I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Friday night’s pictures from Paris were a hard watch. They represented everyone’s nightmare. A Friday night out. A  nice meal. A few drinks. A beautiful city. And then the crackle of automatic weapons and the descent into the butchery, panic and confusion of the battlefield.

Was it predictable?


Was the reaction predictable?


Utterly and tragically.

President Hollande got himself in front of the screens and promised merciless vengeance and within a matter of hours ten French attack jets spat fire down on a small town in Syria. We were presented with the footage of the ten fast jets hammering up into the darkness of the night. We were informed that they had surgically struck a number of ISIL targets. A recruitment Centre. A training camp. A command centre.

We were expected to buy into the fact that the men in charge of the Islamic State are complete idiots.

I mean come on. Let’s just take a moment here. You order eight guys into the heart of the French capital and sit back and watch their murder and mayhem on the rolling news. Then you front up and release a statement taking full responsibility for what has just gone down.

So what do you do nect? Are you going to leave a bunch of guys making like sitting ducks in a training camp? A recruitment centre? A command post?

Fat chance.

President Holland did the usual thing and bombed a bunch of empty buildings to try and convince his people that he was not completely helpless.

Fair enough. Doing nothing would not have been deemed unacceptable.

Yet again we have reacted in the exact way that the bastards in charge of ISIL had intended. And no doubt we will continue to dance to their tune. And let’s not forget the tune they want the Moslem world to hear.
They have a clear message. The West is wall to wall bad. We are unbelievers and infidels. We hate and despise Muslims. The only way forward is to fight back and ISIL are the boys who are doing it.
So how are they about to spin things now? How to they use our reaction to make their point? Well we might as well start with the TV pictures of iconic buildings all across the western world being lit up in the colours of the French flag. It was a touching show of support and solidarity. Something to make us all fee better about ourselves. But ISIL will whisper a different narrative.

Only a matter of weeks ago, ISIL blew over a hundred people into pieces in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey as in one of our strongest NATO allies. Did we get to see London Bridge and the Sydney Opera House lit up in the colours of the Turkish flag?

I don’t think we did.

Similarly, not a single iconic building was lit up in the colours of the Kenyan flag in the wake of the Nairobi shopping centre massacre.

I don’t think we did.


Well we can be sure the boys at the top of ISIL will have the answer. They will point out the fact that we will never light up our buildings for black and brown people.

And of course we will scoff and say such an idea is utterly ridiculous, but our words will fall on deaf ears.
The fact that we give three days of wall to wall coverage when a hundred white European people are massacred by ISIL doesn’t go unnoticed. When a similar number of brown people die at the hands of the same nutters in Baghdad or Karachi or Kabul or Alleppo or Maidugari, they barely warrant 30 seconds of rolling news time.

It doesn’t go unnoticed.

I heard a guy on the radio who had once been in charge of counter terrorism for the Met. He was adamant that it was completely unheard of for a suicide terrorist to go into action with a passport in his pocket. And yet one of the Paris killers did exactly that. Was he just and idiot or was he following orders? Because surprise, surprise the passport told the story of a boat trip to a Greek island and a journey to Paris in the midst of the hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Because of course the way Europeans are treating the refugees is a major problem to ISIL. If we Europeans are so evil and bad, how can it be that the people of Germany and Austria are throwing their doors open to the tide of human misery that is pouring out of Syria.

Well the the long beard boys in black need to change that, right?

So they sent a guy along the well trodden refugee road and told him to keep his passport on him at all times. And now they will sit back and let the tabloid press do the rest of their job for them.

And of course our tabloid press will be more than happy to dance to their tune. How will the poor sods waiting in the November rain on the Croatian border be treated now I wonder?

Usually when huge disasters strike, we draw on the lessons from the way we responded to similar disasters. We accept the value of a learning curve. After all, we are thinking human beings and we are able to evolve.
This logic governs the way we respond to floods or epidemics or hurricanes or earthquakes or famines.

But when it comes to learning how to successfully confront terrorism, we utterly refuse to learn from the past. If anyone took time for a measured look at what we now face, we would learn a lot and we would learn it very quickly.

Start with hard facts.

What is ISIL? They are a guerrilla force which commands a lot of territory. Air power? Zero. Sea power? Zero. Manpower? Between 20,000 and 30,000.

