Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 14 May 2009


The other day I bumped into someone I had not seen for ages, an old friend called Common Sense. He told me that he had been overseas, but that he now missed the United Kingdom and wanted to come home. He said he had been amazed at the changes in our country since he had gone, and then recounted the following shocking tale:

I went back to the place I used to live only to find that three squatters had moved in, shifty looking characters. I rang the door bell and a man called Political Correctness answered. I used to live here, I said, can I come in?

No, he said, because you have a silver cross around your neck and to allow you admission might cause offence to the Muslim family who live opposite. The door closed in my face. I went across the road and spoke to the family concerned, a lovely couple whose grandparents came to Britain from Pakistan. Over a cup of tea they assured me that they were not in any way offended by my cross and were delighted to meet another person of faith.

I rang again and this time a lady called Human Rights Excesses answered. I want my house back please, I said politely. No way, she replied, I have a right to occupy this house, together with a right not to be harassed by you. In fact, she said, even to mention that I wanted my house back contravened her rights not to be disappointed. She swung the door shut, saying that she had a human right not to get cold and that I would be hearing from her lawyers.

My heart sank and I stood for a while wondering what had happened to my old place.

I rang for a final time and there was no answer. I called through the letter box and a man called Risk Aversion responded from a distance. I cannot come to the door, he cried, because I am still covering the walls with cotton wool and I have made no formal risk assessment of opening the door to a stranger and to do so risks invalidating our household insurance and breaching health and safety guidelines. I walked away.

What will you do now I asked? I intend to march on Downing Street, he replied, I should arrive by next spring. I will not give up. Common Sense is coming home.

posted by Gary @ 10:56