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, 5 May 2011

On Friday William and Catherine were married and the nation rejoiced. In the early hours of Monday morning Osama Bin Laden was shot dead in his Pakistani hideaway. Both of these events will shape the world our children will live in.
I am an unashamed Royalist.  If you were starting from scratch to plan a constitution for a new country you would not select one special family as head of state and allow their heirs and successors to carry on the family business. But we are not starting from scratch, we have thousands of years of history and although not perfect, our constitutional settlement works very well and is the envy of many. About 26 million people (half the country) tuned into the royal wedding on TV and well over one million took to the streets of London in support. I have not met anybody yet who did not feel very proud to be British at the magnificent spectacle on display last week.
The character and qualities of William and Catherine will help secure the future of the royal family in this country for many decades to come. Governments will come and go, we will know good days and bad, but that security and stability that comes from a constitutional monarchy supported by 80% of us will help us to enjoy the precious freedoms that underpin British Society.
In the meantime, the evil man who planned the attacks on the twin towers on 11th September 2011 is now dead. I am sorry it took us so long to get him. This does not mean that Al Qaeda will evaporate, but it is a significant milestone along that road. Justice has been done. With the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa being driven by young people who want freedom democracy and jobs, who are inspired by what they see on offer for young people in the free west, I would like to think that the darkest days of Islamic Extremism lie behind us. 
It is vital that the US and UK, and other western countries, continue to exercise soft power skilfully. We must continue to invest in the developing world, financially and politically, to see good governance and rising living standards take root there, in order to capitalise on the more positive mood that Bin Laden's death will bring.
So then: stability at home and an opportunity for greater concord overseas. Not a bad weekend's work.

posted by Gary @ 11:14