From tearing up the voting system, creating new categories for political representation and forming citizens assemblies... the question ‘How do we fix British politics?’ was posed and Scotland’s ThinkIn answered.

Tortoise, a new media platform championing slow news, is holding a week-long series of discussions across the UK, called The Rules, and is looking for new ideas for the constitution.

Last night some 20 people, of different ages and walks of life, gathered at a social enterprise in Glasgow’s Merchant City to share their ideas to make the political system more diverse and inclusive.

The event joins others in eight venues across the country from a community centre in Slindon, a newsroom in Grimsby, a museum in Cardiff, a school in south London, a library in Newcastle, an arts centre in Belfast and in the heart of power, the House of Commons in London.

Chaired by Liz Moseley, editor and partner of Tortoise, the evening of discussion was opened by Dr Lea Raible, a lecturer in public law at the University of Glasgow, who gave background information on the thrust of the discussion, which was whether the UK should move from an unwritten, codified constitution to a written constitution.

One of Ms Moseley’s suggestions was to create new categories for political representatives in addition to geographical representation.

She said: “You live where you live. But there might be something else, other than where you live, that you feel more connected to. Is that a way to structure an element of representation?

“These are all things we could, in theory, put back on the table.

“Perhaps there’s an elected body over here that’s to do with where I live and there’s another elected or partially elected group over here that’s partially to do with how old I am.

“That might be a way to encourage people to engage differently with the conversation.”

Another repeated suggestion of the session was the idea of citizen’s assemblies, closely linked to replacing a first past the post voting system with proportional representation.

One participant, Corrina, said: “I really like the idea of citizen’s assemblies. I think it’s really important that we get back down to the nuts and bolts and what people understand by politics in their daily lives.

“Our political system feels like a joke but, unfortunately, it’s a reality. It plays on that divisiveness between people.

“There needs to be a regulatory body that actually stops all the misinformation because how can people really be informed when there’s so much rubbish that’s put out there?

“In the end, people want to have decent housing, they want to have a good life for them and the community.

“So we really need to speak to people whose voices are never heard. We have to speak to people who are, say, super racist.

“It might be uncomfortable to have them in the room but because they have never been listened to it’s important to be in a space where we can start to understand each other.”

For participant Emma, who runs a charity, the situation must work to be more inclusive. 

She said: “I think there is a more basic issue, politics, whether it is the mechanics of the system or the culture around it, it is not inclusive at all.

“I run a charity and we work with young people and adults with learning difficulties, young carers, people who are homeless. And they are the least likely to vote because the system is so complicated.

“If you are a young person with a learning difficulty and you are trying to have influence there is just currently no system to support that.”

Student Alice told the group that she had not learned enough about the UK political system at school and felt let down by her experience of  Modern Studies.

She said: “It was more what they thought were things kids would find interesting rather than what we needed to know – we did a lot of laughing at Donald Trump.

“I have left school with a very small understanding of politics and I’m not happy about that.”

Tortoise aimed to set out the first inclusive membership model for news and now has 11,000 funded memberships.

The organisation works with around 30 partners, including The Herald.

There will be further Tortoise events throughout the year. To become involved email