The Dawn of Webinars

Whilst we have been physically isolating due to Covid19, the virtual world has turned into a global village. Not a day passes without seeing news of another virtual conference or webinar.

A less propitious phenomenon, however, has been the alarming rise in hate crime towards British Chinese and other East Asian communities due to the pandemic. This has exposed deep seated racism against those who look Chinese in our society. Meanwhile misinformation in the media, whether deliberate or unintentional, has heightened fears and bigotry, leading to harassment, abuse and in some cases physical attacks.

To better understand the history of the Chinese community in the UK and the root causes of Sinophobia, the Paddy Ashdown Forum and Chinese Liberal Democrats have come together to co-host a webinar on “Covid19 and Racism” to be held on 19 May at 12noon BST.

Dr George Lee, an independent consultant and former Chief Inspector in the London Metropolitan Police, will present on how Chinese people have been perceived in popular media and treated over the centuries, as well as share his observations of the rise in hate crime in the UK and globally due to the pandemic. He will also talk about the importance of collaboration in civil society and between governments, in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Linda Chung, former Councillor on Camden Council, Chair of Camden Chinese Community Centre and co-founder of CLD has considerable experience of encouraging Chinese people to enter politics and contribute to British society. She will comment on how the media, public figures and government can play a positive role in denouncing racism and on the raison d’etre of the cross party Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group (CARG).

We look forward to a stimulating discussion that will enable us to better challenge racism and overcome xenophobia. The webinar will be moderated by Isabelle Parasram, Vice President of the party.

To register and for more information on this event, visit the Paddy Ashdown Forum website. Registration closes today at 5 p.m.

* Merlene was co-founder of Chinese Liberal Democrats and on the executive of the LibDems Overseas. She co-edited “Rise of China – Fresh Insights and Observations” published by the Paddy Ashdown Forum (2021)

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8 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 18th May '20 - 12:31pm

    Those who live in Northern Ireland should consider the Alliance Party, currently led by former MP Naomi Long https://www.allianceparty.org/our_mlas

  • Anna Lo (of Chinese descent) has been the target of racial abuse by Ulster loyalists and did not stand for re-election as an Alliance Party MLA in 2016 as a result.

  • Isabelle Parasram 18th May '20 - 4:34pm

    Dr George Lee and Linda Chung have some great insights on this issue. In light of the recently published Lib Dem 2019 GE Review, I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say at tomorrow’s webinar.

  • I’m sure this will be worth attending.

    However, even though we are in more-or-less lockdown, many of us have a lot to do and can’t necessarily attend things with minimal notice and in the middle of a working day. Please could a bit more thought be given to scheduling?

  • Anna Lo left the political scene after expressing extreme pro Republican views which rightly disgusted most people in the Alliance Party.

  • Merlene Emerson 19th May '20 - 8:43am

    Thanks for all your comments. Sorry that registration for the lunchtime event has now closed. To get early notice of other PAF webinars, I suggest you subscribe to the website htttps://www.thepaddyashdownforum.org

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