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An hour in the life of a scally

Ben Patey, in a brilliant piece of anthropological research, stalks a scally to see what they get up to

Published on February 11th 2008.


An hour in the life of a scally

There are many great unanswered questions in life: Is there a God? Where exactly is Salford? What’s the point of Dermot O’Leary?

A pressing question in Britain’s great urban centres revolves around scallies. What exactly do they get up to all day? Charity work perhaps, helping the aged and infirm to negotiate difficult road junctions, a bit of research in Central Library?

Confidential sent ace reporter Ben Patey out on the streets to find the startlingly, amazing, earth-shattering…er…totally predictable truth. We understand that this is an unfair piece of commentary without any attempt at balance. Still the idea intrigued us.

13.42 A large group of lads are loitering outside the Arndale taking it in turns to volley their chewing gum onto oncoming cars. After saying goodbye to each other in a twisted form of English, they disperse into two groups. One group enters the Arndale. Ignoring any legalities, I follow them.

13.44 Three of the four males are wearing their hoods up. We're not outside anymore you buffoons. One lad is drinking a pint of milk, another a strawberry Ribena. I'm keeping a nice distance.

Classic. The lads are looking at gold in the window of H Samuel Jewellers. My subjects are performing admirably. I take refuge by the Carphone Warehouse, a foolish move in hindsight. Everyone knows scallies love mobile phones and they come towards my hideout forcing me to swap my lookout point to the doorway of Curries. Paranoia strikes. Is everyone looking at me? In a strange move I pretend to be on my mobile phone. I get so immersed in my fake conversation that I lose my scallies.

13.49 I quickly latch onto another menacing group by Streetwise Sports. They are slightly younger, about 15-years-old, a few lads, and a couple of girls, one of whom looks pregnant. She suggests McDonalds. Perfect.

13.55 I follow them down Market Street. The lads leer at girls. I pretend to be playing on my phone. They dish out a few swear words to some girls giving out leaflets and spit whenever they're not swearing.

14.01 We arrive at St Ann’s Square, not your stereotypical hangout for the scal. However, amongst the posh shops, and serene water feature lays the scallie's Mecca - McDonalds. Getting into my role I follow them in and order a cheeseburger. From my lookout point, the idiots look happy enough making peashooter style contraptions out of their fast food straws.

14.16 I follow them out of McDonalds and back towards Exchange Square by the Triangle Shopping Centre. The pregnant girl, it transpires, actually has a beer belly, not a baby on the way. Her mate, who apparently has a pot of gel on her hair, jumps into a group of Chinese ladies taking pictures of themselves whilst one of the lads asks someone for a cigarette. A woman with a questionnaire stops me and I'm happy to lose the little gits. A newcomer to the group, had moments ago, dropped his chewing gum into a busker's hat. If I hadn't spent the last of my change on that burger, I would have given the guitar guy some money or thrown the coin at the twat's head. Miserable background, loveless lives, blah, blah, there’s no excuse: these lot are terrible human beings.

14.26 Back into the Arndale and I'm on the tale of a sullen looking individual who is walking with a limp. Interestingly, it emerges that that's just the way he walks. He is wearing only one leather glove. He's clearly off to meet a dreadful crew so I reluctantly follow him but don't foresee him needing the toilet. Do I follow him? Do I wait outside? Unbelievable. I'm waiting outside for him.

14.32 Whilst I wait for one-gloved youth to return, the gang I lost when I was on the phone walk past me. They feel like old friends and I have to actually stop myself shouting out hello. The word 'hello' probably doesn't cut it anyway – far too polite. You can probably get beaten up for saying 'hello'. I pursue a lad who is donning a JD Sports bag. It appears to be quite the fashion accessory amongst the Arndale truants. He is carrying…could it be? Yes, a musical instrument. A flute perhaps. He's walking at quite a pace and I have to run a bit to find out he's actually holding a pool cue. A weapon to assault old people perhaps? Or is this one scally with a real hobby.

14.41 It seems that Half Price Jewellers is a good place to meet fellow scallies. I take my pick and follow a couple of girls and a lad through the market where they look at mobile phone covers. There is an abundance of tracksuit-bottomed youngsters, aged 14-18. Can't they even get a job in Argos or something? I'm not dissing Argos. I used to work there. They could at least get a discount on the jewellery.

