31 October, 2005

A comedy of errors

Just when I thought everything was going perfect it had to happen to me again. I woke this morning to find a final demand for something I have never had and never ordered. So I am now writing to the company. Now my video has gone haywire. It will play and rewind and all that but it wont take or eject the videos have to do it manually. So it looks as if I need a new one. Then to top that I was cleaning the TV screen and I got a massive shock. Now I got curls in my hair that stick out and now to make my day worse I've just fallen down the steps on the bus and boy does my leg hurt. It's not going to be my day is it? I Guess someone up there's having another day of laughter at my expense. Well, all I have to say is, I hope he's has fun because everything that comes around goes around. Oops sorry guess its already come around for him up there.

A walk through city streets

Tonight I took a walk though this city where I live and suddenly realized I disliked immensely what I heard. It wasn't the homeless people that were lying on top of cardboard and covered up in their sleeping blankets and it wasn't the sight of beggars sitting outside the cash point machines. It wasn't the sight of the alcoholics waving their cans in the air and singing that bothered me as much it was the lack of peoples response, when I asked them what they thought of homeless people and what they saw when they went to their night clubs or posh cafes. One person dressed in an Armani suit said what can we do? These people obviously want to live like that or they wouldn't be there. Which took me completely by surprise. Then I told him a bit about me and that I was once one of those people. He said look at you now, you're not begging or sleeping on the street any more. You don't touch drugs. Your now part of society. When I said these people are as well. He started swearing at me and saying these people are not part of the society that I live in they're not normal. So I said some people go out on a night out, get drunk, stagger all over the place and in some cases get arrested for being drunk and disorderly. So what makes you better than that person sleeping in that shop doorway? He probably has to sleep there because he has no alternative then i started to explain that hostels were full and how long it takes to get in to one. I just left it at that. It was just a thought to leave him with. I watched him cross the road and I saw him give a homeless person some change. It still didn't make me smile as I thought if a quarter of the population of this country think like him then we are in a sorry state.

29 October, 2005

An idea for a never ending story

I was thinking about writing another children's book but then I had this thought. What about a book written by anyone in the world? I'd start it of course but it could be a sort of book that continues everyday. The longest story in the world ever to be written but would anyone write it? If you think you could then let me know at Poetmccoy@hotmail.com It's such a simple idea that I might just get it started on Monday. Maybe you have a true tale to tell well you can make a story out of it and if your clever you can join things up with what other people have written so the never ending story really is a never ending story. The site will be called thelongeststoryintheworld. The user name will be worldwriter123 and the pass word will be world123. If you want to start then go ahead I wont mind.

28 October, 2005

The addicted beggar

Sir, madam, any spare change
My life I'd like to rearrange.
But no one hears his woeful cry
The beggar sits to wonder why.
All just look and sigh and all walk by.
Yet still he sits there head bowed low
For him there is nowhere else to go.
His only hope is that first tenner to buy his drink or dope and then maybe he can cope
And just maybe, just maybe normality will raise it's head
Then again what the hell he maybe end up dead.
No one sees the youth or man that once was there.
No one sees the beggars faults all laid bare and what the hell who is there to really care.
So in his cup we throw a pound or two
With looks and smiles that hide the sorry but thank God it's not me
It's you.
The beggar sits and smiles and whimpers any spare change any spare change for him this is just a normal day but is he saying I'd like to change my days
I'd be happy just to change my ways.
Is he that misunderstood would he help himself if he could
Would it help if we understood
Yet is it just the words we hear, any spare change, any spare change
Or do we think what the hell it's nothing new it's not so strange.
This beggar sits here everyday and there's more as I travel on my way
For me it's just another ordinary day

27 October, 2005

TV dinners

I now don't have a dining table as my flat as my flat is too small. So I gave it away and now I'm back to watching TV with my dinner on my lap, not healthy I know but that's life. I was watching TV last night with dinner on my lap and I thought my God is this what really goes on in real life. Muggings, shooting, robberies and murders. It's just like it is in all the films we see.
Are films having that much of an influence on people or is it that some people are just born bad? Is it that society has now accepted this as the part of our lives we have to tolerate? I think it's funny that here I am talking about this when I was one of those people that stole to keep a drug habit going. It seems like a life time ago now but it's always in the back of my mind.
Society I think needs now to rethink it attitude to crime. We have made life far to easy for criminals because we seem to accept crime as a thing that will happen to anyone of us sooner or later. When something is in your face seven days a week on the hour as is the news on TV. I do believe people become immune to it and start to say to themselves well, it's just one of those things. It happens everyday or thank God glad it didn't happen to me.
I think the reasons why we accept it is because we don't see any alternative because even when we send people to prison it's been said that many have a better life in there than most people on the outside ironic don't you think? Coming from someone whose been there. The government seem to think tougher sentencing is the answer but me I think tougher prison might now be the answer. We have now to make deterrents. We have to make youngsters afraid to go to prison. We have to make prison that people don't want to come back to. It's a bad day when someone says nothings working.

