Whole­sale change in cul­ture is vi­tal

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Dr Lisa Cameron MP for East Kil­bride, Strathaven & Les­ma­hagow

The al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment in both the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and the House of Com­mons that have been de­vel­op­ing over the past week have been par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult for us all to hear.

Res­ig­na­tions have been handed in by senior politi­cians. But is that enough?

A zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach ap­pears badly needed across all par­ties. This can, how­ever, never be mon­i­tored by those in pol­i­tics who pre­vi­ously ‘turned a blind eye’.

The in­de­pen­dence of re­port­ing and in­ves­ti­ga­tory mech­a­nisms ap­pears vi­tal to prop­erly sup­port com­plainants.

Sex­ual ha­rass­ment oc­curs be­cause of is­sues of power and con­trol. Per­pet­u­at­ing the be­lief that males can­not be vic­tims is, there­fore, wrong. It fos­ters a cul­ture in which males may feel si­lenced and find it even more dif­fi­cult to come for­ward.

It is, there­fore, im­por­tant to use in­clu­sive lan­guage and en­sure we sup­port any­one af­fected to come for­ward.

West­min­ster is now ask­ing it­self “how has this hap­pened”?

Akin to the film in­dus­try, pol­i­tics has his­tor­i­cally been viewed as a ‘se­lect club’ where those in po­si­tions of power may be pro­tected by the sys­tem.

Re­port­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult due to the power im­bal­ance, fear of reprisals, and pos­si­bil­ity of vic­tim­i­sa­tion. Whole­sale cul­ture change is vi­tal at West­min­ster to en­sure com­plainants are sup­ported not alien­ated, heard not ig­nored and en­abled never vic­timised.

Speaker John Ber­cow has now re­ferred all is­sues of sex­ual ha­rass­ment in West­min­ster to the com­mons reference group on rep­re­sen­ta­tion and in­clu­sion.

I have been a mem­ber of this com­mit­tee since July 2017 and I’m de­ter­mined to en­sure a con­fi­den­tial and safe re­port­ing en­vi­ron­ment for com­plainants go­ing for­ward.

Brexit up­date On Mon­day, the UK Gov­ern­ment pub­lished the list of sec­tors that could po­ten­tially be im­pacted by Brexit.

How­ever, they did not pub­lish any of the 58 doc­u­ments that ac­com­pa­nied that list, which fo­cus on dif­fer­ent sec­tors of the econ­omy.

The House has since voted in favour of th­ese doc­u­ments be­ing re­leased in or­der to en­sure trans­parency and that the best deal is be­ing achieved for dif­fer­ent sec­tors.

I an­tic­i­pate the re­sponse from gov­ern­ment and will con­tinue to push for the best pos­si­ble deal for our con­stituency.

HMRC cam­paign Last week, I spoke out once again in a de­bate about HMRC.

I high­lighted the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect that UK Gov­ern­ment plans to close our Cen­tre 1 tax of­fice would have upon the town; its econ­omy, jobs, liveli­hoods and our in­trin­sic iden­tity.

Ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble must con­tinue to be done to pro­tect our work­ers at HMRC. Please show your sup­port for the Stay in EK cam­paign and en­sure we con­tinue to fight th­ese mis­guided pro­pos­als ev­ery step of the way.

Par­lia­ment week Across our con­stituency this week, I was pleased to visit the 2nd East Kil­bride Boys’ Bri­gade to speak about the im­por­tance of democ­racy and Par­lia­ment Week.

The ques­tions asked were very top­i­cal in­deed and in­cluded: ‘Are you re­lated to David Cameron?’

Should any schools or or­gan­i­sa­tions be keen to visit West­min­ster or to link with its ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre for Par­lia­ment Week, please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact me for sup­port.

The in­de­pen­dence of re­port­ing and in­ves­ti­ga­tory mech­a­nisms ap­pears vi­tal to prop­erly sup­port com­plainants.

Ques­tion time Dr Lisa Cameron MP was put on the spot by mem­bers of 2nd East Kil­bride Boys’ Bri­gade

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