Ranged against them are the armies of the USA, Russia, Syria, Britain, France, Turkey and a bunch of Arab states. Massive air power. Massive sea power. Millions of soldiers. Satellites and drones and and a bottomless pit of cash.

So no contest, surely?

All we need to do is bomb the hell out of them and bring all of our nmassive military superiority to bear. Then it will be an open and shut case. 

Maybe before we press the button for yet more bombing, it might be worth taking some time out to see if such a course of action has ever actually worked . Let’s go back seventy years ago and see if we can find any similar examples. 

The criteria? Guerrilla forces of over 20,000 with control of territory facing enemies with vastly superior firepower.

1941 – 1944 – Polish and Ukranian Paritisans v. The Wehrmacht. Who won? The partisans.

1941 – 1944 – Serbian Parisans v. The Wehrmact. Who won? The partisans.

1946 – 1953 – The Viet Mihn v. The French Army in Indochina. Who won? The Viet Mihn

1958 – 1962 – FLN v The French Army in Algeria. Who won? The FLN

1963 – 1975 – The NVA and Viet Cong v. The US Army. Who won? The NVA and the Viet Cong.

1980 – 1989 – The Mujahadeen v. The Red Army. Who won? The Mujahadeen.

In every single case the side with all the firepower dropped hundreds of thousand of tonnes bombs and napalm and in every single case the guerrilla army won the war.

Has there been a single case when bombing the hell out of a guerrilla army has ever worked? Maybe once. Chechnya. And the Russians didn’t just bomb Grozny. They absolutely flattened it.

Are we really willing to hold up the smoking ruins of Grozny as good practice?

Nearly fifteen years have now passed since we embarked on our post 9/11 War on Terror. Nobody can accuse us of not having dropped enough bombs. Our governments have purloined hundreds and hundreds of billions of pounds and dollars of our taxes to bomb and bomb and bomb.

And the result?

Paris was the result. Can anyone in their right mind call that a success?

In all of the frenzied coverage, I have yet to hear anyone take a step back and look at what ISIL has done over the last couple of weeks from a military point of view. As far as these guys are concerned, they are at war. Well it must feel that way. They have got half the world raining bombs down on them. Recently things have just got a whole lot worse as Russia and France have joined the 'Bomb ISIL back into the Stone Age' club. Two pretty formidable enemies which huge arsenals of weapons at their disposal. To fight back ISIL dispatched a few guys to Sharm el Sheik to blow up a Russian passenger jet and eight guys to Paris to cause a blood bath.

Probably less than twenty guys and look at the utter fear and chaos they have caused. Despite being completely out gunned and out numbered, they have managed to deliver a pretty compelling message. Bomb us and this is what you will get.

So now we will all bomb them some more and they will draw strength from the hi-tech savagery of our response.

Like night follows day.

And in the end we will lose.


So how can honesty and smartness help us to find a way out of this rolling nightmare?

Brass tacks?

Who are the men who make the long journey to don the black robes of ISIL? Most are young and they come from countries wrecked by years of war. They come from the cities and towns and villages we have been bombing. They come from countries that have all but fallen apart. They come from places where 80% of young men are unemployed and economic activity has all but ground to a halt. They come from places which are devoid of any semblance of hope. And they ave grown up hard. Really, really hard. They have been brutalised and brain washed. They feel they have nothing to lose because they really DO have nothing to lose. They have grown from dangerous boys into dangerous men in streets filled with rubble and rats.

And they blame us for the bleak emptiness of their lives.

Has this happened before?

It has actually.

Check out Germany in 1945 where barely a building was left standing after years of our thousand bomber raids. Millions of youn German lads faced a desperate future. No houses. No heating. No jobs. Barely any food. And each and every one of them had been brutalised and radicalised by their compulsary years in the Hitler Youth. They had seen family and neighbours and friends blown to smithereens by our Lancaster bombers. In fact, they were primed and perfect to be forged into the same kind of implacable guerrilla force that ISIL has become.

What would have happened if we had simply walked away from the smoking ruin that Germany had become in 1945 and left them to it. Sod off and starve. Serves you right you Kraut bastards.

I guess there would very quickly have been a German version of ISIL and they would have been shooting and bombing us for the last seventy years.

But we didn’t simply walk away. Instead we were smart. We all signed up for the Marshall Plan and poured cash into the bombed out cities. We covered the bills for re-building. And once they started to make stuff again, we bought it. And slowly but surely we turned a brutalised wreck of a country into a staunch ally and friend.

