"This is an historic moment and one all Scots should welcome because it means we will have the opportunity, in 2014, to choose a new and better path for Scotland and bring to a halt the damaging changes to Scottish society being taken forward by Westminster.
"As an independent country we can choose to create a fairer and more caring country by investing in jobs and welfare rather than Westminster's weapons of mass destruction and this will be the choice for voters in the referendum in 2014.’
Yes Glasgow meetingIndependence is essential to defend the Welfare State against Westminster politicians increasingly out of touch with the values and needs of the people of Scotland, the Chair of Yes Scotland Dennis Canavan said tonight.
Speaking at the launch of Yes Glasgow, Mr Canavan condemned MPs for voting to cut benefits while calling for a major rise in their own pay.
He said: "Last week MPs attacked the poorest in society by cutting their benefits in real terms, while demanding an increase of 32% in their own salaries, meaning they would pocket around £90,000 a year.
"The opposition at Westminster offers no real alternative and leading Labour politicians even question the universal benefits introduced by the Scottish Parliament, such as the restoration of free prescriptions, the abolition of tuition fees and the provision of free care for the elderly." He said Scottish Labour talked about "a something for nothing society" while treating vital universal benefits as perks or rewards.
"It’s like throwing sweeties at the people of Scotland to get their votes. What an insult. Is free education just a sweetie? Is a free National Health Service just a sweetie?
"Nye Bevan and Barbara Castle must be birlin’ in their graves. Nye Bevan saw a free National Health Service as the hallmark of a fair society and it was Barbara Castle who was the great champion of universal benefits. When challenged as to why the children of the rich should get Child Benefit, she pointed out that means testing would stigmatise the poor and that the rich should pay more through a progressive system of taxation.
"If the current generation of Westminster politicians is unwilling to introduce such a fair system, they should hand over all responsibility for tax and benefits within Scotland to the Scottish Parliament.
"In an independent Scotland, the people of Scotland would be guaranteed to get the Government they vote for and the Scottish Government would surely respond more readily to the values and needs of the people of Scotland, including the need for greater standards of social justice.
"Independence is not an end in itself. It is a pathway to creating a fairer Scotland."
Blair Jenkins, the chief executive of Yes Scotland, told the audience that with devolution, Scotland had begun the journey to self-determination.
"But now we have reached a fork in the road and we have to choose between two very different paths. If we stay on the UK path, we know what lies ahead: Governments we didn't vote for, sweeping attacks on living standards, Trident nuclear weapons replaced with an even more expensive version, and a society that continues to become more unfair and more unequal with every passing year.
"Mortality rates and health inequalities are worse in Scotland than in any other country in central and western Europe. The current Scottish Government and previous Scottish Governments have tried to address this shocking fact within the powers available to them. But the main cause of health inequalities is economic and social inequality, and the powers in those areas remain at Westminster.
"Successive London governments have chosen to make the UK the fourth most unequal and unfair society in the western world, with dreadful consequences for the health of our people.
"That is why Scotland must take a different direction of travel, the path towards being a fairer and more prosperous society. We can reverse the benefits cuts forced through against the overwhelming opposition of Scottish MPs - cuts which in this city of Glasgow will see the loss of almost £115 million in benefits payments, with a disproportionate impact on the Disability Living Allowance.
"That is not the path an independent Scotland would follow, and it is not the path the people of Scotland will choose in 2014."
Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and a member of the Yes Scotland Advisory Board, said: "We are the lucky generation - unlike any previous time in our history, we have the democratic opportunity to choose an independent future for Scotland in a free and fair referendum.
"It is an exciting prospect, and the case for Yes will inspire and motivate people in Glasgow and across the country - including many who do not normally vote, perhaps because they do not feel they have a voice that is listened to under the current system. In an independent Scotland, all voices will be listened to, and everyone will have a stake.
"In its substance and vision, the Yes case will match the scale of the opportunity that Scotland can vote for next autumn.
"On this very day in 1707, the pre-democratic Scots Parliament voted to end Scotland's independence. Imagine for a second that hadn't happened. Who in Scotland today would vote to be governed under the Westminster system, which would mean Trident nuclear weapons on the Clyde, our resources going to the UK Exchequer and only some of them coming back and over 80% of Scots MPs being outvoted in opposing unfair benefit cuts?
"Independence means that Scotland gets the government we vote for all the time - not just some of the time - and that means decisions are taken which maximise the wellbeing of everyone who lives here."