LibLink: Alistair Carminchael: The people of Hong Kong look to the UK to keep the promises we made to them

This week in Parliament, Alistair Carmichael asked an urgent question on the Foreign Office’s lack of action per the conviction of Hong King’s Umbrella Movements’s leaders. The Umbrella Movement had protested for 79 days for free and fair elections in 2015.

This week nine of the Umbrella Movement’s leaders were convicted of rarely used public order offences from the days of colonial rule. Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, described it as being “appallingly divisive to use anachronistic common law charges in a vengeful pursuit of political events which took place in 2014”.

The response of our own Foreign Office was a silence. How embarrassing, and not for the first time.

It was only 1997 that the UK handed Hong Kong back to China. It was a handover that allowed the UK to divest itself of another vestige of empire while entering into a treaty with China which sought to provide autonomy of the former colony and a continued progression towards democracy. It was Chris Patten’s not insubstantial legacy which gave both Britain and China obligations for fifty years until 2047.

He was quick to point out a former Lib Dem leader who had stood up so vociferously for the people of Hong Kong:

The UK Government has a moral and legal duty to stand up to Beijing on these matters. We may have left our colonial rule behind but not our obligations to democracy and human rights.

The people of Hong Kong look to the UK to keep the promises we made to them. Our government must stand up for the umbrella nine and all those facing down Beijing’s violation of their freedoms and do it before the case returns to court for sentencing.

The Late Paddy Ashdown was another man who took an interest in and cared about Hong Kong. Just last year he said, “we should be advocating change [in Hong Kong]. Instead we are quiescent. With the spread of tyranny and our history, it is unwise and shameful”.

You can read the whole article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Advert

3 Comments

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 23rd Apr - 7:45pm
    Given her borderline transphobia and other unpleasant views in her Mail column I don't think Rachel Johnson is any loss to the Lib Dems (and...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 23rd Apr - 6:19pm
    @ Mick Taylor, "Too bad that so few in the modern Lib Dems understand anything about our Liberal/Whig history and where we come from." It's...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 23rd Apr - 6:16pm
    Great to have this continuing conversation, thank you, folks, especially the constructive but cheerful advice from posters like Sue Sutherland and Michael 1. People in...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 23rd Apr - 5:54pm
    Otley in Leeds is joining in and researching its own initiatives in achieving success in this endeavour.
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 23rd Apr - 5:30pm
    It looks increasingly like the European elections might become a proxy "people's vote" between Change UK (must be galling to see them billing themselves as...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 23rd Apr - 5:09pm
    A highly impressive speech with a powerful and straightforward message - take action now or die. Climate change does need to be front and centre...