This is not a mi­grant cri­sis, but a hu­man­i­tar­ian one

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane - Com­mons Com­ment

Par­lia­ment is in re­cess, and it’s been a great op­por­tu­nity to catch up with con­stituency work.

I moved into my con­stituency of­fice at the start of the week, and we’ve been work­ing hard to get ev­ery­thing up and run­ning.

It’s great to fi­nally have a per­ma­nent place to work from, both for my­self and my staff. I’m look­ing for­ward to my sum­mer surg­eries, and get­ting out to meet plenty more of you over the com­ing weeks. Hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis

Like many oth­ers, I’ve been watch­ing events un­fold­ing at Calais, and can’t help but feel sad­dened at the UK Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach to tack­ling the sit­u­a­tion.

David Cameron’s use of the word “swarms” to de­scribe peo­ple des­per­ately try­ing to es­cape from a tent city was ab­so­lutely galling, and re­called a darker time in hu­man history.

This is not a mi­grant cri­sis, but a hu­man­i­tar­ian one.

We can­not lose sight of the fact that these refugees are peo­ple, some es­cap­ing in­de­scrib­able hor­rors that most of us are for­tu­nate enough to never have to wit­ness.

The UK has a moral obli­ga­tion to par­tic­i­pate in ef­forts to re­lo­cate mi­grants, and Scot­land is ready to play its part. The Tory Gov­ern­ment how­ever just doesn’t seem to be get­ting the mes­sage. Scrap the Lords

Last week was punc­tu­ated with events that fur­ther em­pha­sized just how ridicu­lous our sec­ond cham­ber at Westminster is.

First off we had Lord Sewel, a mar­ried man who was Chair­man of the Lords Con­duct Com­mit­tee, dis­graced in the pa­pers af­ter a video al­legedly showed him tak­ing drugs with pros­ti­tutes.

The ap­point­ment of Michelle Mone later in the week only fur­ther served to un­der­line the lu­di­crous and un­demo­cratic farce of the House of Lords.

I’m pleased to see that the SNP cam­paign to abol­ish the House of Lords is gain­ing trac­tion.

In re­cent weeks we’ve seen a flurry of ac­tiv­ity from high pro­file mem­bers of other par­ties, sig­nalling a change in at­ti­tude to the un­elected sec­ond cham­ber.

Jeremy Cor­byn, the now Labour lead­er­ship fron­trun­ner, has given his back­ing to an SNP call for op­po­si­tion par­ties to stop nom­i­nat­ing new mem­bers for the House of Lords. Scot­tish Labour lead­er­ship can­di­date Kezia Dug­dale has gone one fur­ther, and echoed the SNP’s calls for the ab­surd in­sti­tu­tion to be scrapped al­to­gether.

Tim Far­ron, the new LibDem leader, has added his voice to the cause, call­ing for re­form of a sys­tem he de­scribes as ‘rot­ten to the core’. Hope­fully he finds it rot­ten enough to stop nom­i­nat­ing peo­ple to take a seat in the place.

The House of Lords is an anachro­nism, with no place in mod­ern so­ci­ety. It is a dump­ing ground for ex-MPs, party donors, and cronies.

I’m proud that the SNP do not take seats out of prin­ci­ple, and per­haps if oth­ers were to fol­low suit, we could ef­fect real change, and drag Westminster into the present day – or per­haps even the last cen­tury.

Com­mons peo­ple But Mar­garet Ferrier wants the UK Gov­ern­ment to do more to help mi­grants try­ing to en­ter the UK

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