14.43 After briefly following a new gang who look as though they were going to stab a smelly looking man with dreadlocks and colourful baggy trousers, I decide to leave. Back into the fresh air and onto the streets of Manchester. Scallies eh? What do they do all day? Now I know – although I could have guessed.

Anyway, to sum up, here are ten things to do for free, if you decide to become a scally.

1. Volley chewing gum at passing vehicles
2. Look at gold jewellery
3. Look at mobile phones
4. Take some free straws from McDonald's and make peashooters out of them
5. Jump into people's photographs
6. Insult buskers
7. Insult charity workers
8. Buy a tracksuit for going out in and intimidate anyone not wearing the same cap, gold jewellery, one glove etc..9. Spit
10. Scratch your balls

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107 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

RennyroostaFebruary 11th 2008.

Last night a scally bird with a pram standing at the bus stop said to me "If I dint av me baby wiv me I'd f*ckin knock yer out". Classy.

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

Is this still going on? I was getting slagged off by all these yuppie wannabes last week for pointing out that the two main principles of journalism are to inform and/or entertain and this does neither. Anyone who finds this piece to be witty and amusing probably isn't very intelligent. And yes now i'll sit back and get told to get a sense of humour, to get a life etc etc etc...... but i don't mind!

A DEAD RINGERFebruary 11th 2008.

This article would be a lot funnier if the journalist had just remained impartial. For me, the piece would have read so much better if he'd simply stuck to reporting the facts (now wouldn't that be a novel idea for a journalist!) while analysing the 'scally species' in their natural habitat (David Attenborough stylie). Hence, the wittiness of the concept was often marred by the writers obvious bias. - In my opinion, calling scallies 'idiots' and 'buffoons' impinged slightly on the quality of the concept and the integrity of the journalist. But then again what would I know, I've been on benefits most of my adult life, I don't have any 'A' levels and I have a penchant for wearing my trainies with the tongues out! Still, the column's a whole lot better than some of the drivel I read in the Guardian Review of a Saturday!! - Keep up the good work!

smartiemcrFebruary 11th 2008.

Chav n Dave, some of your views are just plain ignorant. For a start, the vast majority of economic migrants that come over here do so to work, and work hard in jobs that our increasingly rich society needs doing, but which some of us can't or won't do.You may have a valid point regarding giving benefits to long-term unemployed Brits - maybe some of them should be forced to work some of these jobs, but given the choice employers will often choose the Polish workers over the Brits because they have a much better work ethic.I've met many of the Polish economic migrants and found most to be friendly, well-mannered and decent people, unlike a lot of the indiginous folk of this country. If you lived in Poland, were a well-qualified graduate who couldn't find a decent job and were offered the chance to go abroad and get one, are you telling me you wouldn't take it?So maybe you think I'm liberal lefty scum, but I am defending the hard-working, decent people who want to better themselves, certainly not the scallywags.And you can slag Labour off, but it is precisely because our economy has been doing so well over the last ten years that we can afford and need these people to come in from abroad.

jomovFebruary 11th 2008.

Oh it's just a stupid article..for christs sake!!Unfortunately it's true though...that's the pitiful thing.

Vicky PollardFebruary 11th 2008.

yeh but, no but, we iz wel edukated, wot u on abowt or sommit

JohnFebruary 11th 2008.

Oh, dear, Smartiemcr's fallen for the New Labour propaganda. Even using Soviet-style "revisionist" talk. I'm no more a Tory than you appear to be. Even more than robbin' £20 biilion or more needlessly from the mobile companies (the rest of the civilsed world auctioned off 3G licenses for about 10% of what Prudence Brown made) and then squandering it - or allowing it to be squandered by his mate Call-me-Tony; selling most, if not all our goild reserves in a panic when gold prices hit a 10 year low: creating even more PFI projects - when him and his pals objected to them in opposition - for which we'll be paying as long as anywhere between 15 to nearly 40 years, just because this would keep them off the so-called balance sheet when it would have been prudent to treat them as capital assets, paid-for and working effectively; the multi-billion pound pension tax or theft, which needlessly ruined many schemes and created the pensions black hole, saved only by the buoyant world-wide economy over which he has no control (the remaining pension schemes offer far less benefits than did those before the pension theft); taking even more taxes than any previuos government - apart from another Labour one - since the war and doing nothing with them, not least sorting out our supposed "integrated" transport system (where has THAT phrase gone?)... Need I go on? He's now in charge, and because he hasn't done enough to help provide for the future, his supposedly well-run economy will (not "may") fall into the red, further necessitating more taxes.This is a government who could create 4 wars and invade several sovereign states but couldn't take on the privatised train companies to wrest them back and make them run properly: even British rail was better than the current mess.Can I go now?

