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Ian Blackford


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Petitioning Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson, Nicola Sturgeon, Sian Berry, Adam Price, Ian Blackford

Ban lion trophy hunting imports into the UK

The body parts of lions killed in gruesome hunts are being bought and imported into our country as ‘hunting trophies’. To hunt these beautiful animals for fun is inhumane and wrong - but it’s also contributing to the rapid decline of lion numbers. That’s why I’m calling on lion trophy hunting imports to be banned immediately. I lived and worked for two decades in several African countries to help the conservation of lions there and I’m now the director of Lion Aid. It pains me that their numbers continue to drop. The number of lions in Africa has decreased from over 200,000 to less than 15,000 within the past 50 years. Most of the ‘trophies’ are male lions. This has a disastrous knock on effect, pride structures are disrupted, reproduction almost grinds to a halt as cub survival is severely affected, and mortality among females increases as they attempt to protect their cubs during encounters with more and more displaced males. We must immediately stop our involvement in this cruel trade of lions killed for fun, like others around the world have. Australia, France and the Netherlands have already banned lion trophy imports. Why have we not yet joined them in doing so? In 2010 and 2015 promises were made by British MPs about introducing a ban, but years later nothing has happened. Every single day we delay makes it more and more likely that we push lions towards extinction. Please sign my petition calling on the UK to immediately ban imports of Lion trophies.

Pieter Kat
626,616 supporters
Petitioning Boris Johnson, UK Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, Ian Blackford

UK Prime Minister: Protect your citizens abroad!

Did you know that the British Government doesn’t have a legal obligation to protect its citizens abroad? We  didn’t either, until we had our loved ones unjustly stripped of their freedom, and we found out there were no guarantees our Government would help.  As a British citizen, you or your loved one could be away on a holiday, studying, on a business trip, simply visiting friends and family, or even living a happy life of retirement. Suddenly, your life could take a 180 degree turn, your freedom taken away and your human rights violated – just because. Meanwhile, there is no law to make sure that your Government will protect you. They could instead decide to stand by because for example, they don’t want to upset the country where you are being detained.  Right now this is reality for more than 2,000 British citizens, like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Jagtar Singh Johal, who are currently detained abroad. Over 1,000 of them are being held without a trial. Many have been unfairly convicted; many have been tortured or kept in solitary confinement; many have been deprived of their fundamental human rights – with no access to lawyers, medical care or support from a British embassy.  We are the British Rights Abroad Group (BRAG), a coalition of families of people from across the UK who are currently being unfairly held overseas or who have recently been released.  Our families have had to discover the Government’s lack of commitment to its citizens the hard way.  When our family members were unfairly imprisoned the British government stood (and in some cases continues to stand) passively by, until we started speaking out and using public pressure to make them take action. In some countries, like Germany, there are laws that ensure the Government does everything it can to protect their citizens in cases like ours. A law like this could have been a life saver for our loved ones. So, we are asking Britain’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to lead an initiative in Parliament to make it a law for the British Government and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) – to defend and protect the human rights of Britons abroad. We want to make sure that you and your loved ones won’t have to live what we have been forced to endure.  Please, sign and share this petition to demand that your government does more than what it “can” do and starts doing what it “must” do for your rights to be protected – regardless of who you are or where you are. From: Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and father of Gabriella Ratcliffe Daniela Tejada-Venegas, wife of Matthew Hedges Yemisrach Hailemariam, wife of Andargachew (Andy) Tsege Gurpreet Singh Johal, brother of Jagtar (Jaggi) Singh Johal Yvonne Irving, wife of Billy Irving Founders of British Rights Abroad Group (BRAG)  Follow us on Twitter @UKRightsAbroad #BRAG #BritishRightsAbroadGroup #BritishRightsAbroad *If you or a loved one have been affected by lacking or inappropriate consular assistance by the British Government and would like to join our campaign, please get in touch with us on britishrightsabroadgroup@gmail.com 

British Rights Abroad Group BRAG
364,644 supporters
Petitioning Ian Blackford

Save our students. Make Mental Health First Aid a compulsory part of teacher training

