The Times September 2010 - 1

The Times September 2010 - 2

Chris Mullin Daily Mail Article

Boris Johnson interview 1998

The Jones Family



Contacts & Links

Hedgeman - The Book

The Berlin Wall

Into the Roaring Nineties

1991 Stanton Turns Really Nasty

Annus Horribilis

The End Of The Annus But Not The Horribilis

The Judgement

The Hand Of Peace


The Big One

No Carte Blanche

Come On Stanton Pay Up

April Fool

Niniteen Ninety Seven

A Little Help From The Lord






The earlier years 1928 -1971

Michael was born in Crockets Rd by the West Bromwich Albion ground at K.O. time 2pm. 21st April 1928: the second birthday of the Queen; the match with Man City was a 2-2 draw. He was christened CLARENCE MICHAEL JONES, a patriotic Tory at St James Church of England on the opposite side of the road. His father, a chorister had lost a son and a daughter and he desperately wanted his newborn named after him. Clarence William 34 years, started work at 14 as a canal clerk in Netherton. After marriage with the girl next door the couple moved to Handsworth and he worked for the last ten years for W Canning, an entrepreneurial City dynasty in Chamberlain's Tory Birmingham and, upwardly mobile he was buying his own house. Michael has always found his first name a gross inconvenience. He was a misfit in Woodville Private School in the old 18th century relay Coach Station on the London to Hollyhead road opposite the Baggies. The cliquish, odiously middle class, blatantly anti-Jewish professionals of West Bromwich patronized the school. At six years old in 1934 he could not understand why a nice little boy that, years later he found out was Jewish could NOT be his friend and some nasty spiteful children were supposed to be acceptable. The lease ran out and sadly the unique building pulled down. Michael went to the local council school and couldn't understand why the local Catholic school pupils were considered rough. He wanted to sing like his father but the teacher said she would cane him if he spoilt her music lesson because his voice was gruff. He joined the Wolf Cubs but refused the oath to God and the King. He made friends with a Quaker boy and became an anti-war vegetarian. The local grammar meant evacuation, months of no school and the blitz. He refused to join the cadets and the cane if he did not sing, became an atheist and political agitator and a member of the Independent Labour Party. Joining the Labour Party League of Youth he converted his parents on religion and politics, Their home became a hive of non-communist left-wing activity. Prisoners of war were also welcomed. Marriage was passionate and political and on his twenty-fifth birthday Ian was born and both Michael and his mother became City Council candidates. Michael campaigned for the immediate abolition of the eleven plus and a 25-year development of the tripartite system of secondary education into a comprehensive one. He did achieve the rescheduling of three plans in Great Barr, Sheldon Heath and Shenley Court and it was to the latter neighbourhood school that his sons and their friends went without need of passing an examination. Always feeling that war had deprived him of the full time education he needed he was delighted to go back for a full concentrated years study for a Third Year College Certificate in Science teaching at the age of 32. He studied Russian at evening school and attended courses and conferences. Politics were always to the fore, meetings a way of life, canvassing a perpetual activity, sub-collector, holder of every party office, conference delegate, organizer, election agent, and courses on polling day procedures or election law. Maureen and Michael's home was open till midnight, 365 days per year (less swimming time and camping holidays) key in the door, coffee pot on the stove.