What does this say about us all?

I was on the way home yesterday evening at around 6. While driving along through Camlough I saw an old lady on the side of the Road, just at the mini roundabout with her thumb out.

It seemed very odd for a pitch black December night and the thermometer on the car was reading 1.5 so I pulled over.

To my utter shock the woman was so cold she couldn’t open the car door and was talking like she had had her jaw frozen at the dentist.

I helped her into the car having to put on her seatbelt and as we drove off she struggled to tell me that the twenty to four bus had passed her by and she was there since then.

The woman who judging form her appearance was pushing eighty was standing there two hours and twenty minutes. It took 20 minutes in the car with the heat on full for her to talk properly.

Anyone from South Armagh will know the road. It is not quiet. It is bumper to bumper for the whole of rush hour. She was standing prominently at the exit to a busy set of shops. I estimate there must have been 2000 cars passed that woman.

The incident has left me quite shocked. I have no doubt given another half an hour the situation already serious would have been much worse for the lady.

Has Irish society changed that much that no-one really cared enough to pull over? Maybe is it just that everyone was so focused on getting home, thinking about their dinner, listening to drive time radio focused on their day etc that they didn’t see her.

It also left me wondering what is the bigger issue in our society, an old woman left to freeze on the side of the road because the bus didn’t pick her up or a handshake at the DOE awards?

If you want to guest blog on Slugger, why not ping Mick an email at editor@sluggerotoole.com?

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  • Good to know there are still some good samaritans out there, JR.

    The fact that the road was so busy probably contributed to the problem – the bystander effect at its insidious work again. If it had been a quiet country lane, then she would likely have been picked up by one of the first cars to drive past.

  • keano10

    Well done for picking her up. Very sad story in many ways.

  • Mick Fealty

    This from Caoimhe on Twitter

    “That’s exactly how I felt when I feel last week. Down on all fours beside 3 people who were waiting to cross the road… Not one of them helped me up or even asked if I was okay. I was shocked.

    “Upper Lisburn Road. I wasn’t badly hurt, but I know it looked sore, so I was disappointed at people’s non-reaction.

    “Had to laugh though. Told my granda and he said it ‘would never happen in Ardoyne or the Falls’. Damn rich folk!”

  • between the bridges

    good man JR, have to say i may well have driven past, i had difficulty with getting a hitchhiker out of my car many years ago and have never picked one up since.

  • Roy Walsh

    Good on you, hope this senior member of our society is recovering.
    I am shocked given the location where I always was warmly welcomed but shows perhaps how Irish society has changed negatively, I recall been in in north Africa many years ago and the taxi driver stopping to care for a distressed elderly lady at the side of the road and taking her home before he delivered me, then again, they’re not as full of themselves there.

  • But just rememberJR, if she’d had a knife you probably wouldnt even be posting on this messageboard today.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Shocking story and fair play for picking her up.

    If it happened in Dublin or Belfast I wouldn’t be surprised but for it to happen in a culchie county is bad form. Rural Irish people tend to be more decent than the city slickers, after all.

    Alas people are so cynical nowadays they have no time for anyone but themselves. Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, it’s with Haughey in the grave.

  • Dec

    Good man, JR. However Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’ was inspired by a similar incident of bystander effect almost 35 years ago. I don’t think this is anything particualrly new.

  • Indeed fair play to you.
    I think we are getting more selfish and more ……angry.
    If there is a redeeming feature, it is perhaps that there were too many cars with drivers leaving it to someone else. It is also surprising as it appears likely that some motorists would have known the woman and/or some drivers would also have been women.

    But I have noticed progressively that people are increasingly selfish in small areas……such as acknowledging polite driving or parking in a car park. In a sense politeness builds upon itself……and the opposite is also the case……we follow the mood…………..and I think it is all based on our increasing anger and relunctance to believe the “best” in people.
    If I might allude briefly to an insensitive remark made on TV this week……which I condemn and complained formally about………..in the cold light of day it appeared that I was at fault too for believing that the person who made the remark was only capable of malice.
    Perhaps he was. Perhaps he wasnt. But I chose a belief that was negative.
    Indeed last night in the local Tesco, Mrs FJH was shortchanged a tenner and politely mentioned it. The cashier was mortified and embarrassed. No harm done. But packing our groceries into the car, Mrs FJH chose to believe that the young cashier “was at her work”. But in “normal” times Mrs FJH would happily accept no malice intened.