For fifteen long and miserable years we have spend vast amounts of money on bombing and bombing and bombing. Iraq and Syria and Libya and Pakistan and Afghanistan and Sudan and Yemen.


We have3 created a huge wasteland where young men see no hope of anything at all. Is it really so very surprising so many choose to sign on the ISIL dotted line?

Right now we are being forced to listen to a stuck record that has us all dancing to ISIL’s tune. It is all so utterly futile. We know full well that we will lose in the end, but we do it all the same. If only a few of our leaders could find the courage to take own up to the fact that endless bombing never works.

If only our leaders could find the kind of courage Harry S Truman found seventy years ago when he had the vision to see that helping people is a better way that bombing them.

Will it happen?

What do you think?   

Friday, November 13, 2015


Yesterday had the feel of a tipping point. All day the Atlantic storm lashed the grey November bleakness of the street outside.  It was enough to rattle the windows. Usually on the days when the gutters turn into rivers we can expect things to be quiet at the front desk.

But not yesterday.

Yesterday saw 48 emergency food parcels head out of the door and into the rain.

Yesterday the phone seemed to ring all day with names and referrals and back stories.

Three kids.

Four kids.

A cat

Two dogs.

Struggling, struggling, struggling….

Picture a vast wall stretching over the horizon and beyond. Grey and cold and unforgiving. Lashed by an Atlantic storm that the forecaster says will be with us for days to come. And the wall is home to thousands upon thousands of people with chalk white faces and fear in their eyes. They are hanging from the top of the wall with fingers and hands which are cold and chapped.

And one by one they are falling off.

Giving up and dropping like autumn leaves on tired bent trees.

Victims of the first Atlantic storm of the winter.

Flotsum and jetsum. Heaped rubbish at the foot of the wall. Heaped rubbish along side the rusty old prams and the drenched sofas and teles lacking the right kind of sockets for 2015.


Over lyrical? I guess so. But stuff it, I am supposed to be a writer when all is said and done. Surely artistic is still allowed. Maybe even the Job Centre might allow artistic licence. But then again….

Yesterday was the day when the temperature dropped and it suddenly felt like the middle of November. Yesterday was the day when electric meters up and down the land screamed for attention like spoilt kids howling for sweets.

Yesterday was the day when all over Britain people put £10 in the meter only to discover that their power company immediately took £7 to cover arrears leaving only a lousy three quid to warm against the Atlantic storm.

Yesterday was the day when people all over Britain faced the hard truth that winter is more or less here and they are basically screwed.

Yesterday was the day when 48 emergency food parcels headed out of our front door and into the grey November rain

And in the midst of it all were three snap shots. Three tales of woe. Brief desperate glimpses of three broken lives. Micro dramas lost in the swirl of a vast sea of misery.

So we have a guy in his early fifties and he is unemployed. Had he watched the news last night, he would have heard that he is part of an ever shrinking group. Because there are only 5.4% us unemployed now. Wow. We are all blessed to live and breathe in booming Britain.

But I guess it didn’t feel that way for this guy. He is only recently unemployed which means he has become a part of the local Universal Credit trial rollout. This is a picture that is beginning to be revealed piece by piece. Not a pretty picture to be honest. It seems like every payment seems to get cocked up. And when you head into your local Job Centre to tell them your payment has been cocked up they shrug their shoulders and say there is nothing they can do. Not any more. Because when payments get cocked up, the city of Wolverhampton is now the only place where answers are to be found. You don’t go there. You call there. But beware. The number that connects you to Wolverhampton is not free at the point of use. Anything but. And when you ask the people in the Job Centre if you can maybe use one of their phones they tell you no. 

You can’t.

What they do tell you is that you need to spend a minimum of 35 hours of each and every week actively seeking work. And you need to prove it. And if you can’t prove it they will sanction your arse. Oh yeah. Will they ever.

My man was ‘jobsought’ to the point of insanity. But there was a training day to be had at Dalbeattie sawmill. An opportunity. A chance.

They told him if he didn’t attend the training course they would sanction his arse. But he said he wanted to go 

He was up for it. Really.

Only one problem guys. I ain’t got no money. Because my new Universal Credit claim is all screwed up. And nobody in the great city of Wolverhampton seems to want to pick up the phone to tell me anything about it.
So could you help me out with the bus fare?



