Syria, Refuges and Plymouth

September’s meeting was a new format for us – a panel discussion about the refugee crisis resulting from the civil war in Syria. 

The panel consisted of Philippa Davey (Labour Party), Kathryn Driscoll (Green Party), Dr Christian Emery (lecturer in International Relations at the University of Plymouth) and Steve Guy (Liberal Democrats).  Unfortunately no one from the local Conservative Party was available (Johnny Mercer MP was actually in Turkey looking at the problem first hand).  The event was extremely popular and we packed out the B-Bar with almost 60 people.

Some of the questions from the audience reflected the concerns promoted by the right wing media about the supposed economic and social threats that would result from proving refuge to some of the many people fleeing the horrors in Syria.  However, people mostly wanted to know how to counter those very concerns and convince the wider public to show greater compassion towards the refugees.  There was also much discussion of how best they could be helped rebuild their lives.

A collection was held during the meeting, and £135 raised for the Red Cross to help fund their work with refugees.  Many thanks go to the panel members for their contribution to such an interesting evening.

More information on Plymouth City Council and refugees is here, and this is the Plymouth Herald article on the event

The panel (L to R): Dr Christian Emery, Steve Guy, Philippa Davey and Kathryn Driscoll (Image: Lloyd Hunt)