The one redeeming feature of the place was the kids. They were anarchic, testosterone fuelled, BMX heroes who could find a way through two insurance padlocks and an engine immobiliser on a piece of site plant in 10 minutes flat. They were fit, lean, lithe, careless of any danger, disrespectful of any authority, infinitely crafty and resourceful and bored out of their skulls. The kids were at war with the whiny minging estate cunts. You can tell I liked them.
I had a visit from the local plod sergeant – a weasel faced little dickhead puffed with the stupidity of his own importance but who hadn\’t outgrown his acne scars. He wanted my help to \’trap\’ some of the kids. "We can\’t let PCSOs patrol here because the kids throw stones at them" he said. "Well, they don\’t fucking throw stones at me, mate" I said "Perhaps it\’s because I treat them like adults and have a banter and a laugh with them". He didn\’t like that.
What the place needed more than anything else was a paternal seen-it-all NCO with 20 years under his belt and a pile of attestation forms – these kids were God\’s own natural soldiers. Three months at Catterick and swapping their BMXs for GPMGs and I swear to God they would have out-soldiered, out-fought, out-thought and trounced any other foreign military force on the planet.
We have traditionally produced the finest infantry in the world from precisely those kids: mix in those NCO\’s and add a few chinless wonders to wave batons and drawl, "Come on men, I know you won\’t let The Regiment down" and you can conquer a quarter of the globe, as we did.
We might not want to do the conquering bit again but the (voluntary, of course) training might not be a bad idea, eh?