Friday, 5 December 2008

We Shall Remember Them: Neighbour "B"

Number Two in a series of articles about the people who lived in the same Hellhole I did for my four year tour of duty there (a UK inner-city Chav haven, not Iraq). This particular guy lived next door. Lived in this Godforsaken place for at least 25 years. He knew everyone. Everyone knew him. Didn't take any nonsense, his son was an extremely large and angry looking skinhead. Nobody would mess with him, so he thought, because he'd seen the parents of the current crop of kids grow up and they knew to leave alone.

So he thought.

It all went wrong for him when some new kids moved in and tore up the playbook.

When we started having aggro of the "what the fucking-fuck" variety - back in the days when it was the odd stone at the window or the occasional "festive" comment shouted across the street - he didn't take it too seriously, like most people there.

"Kids will be kids", etc. As it went on, my personal favourite was where he'd try and insinuate it must have somehow been my fault.

Yes, of course it was. Sorry, my mistake.

This guy knew he'd gone about it the wrong way. He was grateful for the advice I tried to help him with. Neighbour "B" (let's call him Bob) just insisted I'd done something terribly wrong to wind these kids up (yes, I dodged the bottles they threw at me) and so had to just "put up with it" till they got bored.

Whenever it really started to kick off, despite his half-hearted words of support, he was nowhere to be seen when the missiles came flying over. Keep it at a distance, yes terrible isn't it and oh my, isn't that the time, must go. They're just kids, they're after a reaction, just ignore them.

Then one night one of them missed my house with an egg and got his car.

Oh, fuck me. You'd have thought they'd shot someone. He came flying out the house, face red and pumped up, then his wife (in classy silk nightgown and pom-pom slippers, a right battleaxe) flies past him like some kind of banshee and goes legging it down the road after the kid who threw it. Then he's off too, and I'm left standing there wondering exactly what happened to his Ghandi routine.

Apparently it's only SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS when it's not just happening to the guy next door.

Anyway, off they went. Minutes tick by, and I'm wondering if I should phone in a pair of missing persons reports. Suddenly, they reappear - walking back looking glum because they didn't catch the kid.

Next minute, a car zooms up the road. At this point, I'm expecting guys with shotguns to come leaping out - instead, an old guy clambers out of the car and warns them not to mess with "these kids", because they live in a house facing his and they smash his porch every time it gets fixed.

The insurance won't even pay out anymore.

He also says they wrecked his car, but I'm looking at it and can't see any damage.

At least, I can't until he gets in and turns the car around. You know those films where someone launches a rocket at a car and half of it just falls off?

It was like that. One half of the car from front to back just wasn't there anymore, like one of those cartoons where someone saws a car right down the middle and you can see inside. Christ knows what they were hitting it with but breeze blocks laced with C4 would be my best guess.

That was it for the supposed "everybody knows me" guy, at any rate. He started to get the eggs, the stones, one huge chunk taken out of his fancy brickwork, a large sagging cock painted on his wall, a couple of chips in his prized windows - the works.

Oh, and one night they pulled his wing mirror off, then threw it at my window.

Good to see they're creative with their mindlessness, if nothing else.

Long story short, Bob was a bit of a twat who buried his head in the sand under the sadly mistaken notion that if he kept his head down, nothing bad would happen. Bob couldn't understand how having bricks thrown at my windows every night could possibly be annoying, but then completely flipped his shit like someone had murdered his daughter when someone threw an egg at his car. Bob had moronic semi-chav grandkids come to play every weekend to "give the parents a break", and those kids would endlessly tap on my windows disturbing the cats, roll around in my front garden and shout over the back fence at my dog. Bob once blamed me for our shared drains being blocked ("I'm not saying you do this, but don't put your kids nappies down the toilet as it blocks them up"), then said I'd have to pay for it as "more of the pipes were on my side", then ate a healthy slice of shut-the-fuck-up pie when the guy flushed it out and found his grand-kids plastic coke bottles down there.

Bob still lives there. I don't. Enjoy your shithole, Bob.

Shopping Trip

Had some "fun" in one of those "super cheapo" stores the other week. I can't stand the place, but if you're prepared to wade through the clowns within, there are certain items you can pick up and avoid paying twice the price elsewhere.

Imagine my dismay when it all went a bit aggro, at the hands of what must have been a four year old girl.

There I was, my son in the pram, his only crime presumably looking healthy and smiling - can't have that! He's supposed to look malnourished and underfed!

