Sunday, 19 March 2017

Feeling Welcome in the Lib Dems

Feeling Welcome in the Lib Dems

My title
I decided after many months of despair and outrage to do something to challenge the outright dictatorship of the Conservative party, with the help of a lacklustre Labour opposition presiding over a hard Brexit exiting the Single Market, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and damaging many communities across the United Kingdom. So in response to that I joined the Liberal Democrats and will explain the reasons why I did that.

I was previously a Labour member and remember the day when Jeremy Corbyn was first elected as party leader in September 2015. We in the Labour party all thought politics would change for the better and there could be a fairer, simpler way of conducting politics. There was promise and hope for a better world with sensible policies.

However, this all changed after June 2016 following Corbyn’s lack of action or fight in the EU Referendum campaign effectively sabotaging the Labour party's official position of staying in the EU. Subsequently I let my Labour party membership lapse without renewing it. As a son of Bulgarian migrants (and a bit of Slovakian and Hungarian descent) born in Croydon I felt betrayed by the Labour party who normally would be supportive of people from ethnic minorities.

Croydon voted 55% to remain in the European Union, all three Croydon MPs Steve Reed (Labour, Croydon North), Gavin Barwell (Conservative, Croydon Central) and Chris Philp (Conservative, Croydon South) campaigned to stay in the EU. Now Reed, Barwell and Philp seemed to have given up and are now accepting the hard Brexit dictated by Theresa May, the Prime Minister who has no elected mandate lecturing others and shutting down any resistance from people who just want to understand what are her plans for dealing with this colossal task.

Now I have a place in the Liberal Democrats. I joined the party on 1st February 2017 and I am glad I did so. I have met many fantastic people in my local party, the Croydon Liberal Democrats. I have been busy with leafleting the Focus 2017 edition and have done quite a lot of it in South Norwood ward, the ward which voted by 66% to stay in the EU. I have met with a few members of the public on the doorstep who are pleased to see some work being done to challenge May’s lack of opposition. I am eager to do more to help others and stop the monopoly of the Conservatives and Labour who go hand in hand with UKIP and have created a nationalistic coalition against the true interests of the majority of citizens in this great country.

Throughout history our country has been home to many different civilisations, including Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Picts, Celts, Normans and you name it. I identify myself as a Londoner, English, British, Bulgarian, Slovakian, Hungarian and European. It is not wrong to have many identities and we should, as a country, embrace the values that unites us rather than divide us.

I have also become involved with Croydon for Europe, a group which is fighting against the hard Brexit pursued by the Conservatives. We have done well distributing hundreds of leaflets across the borough to advertise the march on the 25th March 2017 with many supportive colleagues and members of the public.

Here we are as part of Croydon for Europe unveiling our Stop the Silence billboard in Waddon, Central Croydon

Unite for Europe leaflet distributed by Croydon for Europe advertising the march to Parliament on Saturday 25th March 2017 at 11am, Park Lane, London

The Unite for Europe march on the 25th March 2017 coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community and the foundations of the European Union. I urge you all, leave or remain supporters to go out and protest against this toxic Government leading us all down the path of isolation following in the footsteps of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

We are meant to be building a more united society but shutting down the 48% who did vote to stay in the EU will come back to bite the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats under Tim Farron are courageous and will fight for the rights of EU citizens to be protected in this country and UK citizens abroad in the EU as well. I have found a home in this party and hope to continue making new friends on this journey of mine. I hope some of you will join our journey and join the Liberal Democrats to fight for a fairer, tolerant and united society.