Hi, my name is Ben and in January 2018, I lost my younger brother, Sam, to suicide. He was just 15. I sat on my bed that Sunday evening, unaware that only a few metres away from me my brother was about to take his own life. I heard screams through the headphones and ran upstairs at 21:30. I carried out emergency resuscitation for almost half an hour before the mass of emergency services arrived.  No one should ever have to experience the loss and confusion of losing someone to suicide and I hope that, with your help, this petition can save at least one family the awful pain I've had to and continue to face. As part of research into ways of helping young people suffering with mental health conditions in schools we found that staff are generally not equipped to deal with problems faced by some students as they don't have the knowledge to do so. Very few staff members have mental health first aid training of any level. That's why I'm calling on the government to train teachers in mental health first aid so that they have the tools and knowledge available to help if they do feel they should step in and start a conversation. Mental health first aid would be a very cost effective and simple session to run which outlines potential problems faced by students and offers suggestions to staff on what to do. It would also advise staff on who to contact about the student to start putting into place the support they need as quickly as possible. There are so many teachers who are capable of dealing with physical medical emergencies, it’s about time that the same can be said for dealing with mental health problems as well. Most schools have a single specialist physical first aider as well as having a mass of teachers with knowledge of first aid. I don't think an epicentre of mental health support is the right way of dealing with the issue, instead we should a more broad knowledge. Making the training compulsory may seem excessive at first but we now live in an age where three students per class have a diagnosable mental health condition [1]. There are 4 schoolchildren lost to suicide every week [2]. And the rates of depression and anxiety in young people have increased by 70% in the last 25 years [3]. So, I wholeheartedly believe, this isn't an excessive measure to be taking, it's a desperate one.  Please sign and share my petition. Visit our Instagram pages - @iambenwest and @team_walk2talk [1] mentalhealth.org [2] papyrus.org [3] thesamwestfoundation.org

Ben West
305,884 supporters
Petitioning Boris Johnson MP, Dominic Raab MP, steve Barclay MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tom Watson MP, Keir Stamer MP, Vince Cable MP, Ian Blackford MP, Nicky Morgan MP

Let Touring Musicians Travel: Support Musicians Working in the EU Post-Brexit

The Musicians’ Union is calling on Government and Parliament to back a Musicians' Passport for musicians working in the EU post-Brexit. Please sign the petition to show your support. The Musicians' Passport must:  Last a minimum of two years Be free or cheap Cover all EU member states Get rid of the need for carnets and other permits Cover road crew, technicians and other staff necessary for musicians to do their job Most musicians and performers rely on touring and performing in the European Union to make a living.   Musicians, and other creative and cultural workers, are a distinct workforce with specific needs. Visa and customs rules post-Brexit need to account for that.  The Musicians' Passport must be affordable, multi-entry and admin-light.    Placing costly and resource heavy barriers to that could have a severe impact on working and aspiring musicians – as well as the broader UK music industry. Musicians already have experience with difficult visa systems. It can cost thousands to take a band to the United States, and the cost of fast-track visa processing fees have just gone up 15%. Musicians have voiced their fears that something similar might happen with the European Union, to devastating effect. The Musicians' Passport should cover all EU member states.    Musicians visit multiple countries on tour, often jumping across borders on a daily basis, often with very little notice.   If every musician has to get a visa and carnet for every country they visit, it will make any work in Europe impossible to schedule regardless of whether they are an emerging band or a world-renowned orchestra.  The lack of clarity on the future of musicians working in the EU is already having an impact.   MU members are already moving to Europe because they are worried about their future work; to get jobs, to make sure they can get work later, to travel, and to collaborate.  It’s also about who we are    “Music and the performing arts rely on exchange of ideas and interaction between performers of different nationalities. We love working in the EU and we love artists coming over here. If musicians can't travel easily both ways, our reputation as a country that embraces all arts and culture will be severely damaged. Our members' ability to earn a living will also be severely affected” – Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary and founder member of Darts Let touring musicians travel Protect the music you love. Sign the petition for a Musicians' Passport.  

Musicians' Union
82,554 supporters
Petitioning Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Vince Cable MP, Ian Blackford MP, Liz Saville Roberts MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Arlene Forster MP, Sir Keir Starmer MP, Tom Watson MP

Halt Brexit For Public Inquiry: Did Politicians Know About Illegalities Before Article50?

