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.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

and now for something completely different. . .?

You can tell its summer because it has started to rain again. Westminster has now risen until September and it is a time to recharge batteries and get enjoy a quieter pace of life in Devon, doing the things that the normal hurly-burly does not permit.

I keep discovering hidden worlds. Most people have their private interests and hobbies in which whenever time permits, they indulge themselves. You would be amazed at the number of people engaging in dog shows, or surfing, or scouting, or their allotment, or Christian festivals, or car rallies or cricket or film clubs....the list goes on. For us, the summer is very much about Jan's love of all things equestrian as we potter along the motorway at 53 MPH in our old lorry, often staying overnight like geriatric teenagers, as she puts her horse(s) through their paces. Literally.

So I am typing this from a massive field in West Sussex at 6 a.m. awaiting Jan's first class alongside the international arena here at Hickstead. Little sleep was had last night, as we have parked on a steep incline and I had to grip the side of the Luton bed to stop rolling out in the early hours. Why she could not be into ferrets instead, I do not know.

Work is important, family is crucial, but it is good to have a passion or interest that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.

We return to Westminster in September for just two weeks (madness) and then begins the party conference season.  I suspect that it will signal the longest election campaign in human history. Now that we have five year fixed term Parliaments, and already know the date of the next election: the first Thursday in May 2015, there will be a temptation to start the electoral firing gun at an early stage. I consider this to be counter-productive and risks alienating people. I can remember the election campaign of 1992, my first, when there seemed to be a massive number of "don't knows" until the final week when knocking on the door became a more comfortable experience. The people had spent the weekend thinking about it and by Monday they had decided.

But enough of politics for now – for a few weeks at least, I will focus on mucking out and driving around in circles. Come to think of it, much the same as my day job really!

posted by Gary @ 08:30