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.

The brave new recruit to our cause, Luciana, has, a great ancestor, like the other new Liberal Democrat, Chuka, who I wrote about on this site, to his apparent delight, worth mentioning. Luciana Berger is the great niece of  Emmanuel, or, Manny, Shinwell. Here was a man who started life, born in the East End, who moved to Glasgow. He became a trade unionist and member of the Labour movement, rising to become candidate for parliament. He defeated Ramsey McDonald himself! Seen as on the political left, he went on to emerge a Labour moderate, but a maverick. He was the Defence minister who believed rearmament vital in the post war, cold war years, his call for greater expenditure, led to the resignation of Bevan, Wilson, because of Chancellor Gaitskell supporting it. Shinwell , a Chairman of the Labour party, years later, though staunch in his membership, was considered a patriot who put party, second to country. He in his nineties,having been a Labour peer, many years,  resigned his membership, in protest against Militant, but lived to 101 years old!

There is much to learn from in the life of Luciana and in her lineage!

* Lorenzo Cherin is an actor, writer, and regular contributor to politics as a member of the Liberal Democrats. He is based in Nottingham.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

2 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.

This post has pre moderation enabled, please be patient whilst waiting for it to be manually reviewed. Liberal Democrat Voice is made up of volunteers who keep the site running in their free time.

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 AvatarPaul Barker 21st Nov - 4:59pm
    Can we just leave all the lofty theorising till after Friday the 13th ? It way too soon to be giving up on a breakthrough,...
  • User Avatarmarcstevens 21st Nov - 4:57pm
    But he said our fantastic leader Jo Swinson so I don't see anything there. Ed Davey needs to be seen more as well as the...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 21st Nov - 4:50pm
    If Johnson wins a majority he'll move quickly to a Queens Speech which will include his WA/PD - in the WAB. And his majority will...
  • User AvatarMartin 21st Nov - 3:50pm
    John Marriott: That seems a fairly rational answer, though I am sure you can see that it would be very unlikely to be accepted, but...
  • User AvatarSandra Hammett 21st Nov - 3:32pm
    Watching Politics Live in our BBC mandated 4 minutes of coverage Andrew Neil and panel were questioning whether our campaign as been to presidential, falling...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 21st Nov - 3:29pm
    John Marriot, I happen to be in the same age group as you and have always voted Liberal/Liberal Democrat but have not put my principals...