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, 24 March 2016


You do not have to be Mystic Meg to predict that we are entering a period of political turbulence, certainly in the UK and probably globally. 

The debate at the higher levels of government over the EU referendum is only going to get tastier as the weeks go past. Many people feel passionately about EU membership on both sides of the argument, but personal ambition has been thrown into the mix. Boris Johnson has rolled the dice and is making his pitch for party leadership, probably the best chance he will ever get. So the turmoil of the referendum debate, already dramatic enough, now has added to it a fight to the death of two of the Biggest Beasts in the political jungle.

If the country votes to leave the EU on 23rd June this turmoil can only increase. Although I would want David Cameron to stay on as PM, I suspect that he will find it impossible to remain.  So at a time when our economy will be shaken, the stock market plunging and sterling on the floor, we will lurch into a fiercely fought leadership election within the party. Boris is likely to be the victor and would have the difficult job of negotiating our exit from the EU. Interesting times.

We can recover and will have to if we are to avoid the first socialist government since Harold Wilson being elected.  If I had a pound for every time that a constituent told me that Jeremy Corbyn could not possibly be elected as PM, I would change my car to a Lexus. We should not forget that nobody thought he could possibly be elected as the leader of the Labour party.

Bleak though the above is, we have to place this is an international context: The Chinese economy slowing down and Chinese business-people withdrawing their capital from the country. Japanese economy stagnant for 15 years. Emerging countries like India and Brazil not making the progress once predicted. The economy of the EU stagnant. Negative interest rates! The global economy shrinking. Mass migration a constant threat. Terrorism. Russia flexing its muscles. The Middle East remaining a powder keg. The prospect of Donald Trump in the White House. No strong global leadership. 

In the words of my former boss Sir John Major: Oh dear!

At times like this it is important to hold to what we believe, strap ourselves in and recognise that this too will pass. 

posted by Gary @ 09:35