You know when you see something out the corner of your eye, but you're not quite sure if it really happened? I was checking out the dog treats, vaguely aware of a small girl who - wait, did she just - hit him?

No, surely not. Got a good look at it - typical sullen faced brat, big round glasses, looking an unhealthy shade of off-white. Off it wandered back to craggy looking granny, and I went back to grabbing my shopping.

A few minutes later I was elsewhere in the store looking for the last things I had to get - looked down, and sure enough, there it was - no doubt this time, it sort of slapped his chest, then tried to unclip the safety button holding his straps together, then (when that didn't work) leaned over and stuck her tongue out at him, a real nasty face to go with it.

I swatted it away with the pram, telling it to bugger off. Then I waited....and waited....till the gran and her feral scum were at the till with loads of other shoppers for maximum impact. Then I went over and said "You want to watch her, she poked my son in the eye" to the horror of random people in the store. Cue lots of yelling and tellings-off and (most hilariously) an apology.

Little shit.

I wonder how many times she did this to other kids in their prams and nobody thought to pull someone up about it. What has this country come to when you're near paralysed with strange feelings of rage because of a four year old kid?

Good to see it's started as it means to go on though...

New Deal Disaster

I'm of an age where I'm now able to look back - as one of the lucky souls dragged into the New Deal program - to sit up and wonder exactly what the Hell it was all about. After I left Uni, I had that familiar problem of being overqualified and under experienced. There were jobs about, but none of the swines would take me. I knew there was this thing called New Deal fast approaching after six months on the dole, and oh my God, what an insight into the lives of the underclass it was.

I was told it would be something relevant to my job aims; imagine my dismay, then, when a few weeks into it I was (as a twenty-something, well educated kid from a poor area who'd done his best to drag himself up from out of the gutter) being made to play musical chairs with a bunch of brainless, tracksuited, drugged up lunatics.

Yes, your taxpayers money had me playing musical fucking chairs.

The rest of the time they had us doing "dance routines" (please, don't ask) so the chavved up sluts in tracksuits could pretend they were on X-Factor, or leaving the mindless wonders to fill up the PCs with about as much dodgy porn as it's possible to cram onto a computer without breaking it.

"You don't want to do this because you're too picky, you think this is beneath you!" one of the "tutors" said.

Damn right, fatty.

It was my first contact up-close and personal with thuggish louts for a sustained length of time - chavs would shag in the toilets upstairs, one guy would come in coked off his head with the 120 quid a week they paid us (to do nothing at all) and punch a hole in the ceiling (which was of course left for months), others would get into fights....I myself was threatened many times and had at least one stand off with a feral loon who thought I was "looking at him funny".

Bar a lucky few, every single person in that place had severe mental problems. It was a Vaudevillian freakshow come alive, where everyone smelled of pasties as a bonus.

It was really just a dumping ground for thugs and layabouts that the system had no way of handling, and sadly for people who fell through the cracks, they were forced to put up with it for a while and hope they didn't get their head stoved in. 120 quid a week for six months, which would simply be pissed up a wall each friday at the nearest boozer. If anyone did get a REAL job during those six months, it had absolutely fuck all to do with New Deal, I can tell you that much.

It always makes me laugh whenever I hear people say how much of a "success" New Deal was at getting people "out of unemployment and into jobs". They weren't jobs. They had us playing musical fucking chairs to get us off the Dole and fiddle the figures.

Bastards. Utter bastards.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

My Story

I thought I might grab your attention with my main tale of woe - a summary of the key points of my experiences with the Underclass of Great Britain. This may amaze you - then again, it probably won't as it seems to be more and more common. I did originally post it as a comment on a blog which was turned into a standalone post - you can see a somewhat more sweary version here, along with some horrifying tales from other people.

This is a little insight into the day to day existence of what I'd hope would be considered a "regular" person when placed inside a feral den - the sort of place the welfare state has created, and why we should be so scared of it spreading that we should really consider doing something about it right now.

My partner and I had a dream of getting on the property ladder - owning a home, starting a family, you know, the sort of thing frowned upon nowadays. I work hard. So does my missus. We got what we could afford, which was a rundown heap in the middle of a place with a bad reputation. Against better judgment, we thought it would be fine.

What a bloody mistake that was.

The first year was fine, despite the supposed aura of "Abandon All Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here" the place had. Then, all of a sudden, violence. And lots of it.

