Tuesday, July 19, 2005

doesn't stop the business

With all the talk of Islamic extremists in the papers, it feels almost as if everyone's forgotten about last month's whipping boys – yobs. Well, that's probably a rather tame way to describe the subjects of Donal McIntyre's latest bit of undercover investigation – the young gangsters who run Manchester's drugs trade. They are, he claims, uniquely violent, emotionless and savage (perpetuating that age old myth that history's more glamourous gangsters lived by a strong moral code; something Dominick Montiglio went out of his way to deny recently). I'm reminded of Bill Hicks deriding British newspapers for running headlines describing 'hooligans' upsetting bins in 'Shaftesbury'. Except the other way round. More than 'yobs', perhaps.

This lot aren’t bloods or crips, yet, but the unedited transcript of McIntyre's interview with two young 'feral kids', reproduduced in the Guardian, makes for fascinating reading. Alarmingly, a kind of savage intelligence is quite apparent in them; McIntyre senses this too.

"In a moment of sentimentality, the film-maker offered Wayne a job in his TV production company, a chance to redeem himself. Wayne turned him down flat. "Why would I want to do that?" he said without a thought.

MacIntyre believes that youths like Wayne and Ryan - and he says he has spoken to about 50 lads in similar situations - are simply not interested in ordinary work. It is neither exciting nor lucrative enough. But they are not lazy: MacIntyre describes them as "goal-orientated" and tenacious; violent and immoral, certainly, but also ambitious, focused, entrepreneurial."

And it’s clear that they don’t even fear prison.

"Go and ask anyone that's in jail now and they say oh, 'it's not worth it, its not worth it', but when they get out they do the same thing, 'cause at the end of the day it is worth it, 'cause I've had a top life up till now. You can lock me up for five or six years ... but I'm not saying it's not worth it because if it wasn't worth it I wouldn't be in the game ... You can lock us up now, straight away we get out yeah, we're back doing the same thing, 'cause I know if I get locked, he's going to work my phone and if he gets locked, they're going to work my phone, either way I will get my money, out bars, in bars. Basically all they're doing is taking my freedom off me if they lock me away. Doesn't stop the business, doesn't stop our money."

Fascinating stuff. I'd write something liberal, sympathetic and blame-absolving about the pair if it wasn't for the fact that Laban Tall would write something mean about me if I did…

Here's the lead-in to the interview.
and here's the transcript again
Here's Laban being mean about me again. He says I'm gay!

No comments: