UK Politics

The Olden Days

James Hamilton considers the reasons behind an individuals decision to choose a particular political orientation in a biographical sketch here.

The post also summons up the rundown feel of London during the early 1990’s recession:

Loving London as I did and do, for me seeing Oxford Street like this was the direct equivalent of watching a friend writhe on the ground, as a circle of hooligans aim kick after kick at his head. But such emotions aside, it was only the surface manifestation of a more general and widespread destruction. The big news story of the day was negative equity, repossession, the loss of white collar jobs and the fear that recession could slide into depression.

Waterloo was even worse:

Ah, yes, early 1990s homelessness… the absolute core was situated where the IMAX cinema is now. Back then, that was a sub-ground level pedestrian square, with a closed cafe or two in it, and shelter from the wind and rain. You’d walk in from up on Waterloo Bridge, and immediately become aware of fifty pairs of eyes watching you from the darkness. It wasn’t threatening – these were, after all, just people looking for some shelter. I’d stop and talk occasionally. There’d be two kinds – drug addicts, who’d turn down an offer of coffee or food with a resigned, disappointed air, and the young ones. These were kids of 16 and 17 who’d generally run away from abusive homes, come to London, and discovered on arrival that they were no longer eligible for benefit.

Things could only get better. And they did.