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, 13 March 2014


It has become fashionable for politicians to list the things we love about our country. Perhaps this is in response to the myriad of e-mails we all receive telling us all the things that are wrong about the UK. Only this week I have had a constituent telling me she is ashamed to be British and one gentleman saying he despairs about our country.

I recognise that there are challenges, but where would people rather live? I suppose that many would cite Australia and Canada as preferences, but it interests me that the majority of people who emigrate to even those wonderful Commonwealth countries eventually return.

So rather than list the negatives, I have decided to list the top 5 things I love about Britain:

1.    The fact we have an independent and fair judicial system. Our judges do not take bribes, they do not do what the government tells them, they strive to be impartial and produce the right outcome. This is not the case in many countries.

2.    The way that we are steeped in history – and have changed slowly over the years; maintaining many of our traditions. We have gone for evolution rather than revolution and it has produced an enviable stability. This is not the case in most countries.

3.    The fact that we have invented many of the world's most important sports, including God's own sport: cricket. Not only that, but that we are pretty good at most of them still, as we saw at Twickenham last weekend. In all my years of watching rugby I have never seen passion like that displayed in the last two home matches by England fans. Long may this continue.

4.    That we are pretty good at laughing at ourselves – even though the humour can sometimes spill over into cynicism. That's OK. The 2012 Olympics showed us as a nation at ease with ourselves and that is in no small measure due to the unique sense of humour we Brits tend to enjoy. The Queen jumping out of a helicopter!

5.    Finally, that as part of our confident, tolerant nature, we have been able to welcome other people groups into our country without losing our Britishness. London may look very multicultural to our West Country eyes, but it is one of the world's great cities. It works.

So what do you love about our country? Maybe the NHS or perhaps the unpredictable weather.

Let me know.

posted by Gary @ 11:28