28/10/03 Non-Prescription Contact Lenses

I beg to move,

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to reclassify non-prescription contact lenses as medical devices; and to restrict their sale so that they can only be sold by, or under the supervision of, a registered doctor or optician.

The fad for coloured or patterned contact lenses, which alter the colour of the wearer’s eyes, is a relatively new one, especially among young people, and that may be why we have yet to introduce legislation that adequately regulates their sale. As Plano-or cosmetic-lenses retail for about £25, they are a relatively affordable fashion accessory, and it is estimated that 90,000 people in the UK have used them. Such lenses have been popularised by sports stars who have worn Union jack lenses while representing their country, and by rock stars such as Marilyn Manson, whose scary white eye has become a popular style to emulate. In addition to patterned lenses, there are coloured lenses that intensify the natural colour of the eye or change it entirely.

read more…

21/10/03 European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill

John Robertson (Glasgow, Anniesland): In recent years, Members on both sides of the House, along with countless other people in public life, have rightly complained about the low turnouts in elections. The great virtue of the Bill is that it shows that the Government are willing to extend specific practical and innovative solutions on a large scale. There is no doubt that low turnout must be tackled. In the last general election, turnout was at its lowest since 1918, and in the last European elections, fewer than one in four voters went out to the polling stations. Even more worryingly, low turnouts are noticeably concentrated in the poorest socio-economic groups and in certain geographical areas.

read more…

15/10/03 State Pension Reform

State Pension Reform
15th October 2003

John Robertson (Glasgow, Anniesland): I was interested in the contribution from the hon. Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Duncan) or, as he is known in Scotland, the Tory one. I feel that he is a friend, but a misguided one. I have been surprised by the crocodile tears of the Conservatives. Those tears are a ruse: they do not care one jot about means-testing and that has been shown over many years. Nor do they care one jot about the poorest in society. It is political point scoring at its worst and it is done without any thought of or consideration for the people who they are using to make those points.

read more…