Johnson’s inspiring story of poverty overcome

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

I WAS interested in the article by Tom Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, October 14) when he wrote about the Labour MP Alan Johnson who was brought 
up in a poverty-stricken area of London. After domestic problems in his family, he was raised by his elder sister and his poorly mother.

Mr Johnson eventually wrote a book called This Boy, a book which I read several months ago and which I would recommend to anybody.

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The hardships endured by 
this boy would be hard to describe but with the help of his sister he managed to get into a good school and eventually, 
with the help of his trade union he became an MP.

He eventually held five Government offices during 
the years of the last Labour government until he stepped down when the Brown premiership ceased.

I and many others think that if he was now Labour Party leader, their odds on forming the next Government would have shortened considerably.

What a pity that we 
can’t produce more characters like that today, where 
people in that situation are 
so dependent on the 
welfare state they have 
lost all sense of ambition and self-achievement.