Convener's Blog 20 November 2020

It has been two weeks since the penultimate meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly and we are at a critical point in proceedings. 

Weekend 7 drew together all the work of the Assembly, since the journey began in  October 2019, as members prepared their recommendations in advance of voting to take place during our final weekend. The report published last week summarises the process the members undertook and lists the 60 draft recommendations being put to the vote on the 5th December. 

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Convener’s Blog – 30 October 2020

We are coming to the final stages of Scotland’s first Citizens’ Assembly. Earlier this month members met to agree their vision for the future of the country. This was an important and momentous milestone in their work. It has been a huge privilege, and an absolute joy, to be on this journey with Assembly members.

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Convener's Blog 18 September 2020

It is nearly two weeks since the Citizens’ Assembly reconvened online. We were breaking new ground and I am heartened that almost every member came with us as we did so. 

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Convener's Blog - 5 September 2020

It feels so much longer than a year since Scotland’s first Citizens’ Assembly met in Edinburgh, back in September 2019. The world has certainly changed for us all, in many ways, since then. I think it is important for the Assembly to reflect on these changes and challenges, and through the use of technology finish it’s important work. 

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Convener's Blog - June 2020

A few weeks ago I had pause for thought as I reflected on what should have been the sixth and last weekend of the Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland. I don’t think any of us could have imagined, at the start of the year, the landscape we now find ourselves in.Read more


Convener's Blog - March 2020

The focus for Weekend 4 was to build on members’ discussions to date and consider in more detail Scotland’s finances and choices about tax in relation to the priority statement previously discussed; “the Scotland we are seeking Read more


February 2020 - Weekend 4

Excitement is building for the next meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly this weekend. A lot of work has gone into the design and preparation of evidence from our invited  speakers. We will be focussing on Scotland’s finances and choices about taxation, important areas which have come up a lot in members’ discussions to date, and which they have said they want to know more about.

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Convener's Blog -February

The Assembly is just at the halfway point now and we are making real progress. Our third meeting last month demonstrated this perfectly. The Assembly is well down the road of developing a shared vision of the kind of country we are seeking to build and in thinking about how we overcome the challenges that we face. It is a demanding process, and members are working extraordinarily hard but enjoying the experience.

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Convener's Blog - January

I wish our members and subscribers a Happy New Year, now that we are well into 2020 I am very much looking forward to getting things underway at the third meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly.

From the beginning I recognised that the Assembly is a really important democratic innovation and an opportunity to ‘do’ politics differently. It plays an important role by making recommendations about how we move forward in a constructive way, despite different views on Scotland’s constitutional future.

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Convener's Blog - December

The General Election turned out to be about as bruising as I feared it would be, showing as it did, worrying and ongoing divisions in our society. A recurring issue was trust in the political process and its main actors – that question came up at least as much as the policies and personalities on the ballot paper. 

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