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.”


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.