Author Archives: Anton Georgiou

Let’s tackle entrenched inequality with a Universal Basic Income

As a local Councillor in one of the most diverse wards in London, I am acutely aware of the entrenched inequality that exists within certain sections of the country. This has been further tragically exposed by the current coronavirus crisis. My ward, Alperton, is amongst the hardest hit in Brent, with one of the highest death rates in the borough.

Government studies which show the disproportionate way that this virus is impacting certain ethnic groups and also a Brent commissioned poverty report published in August, seek to shed a light on why my borough was so gravely impacted. In some respects, it was a perfect storm – high levels of poverty, exploited front line workers, many of whom are from ethnic minority backgrounds and overcrowded, poor housing that allowed the virus to rip a hole right through our community; one that will take a lot to heal and recover from. 

It is clear that the only way to recover and ensure that the most vulnerable groups are safeguarded into the future is to seek to address the inequalities that exist in our country. That is why I wholeheartedly support the introduction of a Universal Basic Income. A guaranteed annual income for every citizen provided by the Government.

As a party, the Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront in calling for major social change to tackle the big issues we face. It is absolutely right we do so again now. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 26 Comments

Let’s appeal to lovers of a big- hearted Britain and win the immigration argument.
 


I felt compelled to put into words my thoughts on the situation in Calais following David Cameron’s intervention, describing those seeking refuge in the United Kingdom, as ‘swarming’ over the border.

To invoke the language of the BNP, UKIP, the National Front, and the English Defence League is irresponsible and inflammatory. Similar language was used by the Daily Mail in the 1930s when describing Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.

My family are refugees; my grandparents and their three young daughters were forced to flee their homes following the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. This issue is therefore very close to my heart. The UK gave refuge to my family in the 1970s, and for this they will be eternally grateful. They became part of London’s mosaic society. As with many other immigrants at the time, they were welcomed by both the government and society. Immigrants were seen as beneficial to the country, they brought with them skills, and a willingness to work long hard hours to better their lives. They saw the UK as a safe haven, and respected the native population. At the time the British people, by and large welcomed them, and accepted that immigrants were good for both society and the economy.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 28 Comments
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