Some random teens decided to throw bottles at me while walking home from work - I told them to fuck off (because make no mistake, if you mince words when confronted by kids like this, you'll end up even more dead than you're about to become). About seven of them jumped off a wall and made out they were going kill me, without actually doing it of course. What actually happened, was the biggest lads hung back and, out of the pack, comes this bizarre dwarf child (couldn't have been older than eleven, tops) who then proceeds to do this bizarre jig / dance / God-knows-what in front of me, all the while spitting on the floor and slurring insults.

Occasionally one of the bigger cretins would take a step forward, then jump back again. It was like a Riverdance for morons.

All of this was in front of one of their parents, who ignored it all (couldn't have been more then three feet away) while he worked on his car. If they'd jumped on my head and started smashing it into the pavement, I dare say he'd have carried on fixing his leaky battery.

A returned home, a little puzzled by what had just taken place. This is was on my own street, in broad daylight at four in the afternoon. Surely some mistake?

Well, as it turned out, no. No it wasn't.

Despite my best attempts at remaining anonymous, a few months later, I went out of the house and one of them was in a group congregating by some nearby alleygates. I knew he recognised me the moment I walked past, mainly because as soon as I was a few feet past them a bunch of stones started bouncing off the pavement around me. Do these kids carry rocks in their pockets at all times or something?

Anyway, that was that.

Despite having a baby in the house (who arrived halfway through the great Feral seige of 2004 to 2007), every night for three solid years - and I *MEAN* every. Single. Night....there would be items hurled at the house, at the window, abuse in the street, menacing gestures, random happenings. Didn't matter what day it was, something would happen. Christmas eve, Xmas day, New Years, birthdays, deaths, weddings.....whatever. It was insane. I lost count of the amount of times we called the police....hundreds, hundreds of times. Regular line, 999, SWAT, Special Forces, Chuck name it, I tried it. We contacted the council, the police, the papers, the politicians and those bastards at the housing (who were responsible for drafting in these waves of scum from other useless areas in a merry-go-round of completely insane "families").....not a bit of difference.

All the crap advice police and others wheel out - don't encourage them, don't this, don't that, don't the-other - only works on the basis that they're doing it "for a chase", as they so naively kept putting it.

Truth was, it didn't matter whether you ignored it or not. You'd still hear your windows being slammed every single night even if you failed to rise to the bait for months at a time. They didn't care. If they were going past on their way home from the chipshop or the offy or whatever, it took the bare minimum of effort to pick something up and lob it.

In fact, if you ignored it, they tended to do it all the more and with greater force. So you were screwed in any case.

The effects were immediate and obvious, and it was only after the first year of relative quiet that I took off my rose-tinted glasses and realised half the people in my street and one or two off it were already experiencing the same joys.

One night, a guy was literally forced to flee his house, jump in his car and drive to fucking Wales. He never came back, and his brother apparently had to sell his house. But then, having a wild mob of about 15 to 20 shrieking lunatics off their faces and hurling pieces of brick at your window (while trying to kick the front door in) will do that to you.

A woman over the road had her windows smashed (this was before I moved in or shortly after) - when she complained to the police about it, the little swines phoned 999 and told them she was holding one of them "hostage" - about ten minutes later, what seemed like three vanfulls of riot police arrived outside her house and wellied their way inside, so I'm told. One guy asked his neighbour to simply reverse his car off his drive so he could get his car out - the reply was a headbutt and a broken nose. Yet another little shit, well known to social services, police and everyone else (with about ten asbos to his name), threatened grown men outside a pub with a knife unless they went inside and bought him some stella.

They bought him the stella.

I could go on, but that's the kind of thing you were dealing with there. I should add, a lot of these kids were as young as ten or eleven, hanging around with a handful of older ones in their late teens. In addition, they weren't all from "broken homes" or had waves of family members on the dole - quite a few of them had both parents, a nice house, at least one (or both) parents working....however, the parents just weren't interested in controlling them and they quickly fell under the sway of the ringleaders (who were indeed from spectacularly broken homes and on benefits or being shunted from place to place via housing corporations).


Halloween was always the worst, mainly because where we were, it used to last about a month. It was like one of those zombie films where people start boarding everything up and hiding in an attic for six weeks. Our first child was born in the runup to one of these wonderful social carnivals, so you can imagine all the stress and worry of simply having this child pop out with no problems, then having to consider your house being battered with bricks and rockery at the same time. They almost sucked the joy out of having a child in the first place.

