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.


Friday, 7 January 2011

I read this quote recently: "The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest [the country] becomes bankrupt. People must learn to work instead of living on public assistance."
Was this from David Cameron's New Year message, or perhaps even earlier from a speech by Harold Wilson in the challenging economic seventies? Um no. The words in square brackets should read: Rome. It is a quote from Cicero in 55BC.
I simply make the point that there is nothing going on that humanity has not seen before. Ironically this outburst from the well known philosopher and statesman was just a few decades before Britain was conquered and the Roman Empire grew to its greatest and went on to dominate the known world for centuries.
As we look out on 2011 from the insecurities of early January, we all know this year will be challenging. But we must not forget that we have seen it before and we will overcome the present difficulties. We know enough about the human spirit to recognize that we are good at: adapting, persevering, finding the silver lining, just getting on with it and smiling as we do so.
The harsh reality is that so much that will trouble us in the next 12 months is completely outside of our control. The British economy will continue to recover if the Euro zone and American economy make steady progress, but if not, well, we will all struggle. The global economy will continue to grow if India and China maintain their march towards full blown developed status, but if they suffer reverses, whether political or otherwise, well, we will all take a hit. Although our own domestic growth is sluggish, inflation can still invade our shores because of spiralling global commodity and oil prices. In this inter-dependent globalizing world, we sink or swim on the backs of others.
So it is for us personally. We will all have highs and lows in our own family lives, much of it unforeseen, much of it flowing from events outside our control. Like me you probably make your plans for the year, but then real life intervenes and blows it all out of the water. So we adapt, persevere, just get on with it.
May 2011 be full of silver linings.

posted by Gary @ 08:52