No Apology For Being Frank
Outspoken MP 'shoehorned' out of Conservatives over Chiswick boycott
Recently in the headlines for accusing Prime Minister Gordon Brown of having "tempers of an indescribable nature", outspoken MP Frank Field has colourful political history which began right here in W4.
Born in Chiswick on 16th July 1942, Field was educated at St Clement Danes Grammar School in Hammersmith before studying economics at the University of Hull. In his youth, he was a member of the Conservative Party, but left due to his opposition to South Africa's apartheid system.
In a recent interview he stated “I was shoehorned out of the Conservative Party while helping to organise the boycott of South African goods in Chiswick while I was at school.”
He was elected as a councillor for London Borough of Hounslow for four years from 1964 and in the same year became a further education teacher in Southwark and Hammersmith until he became the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group 1969-79, and of the Low Pay Unit 1974-1980.
His political stance is somewhat at odds with the rest of the Labour Party. In May 2008 Field said that Margaret Thatcher "is certainly a hero" and that "I still see Mrs T from time to time – I always call her 'Mrs T', when I talk to her."
Quite a different attitude from the one he voiced about his party leader who he claims is "so unhappy in himself" as Prime Minister that "I would say to him, talk to the people who you love most and who love you, and act on their advice".
Although he subsequently made an apology, it was not a full one. He told acclaimed journalist Dominic Lawson "When I heard what I had said, I was shocked. And that's what I wanted to apologise for. I found my behaviour shocking. I am criticising myself for my behaviour, not my honesty."
May 21, 2008