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, 6 December 2012


Last week I visited 7 schools in one day to talk about democracy and answer the questions put by the children. It is one of my favourite activities. What is the best thing about your job, one of them asked? That is easy, I always say: the infinite variety. Witness the last few days.

Last week I chaired a meeting at Westminster between British MPs and a committee of Ugandan MPs.  The Ugandan parliament is currently considering a bill to introduce the death penalty for being a homosexual! Don't do it, we said, not if you wish to retain any respect in the international community. They seemed to listen. Then I was off to speak at a conference on North Korea where I drew heavily upon the experience of my visit to that grim country in 2003. I urged those listening to continue to engage with that oppressive regime to try and encourage a glimmer of democracy to break out over there.

Then we had the Leveson enquiry report to the House of Commons and once again I find myself disagreeing with my own Prime Minister.

Driving home to Devon (no trains) to attend more meetings about flooding, speak at a businessman's dinner, more meetings on local housing in Lee Mill, illegal fishing, a meeting with bankers to discuss the local economy, then a three hour surgery and so it goes on.
The good thing is that the Christmas events have now started and I was able to stuff my face on delicious turkey twice over the weekend.

Every other year I attend a reunion dinner of the lawyers that started with me in 1978, learning our trade at what is now the biggest law firm in the world. Six years ago, after a glass or two, details emerged in conversation of what various friends actually earned in their city law firms. It was eye-watering. Later that night one of them confessed to me that he envied me. How can you, I thought, you have just admitted to earning £750,000 last year. Because he said, for the last twenty years, he has been doing the same type of transactions over and over again and he claimed to be bored sick!

Infinite variety, living in two worlds, London and Devon. Never a dull moment. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. I am relishing every moment, which is why I would like to keep going until I am 92.

posted by Gary @ 13:33