justice. And I pledge that America will always stand with those who stand up for their dignity and their rights – for the student who seeks to learn; the voter who demands to be heard; the innocent who longs to be free; the oppressed who yearns to be equal.

Democracy cannot be imposed on any nation from the outside. Each society must search for its own path, and no path is perfect. Each country will pursue a path rooted in the culture of its people and in its past traditions. And I admit that America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy.  But that does not weaken our commitment; it only reinforces it. There are basic principles that are universal; there are certain truths which are self-evident – and the United States of America will never waver in our efforts to stand up for the right of people everywhere to determine their own destiny.”

Read it and weep, Scottish Labour!