BACK in the ‘good old days’ when young people made their own fun – which was the only real option when you had nowt – the young scalliwags of one Dewsbury neighbourhood had a nickname: the ‘Chick Mafia’.
Oh, there weren’t any bodies thrown in the Calder wearing cement boots, nothing like that.
No drug cartel, no money-laundering operation; no ‘buying’ local politicians like Councillor Jack Hird. Just the local lads, who were the swaggering cocks of that particular roost.
If young fellers from Thornhill, the Moor, Ravy and suchlike went ‘courting’ a lass up Chick, they’d be well advised to wear their best running shoes, or risk having to discover how handy they were with their fists. It was peacock-like territorial pride, in the manner of ages past.
I doubt that the baseball bat-wielding, car ramming, gun shooting low-lives who have been terrorising Chickenley over the past week would last two minutes with the men who made Chick the neighbourhood and community it once was – weapons or not.
Aiming a car at a bloke walking home or going gang-handed and tooled up into a pub doesn’t make these little scrotes any kind of Kray gang apprentices.
Firing a gun at a door or window in the dead of night and high-tailing it into the dark isn’t quite on the Al Capone scale of things.
One of the worst aspects of this past week’s tit-for-tat attacks is that some of them appear to have been targeted at the parents and families of the young men involved, with children present in some.
That tells you most of what you need to know about the moral fibre and backbone of these complete wastes of oxygen.
Chickenley residents who have witnessed the midsummer madness of the past week may have been temporarily reassured by the sight (and sound) of police riot vans, patrol cars and the force helicopter hovering overhead – although the person who said it took the law 40 minutes to respond to a 999 call on Sunday evening wasn’t overly impressed.
Kirklees police know the names of these turf-war terrorists, because their activities have been common knowledge, locally, for a long time.
Their identities were being openly discussed by onlookers when I attended the scene of one police operation on Tuesday.
And if I can find out which Dewsbury and Batley ‘adult’ dealers they work for, you’d think even the hapless Kirklees Keystones could discover which house to raid next.
That’s presuming they want to of course – and I’m sure some do. I’m also certain some don’t.
I don’t want to get all misty-eyed Dixon of Dock Green over how we’ve descended into this state of social madness, because it’s not just here – it’s a fall that’s echoed across towns and cities the length and breadth of the land.
It’s tempting to go misty-eyed about having dedicated police officers responsible for walking those neighbourhoods; that boots on the streets might have averted this mayhem.
And in turn Labour politicians would wail about austerity and Tory cuts and nothing would change.
The fact is that this social chaos is not just about police resources, it’s about the disintegration of community spirit, respect and particularly responsible parenting.
In the modern age of youths being out of sight and out of mind, I fear (usually single) parents don’t care what they’re up to, so long as it doesn’t bring trouble – or the law – to the doorstep.
As such, what the streets of Chickenley are experiencing now is what some of their ‘law-abiding’ citizens have created.
And it really has come home to roost on their own doorsteps.
HOW would you like it if, in the event of Labour winning the next general election, they decided to nominate a halfwit like Eddie Izzard as Prime Minister?
I know they can’t for the simple reason that he’s not an elected MP, but it seems our Remain-supporting brethren are happy with the concept at least.
One of Izzard’s cherry-red stiletto shoes probably has a higher IQ than Jeremy Corbyn, but at least Corbyn is an MP. He was elected by someone. Mostly British someones in fact.
Meanwhile in Brussels, Juncker-the-Drunkard’s replacement as all-powerful chief of the EU Commission is Ursula von der Leyen, who not only was not elected to the EU, but hasn’t even got the support of most Germans who were.
It is a convention, a rare nod to democracy within the EU Commission, that its leader has to represent the majority group in the European Parliament. Rather inconveniently, with the rise of The Brexit Party and similarly Eurosceptic or overtly EU-hostile parties across Europe, von der Leyen shouldn’t have had a prayer of getting the job.
Except Brussels is run not by the democratically-elected members of the European Parliament, but by the unelected elite intent on creating a superstate with powers over not just our borders, taxes and judiciary – all governance ultimately – but a unitary EU army too.
No matter that as German defence minister, von der Leyen sent their soldiers on a NATO exercise with broom handles instead of guns; when Brexit is finally sabotaged (as she/they still hope) the UK will bear the brunt of that cost, even if we have little say – and no veto – as to how an EU military is deployed.
That said, the way the EU is going it would probably be unleashed on its own citizens first – probably ours, which would be the irony of all ironies.
‘But’, I hear you say, ‘we can’t fund their army because we’re leaving by October 31st aren’t we? Boris promised!’
Boris might have, but Ursula von der Leyen this week favoured pushing back the October 31st deadline which some might construe as the EU showing signs of weakness. Oh grow up, folks, this is them playing games, encouraging our Parliamentary traitors and the second referendum lobby to keep fighting.
Forget all the rhetoric, because keeping us in the EU by any means possible remains their only game in town.
ANOTHER old rugby league warrior has headed for extra time in the heavens, this time in the shape of Dewsbury Celtic legend Mick Doyle.
Mick was Westtown’s equivalent of George Best – without the money, flash cars or women.
He had dashing good looks until he got his teeth kicked out, which he never did get properly sorted.
Where Mick (he hated ‘Doyley’) compared to Best, was in how skilful and absolutely effortless everything on a field was for him; but also, like Georgie, he never achieved the absolute heights (relatively) because of a fondness for, shall we say, the ‘social’ side of things.
Mick was 70 which isn’t old these days – but boy did he cram a lot in, one way or another.
His funeral is at noon, a fortnight today (Friday August 2) at St Paulinus. I’ll see a good few of you there.
And on the subject of local sporting heroes, my old soccer and rugby pal Gary Birkenshaw left us very prematurely nearly 20 years ago.
Crikey, where does it go? The 19th staging of the Gary Birkenshaw Memorial Trophy is at Hanging Heaton GC next Friday, with proceeds to Friends In Need.