26 October, 2005

Normal life

Who would have thought I would be writing about having a normal life? At this moment I don't think my life is that normal but it is getting there. My friends now come round to my tiny flat to tell me their problems like Henry. His girlfriend left him yesterday morning and he came round to my house thinking that I would help ease his heartache but I did the opposite I told him exactly what I thought and boy did he storm out. This morning he rings me to tell me I was right. Which makes a change. Jamie the agony aunt, God is that what I've become? Every week seems to be a struggle to keep ahead of all my bills and then there's more bills but I guess this is part of being normal. Trying to catch up with things because of problems I've had, I'm finding hard, but I would not change the way I am now. When I wake up in the morning and open my eyes to feel the cold air from the open window touch my skin. I know I am alive and not the shell I was before, although some days it is a struggle not to dwell on my past mistakes. Although the strangeness of me being able to think clearly is still somewhat new. I guess I do lead a nearly normal life just like everyone else and to be honest it's quite nice. It's funny but when you look in the bathroom mirror and like what you see you realize just how good things are. We are not starving or dying and we don't have to worry too much about wars or tropical storms. It's hard sometimes to realise just how lucky some of us really are.

25 October, 2005

The Blair machine rolls on

Today Tony Blair rolled out his plans for schools and I sat there on my sofa and thought my god what the hell is happening? We already have deprived areas in Britain and now it seems we will have the schools to go with them. We have enough problems with the schools we have not being good enough to teach young kids. Are we now saying that if your smart then you might just have a chance of a good education if you can get in to one of our academies but sorry if you live in a deprived area then you ought to move to one that's got a better standard of education. The funny thing is I would have expected this to come from a Conservative not a Labour prime minister. This still smacks of a class divide if you go to a school that has opted out of local authority control. This to me is the beginning of selective education and to come on top of that is the proposal that failing schools be given a year to change things. How about funding those school in the deprived areas. Hasn't anyone told Mr Blair we don't have enough schools at this minute to teach the pupils we do have. We already have teachers that teach classes of thirty to forty children. To change the system without changing the things we already have in place to me seems to be creating problems we don't need and to give schools a choice of choosing local authority or not, still sends that message if your poor? You're staying poorly educated as well. What choice does someone have when they put their faith in a school education system that is fair, only to see it become unfair? If I was a politician I would be objecting to it. I have just been to a local school and I know how hard it is for the over worked teachers but how hard is it going to be for those children that find it hard to learn? When they cannot get the education they need. Is this what was meant by state education?

24 October, 2005

Is it happening all over again?

Are the riots that plagued us in the past now coming back to haunt us? It's seems every so often people get so angry with what's not happening to them that it all culminates in what we are seeing in Birmingham. Do I expect to see more riots in the coming year? I hope not but I think the reality is we will. People live in multi cultural areas that are still deprived even after all the promises from the government. My friend Sadiq from Small Heath in Birmingham says people are now so frustrated at the lack of police on the street. The way they are dealt with because of their colour and the way the police deal with crimes committed against them. That this had to happen sooner or later. So I am now going to be cheeky and ask people from ethnic back grounds what they think could be done to stop this from happening all over the country. I already hear the whispers that the police are not doing enough to stamp out racism in the force but this is no excuse for destroying property or shooting people. That can not be tolerated in any society. This invisible thing that comes between black and white, Asian and African never seemed to raise it's ugly head when I was at school. Colour wasn't an issue. It was only when I got older and we had people like the British national party and some anti black voices that people started follow suit. It seems so stupid to me that racism still exists today but I do know riots are not the answer

23 October, 2005

How do I?

How do I get politicians to listen to the people that feel they are not being listened to?
I was once one of those unfortunate few who were in the minority because I lived on the street. It was assumed by most that I didn't have a brain in my head and that like most people it was my own fault and I would partly agree with that. Yes it was my own choice to use drugs simply because my mum used them and like most children they are led by example but years ago when I was at school and when the social workers came round to see my mum and stepfather. Why did no one listen to what myself and my sisters were saying. We like so many others were just ignored and now the politicians seem to be doing the same. How can politicians say we are doing these things for your own good. The public need to be listened to. We now have a crime rate that has now become unacceptable. We have a failing health service that used to be the best in the world. Even our economy seems to be static. The big question is why? Labour blames the Conservatives. The Liberals blame both of them. They say people don't turn out in force for elections can you blame anyone for not voting. When they all know that most of what politicians promise is just to get votes and after awhile you hear that nothings change. How can any politician say look we are making progress when the poorer are getting poorer. The pensioners are still struggling to make ends meet and now it seems if you work hard all your life your pensions not worth the paper it's written on. To top that it seems there is no real incentive for the unemployed to get the training for other jobs when they are going to be stopped benefit if they go to college more that 20 hrs a week. Oh and if you commit a murder life will only mean ten to fifteen years. Is that justice? What this government seems to be doing is taking away a person right to choose whether to smoke in public places I agree that smoking should not be allowed in places that serve food but is this really what we voted for? To have a government say this is a law we need? When we already have health warnings on cigarettes. The choice to smoke should be left to individuals after all it's not illegal. The same with alcohol. We all know that too much can cause harm and yet it's legal as well. What this to me says to me about the government is, if we can tax you. We will tax you heavily but we wont stop it because we will lose a valuable source of tax revenue. How can any government stand up and tell me that anything that causes you harm can still be legal? Maybe that's politics? I think I would make one heck of a politician. Well that's my rant for this week