    I consider myself a “decent” person. No surprise in that. Surely we all consider ourselves to be decent unless we revel in taking what we can get where we can get it. And if I can confess to a Pollyanna type belief that the world is deliberately divided between the Good and the Bad and we are tested by never really knowing who we are dealing with.
    But increasingly its difficult. As a couple we will come thru the next 10, 15,20 years of Darkness. Our worries are about others. And frankly each person who appears on TV is “judged” by me as a person who is “on our side”. We are much too fragmented as a society…..I speak of the West……and winners and losers are easily identified even now.
    We all seem to be responding by constructing a bubble around ourselves and our families.

  • Alias

    What does it say about the old woman? Hitchiking isn’t safe for male travellers any more, never mind little old ladies. She should have more sense at her age.

  • between the bridges

    alias, did you miss the bit about the bus?

  • Alias

    “Rural Irish people tend to be more decent than the city slickers, after all.” – Republic of Connaught

    If you’re 40+, you probably remember all the hitchhikers used to queue up at the floor mills at Maynooth on their way out of the city toward Connaught but that old tradition doesn’t exist anymore (or the main road). I hitched from there myself and never waited for more than 20 or so cars to pass before I got a lift.

    Very rarely have I seen a true hitcher in Galway but whenever I did I wasn’t the only car that zoomed on by, so I doubt that cluchies are any more trusting of strangers than their city counterparts.

  • Rory Carr

    What it says about the old woman is just what JR has told us about her predicament – the bus on which she had been waiting passed by her without stopping and so she was left stranded. I think we can assume that she did not have a mobile telephone and age, the weather and consequent distress left her in a state of bewilderment until JR happened along.

    I would say that you might have more compassion at your age, Alias, did I not think I would be wasting my breath.

  • Alias

    Between the bridges, people miss buses all the time but they don’t resort to hitchhiking. They usually get a taxi or call a family member. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of any old lady ever resort to hitching in that circumstance. They generally have more sense than that.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias,

    Indeed. I have no doubt if you came across the little old lady you would have stopped your tractor, shouted out to her to have more sense at her age than to be thumbing, and then pulled away feeling content with yourself for setting her right 🙂

    Unless of course you were pulling a trailor. In which case you may have put her in with the sheep.

  • TAFKABO

    I wonder what it says about us that we take what should be a positive story, and try to find the negative in it? Fair play to you JR for helping the old lady but the fact she waited probably has a lot more to do with the phenomenon of the bystander effect noted in the first post than any decline in willingness to help form society at large.

    Ever since first learning about the bystander effect, I have tried to train myself to act against my natural response in those situations where it applies, and I bet if more people knew about it, incidents like this would be rare indeed, hell, maybe they are already rare indeed.

  • Alias

    Republic, I’d have given her a lift. 😉

    Have a look at this video. It’s when society gets this uncaring (at it progressively will) that you should be alarmed:

  • portpatrickview

    Well done JR. A friend and I picked up an elderly hitch hiker outside Omagh a couple of years ago and were rewarded by his wife with great thick soup with spuds in it, and fine craic, when we dropped him home. I suspect most would stop if only they could see out of the car with empathy. The world beyond the car window risks becoming almost virtual, like that behind the computer screen; not one populated by real, cold, human beings. But we in (Norn) Ireland are still more social than many. People think me mad when I wish them good morning when walking in London parks. Perhaps they are right.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias,

    Pretty disgusting video alright. How any human could simply walk or drive by the child is amazing. You wonder if it isn’t some other species masquerading in human bodies half the time.

  • Alias

    That’s the future, alas. Like I said, you’d have received a lift even as a man 30 years ago in an instant but now you’ll just have to walk. Then again, 30 years ago if there was a murder it would hold the frant pages for weeks on end but now you have a few murders every day and its just routine. Society is becoming progressively more uncaring, and Hong Kong is just a little further along but we’re following right behind…

  • Alan N/Ards

    Good on you JR.

