I WAS not predisposed to voting Yes. I was brought up in Greenock, where the shipyard community suffered badly in the hands of the 1980s Thatcher government. Despite this my father was an ardent Thatcher supporter and to this day sings her praises.

I disengaged from politics. The only snapshot I got of what was going on in the UK Government was through watching Spitting Image!

I believed all politicians were corrupt, self-serving liars and part of an establishment I felt no connection to.

I wasn’t interested in being drawn into conversations about politics. In hindsight, I knew I didn’t know enough about how the country was run to have an opinion.

I was more a “No Idea” than a “No”.

I realised it was a big moment for Scotland when the independence referendum came around in 2014, and wanted to vote with confidence rather than perceptions or ignorance, and felt the traditional media was biased.

I didn’t turn to politicians for the same reason: I’m a reader, so I looked for books and Gavin McCrone’s writing helped me make my mind up.

A lot of the arguments were based around economics and it was something I wanted to research. No-one would vote to be worse off, right?

I also read a book about politics in Scotland and listened to trusted friends who were happy to let me listen to their logic. I was entirely open-minded.

To become a Yesser, you have to work at it: be open to different messages from what you’ve heard before and dig deeper to understand many things are not what you’ve been led to believe.

Questioning things is not easy and doesn’t come natural to many. It may have been easier to someone like me who, for 40 years, simply hadn’t been paying attention.

My only regret is I didn’t get on board sooner. I didn’t have the knowledge or the confidence in my arguments to engage people during the 2014 campaign. My recent friends would probably not recognise me from pre-2014.

They view me as a political animal now and I guess I very much am.

If you’d told me six years ago I would be subscribing to a pro-indy newspaper, making regular financial contributions to independence-supporting bodies, listening to politics podcasts and watching First Minister’s Questions every week I’d have called the men in white coats.

I may have started by looking at the economic arguments, but now I am engaged in politics. I can see the strongest argument of all is the democratic one. I still think many of the establishment problems exist (mainly associated with the government in Westminster).

There are many politicians I still don’t trust. However, I believe to do something good for your country whether you want to or not, politicians must be involved.

You need to find those who will help you deliver your vision for your country and back them. The difference with an independent Scotland is if they don’t deliver what they promised, we don’t rely on another country to vote them out for us – we do it ourselves. We can detach ourselves from the establishment I so loathe and create a better future for ourselves.

Maggie Rankin, 46, Stirling