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, 17 December 2015


Nobody ever died saying: I wish I had spent more time in the office. Christmas is a good time to reflect on the more important things in life and to resolve to rebalance if things have gone awry. Have I got the work-life balance right? Am I spending enough time with my family? Have I unfulfilled potential? What happens to me when I die?

Westminster has been busy and we seem to be going through a season of big issues: Austerity or Not; Mass Migration; Terror attacks by ISIL/Da'esh; Generation Rent; Trident renewal; and so it goes on. Locally the new town at Sherford has now started, the tungsten mine at Hemerdon is up and running and good progress is being made towards a 2016 20-year deal with the government to substantially upgrade our railway.

It will be good for all of us to take a few days to catch our breath and grapple with issues that are less urgent but more important: the true meaning of Christmas.

One challenge with the modern world is that there is so little time to think deep thoughts. We are bombarded with somebody else's thoughts all the time, through 24/7 media. This is bad enough for my generation, but those who from whom Facebook and twitter are like oxygen, whose lives are (it seems to me) filled with trivia, when do they make the space to think: hang on a minute: who am I, why am I here and where am I going?  

This is where the true meaning of Christmas can help us.

The Christmas story can be best understood as an intervention.  God had created the world and everything in it. Mankind was the icing on the cake: his finest production. Part of our creative design was the possession of free will. We used it badly and did our own thing. He sent messengers to get us back on track. We ignored them.

Then, big decision, he decided to come himself. He came as a baby, born in poverty. He knew what it was to be a refugee. He grew to be a man who at 30 began 3 astonishing years of activity in which he said and did many things that showed us what God is like. It was all written down and we can read it in the bible.

Jesus came to get us back on track. All we have to do is believe.

Happy Christmas.

posted by Gary @ 10:16