Author Archives: Roger Crouch

Welcoming Hong Kong residents

Embed from Getty Images

This week, the US State Department issued an advisory note to US companies operating in Hong Kong highlighting risks that emerge from the implementation of the Chinese government’s National Security Law. US Secretary of State, Anthony J Blinken, has highlighted the “…persistent and politically motivated campaign against the free press, imprisoned Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, and forced the closure of that publication – a bastion of independent reporting. Beijing has chipped away at Hong Kong’s reputation of accountable, transparent governance and respect for individual freedoms, and has broken its promise to leave Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy unchanged for 50 years.”

Many Hong Kongers will feel that they are pawns in a looming showdown between China and the United States. Many are deciding that now is the time to emigrate including to the United Kingdom. Conscious that many former citizens of Hong Kong are settling in our community, I tabled a motion at last week’s meeting of Richmond Council welcoming Hong Kong citizens to our area. I was gratified the motion was passed unanimously.

I would encourage councillors (Liberal Democrat or otherwise) to look at the numbers of Hong Kongers arriving in their areas and consider bringing similar motions to their local authorities. Here is an edited version of what I had to say:

I would argue that, just as murder on the streets of Minneapolis impacts on us, so does the imposition of Chinese state authoritarianism in Hong Kong. Many residents will have close ties to Hong Kong through family, business interests or pre-1997 postings in the territory. The last governor of Hong Kong is, of course, resident in Barnes. We have unique, historical, and moral duties to the people of Hong Kong.

My wife is British Born Chinese, but her family are originally from Yuen Long, a town in the New Territories. It is a fairly workaday place close to the Chinese border. It is a place I have visited frequently with my family. The metro station is normally a peaceful but bustling place.

In June 2019 that changed. Dozens of men in white shirts carrying sticks, faces obscured by balaclavas, beat groups of commuters taking part in a peaceful protest.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Rights for cohabiting couples

The progress of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill through Parliament, with its Second Reading in the House of Commons, should be a cause of celebration amongst Liberal Democrats. As a party we have been, on the whole, united behind these proposals and we should applaud the leadership that Nick Clegg, Lynne Featherstone and, let’s give credit where it is due, David Cameron have demonstrated on this particular issue.

Working in Coalition, Liberal Democrats have introduced legislation which will secure equal marriage in law. I doubt very much whether a single party government, whether Conservative or Labour led, would have dared …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 49 Comments

Opinion: Vote for Fairer Votes to End Safe Seats

I grew up in Bournemouth, a bucolic place beside the sea where very little disturbs the peace. For over a century, Bournemouth’s politics at parliamentary level have been as sedate. In every election since Queen Victoria was on the throne, the same party has won. A candidate dons a blue rosette, shows up and becomes the MP. Whilst the Liberal Democrats have valiantly tried their best in recent elections, the two Bournemouth constituencies are like many places across the country where General elections do not really matter, where elections are a foregone conclusion, places where real power lies in the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 21 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Peter Hirst
    As we grow as children and develop our personalities we to a lesser or greater extent become intolerant of anything or anybody that is different from ourselves....
  • Matt Wardman
    @Caron Agree with you there. The last thing I have heard is that an investigation by the CQC (if that is the correct body to cite) has been welcomed. L...
  • Joe Bourke
    Marx believed in the Smithian labor theory of value but added an extended analysis of the relationship between labor and machines. Capital is composed of huma...
  • expats
    As an aside those actions 'demanded' to slow/reverse man's input to global climate change are the very same ones that will reduce overall pollution of land, sea...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Very reflective piece Caron. I would immediately look to a better facility if my child were there. Principles are nothing if avoided in practice. Either the ...