Not our problem. But you better be there or else…

Yeah, yeah, I get it. Or else you’ll sanction my arse.

Twelve miles in the Atlantic storm. A long march along dry stone walls and fields of soaking sheep. Twelve miles to a training day at a sawmill. In Dalbeattie. To seek a job.

He misjudged it and landed ten minutes late. They told him ten minutes was unacceptable. They told him to get lost. We live in a time when ten minutes is always unacceptable.

So it was twelve miles back the other way past the same dry stone walls and the same miserable sheep, only this time the Atlantic storm was at his back.

Back to the Job Centre to break the news that he had misjudged his route march to the tune of 10 minutes.
They told him they were in no mood for excuses. For they have targets and goals set by the mighty Duncan Smith.

You’re just so sanctioned..

And he did the really stupid thing. He got angry. He kicked off. He exited the building care of security. And they made his sanction even longer.

And he dropped off the wall.

And came to us.

The next tale of woe was a lad in his early twenties. The same age as my youngest son. In fact he asked how Courtney was getting on. And I said Courtney was doing all right. And he said he was pleased to hear it. And it was obvious that he meant it. A very polite young lad with the haunted eyes of a rabbit about to go under the wheels of a 38 tonne artic.

Oh where to start. A while back. At least a year. It was his mum you see. Her back went. Her back went badly. You know. So bad she couldn’t get out of bed and needed him to look after her. Which he did. He moved back in for the duration and became a carer.

One night he was out with some pals when he tripped and injured his leg. Was it bad enough to need A&E? Yeah. It probably was. So one of the lads said he would give him a lift. To A&E. In the car. The car he owned. And how was it that this helpful lad had the wherewithal to own his own car? 

Yeah, well that was the thing.

The helpful lad was a drug dealer. The helpful lad was a drug dealer who was well and truly on the radar of the boys in blue. And so it was that half way to A&E the dark night was strobe lit with flashing blue.

Out of the car and into the station. And lots of questions to go with a bloody sore leg. A mobile phone confiscated and then a release with no charges.

And there were never any charges,

But they kept his mobile phone for many months. Maybe it rang out into the emptiness of the police station's evidence storage room before the battery finally ran dry.

There were calls from his social landlord. Lots and lots of them. A neighbour tells us you are not living in your flat any more. Is this true? Call back. We have told the housing benefit people you aren’t living in your flat any more. Call back. We will be evicting you on…. Call back.

You’re evicted. Call back.

We have sent you a bill of £400 to cover the costs of smashing your door in and taking all your stuff to the dump. Call back.

You owe us £950. Call back.

You going to court. Call back.

And all the while he looked after his mum and knew nothing of the torrent of calls aimed at the mobile phone in the police evidence store room.

He found out in the end of course. And his smouldering mental health issues started to burst into life. Pills and pills and pills. Letters and letters and letters.

A new claim.

Your’re on the Universal Credit now my boy. You need to spend 35 hours a week…..

Oh! It appears you owe your social landlord £950. What a very bad boy you are. A very bad boy indeed. We can’t have little toe rags like you owing their social landlords £950. That really will not do at all. So. Here it is. You are due £250 a month to keep your nasty little body and soul together. But you won’t be getting £250. Oh no. Not from us. Not from Wolverhampton. You see we are going to take away £130 a month and give it to your social landlord. OK? No? Well tough. Live with it. Toe rag.

So it’s food parcel time because £30 a week really isn’t enough to keep your body and soul in a state of togetherness. Well I don’t think it is. But I guess there will be a queue of Government Ministers out there somewhere ready and raring to explain that £30 a week would be more than enough for them to be absolutely fine and dandy.

Hopefully I will be taking him along to meet Joan McAlpine MSP this afternoon. There’s not a cat in hell’s chance of her doing anything about the good folk of Wolverhampton. But maybe she’ll find a way to persuade the good folk at the registered social landlord to make a bit more nice.

We’ll see.

And then there were three.

Yesterday morning saw me driving six miles along the same road bordered by the same dry stone walls as my man walked a few days earlier on his forced march to Dalbeattie sawmill.

In the same Atlantic storm.

In the same grey November rain.

