by Harry Leslie Smith
In 1926, Harry Leslie Smith's sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care. In 1948, the creation of the NHS put a stop to all that. In an extract from his new book, Harry's Last Stand, he describes his despair at the coalition's dismantling of the welfare state
June 12, 2014 "ICH" - "The Guardian" - A midwife with a penchant for gin delivered me into the arms of my exhausted mother on a cold, blustery day in February 1923. I slept that night in my new crib, a dresser drawer beside her bed, unaware of the troubles that surrounded me. Because my dad was a coal miner, we lived rough and ready in the hardscrabble Yorkshire town of Barnsley. Money and happiness didn't come easily for the likes of us.