21 October, 2005

Going back to school

Today I'm visiting a school in the east end of London to talk about being homeless and to listen to them read their poetry and maybe read a couple of mine to them. Am I nervous? Yes, just a tad. It will be only the second time after coming off drugs that I have actually been to talk about my experiences in a school. The way I look at it though is if by me telling them about my life I can stop just one or two taking the path that I did. Then it will have been worth while but looking back on my school days which I hated. I think being out there at the front for a change will be completely different than when I was at school. Because I was always sat at the back. Not that I minded after all being with the girls was sort of a pleasure. The funny thing is being amongst the opposite sex day in day out. I still never learned anything about them. Which just proves you can never really get to understand the way women think. I don't think any man can. Well it's time to enter the lions den so to speak.
Well, it was not that bad I just took one look at these kids and saw something in them that reminded me of me when I was a kid at that age. I spoke to them about homeless people. They told me truthfully what they thought and the way they saw homeless people. They asked questions which were really good ones. They read their poetry and I would love to put it on my site if they agree when they come back from half term. Today was one of the better days for me and I hope I can do it again at another school in the near future.

20 October, 2005

Fighting for bread

I was thinking about what I could tell you about today. When suddenly I thought tell the people the truth about the fights that are breaking out over sandwiches and soup that some kind people give the homeless at night. At first I thought whose going to believe that in this day and age people are fighting over bread in a rich country like ours, but its true. Homeless people are literally fighting over bread. Well, this weekend I will take photos of this happening as they say the camera never lies.
As councils try to stop these food handouts. It seems that more and more of the homeless are now beginning to suffer the hardship of the street and now that winter is upon us things can only get tougher. Why do councils want to stop people from receiving what for some, is the only food they get in one day. They say there are too many. I'll say but there are too many homeless. The photos I want to show you are the ones that show just how severe homelessness is in this country. I know I'll never convince the government that actually the problem seems to be getting worse again but at least I will have the knowledge I am trying to show just what is happening and how big a problem it is and that it cannot be dismissed or swept under the carpet.

19 October, 2005

My own views

My own views on the leadership of the Conservatives as cynical as they maybe, are somewhat clouded by the past. When they were in power it seemed that they were a party for the rich and the poor just got put to one side. To me voting Tory is like having a headache and not having a real cure. All the parties make promises and when they do get into office make a start on keeping them but they never see them through fully. It's only by being normal that I am now seeing the things for what they are and government is one of those things. I have heard people say this government is no good and sometimes I agree with them. But as far the conservatives go I'd rather the devil I know than another Thatcherite. I often think about running my own party that does stand for something real like ending homelessness and poverty and I would make the effort to listen to the people and really try to understand what the people want. I understand that a government must do the best for it's people and must make some unpleasant decisions that needs to be made. The one thing I hear a lot about is the war in Iraq. Would I have gone to war. The answer is I think I would have eventually but not until I'd given the inspectors the time they wanted. I do believe this dictator had to be removed but not at the price the Iraq's and us are having to pay. I am always asking questions and the question high on my list is why do we make these weapons of mass destruction and then say they are only a deterrent? Surely we must know that sooner or later someone will make bigger and better weapons. I think if I was prime minister I'd use weapons that we have now rather than make bigger and better ones because we do have enough of a deterrent. The money I'd save on that alone would save so many lives in this country alone. I'd call my party the people for justice party.

The slow NHS

Yesterday I went for my physio therapy and went through what I call the motions of exercise. Then I was told that I had to see a specialist and so I walked down the stairs and through many corridors and finally arrived at the specialists waiting room that was at 3.30 pm and at 5.55pm I was still waiting. When I asked at reception what was happening I was told I would be seen shortly. 5.45pm still waiting. If this had been the accident and emergency dept I would have understood the wait but I was asked to see this doctor and the wait was far too long. Finally seeing the specialist he apologized for the wait saying they were so busy that another appointment should have been made for me but this would have probably been in a week or two and would have caused another delay. The outcome is that I can now have my knee replacement in Jan or Feb. The thing is I have been told this before and the operation has always been cancelled. When I hear the government say waiting lists for operations are down and things are getting better I know different as I am one of those patients waiting and waiting. It took me over six months to even get a GP and over two years to get a dentist. So I ask where is the difference in services. The government spend millions of pounds on surveys and advertising on how good the NHS is getting but how good is it really? I was just wondering if I had been a homeless person would I have received the services like a doctor and dentist because I know people who stay in certain areas and who are on crutches being told they have to go certain medical centers which deal with homeless people but they are miles away. How do they get there by tube and be arrested for non payment of fare?