To the third tale of woe. A poster boy for rural poverty. A man with a wrecked back and a tonne of debt. They say they are switching him from DLA to PIP. One set of initials to another. A thing that should be simple but isn’t simple. And of course it is all cocked up. And of course they have left him to live on fresh air. And a bus pass is something of a lottery. The road to Dumfries is full of potholes and should the bus hit a single pot hole in the wrong way, the resulting jar of his back can be enough to leave him bedridden for a week.

So I always figure it is best to drop his food off.

We chatted and he told me of a time a few months ago when his back seized whilst he was in bed. He couldn’t get himself up. He couldn’t really move at all.

One day and two days and three days.

And he lives on his own. And nobody much calls round to his little cottage at the end of a long track.

No water. No food, And worst of all was a packet of fags lying on a table a mere three inches beyond the reach of his grasping fingers.

So near but so far. The kind of thing those wicked Chinese jailers used to use to break the spirit of a western prisoner of war in the Korea. Back in the day.

Thankfully his GP arrived for a home visit and passed him the packet of fags.

Maybe he’ll get some cash soon. Maybe he won’t. Somewhere he is a set of numbers which a computer is attempting to link up to another set of numbers.

And they are but three tales of woe in the midst of hundreds of thousands.

Out there.

In the wet greyness of Britain in November 2015.

Hanging by finger tips onto a high wall that stretches to the horizon and beyond.

Bodies dropping one by one. Bodies swept from their tenuous grip by the raging Atlantic storm.

Just like the leaves on the trees really.

I think we are about to be busy in our work.   

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Pop quiz.

Name a bunch of people who are even more unpopular than bankers, tabloid journalists and politicians.

Well, I guess there are some pretty good candidates. Right now ISIS and more or less anyone from 1970’s British television would be right up there. But these are come and go characters. Back in the day the National Front would have strolled into any top ten. Now for anyone under the age of 50 it is a case of National Who?

Hate figures come and go but a few remain constant.

Like loan sharks.

Oh yeah, in the whole of human history these guys have never once been flavour of the month. Hatred of loan sharks spans the ages all the way from Jesus going mental in the money lenders’ temple through Shakespeare’s Shylock and his pound of flesh to the modern day Brits yearning for the chance to hang Fred the Shred from the nearest lamppost. 

Over our 12 years of life as a front line charity, loan sharks have always been oddly shadowy figures. I cannot ever remember anyone ever using a name when talking about a loan shark. Maybe you don’t find that so very odd, but it is actually. There is seldom a time when we are not kept fully up to speed as to who is the main smack peddler in the town.

To be honest the tawdry activities of the local loan sharks has never played all that large for First Base.
This made a meeting I had yesterday all the more interesting. It started with a call from a guy at a local housing association. There are two guys down from Glasgow. I gave them your name. Hope that’s OK. They’ll be round to see you at noon.

Fair enough.

Two Trading Standards officers down from Glasgow on the trail of a loan shark in North West Dumfries.
I was actually pretty impressed with them. They both had a kind of Eliot Ness thing going on and I got a strong sense of men on a mission. They were up front and open about the thread of intel that had drawn them south. It was as thin as Posh Spice. Just a whisper really. A faint echo. But enough.

I asked them to describe the pack drill. And as it turned out, the pack drill was pretty interesting.


Lending money without a licence is illegal under the criminal law. Up to two years inside, a fine up to £2000 and the possibility of having all your stuff confiscated under the proceeds of crime act if you can’t come up with a good enough explanation about how you came up with the cash to buy it.

So once the Trading Standards guys get themselves a name they can very quickly make the life of one of our modern day Shylocks pretty stressful.
It was the next bit of the story that got my attention.
It is completely legal to borrow money from a loan shark no matter how much of a scumbag he may be. More to the point, once you borrow the cash, you have no legal obligation whatsoever to pay it back.
Which basically means that the loan shark is a pretty exposed character. So long as he keeps a hold of his season ticket in the shadows he is OK. Pay me or you’ll get seriously battered. But once they are dragged kicking and screaming out into the light, the battering part of their business plan isn’t all that feasible.
This is the point where 'people power' starts to kick in. Once the 50 or 60 poor sods who are caught up in the loan shark’s net start to get wind of the fact that they don’t need to pay after all, they soon start to tell Sharky to shove his compound interest where the sun don’t shine.
So he turns up at their front door, no doubt with some B movie wannabe in tow.
Knock, know, who’s there?

It's Sharky. Pay up or Big Danny here is going to put all of that time in the gym to good use.

