I was born at the western general hospital in Edinburgh on the 6th of November 1947 (3 weeks late, my mother would remind me). I retired from Hewlett Packard after 37 and half years’ service. I am an avid Heart of Midlothian supporter and a proud Scotsman.
I was intrigued by the concept of the Citizens’ Assembly as it was put to me. The thought of being part of a process which may affect the future of the population of Scotland and the way in which we may govern and rule captivated my very soul and as I was assured that this was not a politically driven assembly sold me to join.
Initially the most memorable thing was meeting such a large and diverse group of people who live and work in Scotland. The way that the Citizens’ Assembly staff have managed and ran the series of meetings against all odds with COVID hanging round our necks has been admirable. Also the standard of facilitators at our break out groups has been excellent and whilst they assisted us with our tasks they in no way pushed us towards any given goals but made sure that we stayed within the parameters which were set to us. So all in all it has been an enlightening experience and well worth taking part in.
I think on a personal level I have learned to listen to other people’s opinions, process them first before I make a comment of my own (which has not always been my way in the past). Again, listening to participants all over Scotland from different ethnic, religious and educational backgrounds has been very enlightening. The fact that we managed to run this series of meetings without any political dogma hanging over our heads was very refreshing as again I was not sure that this was not a politically driven scenario.
From a personal point I would love to see our elected assembly actually taking note of what their constituents thoughts and feelings actually are, instead of blindly following political party ideology. Because what a waste it would be after all the time and effort that the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland members have spent trying to formulate ideas and issues to put towards Holyrood if they were then just cast aside and given no credence. As a final statement I would hope that something similar could be continued at future periods as I am positive that there are many people out there who could contribute many more ideas of how we could go forward as a country.