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, 19 July 2012


This week the House of Commons rose for 6 weeks. For most of us this year's summer break could not come soon enough. The session just ended was as intense and tetchy as any I can remember: a budget that contained some surprising banana skins, a series of u-turns, Euro-Zone problems slowly unfolding, dismay at yet more banking scandals, frustration at slipping into double-dip recession, division and anger over Lords reforms, tensions in the coalition; just another term in the mad house.

The summer is a time for deeper reflection. You may recall I went into last summer's recess saying I was going to ponder the issue of a referendum on EU membership and came out of it deciding that a referendum was necessary and voted accordingly. The pace of life when Parliament is sitting leaves little room for the kind of mature reflection that leaves to grown-up wisdom, so six weeks without flogging to London and back is precious.

It is also a chance to recharge the batteries. There will be daily appearances in the local office getting in the way of my hard working staff, and doing things in the constituency that there is not normally time to do. I read a book once which recommended a leadership style it referred to as "management by wandering about" and I intend to do plenty of this over the summer, just observing and listening to local people.

We also have some long distance horse shows lined up, so I will be powering up the motorway at 55 MPH in the lorry once a week.
After 34 years of Jan flogging around after me (Gary Streeter's wife), I very much enjoy being "Janet Streeter's husband" as she continues to dazzle on her brilliant white horse.

The summer is also a good time to read more widely. I hope to focus this year on morality in the public square, following the series of banking disasters. It comes as no surprise to some of us that when tempted human beings will succumb to greed. You do not have to teach a baby to be bad, but to be good. Human nature. But apart from personal salvation or better regulation for every aspect of public life, or draconian penalties if caught, is there a modern solution to this conundrum?

September will be here soon enough and with it, a quiver full of challenges and stress. In the meantime where are my shorts?

posted by Gary @ 09:41