Author Archives: Lorenzo Cherin

Why Luciana Berger joining the Liberal Democrats is important

As someone who has been both involved in campaigns against the growing, vile, antisemitism, and for the engaging with the Independent Group members of parliament, the decision of Luciana Berger, to become a Liberal Democrat gives real delight and is a pivotal defection, and, indeed,  a poignant one. This warm, eloquent, dynamic woman, is a courageous and feisty opponent of the prejudice and abuse she and others experience, and in support of a better more caring society and politics. She is a voice for mental health and a dedicated mp. She has been the target of far left Labour baiting.

For researching articles I have written for the Ustinov Prejudice Awareness Forum,  at which I am a member and writer, I have been made aware of the extent of frequent taunting, inappropriate insinuation, direct insults, ongoing trolling, many who are Jewish, experience. This particularly complex and insidious prejudiced attitude, is a racism that has developed more, not less, in our country, in Europe, and even in the US. In the UK, it is statistically, thankfully, less. We are a more liberal and tolerant country, but victims of racism do not want to be tolerated.

The extent of her opposition to Brexit, as with Liberal Democrats , is obviously based in part, on her, and our belief, that only by greater unity, more harmony, real involvement, in each other’s societies, do we, as Europeans, counter the emerging narratives of populism and nationalism, that we witness, but must not  and, as Liberals, do not ignore. Racism is a consequence of extremism, ever since modern societies emerged, and at periods in history before such things were fully realised, these two have been bed fellows.

The resilience, determination, creativity, humour, of Jewish communities, and individuals from within them, over hundreds of years, has been and is, inspiring and inspired. These fellow citizens of this and any country, are amongst the most longstanding, to have emerged from immigration. It is no coincidence that Emma Lazarus, the remarkable young woman, lost to this world so young, was Jewish. She  was the writer of the great poem, that is on the plinth of the Statue of Liberty. ” Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This is a rallying cry for liberals, progressives, humanitarians worldwide. It is now denigrated from the right. Even in the US.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 2 Comments

Jo Swinson and the art of disagreeing well

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When I was at London University in the latter 1980’s studying History and Politics, a particular incident made an impact on me and I recall it clearly.

I was in a politics tutorial, one in which the very mild mannered, but enthusiastic, tutor, a delightful German of young middle age, had got the class to be a sort of forum for topical discussion. “What shall we discuss today, then?” He said, one day, as often he did. He was greeted by silence, as often he was!

“Any suggestions?” He said, again trying to enthuse. He was greeted by silence, again nobody very enthused. I was very enthusiastic, but said nothing, because I rarely did say anything, and was very political, elected during those university years as a President of the Student Union, and I did not want to be pushy or too showy.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 41 Comments

Finding the common ground – becoming truly more united

Yesterday was the third anniversary of the tragic loss of Jo Cox MP. On Saturday, I was at a hustings and heard another Jo, and another member of parliament, Jo Swinson, talk about her. She spoke about how horrible it was to hear Nigel Farage, after the Brexit referendum vote result, say, it had all happened “without a shot being fired!” She actually said it made her feel sick. It makes sense that a woman now a similar age, with similar politics, and same first name, would feel this, knowing a colleague had just been murdered, shot and stabbed!

Yesterday, a …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Chuka joining the Lib Dems is good for him, the Lib Dems and UK politics

Chuka Umunna becoming a member of the Liberal Democrats is good for him, the Liberal Democrats and politics in the UK. There are several and important, obvious and not as obvious, reasons why this is so.

Chuka Umunna is clearly an able, dynamic, eloquent personality. Anybody who has seen him relate to and engage with people, can see this. At home on television, with interviewers, on platforms, he is a communicator who is a good talker and listener. And he is as at ease with school kids and young people in their turf as he is in the Westminster bubble.

He brings with him knowledge of and a background from, South London and its diverse communities. I am from South London and have been a resident of Streatham too. I know he has a high reputation there.

He has in his biography, some remarkable elements, not as often alluded to. His African father Bennett Umunna, came to the UK with no money. He started and built a successful import and export business. He became involved in Nigerian politics, and his stand against corruption brings some to the conclusion that his tragic demise, in a car accident when young Chuka was in his early teens, was no accident. Bennett had met and married  Patricia Milmo, a solicitor. Chuka’s mother is the daughter of Sir Helenius Milmo, a prosecuting lawyer at the Nuremberg trials. What few know, is, they are also descendants of a great Liberal politician Samuel Morley.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 21 Comments

The actions of a Tiger

Then imitate the actions of a tiger, stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard favoured rage!

Shakespeare’s Henry V, could have been referring to politics, now! The tiger is not timid, but is brave. The rage is not destructive but is strong. There is a need to be brave and strong. The centre ground is regarded by some, wrongly, as merely mushy, wishy washy. That old adage, the only thing that happens in the middle of the road, is, you get knocked down, is nonsensical.