PLEASE ALSO SEE  P.S.  BELOW Brexit must be put on hold, or stopped, until we know the truth:  The UK's departure from the European Union looms, but still massive questions remain in the UK about the legitimacy of the EU Referendum.   It is now clear that significant and illegal over-spending occurred in the last few days before the Referendum. The Prime Minister decided when to trigger Article 50, thereby setting the date (29 March 2019) for Britain to leave the European Union, but did she know - as now seems likely - about any illegalities in the conduct of the Referendum before Article 50 was signed and delivered? A Public Inquiry is required as soon as humanly possible. The Public Inquiry must determine as a matter of urgency whether Ministers and/or any other MPs knew about the EURef irregularities before Article 50 was triggered.  What assessment (before Article 50 was triggered or subsequently) was made - and by whom? - of any impacts illegal spending had on the outcome of the EURef? These are matters vital to the democratic process and public confidence in British politics.  Until they are resolved Brexit must be deferred. We insist that a high-level and open Public Inquiry be established immediately to ascertain the truth about what was known, by whom and when, about any and all illegalities in the conduct of the EU Referendum. Only then will we be sure whether the UK's departure from the EU can legitimately, or even should, proceed. #StopBrexit   #PublicInquiry  #Article50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS You may also like to support these petitions: * For UK Residents and Citizens: Halt Brexit For a Public Inquiry: >> https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241848 * For everyone: Jeremy Corbyn: Please #StopBrexit now. >> https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-corbyn-please-stopbrexit-now  

Hilary Burrage
2,628 supporters
Petitioning Ian Blackford MP, Kate Forbes MSP, Donald Cameron MSP, John Finnie MSP, Rhoda Grant MSP, Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP, Edward Mountain MSP

Address URGENT local issues before reinstating flights from Ashaig Airstrip

A group has been formed to develop a plan for a twice daily Air Service linking Skye with Glasgow or Edinburgh. The group is made up of The Highland Council, HITRANS, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, Transport Scotland and Loganair. According to a recent report, the airport could cost up to £880-980k to run per year.  It would require the upgrading of the current airstrip with a permanent terminal building, apron (where planes are loaded and refuelled), car park, garages and storage facilities.  See below link for further information. https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/73767/item_7_-_skye_air_services We believe that issues such as: - Local infrastructure              - Problems caused by tourism               - The housing crisis                - Environmental issues affecting Skye should be looked at before proceeding any further.  Please sign the petition if you agree. This is currently being discussed at https://www.facebook.com/groups/573074446420800 The Highland Council needs to save £15.146 million this year and they have already increased council tax by 3%.  The costs of running flights would mean that tax payers would be heavily subsidising an unnecessary service. There are many local issues requiring urgent attention and spending.  We believe the group should address the following before even considering an air service:- Dealing with existing infrastructure problems - for example, the A82 and A87 trunk roads.  Both roads urgently need improvement, particularly around Loch Lomond.  Potholes are a huge problem on these roads and we know they are causing damage to vehicles.  The Calmac ferry service is in crisis which is affecting locals, businesses and holiday makers alike. Improving and increasing the frequency of public transport to and from Skye to the Central Belt.  Citylink currently charges £88.60 for a return bus journey from Glasgow to Skye.  Scotrail charges around £114 for a single trip from Kyle to Glasgow during peak season.  These services could be subsidised. It is predicted that if the UK’s aviation industry is allowed to grow unchecked it will account for 31% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  Greener alternatives must be promoted, rather than encouraging a reliance on air travel.  This includes developing nationwide cycle paths, with increasing numbers of people who choose to travel this way.  The Highland Council could be investing in the Skye Cycle Way. Last year, the police were advising tourists not to travel to Skye unless they had accommodation booked.  The roads are clogged with tourists already, which greatly increases journey time for commuters.  Instead of encouraging more tourists, we need better infrastructure for current numbers and we need to make tourism sustainable here.   Due to the Council closing public toilets throughout Skye, tourists are having to use nature as their toilet.  They have not made provisions for the rising number of campervans and wild campers coming here.  A recent wildfire was started near Sligachan by a campervan owner burning his toilet paper.  People are also dumping chemical toilet contents in streams and ditches. Voluntary groups are having to clean up Skye, again due to the Council not responding adequately to the tourism upsurge. There is housing crisis in Skye.  The average home on the Isle of Skye Property Centre website is around £185k – higher than almost everywhere else in rural Scotland.  There is a disproportionately large number of second homes, and 1 in 8 households has an Airbnb listing.  Nothing has been done to address this adequately, and a knock on effect is increasing homelessness and staffing shortages due to lack of long-term lets. For more information, see http://thenational.scot/news/16055921.Forget_tourism_____Skye___s_housing_crisis_is_the_real_emergency/  This project will encourage more people from Central Scotland and further afield to buy second homes, which will only add to the problem. Skye's small businesses are flourishing thanks to tourism and their growth should be supported.  Flights would enable more efficient travel for business people, helping the local economy.  However, there needs to be some protection put in place to prevent the exploitation of land, people and resources through aggressive business practices from larger companies which don't have a sense of responsibility to the area.  The independent businesses shape Skye's unique appeal to visitors, and this market should not be spoiled by an influx of global chains. We call for the Group to consult extensively with local individuals and groups before going any further.  

