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, 10 June 2010

"There may be trouble ahead"
What an amazing thing democracy is. We campaigned, you voted, and the earth moved. Out went Gordon Brown and in came…well Dave and Nick, the Coalition Government. I expected a hung Parliament, and perhaps a flirtatious dalliance between ourselves and the Lib-Dems for the sake of the children, but I did not anticipate this all singing all dancing no holds barred marriage. We even have a joint whips office for goodness sake!
But as I chat my way around the constituency, I can tell that many of you like the notion of coalition government. You like politicians working together. You see the advantage of centre right policies being tempered with a softer focus.  People who are not politically aligned are keener on it than party activists (on both sides) who worry, understandably, that they have sold their soul to the enemy. Time will tell what the medium term political ramifications are but they will certainly be significant.
It was a remarkable feat to cobble this partnership together in such a short time and with the exception of the recent resignation it seems to be holding up well.
As a consensus seeker I know I should be jubilant, but strangely I am not. I fret about what comes next. We have entered into this marriage of convenience knowing that when it ends we will back to our warring ways. That is the thing I find difficult to get my mind around. When I married Jan I expected it to last for life, which it will, not 3 or 5 years and then an almighty row. But for now, for the sake of the national interest we have no choice but to make it work and we will.
The coalition will be tested at key moments over the coming years. Once inevitable spending cuts for 2011 are announced and implemented, its popularity will plummet and tensions will increase. Next May Conservative and Lib Dem candidates all over the country will be contesting local council seats, hammer and tongs. Then the next day we will be working together again. Bizarre.
For myself, I was very grateful for the increased mandate to carry on as your voice in Westminster. Thank you to all. I will continue to speak out and campaign from the back benches on issues of concern both local and national. On top of that, I feel more independently minded than ever before!
"There may be trouble ahead…"

posted by Gary @ 19:42