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, 23 July 2015


The House of Commons rose for the summer on Wednesday and I am looking forward to a break. It has been a long slog.

The week started unusually. On Monday I was part of a large group, including the Lord Mayor of Plymouth who were there to wave good bye to two special people. Steve Dodd and Elizabeth Hayward are off to Los Angeles to represent us at the Special Olympics.
As it happens I have spent time with both of them at Westminster and they are fine young people and will do us and themselves proud. They were supported by an enthusiastic team of volunteers, family and friends.

It got me thinking about all of the people I regularly meet who give up their time voluntarily to help others. The Scout and Guide leaders who do so much to bring timeless values and fun to the next age group. The sports coaches who pour so much time and effort into raising the next generation of budding Beckhams and Wilkinsons, girls and boys. The volunteers who work with the severely disabled and the hospitals; the people who run committees that oversee community projects, the countless number of men and women who just quietly get on with things behind the scenes. I am fortunate in my job to get a ring side seat at many acts of kindness and self-sacrifice.

I have come to the conclusion that our society breaks down as follows: most of us in the middle are fairly decent and sensible (though we have our moments) and although we focus primarily on ourselves and our families we try not to do others down and are always happy to lend a hand when necessary. This is the majority.

Then there are the others. At one end of the scale there are the saints, whether motivated by faith or not, who give themselves constantly in the service of others. We have more than our fair share locally. Sirs and madams I salute you.

At the other end we find another minority of selfish and unreasonable people who are only out for themselves. We will not dwell on this group. It was ever thus.

After having dealt with the public for several years I remain optimistic. As I have said many times I see a new generation of youngsters rising in whom we can have confidence and hope. The good old British values of decency and kindness flourish still.

posted by Gary @ 09:25