Ishbel Strachan
1,038 supporters
Petitioning Matt Hancock, Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Vince Cable MP, Ian Blackford MP

Grant individuals diagnosed with asthma the option of an electrocardiogram (ECG)

Asthma UK estimates there are 5.4 million sufferers of Asthma within the UK, 1 in every 13 people, and at the age of 16 the NHS diagnosed me as one of those. However this was a misdiagnosis, one which many face, potentially explaining why this figure seems so high. I had a major defect, something which could've been detected with an electrocardiogram (ECG). I was a lucky individual, a Costa coffee brought about palpitations which then resulted in a visit to Warrington A&E, here I underwent an electrocardiogram, which soon identified a heart defect, one which untreated would have killed me. The ECG in the long-run allowed me to be treated, yet many individuals are not so lucky, a late diagnosis can mean individuals are no longer treatable, I met one women in her early 20s, she was genuinely lovely, and yet she was told her heart had deteriorated to the stage the NHS would no longer treat her. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is an effective, and cost efficient, way of detecting heart defects. Many individuals are diagnosed with asthma rather than a form of heart defect due to shared traits, such as breathlessness and a fast heart, yet the NHS often treats asthma as a dead end, issues are not often investigated further. By granting access to an ECG to those diagnosed with asthma, the health service could detect with relative ease if individuals had a further problem, preventing potential misdiagnosis, saving both lives and money. Lives may be saved by allowing individuals to be granted the correct treatment and at a far earlier stage, while misdiagnosis is arguably one of the greatest, and most useless, costs to the health service. Misdiagnosis often leads to individuals being granted inefficient, costly drugs, as well as not facing the required treatment, which can lead to eventual pressure on the health service through areas such as A&E, at a far higher cost than an electrocardiogram. This is a reform which can potentially save lives, and make the National Health Service potentially far more efficient, especially when it comes to tackling heart disease, the leading cause of death for men within the UK and second most common cause of death for women. I hope, with support, that this reform can be made possible. It was to late for this reform to help me, but I survived, yet others are within our country facing the possibility of death without even knowing so, this reform could tackle that, and save lives by giving them much needed treatment, we must get this done for them.

Alastair Thompson
514 supporters
Save our students. Make Mental Health First Aid a compulsory part of teacher training

Mental health is one of the most important public health issues in Scotland today. That’s why, in government, the SNP has made improving mental health services a priority – appointing the UK’s first dedicated Minister for Mental Health. While introducing mandatory mental health training for pre-graduate teachers would be a matter for universities and educators in the profession - the SNP has taken steps to Make sure that children and young people have the support they need at the earliest possible stage. We have recruited 430 new school, college and university counsellors to help prevent mental ill-health amongst children and young people. We will ensure that every secondary school has counselling services. And more than 80 additional counsellors will be provided in Further and Higher Education over the next four years too.

6 months ago
Axe #TamponTax now that we have left the EU!

SNP MPs will hold the UK government to a commitment to remove VAT from sanitary products. Until VAT is removed from sanitary products, the SNP will call for Scotland’s population share of the Tampon Tax Fund to be transferred to the Scottish Government so that a fair and proportionate amount can be distributed to organisations working with and for women across Scotland. Sanitary protection products are not an optional luxury, instead they are an essential product for over half the population. It is absurd that while men’s razors, children’s nappies and even products like Jaffa Cakes, exotic meats and edible cake decorations are free from VAT women are still having to pay additional costs on what is already an expensive yet vital product.

6 months ago