At which point a quivering victim is supposed to open the front door before Big Danny kicks it down and tearfully hand over an Xbox and the housekeeping money.

But once Sharky and Danny have been yanked out of the shadows, things soon start to play out differently.

Knock, knock who’s there?

Sharky and Big Danny.

Ring, ring, emergency services. Who do you need? Cops please. It’s Mrs Terrified Victim here. I have Sharky and Big Danny at my door threatening to give me a proper kicking unless I hand over our Jimmy’s Xbox.

Nae bother love. Give us five minutes.

And then it is flashing blue light time. Hello Sharky. Hello Big Danny. So what are you lads up to then? Come on. In the back.

And so it goes that 'threatening behaviour' gets bolted onto 'illegal money lending' for the Sheriff to consider at a later date.
This is when it hit me that the loan shark is in a completely different position to the drug dealer who shares similar methods of cash collection, namely a proper kicking care of Big Danny.

First up, anyone who takes a few bags of smack on credit knows that they are breaking the law themselves. Not surprisingly, they are seldom over keen to pick up the phone to seek the protection of the boys in blue. Hello there, I had twenty tenner bags of Big Danny’s boss and now he says he’s going to break my legs if I don’t pay him back. And then of course there is the other pressing problem, namely that the punter knows full well that he is going to need to score three tenner bags the next day to avoid the joys of cold turkey. Will anyone sell to him if he has just served up Big Danny and his gaffer to the local drug squad?

No chance.

A completely different set of rules applies to the loan shark. All of those trapped in their net tend to have vowed to themselves that they will never go near the likes of Sharky and Big Danny ever, ever again. As in ever.

They have learned a hard lesson the hard way. All they want now is for the slate to be wiped clean and to have the chance to start to get back on their feet.

So when they get to hear of a way out, they are more than likely to grab it with both hands. To tell Sharky asnd Big Danny to get stuffed and if they turn up at the front door, to call up the cops. Thery don’t have to worry about having broken any laws themselves for the simple reason that they haven’t broken any laws. They have done absolutely nothing wrong and there will be absolutely no consequences. They also don’t have to worry about finding another Sharky next week to lend them £20 to get the lights back on because they have already decided never to go near the likes of Sharky ever, ever again.

As in ever.

Life for Sharky and Big Danny soon becomes increasingly uncomfortable. Every time they go near a punter's front door the cops are there within minutes. And this gets noticed from behind all the curtains down the street. The community starts to turn against them. They soon become universally hated figures. There is no sympathy. Only hard hating eyes.
They are Pariahs trying to explain how they funded the 50 inch 3D tele in the front room on £70 a week's worth of brew money.
For once there is a reasonably easy solution to the abject misery and fear that many people are enduring. It is obvious that more and more will be falling from the seductive sweet talk of the loan sharks only to discover that once they are in their clutches they are completely trapped. Well it doesn’t have to be that way. All the boys from the Trading Standards need is a name and an address. Once they have the name they can get the ball rolling.

Knock, knock, who’s there?

Trading Standards. We’re about to make your life really crap.

Oh shit. No Danny. Sit yourself back down….

And then its all about Chinese whispers through the pub and the Post Office and the Spar shop and the school gates and the bus stop.

If you owe money to Sharky and Big Danny, you don’t need to pay. Just tell them to get stuffed. And if they start to kick off, just call the cops….
Her at number 34 called the cops on Tuesday night. You should have seen that Big Danny when they shoved him into the back of the squad car......
And soon the ball is wll and truly rolling.

One minute Mussolini is the dictator of everything he can see.

The next minute he is a terrified bald guy about to be hung up from a meat hook in downtown Milan.
It turns out that Sharky and Big Danny are not so mighty after all. And it turns out that it doesn’t take all that much for them to take a pretty big fall.

All it needs is a name in fact.

So if there is anyone in Dumfries who fancies jotting down a name and an address on a scrap of paper and shoving it through our letter box, I will be more than happy to pass it along to the boys from Glasgow. This isn’t how First Base usually rolls, but this is different. Every day we see people who have had every penny of their income stripped away on the back of some bogus small print from the Job Centre. The idea of parasites feeding off this constant stream of human misery really sticks in the throat.
These people deserve nothing but complete contempt. They need naming and shaming and shutting down. If you can spread this blog around any Dumfries social networks, then you never know – on morning there might just be a scrap of paper on the mat.