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, 2 February 2017


I very much hope that we are not going to have a story about Donald trump every day for the next four years but I suspect we will. What a bore. I am not sure what is worse, his ghastly attitudes, utterances and actions or the often hysterical reaction to it from the liberal elite and media. The US people elected him fair and square and he must be given a chance.

Most of us have met people like him before in our own lives: impossible to work with, bombastic and always right.

He is however the duly elected leader of the free world and as I wrote last week, wisdom dictates that the UK needs to remain close to him to ensure that we soften his potential for triggering World War Three. I know that the Prime Minister has taken much flak for holding his hand and inviting him to come to Britain on a state visit, but I applaud her for that. The closer she – the personification of sound judgement and commons sense - is to this man, the safer the world is. If they can strike up a good working relationship like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, we can all sleep a little more easily at night.

Some people seem concerned that Her Majesty might baulk at meeting such a man during a state visit. However, in meeting some of the horrifying leaders of Arab nations whose human rights records are appalling and who oppress women in their own countries, the Queen is highly skilled at supping with the devil.

I cannot bear Donald Trump, but I do believe in democracy and old-fashioned political pragmatism. We have to work with world leaders whom we find distasteful. Realpolitik. We surely learnt the lesson that when we intervened in Iraq and Libya, to name but two, partly because we wanted to implement regime change, we made matters worse, both for the people of those countries and the wider region.

I am also a believer that people running for office and who make promises should keep them. Politicians are constantly being attacked for supposedly breaking our campaign promises. Trump is now being lambasted for keeping his. What did we expect? It is what his voters voted for.

We have a choice. He is the most powerful man in the world, known to be unpredictable. We can poke him in the eye or stay close to limit collateral damage. 

posted by Gary @ 09:42