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, 22 September 2016


"What is truth?" Pontius Pilate is reported to have asked in the trial of Jesus 2,000 years ago. It seems like a pertinent question even today. I hear from lots of constituents who have all kinds of ideas that I consider to be untrue – ranging from a secret Tory plan to privatise the NHS, to conspiracy theories about the 2001 twin tower atrocities, passing through MI5 trying to control their minds through electronic harassment on the way. You get the picture. 

If you look online at some of the conspiracy theories about say the moon landing and the death if JFK, there seem to be a lot of people who believe things many of us consider to be absurd. But for them it is truth. 

The left-wingers who support Jeremy Corbyn with such a passion believe they have the truth and that even Labour MPs who do not embrace their pure version of socialism are class traitors. Those on the right who pushed so hard for Brexit and now are insisting that we have a hard Brexit rather than a soft Brexit (whatever those phrases mean) see only one version of truth. Nothing less will ever satisfy them.

We all carry around with us our own versions of truth. There is no shortage of information coming at us 24/7 through modern media. There is no shortage of comment and opinion constantly bombarding us. 

It begs the question as to whether or not there is such a thing as empirical truth, objective reality. Even in the scientific realm there are experts on each side of arguments you would hope could be settled by cold hard facts: the safety of nuclear power or fracking, the causes of climate change and whether or not eating fat is bad for you. Sadly that is not the case and arguments rage on.

The assault on our senses these days of so much information and opinion adds to the widespread sense of insecurity in our modern age. Young people are told that they can be whatever they want to be – patently untrue unless they have the talent to pursue their chosen dream. 

So where does this leave us? Each of us must decide for ourselves our own version of truth. For me, that means embracing a Christian world view. For others something different. 

Some wit once said that the only thing certain in life is death and taxes. Perhaps that has still not changed. 

Gary Streeter
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posted by Gary @ 09:32