17 October, 2005

The boy next door

Matt hoggarth looks and sounds like the boy next door. Now he is one of the thousands of homeless people living on our streets. He doesn't smoke and he doesn't use drugs. He does drink but only occasionally. These are the reasons for going back on to the street in his own words.

"I was in a hostel for just a week and to tell the truth it was the most eventful week of my life. The first night three fire alarms and no fires. The second one fire alarm and a guy set himself alight. The third I went to do my washing and all the machines where full of human feces and just pain dirt. I complained about it and was treated like a trouble maker and still nothing was done about it. Between my arrival and departure I hardly got any sleep because of drug addicts roaming corridors. They made so much noise that sleep was impossible. Take today just before I left I was on the toilet and there was one person smoking crack and on the other side of me another was chasing the dragon ( smoking heroin) shouting to each other how good their gear was and what great hits they were having but all this wasn't the straw that broke the camels back. It was the hostel treating me and other residents like we were prisoners. They issued us with numbers and we had to use these numbers to get our meals, use washing machines, get our mail, just about anything. I felt as if I was a prisoner and yet I had done nothing wrong except become poor and homeless. The treatment I and other residents got was not right and should not be allowed. So I like a few others before me I left and now I have become one of the intentional homeless through no fault of my own. Back here on the street. I am better off. I can wash my clothes in a day centre. I can keep my self clean and tidy and can get hot meals without being treated like I was something on someone's shoe. Basically I am better much off here on the street than in that place. In there I felt as if I was treated as something below a second class citizen."

This is not the first story I have heard about certain hostels. I aim to follow matt about for twenty four hours. That will include sleeping out on the street as I want to see for myself what homeless people are facing since I was homeless.

16 October, 2005

A Simplistic rant

I never really thought much about anything for years but as my head has got bigger, I should say brain has got to being a brain. I think quite a lot. What I was thinking of was the way the world is. That is to say how I see the world and what I imagine the world to be. It occurred to me tonight as I wandered about the city and met different people, especially the ones that were preaching the bible to me. That the world I see and the world I imagine are two different things. How do I explain what I mean? Now that's hard. Well, here goes back in the days of no man no woman there was Adam and Eve and they had sex and created a population explosion. (must have been a good time way back then) Their off spring made families if you believe in the bible that's exactly what happened. Then some of them left the nest so to speak and went off and lived in other areas and formed countries. Like Israel and Palestine. Some even traveled further a field. What I am trying to do here is paint a picture, that we are all the same even though our skins maybe a different colour. We bleed the same colour blood. We have children exactly the same. We breath the same air ect.
Then someone is made the leader of the gang so to speak and because he wants a bigger place for his family. He decides to invade his neighbor's patch of land and take it for his own. Making one large place which is now called a kingdom or country as it is known today. That's how the first war was started. Now through the ages most wars have been fought over this the first and second war. Alexander the great fought to build an empire. The Romans conquered the world just to build a Roman empire. Now this is the question I'm asking. How come only a few people realize that to make this a world a better place. We have to give a little after all we all lived with a certain amount of peace at one time or another. Even as cavemen. It was only when man started to get progressive that wars started and people killing each other for land ect, got out of hand. You have northern and southern Ireland having wars they say over religion but it's never been about religion and it's never been about living in peace either. Israel and Palestine it's about land there as well. Then we have the greats. Great Britain and America invading other countries they say it's was too get rid of an evil dictator or was it really about forcing a way of life. We call democracy, something we call freedom. Anyway what I'm asking if we lived side by side at one time or another why can't we do the same today. Why can't the Israelis and the Palestinians do that today. Why can't the few in Ireland that still want war see that by killing others it is totally wrong. It's only man that builds walls and we do need to knock them down. It's only man that builds weapons of destruction.
We have the same problem occurring on this small island. We have Scotland, Wales and England oh and northern Ireland ( which does confuse me) they all want to have independence. The only difference is we have all learned how to get along. Well, nearly all but we all talk now instead of going to war. If we can do that why can't others. After all the Scots really hated the English not that many years ago. So you see the simplistic world I imagine living in. Is different to the one I really have.

14 October, 2005

Is this stepping backwards

Do you remember me talking about Malcolm. The man who was having problems with his housing. He was in a supported housing scheme where he had his own flat. It is was supposed to be supported by the housing charity Providence Row. Well now Malcolm is being told he is being referred back to a hostel. Which is ludicrous as he has a flat and to go from that to one room is to me a step backwards. Charities are always saying they do the best for their clients but this is the opposite. Just because a man doesn't need the full care the charity has to offer doesn't mean he has to go backwards this is what his email to me said
Jamie, am I moving on or moving back in my life? At this time in my life I live in supporting housing but it is a flat I can cook for myself. I've got a separate bedroom but now the supporting housing are moving me back to a hostel So is that moving on? I think not?
Is this what the government mean when they say we are trying to get people off the streets and give them the help they need or this a charity saying, we make the rules and you will stick to them. As we all know there are two sides to every coin and I hope Providence Row will give me the chance to put their side of the argument.

