St Helens MP Marie Rimmer managed to namecheck Hollywood superstar Russell Crowe in her maiden speech in Parliament.
Ms Rimmer wasted no time trumpeting how the Gladiator star famously choose a night out at Langtree Park rather than go to the Oscars’ ceremony in Los Angles when she spoke in Parliament for the first time since her election as St Helens South’s Labour MP in May.
“We have Saints, the internationally recognised rugby league team, twice World Club Champions and current Super League holders, now at Langtree Park, our world class stadium, and also providing good employment opportunities,” she said.
“Indeed, Russell Crowe, the star of Gladiator and Les Miserables, choose to come to Langtree Park rather than appearing at the Oscars this year.”
Crowe, who is the owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, had been approached to give out a gong on Oscars night but decided not to go when the World Club Championship game between the Bunnies and Saints was announced for the same day.
His decision to snub Hollywood glamour for the delights of St Helens even inspired Thatto Heath funnyman Johnny Vegas to appear TV with a t-shirt emblazoned with the words: “Oscars? Naw, I’d rather be in St Helens.”
St Helens is a constituency that quite literally enabled Britain to become the industrial powerhouse of the world. Britain would not be what it is today were it not for the coalmines of Bold, Clock Face and CrontonMarie Rimmer MP
Ms Rimmer’s address did contained all the traditional elements of an MP’s maiden speech, though.
She paid tribute to her predecessor, Shaun Woodward, who she hailed for his “distinguished ministerial and parliamentary career”.
She went on to assert her belief that St Helens should aspire to return to its roots as an industrial powerhouse.
“My constituency gave the world household names such as Pilkington and Beecham,” she said. “It is a constituency that quite literally enabled Britain to become the industrial powerhouse of the world. Britain would not be what it is today were it not for the coalmines of Bold, Clock Face and Cronton.
“Sadly these jobs are gone, replaced too often by low-paid, short-term, part-time and insecure agency employment. I have seen nothing that the Government have done to help to eradicate that.
“My constituency sits at the heart of the northern powerhouse. We aim to be a centre for logistics in St Helens and Whiston a centre for connectivity and a place where industry and manufacturing can grow once again.”
She also told how St Helens had always been at the heart of industrial change but had been hit particularly hard by the financial meltdown which hit the global economy in 2008.
She also paid tribute to the work of volunteers at Willowbrook Hospice and staff at Whiston and St Helens hospitals.
“My constituents and I believe that Government should encourage and support economic growth by investing in infrastructure and incentivising the private sector to invest to do what Britain does is best at - innovating, producing and exporting,”