To be a Gentleman…

In this age of scandal and law suit; it was a revelation to see a young man on a recent question time asking a question about the way that MPs treat women. The 17 year old from the London Borough of Croydon is a credit to society and especially the male gender.

I was born in 1987 in Urban Nottingham and lived from Birth in the rural Derbyshire village of Sandiacre in the Borough of Erewash.

I was raised; along with my brother, to be a gentleman. I was taught manners from the beginning and the value of respect and authority.

I have often commented on the ideals of chivalry and how I personally will treat; not only the few women in my life but women in general in society. A little bit of respect costs nothing.

Sure I will treat EW to flowers every now and then for no reason other than to show my affection; but, the real affection for me comes out in how you treat a girl.

For example how many men will hold a door open for a girl? Or pull a chair out for them? How about walking road side of the pavement?

The young man I mentioned earlier asked; how does a 17 year old know more about having respect for women than the majority of MPs? Well for me; it’s not just MPs; it’s the modern society that we live in.

I challenge the younger generation of men to follow my lead and the lead of many great men such as Jacob Rees Mogg and learn how to treat a lady.


Aspiration and life

Anyone who knows me really well will appreciate that I hold family values very dear indeed. I have often said that the biggest aspiration that any man can have is to own his own home and as a Conservative and a Thatcherite at that, obviously I am proud of the work that the Conservative Party have done to make that aspiration a reality for so many.

As a Conservative; I believe whole heartedly in the virtues of family and the values that go along with it.

For me; home ownership and family are synonymous. Though obviously it would be wrong to assume that the home has to be owned by the occupant for it to be a family home.

We spend so long in this day and age focusing on money and material possessions but the aspirations of having a family extend far beyond materialistic value and monetary matters. That said; I have spent my life being overly career focused; very much married to the job.

As a Christian and an aspiring family man I was over the moon when somebody who I had admired for a while showed me that the feeling was reciprocated. I had been somewhat alone for a long time and whilst my political career is greatly fulfilling; I needed to share my experiences with someone. I have great political aspirations but also have aspirations of being a family man too. Both things are pretty well linked from my point of view.

The lady in question shared my aspirations and family values whilst forging a career of her own.

I will refer to her only as EW in my future posts.


Back in 2008 I was a young Student Campaigner. As Disabled Students’ officer at the University of Derby Students’ Union I created the H campaign. The premise behind the H campaign was actually inspired by Red Dwarf and the Hologram that is Arnold J Rimmer.

Contrary to popular belief the H was not named after myself, it was in fact a H standing for Hidden. The idea was that nobody actually knows who is Disabled. Therefore people wore badges to signify that they might have a hidden disability.

One strand of the H campaign was actually Stress; depression and Mental health.

This summer, I witnessed a truly inspiring display of strength from someone who I admire a great deal. Sarah Taylor; England’s World Cup winning wicket keeper/Batsman took a year out of the sport due to anxiety and returned to Cricket for the World Cup in England.

She showed great strength of character and put on some amazing performances this summer and for me is possibly the best wicket keeper in the world in Men’s and Women’s Cricket.

Now I have talked before about my own experiences with mental health. I was bullied for many years at school and at work. Bizarrely; Politics is my safe space. Politics is an unforgiving world but it’s indiscriminate in that it’s unforgiving for everybody.

I suffered a bit after my first election defeat but I am big enough and well travelled enough to understand that Politics is a fickle world and that I would bounce back.

The darkest point in my life was being unemployed. I had four years of unemployment and serious issues with self esteem and confidence issues.

On world Mental Health day, I am proud to say that I have got through it and would encourage anyone who is going through mental health issues to talk to someone.

Top sights in the UK

So there was a news item last week listing the top 20 views in the U.K. Now they were pretty special but I thought I’d come up with 10 of my own:

  1. Westminster Bridge; specifically the Elizabeth Tower from Westminster Bridge.
  2. The Seven Estuary.
  3. Derbyshire from the descent into Ashbourne.
  4. The Dome; Buxton.
  5. The view from Erewash Museum.
  6. The media centre, Lords.
  7. The London eye.
  8. Buckingham Palace.
  9. Queens Park, Chesterfield.
  10. Arkwright Mills, Cromford.