I welcome those who do want to journey with me. I, though a Liberal, and therefore  for the individual, am too, a democrat, and welcome the company on the journey. I see the centre ground as needing to be cultivated, nurtured, with possibilities for development and scope to build, but a path, too, to travel, and a journey, that continues. It is the path ahead. It is, in politics, the road less travelled now, but along its route, we can make real friends, and have fellow travellers, not from or to the extremes, as too often associated with such a phrase, but on the way forward.

As a longstanding member of the Liberal Democrats who, as a youth, cut my political teeth in the Labour party, I welcome alliances and cross-party working, because I also know how seldom so many do, in the two big parties. From the outset of the emergence of TIG, through the debacle regarding its becoming Change UK, some of us, a few, have continued to reach out, rather than reject. We know that to leave a party requires bravery. We see that to feel hounded out because of antisemitism is  awful. We get it that Brexit has indeed led to a change in our discourse.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 12 Comments

Viva Verdi, Viva Italia!

As Italy has voted, I am, as the son of an Italian, and a practitioner in the arts, thinking of Giuseppe Verdi and of the country he helped to create. Verdi is mainly known as one of the greatest composers of opera, but though that was his main and great talent, he had one for politics too. At a time when Italy was a collection of small and to some extent, rival principalities and states, the Risorgimento movement he supported, was fighting, for a nation of Italy, a unified State, the country we now know. Some interpret this as …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged | 15 Comments

For liberal, independent voices

This is a liberal site, a place for discussion amongst liberals, and those who are supporters or members of the Liberal Democrats. But it is an independent site, and welcomes those with different views , as long as there is respect.

On the most important decision and issue for many, currently, it is the moment for liberal and independent voices.

The decision and display of and by Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, to push for, as a declaration of intent for coalition, ” a united States of Europe ” has changed the nature of this debate for Liberals and any of an independent disposition. He goes so far as to , more than imply, but to encourage those states who do not agree to leave the EU. This attitude and all that goes with it, spells the destruction of the EU as it is, and changes the naysayers of Brexit, and those who voted Remain, myself included, to reconsider.

I am no Europhile. Nor am I a Eurosceptic. I am a Europragmatist. I have, as one of part Italian and Irish origin, a view,  in no way as sentimental, in favour of the EU project. It is  in my view, a project. It is not, nor should it be a state, super, or not. We cannot be supporters of individuals and nations, of localism in our Liberalism, and back the creation of a superstate, a continent as a country, a Leviathan.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 45 Comments

When politics is personal

I have been a contributor to Liberal Democrat Voice for so long,a reader for longer,that some  have asked me why I do not write articles for it. As a contributor to one or two other sites,and someone who also, amongst other things  does write professionally,and increasingly has had my head down more than once upon a time,this site has seemed to be a part of my political, rather than creative world.As I am based in an area,Nottingham,and from one,London,where getting elected for this party is no easy or even very feasible thing,politics is for me the world of the amateur of professional standard,my degree was in history and politics and as with many in our party,my interests are in both,but not my financial interests! But amateur means motivated by love for something,when referring to the reason for doing something,rather than the ability at something.I love the world of politics even if a part of me loathes it too!

That is not something I could say of this site.While it can drive me potty at times,I do believe it to be the best political site in Britain,the efforts of it’s editors considerable,especially considering they are, as with that word again, amateurs in not getting paid, though of such obvious professional standard as writers as well as editors.I play a part in something , in which I am delighted to do so.

But my despair at certain things today,and at times I would call it this, in our society or our party, in my sphere or profession,encourages me to do one of two things.Either say, and do less, of that which has been my answer to that frustration, politics,or, say and do, more.Often,my solution,like many of my views,is between two extremes and I have chosen to do neither, but find a strong middle way.I am coming to the conclusion that although my Italian and Irish part lineage, and theatrical and artistic temperament,might lead me to rely on that steadier influence that comes from my English side, and go for the reasonable and the moderate, that I have to say and do more.I have something to say and I have got something to do and I am going to say and do it.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 29 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarnvelope2003 5th Dec - 2:16pm
    Labour has had a policy of not cooperating with other parties since 1918 and it is unlikely to change as it has mostly worked for...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 5th Dec - 2:08pm
    It was an excellent presentation of Liberal Democrat Values and Policies by Jo Swinson. On the issue of economic competence, as Jo pointed out she...
  • User AvatarThomas 5th Dec - 1:26pm
    nvelope2003 - "I just hope it is not too late. Almost all the subsidies promised by the Labour and Liberal parties will mostly benefit the...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 5th Dec - 12:39pm
    Oliver Craven appears to be forgetting that a large proportion of the vote in his constituency comes from two towns, both with populations over 15,000....
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 5th Dec - 12:05pm
    @Rodney Watts The anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is VERY really unfortunately. Please don't demean this very real and disgusting anti-Semitism that British Jews are...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 5th Dec - 12:00pm
    Matthew has once again expressed my views very accurately.
Tue 10th Dec 2019