Simon founded the Boxing Academy in 2006 which is based in Tottenham and Hackney. He was also the Conservative Candidate in Barking in 2010, beating the BNP into 3rd place. Before this Simon was involved in small business management and investment and worked for the British Chamber of Commerce in Brussels.
A while ago two of my students said they were going to 'turn over' a large house in a wealthy area near them. I asked why? They said they had it tough, they wanted a new TV, and it was something to do.
I listened, and then explained that just because they were poor they didn't need to rob a house. I told them that I didn't even have a TV, which amazed them. I explained to them how my Grandparents grew up in the East End during the great depression. There were few jobs, no money and no welfare. They went without food on occasion, suffered discrimination and had to deal with fascism, yet they emerged from poverty. I explained how they did it: They worked hard, sacrificed for the future, educated themselves, showed respect for the law and other people, had strong families and never gave up. The two boys looked thoughtful for a while and then one said: 'Yes, but I never had a father to tell me that'.
I founded the Boxing Academy in 2006. It is now an award winning charity that gives a second chance in life to teenagers in danger of exclusion. We are based in Hackney and Tottenham. These areas were getting better in so many ways, but there was always a nagging doubt that 30 or 40 years of misguided social policies had broken the ties that bind us. Once the money went - and it was always going to - the sticking plasters would fall off our broken society.