13 October, 2005

It's not natures fault it's our fault

I have been watching the news over the last week and I have been intently watching the disaster unfold in Pakistan. The loss of life is appalling. Yet I can't help but feel this is not only nature taking it's revenge but it's the western worlds fault as well.
We cannot best nature that is a fact but we can learn to live with it much better than we do. We are our own worst enemies, when it comes to this world. We burn fossil fuels we use deodorants and other aerosols. We basically pollute the air we breathe and destroy our ozone. Which by the way blocks harmful rays and the one thing I keep on hearing is its natures fault. It's not all natures fault. It's us we have not yet learned to live with nature. If we don't do something soon we won't be able to prevent theses disasters from getting worse and that's me saying I don't think we can reverse what's happening we can only hope to slow the demise of our world. I think this world of ours is dying and the disasters we are now having are the first signs. I have no crystal ball to look into the future and I wont predict the end of the world for next year but what I will say is if we keep on doing what we are doing then we will kill our planet sooner rather than later and nature will take it's revenge in full and to me that's not progress. That's suicide.

12 October, 2005

I can't help but think that every time Christmas comes around why do we start talking about homelessness? When in fact it's here all year round I see it when I catch a bus to go anywhere I was coming from a friends house near plumstead when I started to look out of the window when we came near Greenwich. I'd been on the same bus and same route many times and never seen a homeless person in this near well to do area but there they where three of them asleep in a shop doorway. It wasn't that that took me by surprise it was a comment from someone a few seats back. They said look posh dossers. I have to admit I smiled because I know there is no such thing as a posh dosser and the only people that make that sort of comment are the ignorant.

11 October, 2005

250 children go missing every 24 hours

It's a staggering fact that every 24 hrs 250 children go missing from homes around Britain.
London seems to attract them like a magnet because London is such a diverse place its felt that in a city this big you can get lost. But like most cities London is a city of crime and vice and after a while 89% of the children that runaway will either commit crime or be lured into sex. It cost the police around �5,000,000 a year to find and return runaways back to wherever they came from. Sometimes returning them can turn out to be more dangerous. The police do have young missing person files on computers but some forces never use them. The questions to be asked are by finding these children are we stopping more serious crimes from happening. Are we really doing the best for the children concerned by returning them to the homes they ran away from and why are the government still thinking about doing something more. When they should doing something now?
How many children have disappeared over the years and never been heard from again?
How many are dead?
How many children are there right now being abused because they have no where to go?
These are the questions I pose as I have been homeless as a child and I'm still here, not by luck but by being able to survive. Most kids on the street today are clever enough to survive the first few months but when it gets tough, it's then the barrier's they built break down and things they thought they'd never do. They do. They believe they have no other option if they want to survive. Drugs, crime and prostitution have become the norms in any city in Britain. America and Britain have the same problem with young runaways. Over 4,000,000 a year runaway in America but they do have a system where they can get them temporary accommodation. In this country we have nothing like that. It's against the law for anyone to put someone under 16yrs up even for one night. We need to do something now. We need to change our system so we can protect youngsters from drugs and vice and themselves. We need it now not later. As the government sit and ponder what to do for the next six months 108000 children will run away and most will commit a crime and some will be abused and used by someone they should never have met. we have to do something the childrens society are now calling for the government to set up refuges and I whole heartedly agree.

Asleep during the day

A Sunday morning and the city isn't that busy but another homeless couple have no where to go or nothing to do. The only day center open is the one near Aldgate and that's too far to walk after a night of no sleep because of the Saturday night drunks and the sound of cars passing. What really gets up my nose is I have a government that tell everyone we are curing the problem. Yet how can they be when I go out and see just as many in the last month homelessness has definitely risen and seems to be rising even more. Youngsters are now on the streets and they sleep in back alleys and out of sight. So they wont get woken and caught as many of them are runaways. How long is it going to be before anyone does admit there is a growing problem again? This is really what being homeless is like taking naps where and when you can. Posted by Picasa

10 October, 2005

The child in me ( an old poem of mine)

Many many moons ago
When this world of mine was like a shining like a star
My childhood toy a brand new motor car.
There was wonder was in my eyes.
The child in me just glowed and glowed.
Life back then was like opening presents.
Everyday surprising.
Everyday a brand new joy.
Many many years ago.
I took the steps that led my way.
I spoke my words.
Then cowboys rode into the living room.
Indians yelled and screamed.
And then got slain.
From unseen bullets from plastic guns.
I was just a child having so much fun.
But the child in me it glowed and glowed.
Life way back then was the storybook.

Not so many many moons ago.
Love was in full bloom.
Blood rushed to the head.
That nervousness of that first kiss.
That question.
Did I became a man.
And yet still the child in me just glowed and glowed.
For youth was calling time.
Innocence was dying.
Time was racing by.
Not long ago my first was born.
Overjoyed and a little jealous too.
For childhood games and childhood dreams.
For me was over.
For my child's childhood had just begun.
But still the child in me just glows and glows.
Not so bright these days.
But still I have the child in me.


