I’m often asked why I first joined the Liberal Democrats and I have often answered with the word ‘Brexit’. But whilst it was true that devastating result of the EU Referendum in 2016 was the catalyst for me joining the party, it really encompasses many wider issues that I wish to make a stand against.
“What have immigrants ever done for us?” this question was posed directly to me, in a heated discussion shortly before the Brexit vote. As a British Born Chinese daughter of HK Chinese immigrant parents, this was beyond devastating. In the glow of London 2012 I had assumed, naively, that the value of our diverse British culture was obvious to all, that we had turned a corner on how we view race and immigration in this country. The Brexit vote has shown us this is not the case.
As the parent of mixed race children I could no longer assume that getting called ‘ching chong Chinaman’, with eyes pulled up in slits wouldn’t be their future childhood experience in the same way it was my almost daily one in the past.
I stand with the LibDems and fight on behalf of my children and all British people who believe as do I that our society is enriched, not endangered by immigration.
“No one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity” is the end of the preamble of the LibDem Constitution and is at the core of why I believe LibDem values are my values.
Being a Chinese woman can come with certain expectations on how to behave: docile, subservient, respectful of elders, men, superiors and a myriad of what is ‘expected’ behavior. Or in short: conformity. Chinese culture is not always synonymous with the rights of the individual.
This party fundamentally respects the rights of an individual to be who they wish to be and not what society believes they should be. This is worthy of fighting for daily.