Thursday, 11 December 2014

My Story - part 4

One of our Commissioners gives us a privileged insight into their life. They give us the good and they give us the bad. The story helps us understand poverty a little better. Here is part 4.

When I hit sixteen, I just wanted out of school.  I’d got put back a year at Primary 7 and I was kind of gutted because all my pals were going on to Secondary, and it kind of bugged me all the way through - I always felt behind.  Soon as I hit sixteen I was out that door, and just into training schemes and stuff, you couldn’t hold me back.

My pals and I hung about on the streets at night, drinking and getting into trouble.  You had all these different schemes in the East End.  You had Dennistoun, you had Duke St, Alexandra Parade, you had the Gallowgate - we all kind of just clashed really, and then you had Calton as well so like there was always gang fighting.  And in gang fighting there’s always repercussions.  Sometime down the line you might think it’s all over and nothing will pop up, but people don’t forget a face, and people don’t forget stuff.  

Peer pressure and boredom makes people join gangs.  That and feeling excluded.  Because you want to be like them, you want to be a part of something if you feel like you’re a part of nothing.  If you feel a part of a gang, you feel a part of a group, you feel safe, you’re part of this, you’re with your friends, you’re feeling good. And then if somebody’s got a knife, you’ll start carrying a knife.  If somebody’s drinking, you’ll want a drink.  If somebody’s smoking hash, or more - that’s how you start.  

So there we were, jumping about corners being bored, always getting pulled up by the police.  And then you start getting into that spiral, you’re getting angry, you’re getting lost. You’re always getting pulled up by the police, you want to just graffiti on the walls, spray stuff.

When the police saw you drinking they would pour the drink out and then you would be gutted.  Or you used to see them coming and you would drink it was fast as you could, get as much down you as possible, cause you knew they were coming to pour it away.  Get as much down the belly as possible before that.  It was warrant checks they stopped you for - if they had a warrant for your arrest and then the next minute you know you’re up the Sherriff Court.  You were always in and out, it was like a second home London Road.  In and out for stupid things - drinking on the streets, sometimes gang fighting, just a lot of stuff building up and a lot of court cases over the years.  Luckily enough I never got the jail. I know a lot of my friends have been in and out of the jail, I’ve just been fortunate not to be.

Growing up from a teenager to an adult was a downward spiral.  We were all drinking, we were all still bored.  The Shettleston Harriers seemed like a long time ago.  

Watch out for part 5, tomorrow...

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