3 Nov 2006

The 'A' List

Known as ‘The Black Farmer’ a title he himself espouses, google it and see, Wilfred had many interesting things to say about his humble origins and the courage and tenacity needed to succeed.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones came with his family from Jamaica when he was 4 years old. In his early teens, as the oldest child, whilst working on his father’s allotment in Birmingham, he dreamed of becoming a farmer to escape the concrete jungle and the two up two down in which he lived with his rather large family. After a lucky chance due to some tenacity resulting in a career in television working on programs such as ‘Food and Drink’ he finally achieved his early goal.

I empathise with the perspectives that make this man an excellent conservative ‘A’ list choice, a man that like myself was a young rebel and can therefore understand many of the issues confronting some of our disaffected youth but also a successful business man from scratch. We may be looking at the future party chairman and I for one wish him good luck.

Talk of the importance of the family and the extended family young and old was a hot topic and in this regard I reiterate the message that we need generally champion the whole family, grandparents, parents and children in equal measure and reverse the trend and the parameters that exist and are causing its current disintegration.

Regarding the family I declare a personal interest. The abolition of slavery and votes for women were both great Conservative achievements. The present human rights movement concerns the disenfranchisement of men from the family. (Click on Sir Bob Geldof FNF Insight for more.) I hope that equality for fathers, an issue that our conservative party has recognized and put on our agenda for change is realized if not in the next parliament, sooner, to stop the tragedy facing over 150,000 children and their fathers every year!

Furthermore, people, men and women should not be made to feel inadequate because they want to raise their children and not hand them over to our nation of underpaid nannies and find this untenable whilst simultaneously working. Money is not everything, it should be about choice and quality of life! ‘The traditional family’ is statistically by far the best environment for children, it should not be considered a dirty phrase and above all there should be equality between mothers and fathers, the foundation stone for a new golden era.

(Alderman Gwyneth Hebblethwaite between Wilfred and myself in the lead caption reminded us not to forget the needs of her peers. I explained that culturally, to me at least, this notion was anathema.)