My Classical Music Top 10

I dared to criticise the music at work the other day. I have to say that’s the one thing I miss about working in an office, I used to get in before anyone else and have 30 minutes of quality music before the modern mainstream pop music of GEM 106 came on.

So I started to educate my colleagues a little bit. I have decided to put this post together with my personal selection.

  1. The Planets Suite; Jupiter: the Bringer of Jollity – Gustav Holst.
  2. Cello Concerto in E Minor – Sir Edward Elgar.
  3. Nimrod; Enigma Variations l – Sir Edward Elgar.
  4. Syrinx – Claude Debussy.
  5. Piano Concerto No 5 – Beethoven.
  6. Promenade – Gershwin.
  7. Rackwick Bay – Phamie Gow.
  8. Symphony No 9 – Dvorak.
  9. Ride of the Valkeries – Wagner.
  10. La Quattro Stagione – Vivaldi.

Why Andy Street embodies True Conservative Values.

As the former CEO and Managing Director of John Lewis, Andy Street should be the sworn enemy to an employee and Shareholder at Marks and Spencer. No matter how many sides we see M&S from, the Management have always seen the major competitors as being John Lewis.

Andy Street started his graduate life aiming to be a social worker; after being turned down by Birmingham City Council and then being turned down by the Marks and Spencer training scheme he headed for John Lewis. 

He has taken on roles in store; head office and in the manufacturing units; he has been local managing director in two different areas, he has been director of personnel and finally he was CEO and Managing Director for 9 years.

He steered the business through choppy waters to success during a worldwide recession.

He has headed up the Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership and been a figure head for business in the city and in the region.

What makes Andy stand out is his passion for local business. He is a fantastic ambassador for aspiration and for climbing the ladder. 

I’ve often reiterated my Conservative beliefs of aspiration; hard work; meritocracy; equality of opportunity; low taxes and free trade.

Andy Street is an inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs and all local politicians. He fully embodies the Conservative values that I embrace and believe in.

For me he has proven that if you truly want something bad enough and you put your mind to something, anything is achievable.

Andy has gone from shop floor to boardroom in a major British institution, albeit it a great rival of the company that I work for. 

I fully support Andy and he is a great ambassador for our party. He will make a great Mayor for the West Midlands.

How dyspraxia brings out mental health issues.

I’ve had dyspraxia from birth but was only diagnosed aged 9.

Dyspraxia manifests itself in many different ways but I want to focus on the mental health side as today is #WorldMentalHealthDay

Mental Health is still a bit of a taboo like sex; politics and religion, but just like those three topics, it needs talking about and it needs addressing.

It is important to note that mental health issues are more a reaction than a symptom of Dyspraxia. But I have a tendency to be stressed; depressed or anxious about things; I have difficulty sleeping from time to time; I am prone to serious bouts of low self esteem; and I have a few phobias, although I’m training myself out of those gradually. 

A prime example of anxiety occurs in my day job. Apart from being a Councillor and a school governor, my days are spent as a Team Coordinator in a large warehouse. Now I have run shifts of 30 people and reported to the duty senior leader [four pay grades above me] throughout a shift, no problem. But [I have had bad experiences with handing over to certain people] from 20:45 onwards I get terribly anxious wondering who I’m having to hand over to. This has made me hate PM shifts at work.

I hear you asking the question, how can A borough councillor with a majority of nearly 100 have low self esteem?  The truth is that I will always be trying to prove myself. When I have managers criticising what I have done and what I’m handing over, I feel useless and therefore I get low self esteem which leads to anxiety and stress and loss of sleep, where most people would walk out at 22:00 and shrug it off. 

I over think and over plan. I so determined to succeed, which is a trait of being dyspraxia, that that slightest set back becomes personal. 

There are many positives to anyone with Dyspraxia though. 

  • Determination 
  • Entrepreneurship and think outside of the box 
  • Hard work
  • Compassion 
  • Good general knowledge 
  • Very methodical 
  • Very task driven
  • Good long term memories 
  • Great problem solving skills
  • Very logical
  • Very creative and will usually take a high interest in the arts: music, painting, photography etc.

I think it’s important to talk about mental health issues. But have never opened up about how my Dyspraxia has brought on mental health issues.