  • between the bridges

    Years ago when I as a young Turk heading to rossnowlagh (to cruise up and down the beach with ‘tunes’ pumping ) I pulled over to offer a couple of young fillies a lift (I may have hoped for more!). Turned out they were on the way to h-block rally in bundoran, a rather stilted conversation to say the least…karma’s a bitch!

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias,

    I’m well short of 40 so don’t remember what it was like back in the day but you should take into account the amount of cars on the road now compared to the old days.

    In the old days you could probably look the driver in the eyes before they passed and vice versa. It was more ‘personal’. Now they just zoom by with endless cars right behind and won’t even look.

  • between the bridges

    Apologies for the dyslexia insert ‘was’ and ‘a’ as required..

  • The story about hitching from Maynooth to the West is a reminder of the early 1970s when Maynooth had opened its doors to ordinary folks rather than those religious folks.

    A lot of non-clerical students were loaned “clerical collars” which usually guaranteed a lift. Of course that was early 1970s, not too sure that it would guarantee that a motorist would stop now.

  • iluvni

    Good man, JR

  • Alias

    Republic, I’m 46 so young/old enough to remember what Irish society was like before the importation of drugs corrupted it beyond all redemption. Folks got hooked on drugs and then started stealing to fund their habit. That was a boom time for the alarm business as prior to that folks didn’t even bother locking their doors. As you are a Galwayman, ask your parents did folks leave their front key in the door in Galway city circa 1977. I remember going to a funeral in the city in that year and being amazed that every house still did that whereas it was only in the close neighbourhoods in the inner city of Dublin that still left the keys there. That was because, although the pioneer junk addicts lived in those neighbourhoods, they went to the more prosperous suburbs to steal the goods/money for the drugs. By 1980, nobody left a key in the front door anywhere. So theft transmuted into violent crime and people became scared of their fellow citizens, seeing them as a potential to cause harm. It really wasn’t humans that made humans scared of each other in society but subhumans who were out of their minds on drugs or desperate for their next fix. Once the rot begins, it isn’t just addicts but also the sociopaths who take advantage of it. So what has any of that got to do with an old lady freezing in the cold who couldn’t cause others harm? Well, she’s a member of society and folks don’t trust other members of society any more. Nothing much to do with the amount of cars on the road or looking onto eyes…

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias,

    There’s a lot of truth in that. But I have to beg to differ about the eyes.

    If that old lady was a 25 year old busty blond with lusty blue eyes, I assure you she wouldn’t have been standing there for two hours without a lift. Even if she was out of her mind on cocaine. 🙂

  • wee buns

    I’m able to change a wheel in the instance of a puncture (admittedly it can be with difficulty due to shop tightened nuts) but never had to do so in 10yrs ‘cos Donegal men wouldn’t dream if driving past you, even on busy main roads – the spare isn’t out off the boot before they stop. In contrast I’ve changed half a dozen at the roadside in the north.

    Hitch hiking is still fairly common here, not just for tourists. The punctuality of buses is a bit of a lottery & many elderly people (women esp.) depend on them; it’s a mistake to assume that they have other means and ways. Ask anyone over 50 they will tell you that communities are not as ‘close knit’ as they where & they say blame squarely lies with TV and DVDs.

    There’s a love of ease that seems be ever more prominent; an ethos of thoughtlessness; the ‘me’ culture which is rightly associated with affluence but now also with ever slicker technology of communication. Teenagers struggle with differentiation between real & virtual company. The case of the computer gaming Korean mother who let her baby starve to death while she was busy gaming (in character as a virtual mother-type-being) says it all.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/05/korean-girl-starved-online-game

    Addiction to drugs, money, virtual reality, whatever – it’s ultimately to ease.

    After the initial shock of recession a few years ago people now seem genuinely happier. The reality check is that people need each other again, be it for the exchange of services where money is sparse or be it for the moral support of a problem shared.

    JR it’s a great topic for a thread being that politics really does start at home.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @If it happened in Dublin or Belfast I wouldn’t be surprised but for it to happen in a culchie county is bad form. Rural Irish people tend to be more decent than the city slickers, after all.

    In the old days it was said that Dublin was the biggest Village in Ireland,where everybody knew everybody…….I’m not sure about Belfast,but Dublin culchies are the Salt of the Earth in comparison to the Dublin City Slickers.(City Slicker-Everywhere from Rathmines to Sandymount).