Today I was thinking of the first poem I wrote and the feeling I got just to write something that was so simple. Being able to read and write has changed me from being the man that could only listen. To one that can put it down on paper and say what he means. It's so funny that being a homeless person and drug addict used to hold me back in everything I wanted to do. Knowing you have a bit of intelligence and proving it while you are living on the streets is so hard. Being an addict as well makes it twice as hard because peoples perception of you is automatically not good because the stupidity of taking drugs is the first barrier. The second is just being homeless. People get themselves into situations like I did and see no way out. The thing is I gave myself half a chance and took it with both hands out stretched. I can now smile when I say the day my life changed was the mad half hour on Blackfiars bridge. When the river Thames got stoned instead of me and the woman that picked me up in her black cab and took me to me first Crisis at Christmas shelter. Without these things happening. I doubt whether I would be writing this today. I doubt whether I'd be free of drugs and the misery they have caused me and other people that know me.

Always thinking

I am always thinking these days and trying to explain to people that up until a few years ago it was as if I'd been in a comma and then suddenly came out of it to find the world I had lived in had changed. I don't know whether it's because I see things so simply that sometimes I make a lot of sense or that it's really me making sense for once. Last week when I told a certain someone that most of the homeless people I had interviewed were saying they thought they were being forgotten and that certain charities were concentrating their efforts on people in hostels ect. Because I was going to do a radio interview I was told you can't say that. Then I thought about it and I came to the conclusion why can't I tell the truth? Why can't I say homeless people feel they are getting the short end of the stick? As I said I am always thinking and as I travel from place to place on the bus I look at the scenes of homeless people. I see the drug dealers doing their deals with addicts. I see the beggars sitting with their signs and I am struck by how really lucky I am to be out of it. To be on the other side of the fence where I can say this is wrong. How can one of the richest nations have homelessness? How can one of the smallest have such a drug problem? How come I'm here telling having to tell you this?

09 October, 2005

A poem for Christmas

As this Christmas draws ever closer ever near.
Christmas calls with hope
For it's the season of goodwill and lots of Christmas cheer.
But will this Christmas be of no one smiling.
I hope it is not you.
For many feel forgotten
Many are so sad and blue.
For Christmas is that time
When all is peace and harmony.
With carols sung, presents given and love flows all around.
And the guns of war they don't make a sound.
This Christmas will it be the one that says?
My tears wont fall but inside I'll weep
And in my prayers I will keep
A joy that has no bounds.
And this Christmas I will sing the loudest
And not forget the Christmas meaning
Yet still make all those Christmas sounds.

08 October, 2005

Young and homeless

As I walk round London at night I get the impression that I am seeing more and more youngsters sleeping rough. Why? I can't say but it does beg the question. What is happening to cause this sudden surge of young people with no where to go. Is it the governments fault or is it the fault of the parents. When we are young we expected to be taught what's wrong and right. Are family values not being installed in to kids of today? Is it because we now can't smack our children. If we take a look at certain animals in the wild they do reprimand their young by bites or nips and they do learn. But we humans who have smacked our children for centuries. Now say its wrong to smack. When I was a kid I got smacked when I was really bad and somethings I never did again because of I was punished but somethings that I never got told off for I did and did it for years. So why the are kids becoming homeless? It's the puzzle that seems to have eluded people for years because we don't seem to be able to stop it happening. We have kids today who get involved in drugs because they just don't have anything better to do. When they end up on the street. We don't take much notice unless there is an outcry against it. It's an everyday scene no matter were you live. It seems we don't have the education in schools that shows young people what can happen if you take drugs. We are teaching them that drugs can kill but there's another side to drugs there's the constant battle to survive we don't teach or show kids that side of it. If I were the education secretary I think I would be offering ex addicts and former homeless people the chance to speak in schools around the country coming from them first hand so to speak could help change things a little. we have to find ways of preventing these kids from becoming part of the sleeping city scenery

06 October, 2005


People never cease to amaze me. As you have probably read up until a few years ago I was lost in world of drugs and homelessness. Then I somehow I turned my life upside down thanks to a few people that cared about people. I have learned to read and write and I have been told I write really well. Tonight I went out on to the streets in Covent Garden just to stop people and ask the simple question what do you think of homeless people? Some were too busy to stop but most did but one comment stuck in my head and was from a man that said I feel sorry for the people the sleep on the streets but what can you do? It's a daily scene all over this country. I asked him to name some of the place he had been. He said Manchester, blackpool. Cardiff, Bolton, Evesham, just to name a few . Then he said if he gave a pound for every time he saw a homeless person he be owing money. Its the governments fault for not seeing this coming years ago. We have had several governments that have swept it under the carpet and to be honest I think this one's doing it again. They say they are taking people off the streets but let me show you something. So I walked to a car park near by and there where four people asleep in sleeping bags. Then we walked down towards the Charing cross road and saw eight people making their beds of card board. He said all these people need help but it costs money but who is going to help them not a government that is all about saving money and spending it on so called more important things like war. These people are spread out all over this city. In other cities I bet its the same story. The funny thing is I asked him who he voted for and he said no one he couldn't trust any party that promises and doesn't deliver.
I was just wondering is he the saying what most of the people of this country are thinking?

