THE debate in your columns concerning the Syrian refugee issue is in danger of descending into a point-scoring shouting match.

Similar debates are, of course, taking place throughout Europe at every level, from heads of government down to local communities like ours here in Malvern.

It is a Europe-wide problem which all European counties, especially the richer ones, will have to play their part in solving, and arguments about who said what and which particular words should be used to describe the plight of the thousands of displaced people currently in our continent are surely a side issue compared to what practically can and should be done at a humanitarian level.

These are people in urgent need. We have the means to help some of them. Are we seriously saying that we are less able to provide this than say, Greece, or Lebanon (a tiny country with a population of 4.5 million and currently hosting more than a million refugees)?

By all means let’s continue the debate over our position in the European Union, what UKIP’s policies may or may not be, who’s responsible for the mess in the Middle East, the role of local charities and local government spending, etc.

But what is going to happen to these people now, right now?

James Pertwee

West Malvern