15 minutes with Michael Spinks, chairman and managing director of London-based wholesaler EFG Foodservice, and managing director of Pembrokeshire-based wholesaler Celtic Foodservices.
BW: What was your first-ever job?
Having left Cambridge University as a senior scholar of my college in 1975, I started working full-time as a 22-year-old ‘utility player’ for ‘EFG United’ – I ran all over the pitch and played all positions, so to speak!
BW: How would your colleagues at EFG describe you?
I’d like to think they would describe me as ‘the blessed one’.
BW: If time and money were no issue, what hobby would you most like to get into?
Politics. My wife went to extreme lengths to prevent me from standing against Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick in the 2012 London mayoral election. Twice previously, the electorate in Islington and Hackney had failed to see the wisdom in delivering me to Parliament. No wonder Parliament has been in decline without the personalities of yesteryear!
BW: What has been a perfect day for you?
My perfect day involved waking up in the Engadine Valley in Switzerland, taking part in the Skimarathon (a cross-country ski race), and feeling so good afterwards that I ran back to the hotel, saw my family and had a lovely Swiss evening meal. Roxy Music and Jethro Tull were performing at the finish, and my daily newspaper was there to hand.
BW: What’s your song of choice at karaoke?
By me? You must be joking! By Roxy Music, ‘In Your Mind’, and by Jethro Tull, ‘Broadsword’.
BW: Who would be your four ideal dinner party guests?
1976 Olympic Games 1,500m champion, John Walker; ex-Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis; Canadian economist and diplomat, Professor John Kenneth Galbraith; and American academic and politician, Senator Elizabeth Warren.
BW: What would you cook them?
My ‘famous’ scrambled eggs on toast. This would be accompanied with baked beans, fresh tomatoes and streaky bacon on request.
BW: What fad or trend would you like to see make a comeback?
Voting under a fair political system where each and every vote counts.
BW: If you were a superhero, what would you choose as your superpower?
The ability to solve environmental issues with a swish of my sword. Picking up plastic bottles, aluminium cans, and glass bottles in the streets – which I do every day – doesn’t hack it.
BW: What do you wish you knew more about?
What other people are really thinking. But as per the previous question, I would then need two superpowers!
BW: When was the last time you changed your belief or opinion about something major?
It happens all the time. Take staying in or exiting the EU. Any politician who hasn’t got the guts to make clear that they have seen and learned something and then changed their opinion is not worth their position in Parliament. It appears to me that there is a qualitative difference between the generation of politicians who knew what 1939-1945 was all about, and the current generation who lack inspirational qualities.