David Gustave: I’m a child of Thatcher and still scarred

David Gustave, an employee of Kids Company, a south London charity dealing with vulnerable inner-city children, spoke exclusively to Left Foot Forward about why he was at Labour conference:

“I was here to speak earlier, on the subject of how we create cohesive communities. I believe that’s done through building blocks that I was given in my early life: education, health and wealth creation.

“I’m a child of Thatcher so I’m still scarred by that. It took me 25 years to get over that psycologically, emotionally and materially so I don’t want people to go through what I went through, honestly that wasn’t very nice. I was lucky enough to survive, I was lucky enough to gain privilege but I think people should have more than just kindness they should have a structure that allows people to blossom.

“I remember being in the dark…”

Gustave was described by the Independent as one of the “100 people who make Britain a better and a happier place to live.”

Watch it:

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4 Responses to “David Gustave: I’m a child of Thatcher and still scarred”

  1. Chris

    As a student, I can say that I am scarred with an unprecedented level of debt thanks to New Labour with extremely poor job prospects, despite being on course for a 1st class Law degree. For many of us, we’ll have a constant reminder of Labour in the form of £25-30k of debt to pay off. That alone will ensure that I and almost all of my student friends would not touch Labour with a ten foot barge pole!

  2. Oikonomist

    “I was lucky enough to survive”… he’s laying it on a bit thick! Especially given the knife crime levels, coupled with low life expectancy we see today in parts of Britain.

    He’s also working for Kids Company. They do a lot of good work but the charity has to exist because so many kids lie beyond the reach of the state, no government iniative exists for them.

    Anyway, well done for KC to lobby all the parties. They were at the Lib Dem conference and I remember Camila Batmanghelidjh addressing the Tory conference a while back.

  3. Luke

    I concur with Chris. Whilst Labour may have promoted the university lifestyle to myself, my friends and my peers, it is because of Labour that my girlfriend’s maintenance loan does not cover her rent, let alone any further living expenses. That’s true for alot of other students this year.

    We need to focus on the here and now, not whatever chip someone may have with Thatcher 18+ years a go. It would be because of Labour not stepping up to the challenge of rolling back Thatcherism that anybody would still feel the scars of it.

    No excuses.

  4. willstraw

    Chris, Luke – I campaigned against the government’s top up fees and pushed for the return of the maintenance grant so understand your concerns. But let’s be clear, the next battle is the review of tuition fees that will take place early in the next Parliament. We should be pushing all parties to commit to retaining the cap that currently exists. My fear is that any party that refuses to do this is paving the way for market rates.

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