AT next week’s Full Council, members will pay tribute to the Southend MP David Amess, stabbed to death in his surgery as he met local constituents. 

Sir David is the second MP to be killed in the course of serving his constituents in just five years, with Jo Cox shot and stabbed multiple times outside a village library before she was due to hold a 

This latest killing has shaken all of us involved in politics to our very core. Some of us even here in Glasgow, as local councillors, have had concerning experiences in our surgeries or been forced to cancel meetings with members of the public due to serious safety concerns.

For democracy to function properly, MPs, MSPs and local councillors all need to be publicly accessible. 

Glasgow Times: Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a memorial service for David AmessPrime Minister Boris Johnson during a memorial service for David Amess

When going into a surgery to meet a constituent there is always an expectation that the person may be upset or angry at a particular issue they’re facing. 

They are seeking the assistance of a politician in good faith because they genuinely need help with something. 

And the burden of that issue can impact on their emotions and political representatives have got to deal with that in an understanding way. 

That’s the relationship between constituents and their political representative. And it’s a leap of faith which elected members take every time they meet a constituent. 

For all of us in politics this is the absolute core of what we do and for those of us in local government it’s usually something we do alone. 

It’s just something we take for granted.

But Sir David’s killing now calls this into doubt and that’s something which effects all of us involved in the democratic process. 

It should be entirely unimaginable that the very essence of democracy, direct contact between the representative and the represented, is called into question. 

But this has now happened twice and in recent days we’ve heard from so many politicians and their staff who’ve been attacked, threatened, harassed, abused, stalked, all for simply doing what they have been elected by the public to do. A number of my SNP colleagues at Westminster knew Sir David personally. 

They have spoken publicly about his decency and how well-liked he was across the House. Next week all parties and none represented at Glasgow City Council will set aside their differences and unite in respect for Sir David, for one and other and for our cherished democracy.

Dealing with violoence in Glasgow 

LIKE me, you will have been shocked and saddened by the death of Justin McLaughlin.

Someone has been charged and so we shouldn’t speculate about what has happened in this dreadful situation, but I want to say two things.

Glasgow Times:

First, if you know anything at all about what led to this please get in touch with the police or Crimestoppers. You can safely and anonymously tell Crimestoppers what you know by calling 0800 555 111.

Second, we need to look at how, as a society, we have come to this place. 

A child has died, and that means something has gone wrong. In the coming weeks I’ll be working with the police, social work and education to understand what happened and why. We must do everything we can to ensure this never happens again.

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