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, 8 September 2011

Back to Westminster this week with a vengeance. Votes on reforms to the NHS have been controversial and heated.
The divide is between those who think that the old model of a monolithic, centrally controlled organisation providing all the health services all of the time is the right one for the twenty first century, given the way we are all living so much longer and the spiralling costs of new technology; and those who support a more progressive service, still state owned and free at the point of use, offering healthcare carried out partly by private sector suppliers, involving a degree of competition to push up standards and drive down costs. I cannot see the former surviving much longer and have voted for the latter.
This summer has helped shaped the political agenda for the foreseeable future. Very slow growth will place the deficit reduction programme under the spotlight again. There will be many who will call for government spending to be increased to get the economy moving again, but every extra pound spent will have to be borrowed, which will be a further noose around the necks of future generations.  We must find other ways of stimulating private sector growth as we get those mind blowing debts under control.
The challenges facing debt-stricken countries in the Euro zone have not gone away, just because it all seems to be happening in slow motion. To make the Euro zone work there needs to be closer political integration for those countries involved. We were obviously right to steer clear of the single currency. The current turbulence might offer a chance for us to renegotiate our relationship within the EU to a trading one only. If so, we should grab that chance with both hands.
The riots have placed Broken Britain under the spotlight once more. As you know I have long advocated early and robust intervention into the chaotic households that produce such feral children and cause the rest of us so much grief, as well as creating insecure and under-achieving individuals, each case a tragedy of what might have been. Finding practical interventions will be a challenge for the next session of Parliament.
It feels like governing with one hand tied behind your back, with coalition partners balking at every tough move we want to make on law and order, human rights, immigration and public sector reform. Which is why I say this cannot last another four years.

posted by Gary @ 13:09