Category Archives: From Random Acts Of Reality

From my old blog, Random Acts of Reality

Off To Hertfordshire

No real blog post today as Im preparing for being a guest at the Guardian Public services Summit. I'm jotting this down as I'm waiting for my bath to fill. It should be interesting and I get a free hotel room out of it.

Unfortunately, due to someone dropping out the format of my session has changed and so I have to rapidly plan a ten minute presentation before sitting down to be questioned. Oh well, should still be fun.

I need to perform well as people have paid over £600 to come to the summit (which I consider silly money).

And no, there hasn't been mention of a fee for my appearance. But I do these things because they are fun and because I get to meet interesting people. At this one I might be able to shout at a few politicians…

Which reminds me that I need to check that I've packed my pepper spray and brass knuckles.

Helpful Demons

The government hates 'hoodies', the media lambasts hoodies, people in the street are scared of hoodies. Hoodies are urban demons that do nasty things to people and then post it up on YouTube.

We were on a nice simple job – a woman had taken her child to the GP, the GP had called us because he thought that the child needed to go to hospital.

As we pulled up outside the surgery, a group of hoodies wandered up.

“What's happening?”, they asked.

“Plane crash. Didn't you hear it?”, my standard answer – anyone would think that children didn't learn about patient confidentiality in schools these days.

We entered the surgery and was directed to the patient, the GP was still with the two year old and mother. It's nice to see a GP who continues to care for the patient while waiting for the ambulance.

The child had some breathing difficulties during the day and the GP had already started treatment with some Salbutamol nebulisers. The mother didn't speak any English, so the GP (who was from the same ethnic group) explained what would be happening and we made a move to the ambulance.

Outside the surgery the hoodies were still hanging around. We opened the door to the ambulance to allow the mother and child to get onboard bu she just stood there saying something to me in some Asian language.

We tried our usual attempts to communicate, but the woman refused to get onto the ambulance.

“Here mate”, said one of the hoodies, “she says she wants to phone her husband”.

“Could you tell her that she can phone him when she gets to the hospital? We haven't got phones on the ambulance”.

There was a bit of a dialogue between the two of them.

At the original hoodies direction one of the others in the group pulled out a phone and handed it to the woman.

“She can use my mate's phone if you want, then she'll be happier to get in the ambulance.”

There was some attempt to ring her husband, but unfortunately his phone was engaged. The hoodies then spoke to her and she agreed to get onto the ambulance.

We tried to assess the child, but the mother wouldn't let us take his coat off.

Once again, our 'street thug' group translated for us.

“She says he'll cry if you touch him”.

The GP treatment had obviously worked well, so we weren't about to argue the point. We would just take her and her child to hospital and one of the nurses there could translate for her.

I thanked the hoodies for their help before getting into the ambulance and driving off.

“No problem mate”.


So there you have it, these demonised members of society helped us and the woman by translating and offering the use of a phone. Of course that won't make it to the front page of the news. I'm old enough to have seen the reality of the cycles of media hatred and scapegoating. I remember skinheads being to blame for all societies wrongs, then the punks, then the ravers, now it's hoodies.

I'm sure that people older than me can go further back. I'm sure that some will remember everyone blaming the 'Negros' in a similar way.

Sillyness.