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Monday, October 09, 2006

Keeping it Real

“As delegates voted 3 to 1 in favour of the motion Jamie Oliver is a national hero, Boris Johnson shouted “The Messiah”….”

Talking once again of Jamie 'Not really in a position to comment on obesity, if you don’t mind my saying' Oliver….
I have been trying to think how to vocalise my thoughts on Mockney’s decision at the weekend to expand his self-appointed remit to include the world beyond school canteens.
The man has a 20 point manifesto, for the love of GOD.
Then I realised: I don’t have to say anything. (Reading it was making me want to punch things anyway, which can't be good).

The World According to Jamie is so absurd and masturbatory in itself, that comment is not required (except to draw your attention to plugs for both his restaurant AND his supermarket employer. GO TIGER). So instead I’m simply copying it in here in its entirety. Enjoy.


In his frankest interview ever, Jamie tells how he thinks our country could be improved.
And he slams our Government and the police for being too scared to tackle crime and youth problems.
The 31-year-old employs disadvantaged youngsters at his Fifteen restaurants and has seen first hand the problems they face.
He said: "Crime starts from an early age. Most of the problems I've witnessed are about the family unit, gangs and sheer boredom.
"And when the police force are too scared to go into our cities' estates what chance do the children have?"
The dad of two also stresses the importance of family values. Speaking in the run up to his Home Cooking Day on Thursday—to get families to eat dinner together—he said: "Many crime problems begin because of the problems in the family."

Here's his 20-point plan in full...
TACKLE CRIME
Problems often start at home with youngsters simply not having enough to do outside school hours. There should be better funding and a total review of how kids spend their time.There are areas in many cities where the police wouldn't dare go unless they were in large numbers. Just imagine what it's like living there as kids.
WELCOME IMMIGRANTS
They are a profitable part of this country, and I'm proud to live in a multi-cultural England. If it wasn't for the Polish in the last few years, many factories would have gone bankrupt and half the buildings in our cities wouldn't be built.
BENEFITS
I think people should show they care about the country and want to be part of the community before getting all their benefits.
CUT POWERS
Having the guts to look at things in a non-political way is vital. I don't reckon healthcare, schooling and transport should be ruled by government.
TROOPS
Stop wasting our time fighting other people's wars. Now we're part of the EU there's no need for a massive Army. If we halved our troops the spare resources could help fight crime.
KEEP IT REAL
If I had my own department I'd let my senior team run it
and have six months in the field listening to the public so you can make intelligent, informed decisions.
RECYCLING
We've got one of the worst recycling records in the EU although things are changing (albeit I'm still waiting for my recycling bin!) If you buy loads of packaging then it's your responsibility to sort out disposing it sensibly.
EXPERTS
When I started looking into school dinners there wasn't anybody high up with a history of catering. Most of the people who have the answers aren't politicians, they're experts, and I think they're vital in government.
SEE IT THROUGH
I'm bloody proud of what we did with school dinners and I'm going to babysit it for ever.
SCHOOLS
I believe in comprehensive education. A mixture of ethnic minorities and social classes is really important. I think our primary schools are fantastic too.
SPORT
This should be such an important part of our kids' schooling, just like in Australia. I think it's about time we took it more seriously. Stop building on playing fields and make sport compulsory.
LESSON CHOICES
I think education should incorporate sport and life skills. I'll probably get my a*se whooped by the science dudes for it. But I believe there should be enough choice for people to excel.
TEACH KIDS TO COOK
I've just been to Melbourne to open my new Fifteen restaurant and Stephanie Alexander—a bit like Delia—is concentrating on a charity to put kitchens and gardens in primary schools. Through growing food and cooking, nippers also learn numeracy, spelling, chemistry...it's a wicked idea.
HOSPITAL GRUB
Food in hospitals is more urgent than schools. Good quality tucker is crucial for the sick. I thought when we'd got it sorted in schools it would translate across the board. I'm hoping it still will.
QUALITY NOSH
It's harder to get the good stuff to the kids who need it most. It's largely class bound. You can buy a Shepherd's pie from a cheapo place and you can bet there will be more rubbish in it than one from Waitrose or Sainsbury's.
AND FINALLY...
I'm still banging the drum on school dinners because more needs doing. The government is planning dinner ladies' training schools. Brilliant! But many schools have kitchens that are falling down. Tony Blair's the only one who's done anything. So come on Tiger, let's carry on the good work.

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