This is the speech Scotland's leader would have given if the country had voted for independence

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

This week marks a year since Scotland voted in a referendum on whether or not to break away from the United Kingdom. 55 percent of Scots decided to remain in the UK, and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond gave a speech announcing he would step down as leader of the Scottish National Party.

But in the alternate timeline, where a plurality of Scots decided to go their own way, you might have heard a very different speech.

Earlier today, Salmond released the text of the speech he planned to give had Scotland voted to break away from England and the UK.


It joins the ranks of other might-have-been speeches, like Richard Nixon's "In event of moon disaster", or Sarah Palin's nixed 2008 remarks, both on victory and defeat.

In the unheard speech, Salmond calls Scotland "a nation reborn":

This morning, I want every person, Yes voters, No voters, everyone in this proud and ancient nation to pause, reflect upon and remember this greatest day in Scotland's history.

We did this. We made it happen. We believed. We trusted ourselves and trusted each other.

A country reborn. A democracy reclaimed. We reach towards the future.

What we have done this day will inspire and empower not just this generation but the many yet unborn.

They will learn of this momentous day and thank you for investing your trust in each other. And in them.

You might think after failing to deliver "the greatest day in Scotland's history," the Scottish National Party might be done as a political movement, but they are still going strong. In May's UK general election, they won 56 of 59 Scottish seats, making them the third largest political party in Parliament. And the SNP still control the Scottish government, with Salmond's replacement Nicola Sturgeon serving as the nation's first female first minister.

Maybe Salmond should have held on to the speech for a few more years. If Scotland ever does achieve independence, now he'll have to write a whole new one.

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