I still remember the night the baby had been born - left the missus in the hospital, jumped a cab home, found out the next morning (when it was light enough to see the front of the house) that it had been egged all over. They knew we'd gone off to the hospital too, because they'd seen us leaving the house with all the "here comes the baby" gear.


After that, the first few months we had to resort to changing the baby either in the kitchen at the back of the house (cold), or the spare bedroom upstairs (even more cold) because we were convinced a brick could come through the living room or front bedroom window at any time during the night and couldn't take the chance.

I know I'm getting away from Halloween here, so allow me to get right back to it. Each one was worse than the last. When the final one came around, it finally all kicked the fuck off.

A bunch of kids (about fifteen of them, aged between maybe 12 and 17) went to a neighbours freshly paved driveway, pulled up a few slabs, smashed them on the floor, picked up the chunks of concrete and started hurling them at the windows. Then another at the door.....then another at the windows. And another.

Months, years of endless abuse finally all clicked something inside my brain. I snapped, ran out, grabbed one of the little shits and dragged him back to the house, screaming down his ears. I'd had enough. I wanted blood.

ANYONES fucking blood.

I made that little shit - one of the main concrete throwers - stand in my garden while the missus phoned the police. Apparently some people in a neighbouring city heard my screaming, so a full contingent of police were deployed and would "arrive shortly".

Next minute, our wonderful country's welfare inhabitants are revealed for what they are.

Never mind a baby in the house when these animals were throwing what they were throwing. No, some tracksuited moron comes bouncing out of the house directly opposite mine (found out later he doesn't even live in the area, just visiting his girlfriend), and starts yelling"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT LAD? GET OFF HIM! etc etc swear swear".

I tell him what the kid did, but he didn't care. Scum look after their own. Within seconds, he's opening his boot and threatening to get his baseball bat out and "fuck me up".

I goaded him into doing it, because I so badly wanted an excuse to punch someone through a wall. He didn't, choosing to remain at a safe distance because I probably gave off the distinct smell of roid rage by this point. But I'm already thinking "fuck this shit" when lo and behold, the ratfaced child's drunken, ugly, booze-sodden grandmother appears in front of me, yelling and screaming and calling me everything under the sun. I'll never forget the next exchange.

I told her there was a baby in the house and they could have killed him if they'd put the window through.

Her reply? "GOOD!"

She then threw a punch at my head, which missed by a country mile while the idiot in the tracksuit continued to prance around by his car. I'd officially entered the twilight zone by this point.

Then the police turned up, and I had to be put in the back of their car and driven to my house as this had started to spill further and further down the street where I ran a greatly increased risk of being stabbed in the face.

I put the place up for sale the next day, got rid of it at a loss (months later, while the abuse continued) and am now paying through the nose for a house while paying a shitload in tax and NI - thanks, dole scum, I love you for that, honestly - but I tell myself its worth it to be away from places and people like that, even while being fully aware I'm paying for them to continue their shitty, worthless existence.

If I could, I'd go back and fucking napalm the whole area and nothing of value would be lost.

But I tell you what - that kid I collared was crying his fucking eyes out when I marched him back home, and that alone was worth the price of admission.

We Shall Remember Them: Neighbour "A"

Part One in a series of "a couple".

Neighbour "A" is way too formal. Let's call this guy Dave. That's not his real name, anymore than LWTU is my real name, but whatever.

Dave had moved into the same street I was to call home (or, to be more accurate, Beirut) about a year or two before me. He was a door or two down, and another neighbour said he was "nice, but a bit weird".

As it turns out, he was indeed a "bit weird", in that he could never have blended in to this kind of environment if he'd shaved all his hair off, scowled a lot and randomly punched old women in the street.

He reeked of "nice, quiet guy with big round glasses and a nervous disposition"; in other words, the sharks could smell blood from a mile away. He didn't actually do anything to warrant his incoming barrage of hate from the local thugs and hoodies; mostly, he sat in his house with his dog, commiting the heinous crime of playing poker online. His house was a bit of a mess; lived there alone, had some equally "distinctive" friends come round from time to time - but that was enough to mark him out as a candidate for some "fun".

