Much Ado About Nothing April 12th 2012
Following on from the quite bizarre “non -story” about me in the Telegraph earlier this week, I would like to thank the hundreds of quite wonderful and kind people who have taken the time and trouble to email me their support. Since I have never spoken to the Telegraph or given any statement at all regarding my possible involvement with the Enterprise Fellowship, I found it quite amazing that such a responsible and reputable newspaper would bother to print an article so badly researched and from such a strange viewpoint, that I would urge you all to carefully read again my blog describing my Royal Week!
I have nothing but the deepest admiration for HRH Prince Charles and the endless and tireless work he undertakes for all his charities and very clearly I have in no way at all snubbed him personally and it is pure nonsense for any right minded person to think this may be the case. The lunch I attended at Clarence House was hosted by the amazing and generous Peter Cruddas who founded the Enterprise Fellowship and it is the aim of the Fellowship to be completely unbiased and totally without discrimination when offering help,support,mentoring and financial backing to disadvantaged youngsters who live lives that involve criminal activity. Their aim is to help remove these youngsters from lives of crime.
Of course the Fellowship are trying to help these youngsters out of their criminal activities by their charitable help and support and I fully, totally and absolutely agree with this - but I have decided that for me personally, the challenge of working with drug dealers would be a step too far since I have spent many years campaigning for longer prison sentences for drug dealers - so to suddenly start to actively help ,assist or reward them, would be a moral contradiction of my years of strongly held feelings and beliefs.
Since I hope to retire from French Sole at the end of this year, I am “shopping around” for charities to help with my time, experience and energy for the next few years into my retirement and the Enterprise Fellowship was just one of many charities who have contacted me for help and this was my only reason for accepting their very kind invitation to lunch at Clarence House to discuss the work they do.
As my website is intended to answer some of the questions that I am constantly being asked, I decided to truthfully explain my reasons for possibly not becoming involved with The Enterprise Fellowship - no malice was ever intended towards anyone at all, just a personal morality issue that I am perfectly entitled to hold. I would also like to commend the work of the exceptional Peter Cruddas and all the Fellows of the Enterprise Fellowship for the true Christian spirit of generosity they offer towards the most damaged and deprived young people in our society today.
Again, my sincere thanks to all the hundreds of supporters, customers, friends and readers of my blog and the numerous Telegraph readers who also share my beliefs who have contacted me with such kind words, I am currently in residence at my wonderful and peaceful home in Portugal, but when I return to London in May I will do my best to thank everyone personally.