    @Alias -‘I remember going to a funeral in the city in that year and being amazed that every house still did that whereas it was only in the close neighbourhoods in the inner city of Dublin that still left the keys there. That was because, although the pioneer junk addicts lived in those neighbourhoods, they went to the more prosperous suburbs to steal the goods/money for the drugs. By 1980, nobody left a key in the front door anywhere.

    The ‘pioneer junk addicts’ in Dublin,1969,actually came from the more affluent areas,ie. Rathmines,but the drugs they were taking were supposedly of a very high quality and only became ‘junk’ when they reached ‘less prosperous’ neighbourhoods,and hence became what William Borroughs described as ‘junk’,as opposed to ‘diamorphine’.
    By the 1980s as you say nobody could leave a key in the door in certain quaters,’cause as they’d say now,they’d rob the eyes from the back of yer head and come back for the eyelashes'(It’s not actually that bad,all the time,once you get used to it).If the affluent kids from Rathmines hadn’t of introduced Smack into Ireland in 1969,then working class inner city Dublin may not have suffered the way it did in the early 80s.

  • Zig70

    Alias, you weren’t looking hard enough for drugs.
    I hitched loads as a kid, would never dream of it now. My Dad’s from S Armagh and would still pick up the odd hitcher. Has some horror stories. Then there is the urban myth in S Armagh about the odd looking woman picked up, tricked out the car to close the boot, the driver scarpered and found a knife in the abandoned handbag.

  • Alias

    I was never one of the kool kidz, sorry, never even smelled cannabis never mind smoked it. Anyway, while it might be politically correct to point out that middle classes used drugs too, they could afford them and therefore didn’t break into homes or steal old ladies purses to buy the drugs. The violent crimewave that was so destuctive to society came exclusively from the poorer socio-economic groups. Herion use was almost exclusively a Dublin problem until the mid-80s (there were only 3 registered users in Galway in 1983). I had a friend from Clare who was prescribed methadone as part of his palliative care and his biggest fear was that he would start speaking with an inner city Dublin accent!

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @Anyway, while it might be politically correct to point out that middle classes used drugs too, they could afford them and therefore didn’t break into homes or steal old ladies purses to buy the drugs. The violent crimewave that was so destuctive to society came exclusively from the poorer socio-economic groups. Herion use was almost exclusively a Dublin problem until the mid-80s (there were only 3 registered users in Galway in 1983). I had a friend from Clare who was prescribed methadone as part of his palliative care and his biggest fear was that he would start speaking with an inner city Dublin accent!

    I’m not saying it for the sake of PC.It’s a a fact that the Middle-Class brougt diamorphine to Dublin in the late 1960s.If so then your comment about the poorer socio-economic groups –

    It really wasn’t humans that made humans scared of each other in society but subhumans who were out of their minds on drugs

    Should be altered to –

    It wasn’t humans that made humans scared of each other in society but ‘the middle-class who were out of their minds on drugs’.

    If your interested in that sort of thing read Death by Heroin,Recovery by Hope-Mary Kenny.She details how the middle class ‘hippy’ dream went a bit pair shaped,after 1969.Padraig Flynn is another writer who wrote as detailed an account as you’ll find about who first brought drugs to Ireland.It’s irrelevent now.95% of the Heroin killing working class kids in Ireland-England-Scotland and Wales comes from Afghanistan,as is being brought back by British Soldiers who have picked up ‘habits’ abroad.

  • wee buns

    Deeply shocked & saddened after having just got around to watching Hong Kong toddler being repeatedly squashed by cars like some discarded fruit on the road, then further abused by passive citizens. Clearly we must ‘start worrying’ soonish about old frozen women at roadsides.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh no, the amateur psychologists are out in force, knowingly citing the “bystander effect”, otherwise known as not being sure what to do in rather frightening and unexpected circumstances. You do realise that most of the pseudo-psychological mumbo-jumbo is just codswallop don’t you? And that most of the so-called examples of bystander effect were no such thing, don’t you?

    Well done to JR but if I understand correctly he was driving on a busy road on a dark winter’s night at rush hour, people going home, tired probably thinking of a hundred and one other things. They fleetingly pass a figure by the roadside, what was that? It looked like an old woman, naw can’t be, no old woman’s going to be hitchhiking now is she? No, course not, my mistake, now what am I going to get for tonight’s tea? Already we’re five hundred yards down the road and she’s not even in the rear-view mirror by this stage.

