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, 19 November 2015


If we didn't know it before, we do now. These Jihadists (ISIL) are determined to attack European countries and cause maximum death and destruction. They are well resourced and utterly merciless. The French president declared these outrages in Paris to be acts of war and who can disagree with him. The Pope has described this as the third world war and perhaps that too is true.

Some people blame the West for invading Iraq and Afghanistan. But that is like the old story of the person asking for directions to Cardiff from a Devon farmer, only for the old guy to answer: if I were you I wouldn't start from here. We are where we are. The issue is: how will we respond.

I support attacking ISIL powerfully in their homelands of Syria and Iraq and taking away their capability to wage war in our countries. If asked, I will certainly support bombing in Syria. If a proper plan is put together by NATO and Russia to put troops on the ground, I will support that too.

But in the meantime how to protect our citizens? It is obvious that you cannot prevent a man with a Kalashnikov under his jacket bursting into a restaurant and opening fire. What we can do is to focus on intelligence.

We have a jewel in the crown in GCHQ. This is superior to almost any other intelligence gathering organisation in the world. Any co-ordination of terror activity requires conversations which can be intercepted. There have been many attempts to blow us up that intelligence from GCHQ has thwarted. If they need more power, they should have it.

We have very professional security services who are experienced at dealing with terror threats and infiltrating when necessary. Our thirty year conflict in Northern Ireland has helped to sharpen the skills we now need to defeat ISIL.
It was encouraging that the Prime Minister immediately ordered even greater investment in our security services after the Paris atrocities. This is the right way forward.

So this is war. But it is not war against Islam. It was good to hear so many Muslim voices condemning the atrocities earlier this week. The vast majority of Muslims are law abiding and are horrified by these appalling events.

This is a war on terrorism and we will need all of our resources and backbone to defeat it. Above all we must focus on intelligence to win the day.

posted by Gary @ 09:29