Marie Nicholson

I live on the southside Glasgow, retired florist self employed , at home with my husband, lived in the same area since married 45 yrs ago. I agreed to this as I like a challenge and boy was this a challenge – over 100 people from all walks of life, different views, different cultures, different standards of living, but all coming together for one thing, to discuss in a civilised manner how we want to see Scotland in the future… and going forward try to suggest what we feel is best for our country.

The first weekend was memorable, wow, met a lovely bunch of people who all live all over Scotland, and all want the same thing, to be part of being a group who has the privilege to be listened to by MPs and others who work in that industry but value what we say and transfer it into the words that government bodies use. But not telling us what to say but guide our words into the right context. Edinburgh castle – fantastic what an emotional evening, meeting all the behind-the-scenes team, they are a fab group of people who made me feel that no question is a stupid question ... and that my voice counts ... Been a challenge as some people just don’t gel, so it’s being respectful to others and hope they behave the same way back. Some young people, not interested in the topic, so didn’t participate, and what I find amazing is when the polls get done there is always a percentage of people who don’t vote ... that amazes me ... why spend hours and hours talking debating then not use the vote???

I have learned that some people just want to control others and take over the whole conversation and won’t listen to others points of view ... I have learned that although we all seem the same we are very different and have different views on how we want Scotland to be, but that’s good because we can all bring something to the table that helps us gain strength, and get a better understanding of how others live their lives. I have learned more about politics than I knew before and I wish I had listened more when I was younger as my votes might have been different than today.

I want to see a fairer system that helps the poorest in our society, I don’t want people to have to think that life must be lived on benefits, I want job opportunities for everyone. If you want to go to uni it’s available, if you want an apprenticeship it’s available, housing is a must, not private landlords ripping people off, a good living wage, councils being able to manage their own budget and move monies where they think it’s needed most. A greener place to live, educating children to be more aware of the addictions in life, drugs, alcohol, all lead to poor mental health. Really let’s teach our children to look after this country that we live in so they can earn a good living and lead a happy healthy life. Let’s make these months of hard work count, let’s try and make a difference in Scotland, I feel covid has cause a great deal of distraction to all of us, so to me covid has taken over where I might have thought lets go independent, but now I don’t know, are we in too much debt with Westminster being in control?

Woman with glasses smiling