Parliamentary sketch – Transport of Olympic euphoria

Posted on: 9th August 2012

Olympi-mania has stirred the hearts of even the most ardent couch potato.

The excitement of seeing our very own daughter of Newlyn – Helen Glover – take the first gold for Team GB has provoked communal euphoria.

As Team GB surpassed its own expectation, as it heaps medal upon medal, one of the consequences will be the inevitable scrummage politicians and others who will all want to bask in the large ocean of reflected glory.

I’m now doing that myself! But please prepare yourself for political interpretations of the meaning and relevance of the Olympic Games and its success in every party leader’s forthcoming autumn conference speech.

However, while remote London has been the focus of Olympic attention, here in the centre of the world, there are still frantic efforts to save the Scillies helicopter service, following the announcement that it would close in November. There have been many behind the scenes discussions. Although I am a little more optimistic that the service can still be saved than I had been at this point last week, there’s still more to do. I will leave no stone left unturned in my determination to keep this vital service, both for the obvious life line it provides to the Isles of Scilly, but also for its benefit to the West Cornwall economy.

(Of course, I am aware that my devoted and growing army of armchair critics will doubtless be working themselves up into lathers of righteous indignation, assuring all of their narrow band of likeminded social networking followers that, of course, it is all part of my dastardly plot – and that of the devils I’m evidently in league with – to destroy the West Cornwall economy and to cut off the Scillies!

There is still a great deal more to do and nothing is ever certain.

Also, on a more positive note, I took the opportunity to visit the Helston Railway Preservation Society branch line project during a visit to Trevarno. I just about remember, during my childhood, the existence and the closure of the Helston branch line and am amazed at what enthusiasts and volunteers have achieved in reopening a section of the line, laying track and bringing rolling stock onto site; celebrating, as they have done, 125 years since the line was first opened. Exciting times ahead…


Andrew George

MP for the West Cornwall & Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives

9th August 2012