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 August 2012


I write these words sitting in a wind-rippled gazebo partly attached to our P Reg horse lorry in the East of England Showground near Peterborough. With the wonders of modern technology, I am able to send them through the wi-fi. I have also got my shorts on.

Seb Coe came to stay with us a few years ago at the time we had a Siamese cat called Sebastian. He started clawing the carpet and Jan yelled in her best North Devon voice "Sebastian!" I have never seen a man move as fast as Seb did that moment.

A story that has got little to do with this week's theme, which is cometh the hour cometh the man. Sometimes the right person steps forward for the right job at the right time, and perhaps nobody else will do. I suppose the best example is Winston Churchill. His political career would have been described as a failure if the Second World War had not intervened. It was his bulldog spirit, his absolute refusal to contemplate defeat, the confidence he inspired through his resolute speeches that saw us through even though at the beginning it did not look too good.

The Olympics was not a matter of life or death. But it has been probably the best thing this country has put on during my lifetime and for 16 fabulous days we could forget our troubles and celebrate all that is good about modern Britain and honest human endeavour.

Lord Coe chaired the London Organising Committee Olympic Games (LOCOG) which put the entire spectacular together. He certainly would have been hammered if it had all gone wrong, so he deserves the praise for such an outstanding success. He was elected at the same time as me in 1992 as the MP for Falmouth and Camborne. On his own admission he was not very good at it and lost his seat in 1997. After a few more years in politics he drifted back to his first love: athletics and helped to mastermind the bid for London 2012. His knowledge of the worlds of international athletics and British politics made him the right man at the right time.

He oversaw every decision that made it such a success.

Apart from a well-trumpeted ticketing and security concerns, it could not have gone any better. Well done Team GB. Well done all the volunteers. Well done Seb. Sorry my wife shouted at you.

posted by Gary @ 09:31