Tobias Ellwood MP talks politics with BU students


Tobias Ellwood MP visited Bournemouth University today to talk to a group of Media School students about the current political situation in Syria and the UK Government’s response.

The Conservative representative and Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East spoke to MA Multimedia Journalism and BA Politics and Media students offering his knowledge on the situation in Syria and the UK Government’s responsibility to be good ‘global citizens’, offering support to those who need it.

Students also offered their thoughts during a lively question and answer session, with topics such as chemical warfare and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars also discussed.

On students taking responsibility and engaging with politics, Tobias Ellwood MP said, “I think it is very important [that students engage in politics].” Mr Ellwood then went on to talk about Britain’s important place in global politics and the need for the next generation to grasp the importance of it and continue Britain’s legacy.

Dr Anna Feigenbaum on BBC Radio Solent talking about chemical weapons use

Bournemouth University’s lecturer in Media and Politics, Dr Anna Feigenbaum, featured on BBC Radio Solent’s Drive Time show, giving comment on the alleged chemical attacks in Syria.

It is estimated that over 1,300 people have been killed due to nerve agents, but with the Syrian government denying the attacks, all reports are considered unofficial.

Along with 37 other countries, the UK have urgently written to the United Nations, asking for access to Syria.

“I would go along with what human rights organisations are saying, who have expertise in what’s happening,” Dr Feigenbaum told presenter Steve Harris.

“The organisations have been dealing with chemical weapons for decades now and they’re reporting that what they’re seeing are nerve agents.”

Dr Feigenbaum then explained the history of chemical warfare and how this reflects the current affairs in Syria.

After the First World War when people saw both the physical and psychological terror and injury chemical warfare caused, they were outlawed in the Geneva Protocol in 1925, signed by a number of the European countries. The US was resilient and it was further passed on when the US were found to be using chemical weapons in Vietnam.

“Again in 1993, when we saw the conflict in Iraq, there was another international outcry,” said Dr Feigenbaum.

“Syria is not part of the international chemical warfare ban.”

“One of the things that I find interesting, is that we are not taking seriously the reports from the human rights officers and the doctors helping casualties”, she added.

Dean Eastmond

Dean is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. He joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from his college with essential work experience for four weeks over the summer.