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, 4 August 2016


The referendum and its dramatic aftermath have rekindled a fresh interest in our democracy. In pubs and living rooms up and down the country regular people have been talking about politics once again. This is a good thing. Politics matters. As I keep on saying, the only difference between North Korea where people are hungry, oppressed and scared and South Korea where they are free, prosperous and content is politics. 60 years ago these were the same people, it was the same country. Politics matters. So renewed political interest is welcome.

After all the drama, my own party appears to have achieved (more by luck than judgement) a positive outcome: a new Prime Minister who attracts widespread support and who is competent and strong. Just the job.

For the sake of the country and our democracy, I hope for a similar outcome for the Labour Party. In our mature but let's-not –take-it-for-granted democracy a main opposition party with a chance of becoming the government is essential. I hope that our friends on the left can divest themselves of their current incumbent and come up with a leader who might place them in that position. Don't hold your breath. For them the drama looks like it might continue.

But what of the Lib Dems? They lost all of their seats bar eight at the last election including all of their seats in the south west. They are hoping to recover on the back of the pro-EU vote. Almost certainly this will help them to rise slightly from their dire position in the polls over the next two years. The problem is that Brexit is likely to take place in early 2019. The election is not scheduled to be until May 2020. How credible will it be to go into that general election promising to take us back into the EU once we are already out, hopefully on favourable terms? Not a strong platform.

Finally what of UKIP? Congratulations to them on achieving their goal. The UK is now going to leave the EU. They have lost their charismatic leader. I suspect that we will slowly see their aged activists fade away into the sunset – job done.

So there will be captivating trends in our domestic politics over the next few years that will hopefully retain people's interest. And these are simply the probable developments. What about the things we cannot yet see? Keep watching closely and expect the unexpected.

posted by Gary @ 16:26