East End MP raises firearms questions with UK Home Secretary

19 Feb 2009

The transfer of powers over firearms from Westminster to Scotland should take place as soon as possible, according to one member of the House of Commons.

The SNP MP for Glasgow East, John Mason, has written to the UK Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, calling on her to drop her opposition to the move and act as soon as possible to help local police forces tackle our firearms problems effectively.

The East End MP said:

“Glasgow needs gun laws that work, and that means transferring these powers to the Scottish Parliament.

“This would allow Holyrood to look at bringing in a ban on airguns or, at the very least, introducing a licensing scheme. That is something that has cross-party support and, more importantly, widespread support here in the East End.

“Airguns cause more injuries per head in Scotland than in England, with our part of Glasgow having seen some very tragic incidents in recent years.

“As the UK Government does not intend to make this issue a priority, I hope that they will see common sense and work with the Justice Secretary to put powers over firearms where they belong, with the Scottish Parliament. Only then we will see the kind of action on airguns that will benefit communities across the East End, and the city of Glasgow as a whole.”

Glasgow East ‘first in Scotland’ in anti-cruelty campaign

18 Feb 2009

John Mason has become the first Scottish MP to sign up to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection’s (BUAV) campaign to make constituency offices cruelty free.

The Clean Up Cruelty campaign calls for a ban on the testing of Household Products on animals. 81% of the public have said they would support this ban. However, the ingredients of many products continue to be tested.

By signing up to the campaign, John Mason has pledged to use only BUAV approved cleaning products in his Constituency Office. The East End representative was presented with a certificate marking his achievement earlier today (Wednesday) by BUAV’s senior parliamentary adviser, Jenny Gowen.

Speaking after the presentation, John Mason said: “I’m delighted to show my support for this important campaign by only using cruelty free products in may office. It’s a disgrace that cleaning products are still tested on animals and I urge my colleagues to clean up their offices too.”

Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of BUAV, added “It’s fantastic that John Mason is supporting our campaign putting Glasgow East on the cruelty free map. I call on all politicians in Scotland to follow his lead and sign up to this important campaign.”

NOTES:

(1) The Glasgow MP was presented with a certificate by BUAV representative, Jenny Gowen, at 11.00am on the morning of Wednesday 18 February 2009. A photo of the presentation is attached.

(2) The BUAV has been campaigning for over 100 years to achieve a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals. We are committed to achieving our aims through reliable and reasoned evidence-based debate. We are proudly non-violent and respect the quality of life for all – animals and people.

(3) The BUAV’s Humane Cosmetics and Household Products Standards Leaping Bunny logo is internationally recognised and patented cruelty-free certification. Approved companies must open up their supply chain to a rigourous indpendent audit. This painstaking process ensures that neither the product nor, crucially, any of its ingredients have been tested on animals at any stage of the manufacturing cycle. For more information on the strict auditing process and a list of approved companies visit www.gocrueltyfree.org

Local MP welcomes Lightburn litter measures

11 Feb 2009

The East End’s MP, John Mason, has welcomed commitments given by Glasgow Community & Safety Services (GCS) to tackle litter in the Lightburn area of his constituency.

The SNP MP for Glasgow East contacted GCS in January, after having been approached by residents of Torphin Walk concerned about the prevalence of litter in their area.

Mr Mason was impressed by the response that he received from GCS, in which they agreed to step up the number of Community Enforcement Officer (CEO) patrols in the area, in addition to deploying a mobile CCTV unit.

Welcoming this development, Mr Mason said:

“Credit where credit is due, I approached Community & Safety Services in order to highlight a particular problem and they have responded to my concerns.

“As well as stepping up enforcement patrols and making use of a mobile CCTV unit, GCS are also contacting local organisations and community groups in order to explore the idea of a community clean-up campaign.

“Only time will tell whether these anti-litter efforts are successful over the longer term, but I would like to commend Glasgow Community & Safety Services and their staff for the positive approach that has been taken in this case.”

Notes:

Glasgow Community & Safety Services is a partnership between the City Council, Strathclyde Police, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and the Glasgow Housing Association.

Mason slams ‘negative stereotypes’ of East End

09 Feb 2009

John Mason, the MP for Glasgow East, has slammed those who persist with peddling negative stereotypes of the East End. The local SNP Member of Parliament has spoken out following remarks made by a journalist in the on-line edition of the London-based “Spectator” magazine.

A story of protest has greeted comments penned by a journalist, Fraser Nelson, that Easterhouse and Castlemilk were “beautiful names, but scummy estates”.

John Mason has now put down a motion at the House of Commons inviting Mr Nelson to spend time in the East End of the city.

Commenting on the ongoing furore that these remarks have created, John Mason said:

“During the by-election at which I was elected, much of the metropolitan media coverage made the inaccurate assumption that the entire eastern section of Glasgow was a sinkhole of economic depression. It is an understatement to describe this point of view as a lot of utter rubbish.

“Part of the problem was that many journalists and so-called experts wrote about the East End without ever having visited it. I am sorry to see that little has changed in the past six months, and that some commentators continue to sound off despite their ignorance.

“I have now put down a motion inviting Mr Nelson, and anyone else who shares his misconception, to visit my constituency to see for themselves the great achievements, regeneration and true community spirit that exists.”

Note:

The text of John Mason’s Early Day Motion (EDM) reads:

John Mason (Glasgow East – SNP) – Easterhouse and Castlemilk – That this House rejects the description of Easterhouse and Castlemilk as “scummy estates” by Fraser Nelson in The Spectator; condemns the use of sweeping and inaccurate descriptions to characterise any community; recognises that, while these areas have problems to overcome, great progress is being made; encourages Mr Nelson, or anyone who shares his perceptions, to spend time in the east end of Glasgow and see for themselves the great achievements, regeneration and true community spirit that exists.