05 October, 2005

This is someone's bed for the night in Westminster but the council want to ban this from their streetsPosted by Picasa


It had to happen sooner or later but councils such as Westminster are trying new ways of tackling their rough sleepers problem. How do you tackle a problem where cutbacks are being made. In London they have what they call outreach teams which go out every night talking to rough sleepers and help getting them off the streets and in to accommodation. When it first started it was hailed as a great success but over the last few years the emphasis has been on seeing rough sleepers in the same place before offering help because the number of rough sleepers was so high not only in London but all over the UK. Outreach teams are being axed in Westminster and Westminster who are having city guardians replacing the outreach teams. They are set to go out and about giving warnings to rough sleepers. It is feared that the use of asbos will come into force for those that cannot be found shelter. This started in March of this year and local charities who are already overwhelmed with the number of homeless said they haven't seen any difference in the number of rough sleepers attending day centers locally. My feeling are that Westminster are basically cutting off rough sleepers basic provisions and I wouldn't be surprised if the crime in that area rises because if you take away something that is essential to someone there are not many options left to a rough sleepers who is just trying to survive on the streets. Will Westminsters scheme work? I doubt it. Why not ask rough sleepers what is needed? Then work on something that will benefit all. I know you will get a lot of crazy ideas and a lot of complaints but not everyone rough sleeping is unintelligent. They do say if it comes from the horses mouth so to speak.

Risks of the street

Just got in from the west end of London where people are sleeping rough. On the way home I was sitting on the bus thinking. I was thinking about all the homeless people that I have talked to over the last few months and the things they have done just be where they are. One thing I have not spoken much of yet is the temptation to get involved in what's called the sex industry. When you are living on the streets and if you are young there's a high probability you will be approached by someone looking for sex. The temptation at first will be easy to refuse but as times rolls on and things get harder like tonight for instance. It's getting colder and your thoughts are on how to survive beyond tonight and what you can do to get off the streets even if it's just for one night. Any proposition is tempting. The people that making a living off the young runaways and homeless people are always hanging about. In my early years there was this place called playland it was an amusement arcade right in the heart of Piccadilly it was featured in the film Cathy come home. This was a place the young could hang about at night and of course so did all the perverts ect. It was easy to get caught in the sex trap in those days. People think because it's gone it has decreased the risk but it hasn't really. It still so easy to get caught in the trap because these people that prey on the vulnerable have no morals they actually go in search of their prey. Life on the streets is hard but it's made harder by these people. I was thinking how lucky I was. I was a drug addict and too busy enjoying myself and making my own money selling drugs to other users. I only mentioned this because tonight I saw a seventeen year old girl I have spoken to and who was sleeping on the street in Victoria with a man three times her age. When I went to speak to her she told me she was with a punter. The funny thing when I met her last time I asked her what she'd do if she was approached by someone looking for sex. She said she would never sell her body for money. The constant struggle to eat and have one good nights sleep probably got to her. It to me was just another child surviving the streets the best way she knew. I have seen it before and the worst thing is no doubt I will see it again and you have to remember this not only happens to women it young men as well.
It does make me angry to hear people say that we are dealing with the people that are sleeping rough by putting them in to hostels and B and Bs. If they think that is the end of it. Then they are sadly mistake we have to go beyond that we have to find fresh ways of repairing lives that have been abused and ruined. Its people like Mr John Bird founder of the big issue that make these senseless comments that the homeless are being mollycoddled. Here a question how should we treat people that have been abused.?

03 October, 2005

My own speech to become Conservative leader

We are here today not to change our parties values but to look forward and make this party a party of the future. We as a party should not only listen to its people. We should act on the things they want and need. We should go out and see first hand why people are complaining and losing hope in government. Our values and goals should be no different to those of the people of this great nation. No matter who they are whether they are homeless, from poor housing estates or well to do rich and famous. Everyone should and will come under the umbrella of our party. We need to fight for those that are less fortunate than some. We need to end poverty that affects the well being of this country. We need to seek out permanent solutions to this countries problems. We don't have to be the party of sticking plaster mentality. We need to be a party that can create jobs for it's people. That can sustain it's growth. We need to be a party of common sense but we can't do this if we are a party that is divided, that can't even agree on it's own policies for electing who should be leader. We need to be united as one party. We need to work together. We need and must create a party fit for government. At the last election we got more votes than labour yet we still lost. What is it that's missing from the party? The simple answer is trust. We need to show the voters that we are not a party of broken promises or a party for the rich. We need to show we are a party for everyone. The most common thing people said as to why they didn't vote for us was they had lost our trust and that's why we lost the last election. It wasn't because we didn't work hard enough or we didn't believe in what we were saying. It's because people didn't trust us. They didn't believe us when we told them we can deliver the things they wanted and needed. Why should they? We didn't deliver the last time and why should they this time. It's now time to go out there and show people we are not the has been party but we are the only party that can deliver what it promises and we are the only party that cares. I could go and on.
Do you think I would be elected leader? Now if you want ot vote for me ( just for fun) click on the comment anonymously and say yes or no


