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, 28 June 2012


People are starting to talk about the Olympics and Para-Olympics. Suddenly it is just around the corner and the atmosphere is building. Some are continuing to moan at the cost and the London-centric nature of it all, but most people are beginning to get excited about the fabulous sporting spectacle that our country will shortly host.

It is expensive, it will be mainly in London, and we are in a recession. Get over it. Imagine what life would be like without special events. The slog to get ourselves out of the debt-ridden crisis that afflicts all European countries will take years of grim austerity; I think we deserve a few parties along the way and most people seem to agree. Look at the fabulous response to the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic torch being carried around the country. My two grandchildren went up onto the Hoe to witness this and they came back bubbling over about it. They have tickets to see the fencing in London when the games actually start. They will no doubt come away full of potential memories. Surely that will be the lasting legacy of the games: many memories. How many young people will be inspired by London 2012 to become future sporting stars?

Think of the boost to our economy the games will bring. Billions worldwide watching the TV shots of iconic buildings in our capital city - how many will subsequently choose to visit and spend their dollars here? Even during the games themselves our hotels and bars and restaurants will do a roaring trade, a much needed fillip. Pubs all over the country will do well as people gather to watch the big finals over a lemonade or two.

It is very important that we continue to be ambitious as a country in every area of life, rather than just shut up shop and grind our teeth. I love rugby and cricket and get a real buzz when our teams do well. So do millions of us. I can't stand watching England play football because we play like donkeys, but I always watch when I can to support the team. Patriotism is a good thing. National events to allow people to express their support for the country and revel in the sense of corporate identity that this brings.

Just a few weeks to go now and Britain will be seen by the whole world at its very best. Bring it on.

posted by Gary @ 09:39