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, 16 February 2012


Have you seen Warhorse at the cinema yet? Jan refuses to go because, on top of the terrible human misery, she could not bear to think of the agony all those 1 million horses went through in WW1, hardly any of them returning.

As part of loafing around the house in recent days recuperating I did watch Birdsong on BBC iplayer. What a powerful and poignant reminder of the horrors of war. Over the years, in discussions with the many military types in this constituency I have been impressed by their professional readiness to do their duty, but also, almost to a person, their deep insight into the barbaric pointlessness of war, especially veterans.

The older I get the more I see that we politicians should be peace makers wherever possible and conflict must always be the last resort. I recognise this sometimes mean you have to be strong to avoid war.

A good friend of mine, Michael Bates has this week completed a 3000+ mile walk from Mount Olympus in Greece to London, to raise awareness of the Olympic Truce. Please visit to find out more. In essence the idea of a truce was how the Olympics started thousands of years ago. The games provided a forum for men from the warring Adriatic City States to meet in friendly rivalry instead of warfare. Only once in 1200 years was the sacred truce ever broken. The truce is now also a part of the modern Olympics and accompanied by a resolution of the United Nations calling upon all members to honour the truce for the period of the games. This year, for the first time, all 193 UN members have backed the resolution. Now we have to get them to implement what they have signed.

The good thing about a truce is that it gives a chance both for humanitarian relief and for talks to take place about resolving the conflict. The government is taking the truce seriously for the 2012 games and many initiatives around the world will be happening to encourage a real truce in the clashes that sadly still exist.

Human nature is still prone to conflict. The world is heading towards all kinds of flashpoints just around the corner. War is a terrible, devastating, wasteful monster. Whatever initiatives, large or small, local or global, can be taken to make peace rather than war seem to me to be worthy of support. 

posted by Gary @ 09:32