People today seem to me to be more free to do and say what they like. It seems that many governments all over the world think that we are now too free. We have smoking bans which I agree is unhealthy but shouldn't it be down to the individual to make that choice after all the buying of tobacco is legal . I smoke myself and am smoking less than I was. Due to me feeling unfit. Having ID cards seems to be a good idea but it does seems to take away the freedom of the individual to go from place to place without being stopped plus the fact that Having your Id stolen could prove more hazardous that having it stolen like it is being done today. The thing that does puzzle me somewhat is the freedom to trade. Why we have restrictions on free trade the Chinese are the prime example of a country we knew to be poor yet when they started to do well we seemed to have put a wall in front so they couldn't trade and that to me is not free trade. When it made shopping cheaper shouldn't we be following their example? Anyway that's only my opinion

Just lucky.

People ask me how I quit drugs and came off the streets. All I can say is I am one of the lucky ones. Many make it to the point that they get off the streets into work and for some reason their inbuilt self destruct just engages and within a few weeks they are back to square one. I believe I am just plain old fashioned lucky. I had a mad half hour on Blackfiars bridge in London. Threw my bag of heroin in the Thames on a whim and haven't touch since then and believe me when I tell you I have had more free offers of drugs from pushers than I brought when I was using.
The reason why I say I was lucky is I seems to be in the right places at the right time. Take for instance that first day it was a woman volunteer from the homeless charity crisis that picked me up and took me to my first crisis open Christmas. that's how lucky I have been. I have met wonderful people who had faith in me. They gave me the chance to go to college. I have made quite a few real friends but the most important thing they did for me was to let me make my own choices which is part of everyone's make up. Some choices we make are mistakes and sometimes we don't learn from the first one. But having that choice and understanding my choices is what I think made all the difference. It made me. me.
Should I keep taking drugs?
Should I learn to read and write?
Should I just live normally?
All easy choices for most people but for some really really difficult. We live in a world where everything seems to be cycles rain falls the sun dries it up. Then it falls again. Night always follows day and day always follows night. A drug addicts life is no different to any one else's really. He gets up scores becomes normal or high goes to sleep. Wakes up and it's a day repeated. But the difference is after a while the addict doesn't know that the drug has taken over and now it's needed for them to be normal. There is no choice anymore. The funniest thing about being an addict if hard bloody work getting the money everyday to score. You wouldn't believe some of the ideas an addict comes up with but that's another story. I have had a lot of luck to get where I am now. Will I ever go backwards I can say without a doubt no. I love my life now and I likebeing me and that feeling of being alive and knowing I am not as stupid as I thought I was.

01 October, 2005


Homelessness is not only confine to the UK it happens all over the world. I have recently read about the homeless people in Japan, Asia, and most of Europe and I have also read about homelessness in the United States. It doesn't matter where you live or what colour you are or even religion. If you become one of the unfortunates you can become homeless and in need of help. I listen to all the people that deal with it on a day to day basis and sometimes I disagree with what they are saying. I listen to politicians who don't really have a clue as too just what it's like to be homeless. I have been there got the t shirt and all. It's not a nice place to be. Living on the streets in many countries can become a way of life and it can also be accepted by the public because its in their face everyday. Is there a cure for poorer countries? It's hard to say but what I do know is they would prefer to live on our streets than their own. We can all moan and groan at what we see but I think on something's we can count our blessing. One is that we are not a poor country and we are trying to do something about it even if it doesn't seem like we are succeeding.
Was life hard on the streets? Yes it was.
Was it sometimes degrading? It sometimes felt as if things couldn't get any worse.
Was it my own fault I was on the streets? In my case I only have me to blame.
Could it have been prevented? Yes it could have if someone had taken the time to notice I wasn't at school or social services had listened to what I was saying when I was a child. What I'm trying to say is because we were children, what we had to say was unimportant. The fact that we were small children shouldn't have made any difference. We were not like the children of poorer countries scraping for food living on the streets because we had to. We had homes and families and things were going on that changed us and nobody noticed. I became a replica of my mother with one difference I managed to change. Most homeless people have had something happen to them and they end up on the streets as a last resort

Food for thought on the economy

Don't you find it strange that electrical goods and clothes and non essential items for the home have gone down in price. Yet food and petrol the everyday things needed have gone up.
One thing that does confuse me is this, if we are spending more in the shops than we did last year as the analysts say and we are not exporting enough to cover it. Then surely the chancellor ought to see a financial adviser. So they can explain that Britain is spending far more than it earns. After all the first rule of being in business is you can't spend what you don't earn. Surely someone should just whisper in Mr Browns ear it's bad and leads to loads of debt and that's really really bad for Britain and the economy.