    Not callous, evil, heartless bastards, just ordinary people going about their business.

    JR’s reactions were a bit sharper this time, well done JR but how do you know you never drove past some other misfortunate being before this, someone who might have been assisted by the callous beast that left this woman standing on this occasion?

  • Alias

    ant, I’m not talking about who first used drugs in Ireland (you can go back as far as you like in history there). I’m talking about which socio-economic group was responsible for the crimewave that followed the importation of herion into Ireland and its distribution in working class areas (by dealers who were from those areas). In the period to which you refer drug use was confined to Trinity College and to LSD and cannabis – very trendy with lefty-liberals back then. With hard drugs you get a clear-headed choice whether to use them or not at first and after than you pretty much don’t. That socio-economic group made victims out of itself at first and then out of the broader society. For those bleeding hearts who like to blame other social groups for the failures of the poorer groups, they have no other social group to blame except the group where the problem orginiates.

  • Alias

    By the way, the YouTube link above contains very distressing images and is best not clicked unless you have a strong disposition.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @ant, I’m not talking about who first used drugs in Ireland (you can go back as far as you like in history there).

    William Butler Yeats i think was the first known Opium Addict in Ireland iirc.

    @ I’m talking about which socio-economic group was responsible for the crimewave that followed the importation of herion into Ireland and its distribution in working class areas.

    As i’ve said read Smack or Death by Heroin-Recovery By Hope and you’ll see which ‘class’ is responsible for Introducing drugs into Ireland.

    @ That socio-economic group made victims out of itself at first and then out of the broader society. For those bleeding hearts who like to blame other social groups for the failures of the poorer groups, they have no other social group to blame except the group where the problem orginiates.

    This is old news at this stage.But if as you say the bleeding hearts want to blame anybody they have no other social group to blame except the group where the problem originates.-

    Sunday 25 March 2007-
    Fifteen British soldiers a week are being thrown out of the army for taking drugs, including heroin, ecstasy and cocaine, figures obtained by The Observer reveal. Almost 800 troops were discharged last year after failing random drug tests. But, with British forces already stretched in Iraq and Afghanistan, some experts have cast doubt on the long-term viability of the Ministry of Defence’s zero-tolerance approach to drugs and its compulsory expulsion policy.

    Over a 10 year period that would amount to 8,000 addicts.The only people with regular access in and out of Afghanistan are the British/American Armys.1 kilo of pure heroin can be bought in Afghanistan for £10,000 and would fetch about £1,000,000 on the streets.The urban myth about ‘king-pins’ is exactly that,a myth.There is no Keyser Söze.

  • Reader

    antoinmaccomhain: Over a 10 year period that would amount to 8,000 addicts.
    Your arithmetic seems to include Ecstasy addicts – I didn’t know there was such a thing. Also, about 9% of BA manpower is in Afghanistan at any one time. What do any heroin addicts do in the 91% of the time they aren’t there?
    By creatively joining two dots, you are able to create any picture you like.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    Reader-Them figures according to The Observer only account for ‘random’ drug tests.So 8,000 is a conservative estimate.The Independent reported something similar the year before-May 21 2006-

    Opposition MPs are calling on ministers to take urgent action by looking at the possible factors behind the rise, such as battle-related stress and depression. Overall, around 1,000 soldiers tested positive for illegal drugs last year.
    The figures illustrate the increasing pressure on Britain’s armed forces, as depressed and combat-stressed soldiers are sent back to Iraq because the army is overstretched. Some doctors believe that active duty can help in their recovery and rebuild their self-esteem.
    The latest figures show that positive tests among Army personnel for drugs such as cocaine, heroin and ecstasy was 520 in 2005 compared with 350 the year before. Over the past 10 years, the number of recruits caught with class A drugs in their bodies has risen 15-fold.
    DRUGS IN THE ARMY
    1,020 the number of army personnel who tested positive for drugs last year
    10 army staff including soldiers were found every week with class A drugs in their body last year

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @Your arithmetic seems to include Ecstasy addicts – I didn’t know there was such a thing.By creatively joining two dots, you are able to create any picture you like.

