05 Sep 2010

Since the middle of August John Mason and the Shettleston SNP team have been out on the streets delivering leaflets and meeting the people of the East End. It has been great to be out on the summer evenings engaging with local residents and hearing their issues.

John Mason served as a Glasgow City councillor from January 1998, first for Garrowhill and then in the larger Baillieston ward. During that time he was always critical of councillors who were later elected to one of the parliaments but delayed resigning as a councillor. One example was Labour’s Charlie Gordon.

So when John was elected as the Glasgow East MP on 25 July 2008 at about 3am, he resigned as a councillor that same day at about 3pm. As well as being a huge privilege to have been elected as the MP for Glasgow East, he considered that it had to be a full-time role and there was no way he could be a councillor at the same time. The resulting by-election led to the election of David Turner as the second SNP councillor for the Baillieston ward. And David has proved to be an excellent replacement. Clearly it is to the benefit of local residents to have councillors, MSPs, and MPs who are fully committed to their one task and not trying to be in two different cities at the same time.

So because John was a full-time MP, when he was not re-elected in May this year, he became unemployed. This is how he remains today.

John plans to stand for election to the Shettleston constituency in the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2011. In the meantime he intends to live on his Westminster redundancy payment and to do voluntary work along with campaigning for the next 8 months. The 2 organisations that he is working at volunteering with are the Citizens Advice Bureau and Glasgow City Mission.