"Mr. Deputy — Mr. Speaker, when I made my maiden speech all in this Chamber, a little over two decades ago, Margaret Thatcher had been elevated to the other place. But Thatcherism was still reeking as it had reeked for the previous decade, the most heinous social, economic and spiritual damage upon this country, upon my constituency and my constituents.Our local hospitals were running on empty. Patients were staying on trolleys in corridors. I tremble to think what the death rate for pensioners would have been this winter if that version of Thatcherism had been fully up and running this year.
Our schools, parents, teachers, governors, even pupils, seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time fundraising in order to be able to provide basic materials such as paper and pencils. The plaster on our classroom walls were kept in place by pupils’ art work and miles and miles of sellotape.
Our school libraries were dominated by empty shelves, very few books, and those books that were there again, were being held together by ubiquitous sellotape and off-cuts from teachers’ wallpaper used to bind those volumes so that they could at least hang together.
But by far, by far the most dramatic and heinous demonstration of Thatcherism was certainly not only in London, but across the whole country in metropolitan areas, where every single shop doorway, every single night, became the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom for the homeless.
They grew in their thousands. And many of those homeless people had been thrown out on to the streets from the long-term — the closure of the long-term mental hospitals. We were told it was going to be called — it was called — Care in the Community, what in effect it was, was NO CARE at all in the community."
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.