Sure enough, by the time we got there, he was already Steven Segal in Under Siege, but minus the muscles, the guns or anything approaching a slim chance of victory. Someone had singled him out - why, didn't matter - and after that, he endured the usual barrage of airguns at the window, vague threats regarding the wellbeing of his dog, stones thrown, fence panels kicked in etc.

Imagine my dismay when I found out he'd made the clinical mistake of

a) trying to round up civic minded people in the area to "do something about it" in a public display of "we're organising talks with the police, young man" (nobody cared, and he was left to fight the good fight like the one man army that he wasn't) and

b) tried to scare them off by going outside his house and waving his camera at them.

Within days, the kids had branded him the local paedophile, and that gave the green light for non-stop harassment.

I tried to do my bit for him, mainly presenting him with another way of dealing with the trouble he endured (mostly, showing him the benefits of NOT being so obvious with his protestations while winding the kids up at the same time), and offered a sympathetic ear when possible.

I'm somewhat ashamed to say I tried to avoid speaking to him if / when he knocked at my door, though - the last thing you wanted was to be seen talking outside your house to someone already marked for justice at the hands of brick throwing hoodies as young as 13.

His stress levels were through the roof; it came close to sending him completely round the bend. Every second was spent worrying about it - when nothing happened, he went into panic overload because the thought the kids responsible were busy planning something "bigger and better" the next night.

I listened to him one night, with a sort of slack jawed amazement, as he told me (in great detail) his "masterplan" that involved removing one of his roof tiles, poking an air rifle through the gap and picking them off with headshots. As it turned out, he went for a slightly less prison-inducing option. There was a set of alleygates near his house that the kids would meet up at, shortly before launching into their nightly bouts of violence. Realising that if he could get them away from there, they'd have one less place near his house to congregate, he went on a few "nightly patrols".

What did those nightly patrols involve, I hear you cry?

Well, he had this pond. A real stinky, never-cleaned-out pond in his back garden. He went around the streets collecting dog and cat excrement, mixed it with the slurry from the bottom of his pond in a large bucket, chucked in some other junk for good measure then loaded the contents into a top-of-the-range Supersoaker, before doing random drivebys on the kids from the safety of his mates car.

While they were keeping away from the alleygates, he then took the rest of his mixture (by now perfected to super strength) and poured the lot of it from his bucket in the alleyway entrance.

Jesus Christ, did it ever stink.

Eventually, he told me one day that he'd managed to grab a flat somewhere else. I was saddened to see an ally go, but for the first time since I'd known him he actually looked alive. After he moved, I found out what had kicked off his trouble with the kids; he'd decided to sit in his front garden with his mate, drinking a few beers. Now, I don't know about you, but even in nice areas I can't think of many people who do this.

Where we were living? Oh dear.

Random displays of individuality were not a good idea. Yes, you should be able to go sit in your front garden if you so desire and do whatever the Hell you want. In practice, you need to get a permission slip from the kids at the end of the street - and unless you're outside a house smashing it up, setting fire to something or throwing bricks at a window, there's nothing down for you...

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

And so it begins

There's no real way to open up a blog with the customary "first post" (even though this is technically the second), so I might as well have at it.

I'm happy to say, I escaped.

Escaped what, you might ask?

Escaped years of living in an area populated by swarming, feral animals who only got worse as time went by (they do exist, despite what people who've likely never even been into one of these areas will tell you).

We dreamed of getting off the rental chain and onto the property ladder; because of the price of everything, all we could afford was a heap of a house in an extremely dubious area. Everyone told us it was bad; we knew the reputation. But it was that, or stay renting in an increasingly cramped house.

If this is the point where I rue the day I ever moved there, sorry - not going to happen. I don't regret it, because it toughened me in ways you couldn't possibly imagine. I've seen the most insane horrors inflicted upon other people, their pets, their homes, their cars, their lives. I had my eyes opened to the absolute madness that is England. I'm thankful for it, if somewhat perplexed by it.

Previously, I lived in an area with the similar reputation - despite this, nobody harassed you, nobody screwed with you, you could walk home from a night out with no fear of getting your head kicked in.

This place? You couldn't go out of your home if it was a moment after 3PM, which coincidentally was the time the "kids" got out of school (which looked less like a school, and more like one of those American prisons with the twelve foot high electrified fences).

There was nothing you could do to fix this place, nor cure it of its ills. You could, however, work up a cracking yarn. I hope when I'm done, you'll share some of yours with me...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Test Post

Coming soon: lots of stuff to make you weep.