    The available figures would suggest that between 1995-2002(2,771)and 2005(1,020),even with according to the MoD ‘a blind eye being turned to cannibas’ and a ‘softer drugs policy’ the British Army was producing ‘Drug Addicts’at a rate of 20 per week.If a ‘blind eye was turned to cannibas’ and ‘recreational drugs like ecstacy’,since 2002,then howcome 1,000+ per year are still testing positive for Class As?

    Telegraph February 17 2002. Army alters drugs policy in effort to ease recruits crisis.
    ARMY recruiting officers have been ordered to stop asking potential soldiers whether they have ever experimented with drugs in an effort to ease the recruitment crisis.
    The relaxation of the rules on drug abuse was authorised last November by senior officers of the Adjutant General Corps, responsible for personnel issues, in response to the shortage of eligible recruits.
    The armed services are 9,413 troops under strength, according to government figures. It is understood that the change was ordered after it became apparent that if enough troops were to be recruited, a softer drugs policy would be needed.
    A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that the rigorous drugs-linked questioning of army applicants ceased late last year.
    The MoD spokesman said: “If the armed forces were automatically to exclude every single person who had either taken drugs regularly or experimented with drugs, we quite simply would not have any armed forces.
    “Ultimately, we have to reflect society, and drug abuse is very much part of society. We accept that now there is always the risk that we might recruit individuals who habitually take drugs but, we hope, they will be identified during the initial training stage when they will be tested for drug abuse.”
    Since 1995, when compulsory drugs testing was introduced, of the 474,988 servicemen tested, 2,771 have produced positive results while 72 have refused to give samples.

  • There is simply no sense in suggesting that drug taking by the military is, or should be, any different from the general public. Any individual can be a recreational user and descend into addiction.

  • Harry,

    Oh no, the amateur psychologists are out in force, knowingly citing the “bystander effect”, otherwise known as not being sure what to do in rather frightening and unexpected circumstances. You do realise that most of the pseudo-psychological mumbo-jumbo is just codswallop don’t you? And that most of the so-called examples of bystander effect were no such thing, don’t you?

    Er, no I don’t. And the bystander effect is something that happens in addition to the usual human reaction of indecision.

    Not callous, evil, heartless bastards, just ordinary people going about their business.

    That was exactly my point.

  • Ta

    Shocked to hear this story could happen in rural Camlough, an afea I thought had a close knit community. I have had the opposite experience, showing me there are still communities in Ireland. On two occasions I have seen the real salt of the earth type of people.
    The only time Iv ever had to hitchhike was in Ballyhornan, I had walked a good few miles to a fish and chip shop then didnt fancy the walk back. Along with two other male friends we stuck our thumb out and almost straight away a man stopped and gave us a lift. Had chat while in his car and he knew the people we were staying with.
    Other example that society seems at least to still exist in the North. After some xmas shopping in Derry last year, my friend and I returned to the car which was parked in the Bogside to realise the lock had frozen and wouldnt accept the key. An old lady shouted to us ‘she had the kettle on’ and invited us in to wait’. Thats proper Derry hi.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @In the period to which you refer drug use was confined to Trinity College and to LSD and cannabis – very trendy with lefty-liberals back then. With hard drugs you get a clear-headed choice whether to use them or not at first and after than you pretty much don’t. That socio-economic group made victims out of itself at first and then out of the broader society. For those bleeding hearts who like to blame other social groups for the failures of the poorer groups, they have no other social group to blame except the group where the problem orginiates.

    Statistics don’t lie.Between 2000-2010,there was an estimated 6-800 Gang related drug deaths in the South.This year there has only been 5.Why?The Recession.The Celtic Tiger fuelled a Drugs epidemic in ‘working-class’ areas and i reckon 90% of the killings were drugs related.There’s a Golden Opportunity For Change Now.Sadly,none of the establishment left-right wing partys give 2 flying f+cks about ‘the working-class’,none of them even have a policy paper on the issue.

    A 17 year-old kid working in the local shop just had ‘A knife put to her throat.’Probably for 50/60 quid.90% of addicts don’t carry on like that.That shop will close now.In an area with 70-80% Unemployment that’s 2/3 jobs gone.Sad.

    JR-Apolagys for going ‘miles’ off topic.