Teach refugees lessons in women’s equality, says Labour MP

Thangam Debbonaire MP [Image: Linda Nylind for the Guardian].

Thangam Debbonaire MP [Image: Linda Nylind for the Guardian].

Here’s the start of a good idea that may be lost because the person suggesting it has made an unpopular decision.

The idea of asking refugees to embrace the principles by which people in the UK live – principles that encourage us to support people suffering hardship through no fault of their own – is a good one.

For people fleeing from countries where it is still traditionally considered to be a “man’s world”, lessons about female equality seem a good place to start.

The intention could be to demonstrate that there are conditions attached to the help we offer; if people benefit from our attitudes, we expect them to adopt those attitudes in their own lives.

In that way, perhaps we can all move towards a more tolerant society and there will be less need to take in refugees. I know – it seems a forlorn hope. But there’s no harm in trying.

Unfortunately, the person putting forward the idea is Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire, who recently blotted her copy book by rebelling against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and then supporting her actions – three weeks after the event – with contrived, questionable and unsupported reasoning.

People will be suspicious of her. They’ll ask, “Is she saying this just to get back into the limelight?”

“What’s her real motive for doing this?”

That is how good ideas get killed.

If Ms Debbonaire is serious about improving behaviour abroad, perhaps she should have been less keen on backstabbing people at home.

Male refugees settling in Britain should be given lessons about female equality, a Labour MP has suggested.

Thangam Debbonaire, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on refugees, said the move could be part of a national drive to improve male attitudes towards women.

Debbonaire said that new arrivals need a “sensitive” introduction to a different culture. The MP, who has just launched an inquiry into the experiences of new refugees in the UK, drew parallels with concerns in Germany after some migrants were accused of sexual assaults at New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“What I don’t want is for the British people to respond to a case of assault or sexual harassment by saying no to more refugees, which seemed to be what the public’s response to Germany was in danger of becoming,” the MP told the Daily Telegraph.

Source: Teach refugees lessons in women’s equality, says Labour MP | Society | The Guardian


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9 thoughts on “Teach refugees lessons in women’s equality, says Labour MP

  1. Neilth

    Certainly lessons in understanding the host culture, coupled with support in health, housing, education, language etc would be good. Unfortunately there is a glaring weakness – who would devise the curriculum? Under an antagonistic regime this could become quite oppressive.

  2. Elspeth Parris

    Good point, but shouldn’t there be lessons in female equality for women too? People who’ve been oppressed (by any excuse) need to learn their right to be free.

  3. 61chrissterry

    Irrespective if she as an ulterior motive, this is something which shoud already be practice, in fact there should be a ‘welcome pack’ to enlighten all persons who have a wish to reside in the UK as a guidance. This would ensure they are advised on the principles related to residing in the UK and could not at a later date use the excuse of not knowing when their actions may be counter to this.

    In fact it could be an idea to ensure others who are homegrown British have something similar , because by the actions of a few they appear to have forgotten.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The British should be taught it as part of our culture. It is a failure of the system if that isn’t the case.

  4. AF

    Because some people don’t like Corbyn it doesn’t mean their motives on everything else are questionable. This is a ridiculous position to hold and quite frankly sounds more like a cult.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      People rightly tend to believe that we reveal our character through our actions – and this MP’s most recent action was the betrayal of her party leader for no substantiated reason. It isn’t cult mentality – you’re just picking up on the use of that word in the media; it’s a logical conclusion. If she didn’t like Corbyn, she should never have accepted his job offer.

      1. AF

        I’m not picking anything…. I voted for Corbyn too last year, but I read this post and I think it looks like a cult and does a disservice to him as well.

        Insinuating that because a person doesn’t like Corbyn she is not genuine in her defence of women is ridiculous. Jo Cox spit vitriol on Jeremy Corbyn before her death, but she was a genuine supporter of multicultural society and she died for that. Same goes for Burnham and Cooper who were on the floor in no time defending the rights of the EU citizens (which I do appreciate being one of them). People should learn not to discount the efforts of other people or undermine it just because they disagree on few things. It’s infantile.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s not what’s being suggested, though. It isn’t about whether Ms Debbonaire likes Corbyn – it’s the impression that she took a job from him under false pretences and that she is not, therefore, a genuine person.
        Please don’t mention Jo Cox in relation to this – you do her a huge disservice.
        And no – if there is an infantile attitude, it’s the kind that twists words to fit a claim that isn’t being made – as you have.

Comments are closed.