The Tin Forest


Dear Glasgow report: Independence Referendum

On 31 July 2014, as part of The Tin Forest festival, the people of Glasgow were invited to attend Dear Glasgow. Here they were asked to discuss the burning issues in their city. The discussion groups were set by the participants themselves; Tolerance and Multiculturalism, Gender Inequality, Children and Young People, Work, the Independence Referendum, the Environment and Mental Health.

Here’s what the Independence Referendum Group discussed…

All the opinions expressed here are those of participants of Dear Glasgow and not necessarily those of the National Theatre of Scotland or its partners.

Action Points

  • Renationalising industries – utilities
  • Continue to communicate, no matter what happens
  • Listen to the other points from the others’ argument
  • Change the balance of taxation from indirect to direct
  • No change is not an option
  • Within the constitution have a diversity of voices/opinion (demographic)
  • Progressive schemes that include everyone – child care
  • Wider representation
  •  An unbiased media


Contributor’s quotes from the discussion

“Independence – how do you convince people who don’t want independence to vote independence?”

“Most discussions are all about what’s happening in Glasgow, but to do that we need control, and through these two choices, what future are we going to have and how will this effect what will happen in Glasgow?”

“My hope is people will be less likely to follow the media and find their own way and come up with their own opinion instead of just listening to others.”

“People are disappointed with the way the government has voted and feel let down and all the recent governments haven’t done much for Scotland and we have a way to change that.”

“I hope that, despite the outcome that people will remember this mindset and will continue to be passionate about how they feel.”

“Some people feel that this is the first time when they are actually voting for something they are passionate about, whereas other times they haven’t felt their vote would make a difference.”

“35% voted in the last by-election.”

“If people vote no, people are saying they don’t want anything to do with Westminster ever again. Perhaps the possibility of going independent later, in discussions with Westminster later, we could still have ties with them, have a settlement rather than just rejecting them.”

“People need to be open to discuss the topic, most people know what they are already going to vote and reject everyone else’s views and aren’t willing to listen and even consider being persuaded to think again.”

“We have to talk about it, between yes and no voters, because we need to live together after the referendum has happened and if we don’t now, how will we move forward in the future.”

“When politicians were asked to give a convincing argument for the opposition, they were all able to quite easily. There is always room for change and an open discussion.”

“The people who are traveling up here to talk about better together are more vocal than the yes campaigners because they are willing to travel all this way to do it.”

“The no campaigners are willing to try and scare everyone and could make life rather difficult for us even if we vote no.”

“Westminster is making health care private, and therefore, if we vote no, Scotland will be forced to do the same, which is a mistake. NHS is one of the best things going in Scotland.”

“The whole of the UK seems to already be separating, for example, the Shetland Islands, where does that stop?”

“The borders exist and there isn’t anything we can do with that, we just need to live with it. Borders are scary, but it’s something we need to get on with, we will get used to it.”

“Independence will be bringing more power to the people and allowing us to have a say.”

“How can you bring social media into the independence argument? It will allow more young people to get involved.”

“We need community responsibility.”

“It’s all based on money at the end of the day.”

“It’s up to us to say thanks for offering these things to us, but we don’t need them, what we need is this.”

“One country will always outvote the other, which means we don’t really don’t have a say, and we are just being ignored.”

“Those young people who now have an opportunity to vote could only vote yes because they haven’t travelled to England and so perhaps haven’t seen what their country could be like.”

“Things we want: Redistribution of wealth, Local democracy, Better understanding”

“No country is completely independent from the other countries surrounding it.”

“If you watch the news, there is nothing from the North on the national news, not just in regards to Scotland, but the North of England too, which makes us feel isolated from the rest of the UK.”

“We would like to see an equal society, despite what is voted.”

“We want people’s voices to be heard, despite what you are voting, after the referendum. We want to be listened to.”

“We want to be better informed and have a better understanding of what we are voting for, rather than having questions left unanswered before going to the polling stations.”

“Most people don’t have the time to do lots of research into the two sides to make an informed decision.”

“We need opportunities after the referendum, regardless of what the outcome is.”

“We feel we need media representation of the people of Scotland.”

“It all depends on what kind of Scotland you want.”

“If we were told 15 years ago we would have the closest thing to independence without actually it having that name, I wouldn’t feel the need to vote yes now.”

“You need to have the responsibility and opportunity to say what we need in terms of the army, rather than having to go out and find people to sign up as opposed to them signing up of their own accord.”

“We want to be able to say we made rational decision to our vote rather than just having to come up with a decision on the day, still unsure of what I’m really voting for.”

“Most of the Young People that have been asked are reportedly voting no, which I’m very surprised at. Although, how many just said that so they didn’t seem different from their peers.”

“Young people say that they are most concerned about what the job situation would be like if Scotland vote for independence.”

“The schools need to give more information to young people so they can make an informed decision.”

“There is no such thing as an impartial viewpoint.”

“You can’t say there isn’t enough information out there; you just need to look for it. However, most people just aren’t willing to go out looking for it.”

“When you become independent yourself, it gives people more of an idea of the kind of world they want to live in, which then leads you to then make up your own mind of what you think.”

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