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 January 2012

According to the recent blockbuster movie 2012 is the year the world comes to an end and only a handful survive to make a fresh start. I'm not going to go that far, but it is shaping up as a significant year.

Will it be the year that the euro unpicks itself with countries choosing to peel away rather than sign up to the suffocating financial integration that seems the only medicine that might cure the patient? Whatever the outcome the single currency roller-coaster looks set to continue to cast shadows over our own economy and we can expect a year of turbulence.

Will 2012 signal progress on the long steady climb out of budget deficits and towards a smaller public sector spend – one that we can afford? Or will it see us lurch back into recession with all the job losses and increased welfare payments that follow?

Will it be the year that the coalition government comes unstitched, over the euro, over Lords reforms, over poor local government results, over…well you get the picture. Probably not, as our top leaders seem very committed to making it work in the national interest, but expect more fireworks than last year, and I still believe that it will not run full term.

Whatever this year of turbulence shall bring, I have made one resolution: to dust off that famous old prayer and try and live by it. It goes something like: Grant me strength to change the things within my control; help me to accept the things I can't control and make me smart enough to spot the difference.

In truth, you and I can't decide the destiny of the euro, our economy or the coalition, although perhaps we can snipe away at the edges.

I can however control how well I do my job, whether or not I pursue excellence, what sort of father/husband/grandfather I will be, whether I will learn from my mistakes. In the midst of such uncertainty, it helps us to focus more on the things that we can influence rather than froth away about things over which we have no control.

2012 might also be the year that the new town at Sherford finally starts to rise from the drawing board and take life. We need these homes for our children to live in and to see the some progress in this long-running saga would be a great outcome to the year.

Happy New Year!

posted by Gary @ 09:39