The Liberal Democrats are standing in this election for a Greener, Fairer and more caring Britain.
I joined the Liberal Democrats in July 2016 because I had a great sense of foreboding of where the country was heading. The Brexit vote had stirred up some deep emotions and had divided the country in a way not seen for generations.
While I disagreed with many of the reasons for Brexit, wanting to leave a political union, a longing for economic ‘independence’ (that we had always had in reality), I at least understood some of the more logical political arguments despite vehemently disagreeing with them.
The aspect that I never understood or was willing to accept was the attacks on Freedom of Movement and the xenophobia inflicted upon many people who had chosen to make the UK their home. The UK has always been a country of immigrants, from the Roman, Viking or Norman influences of the first and early second Millenia, to the Jewish and Irish people who settled here in the early 1900s, to the pioneering spirit of the Windrush generation in the 1950s/60s who came to help rebuild Britain after WW2, and indeed those of Indian descent who escaped the persecution of the Idi Amin regime in Uganda.
The UK has always been a home for people fleeing persecution and for people from multiple cultures who want to make themselves a better life. I always wondered what the Conservatives would turn to next when their Brexit project was shown up as a failure, and now we have the answer, outright racism, xenophobia and a new Conservative Party Policy of forcibly relocating poor and desperate refugees to Rwanda, a country that is itself poor and still recovering from the scars of civil war and genocide.
The Conservatives new policy would have had pride of place on any British National Party leaflet of old and is abhorrently similar to Hitler’s infamous suggestion to forcibly relocate Jews to Madagascar. This is People Trafficking by any other name.
The Conservative Party has abandoned all pretence of being a party of the centre ground, and rather than coming up with actual solutions to this country’s problems they try and find easy scapegoats.
This is personal for me. My family is a story of successful and integrated immigration spanning multiple generations. Being the son of a Muslim father and a Jewish mother, my ancestors came to this country at the turn of the last century fleeing persecution against Jews in the savage Pogroms of the late 1800s. And my Muslim grandfather seeing the opportunity to study medicine and become a Doctor made London his home in the 1930s. Both sides of my family chose London as their home, as it represented the ‘British Dream’ and is beacon of freedom, tolerance and prosperity.
The Liberal Democrats are fighting this election on a platform of fairness, mutual respect and a more caring country, where we open our arms to those in need and welcome diversity and multi culturalism.
Please join us on 5th May and Vote Liberal Democrat to send a message that Conservative extremism will not win!