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

I take it Bored with Puzzled has already written on here under another name but seeing as though he had nothing to add to the actual 'debate' he has had to revert to trying to insult other people.... thanks for the relevant, witty, humourous comment 'Bored with Puzzled' keep them coming you lyrical genius!

Teenage ranter!February 11th 2008.

teenagers shouldnt be stereotyped or thought about in any way different to thinking abput an adult, i hate chavs and at the same time hate goths and other stereotypical teenagers, yet today me and two of my friends went to our skwl to do some good charity gardening! we went to school in our holidays! please dont stereotype or make any prejudice judgements before you know someone but you are right in thinking most of these chavs are mentally disturbed.

Obama bin ladenFebruary 11th 2008.

What we need is a good war.

JoFebruary 11th 2008.

Puzzled that's the whole point. There is no insight to be gained. That's the bitter humour involved here. I think it's clever. It says in the piece, "Confidential sent ace reporter Ben Patey out on the streets to find the startlingly, amazing, earth-shattering…er…totally predictable truth."

HazzaFebruary 11th 2008.

u've got them down to a tee. V. funny!

Mr ToadFebruary 11th 2008.

don't all you people moaning about this article realise that laughing about people less fortunate than ourselves is one of the cornerstones of British culture? The fact these scally subjects are not from an ethnic minority or disabled means that it definitely IS ok to take the piss. In fact, it's well funny n that. This article is delightfully biased and subjective, and wonderfully banter-packed, thought-provoking and debate-inducing. The fact is scallies are a bunch of morons. All of them. We pay for their alcohol, cigarettes, cheap jewellry and Burberry-clad kids through our taxes and therefore we are allowed to laugh and mock them. I don't care if I'm generalising because I'm 100 per cent right. And if you like scallies, or don't agree with me, you're an idiot. I've drawn a line in the sand - who's with me?

GregFebruary 11th 2008.

Scallywag is quite a big word, is that why scally spotters shorten it to scally ?

CubbyFebruary 11th 2008.

Excellent Ben, I expect the Pulitzer is in the post already.

MartinFebruary 11th 2008.

9am Take life too seriously all day. Try and crack a smile. Fail

JonathanFebruary 11th 2008.

Great pub moment on Saturday. Scally, "anyone want to buy this phone, a mate doesn't want it, it's not stolen." My friend, "thanks I just left that by the bar, thought I'd lost it." Scally puzzled, "Ok, there you are mate." Genius.

JinkiesFebruary 11th 2008.

Is this comment thread really happening or am I still in bed having some weird confused kind of textual nightmare? I don't know what's worse, this being a dream and my being late for work or you people actually existing out in the real world. Grip: get one.

DaveFebruary 11th 2008.

Follow 'Puzzled' around for an hour. I bet his life is well exciting

Mr ToadFebruary 11th 2008.

at last, some like-minded individuals. Jo, Yawn and stalkedscally, that doesn't mean i'm tarring you with my own filthy, filthy brush. It just means we're united in our perception of this piece as an amusing piece of writing that's not meant to be anything else. And we're also united, I believe, in our perception of Puzzled as a miserable git. If you can't take a joke and take this article in the manner it was intended you on the wrong site fella.

Bored with PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

Not by you though you boring git

dononeFebruary 11th 2008.

I worked a few years ago during the summers in Gorton doing a summer camp for the kids. They all dress the same to fit in which we all did when we were young. They are not all bad kids, yes i was pushed and kicked while i was there by some of them. But there are good kids. Living in poor areas and the environment they live in that makes the scals as we call them they way they are. During my time there i had to rush the kids of the fields as we watched joy riders fly over the field. Then there was the drug dealers on bikes hanging about talking to the kids while i was present. Offering money to do little deliveries. As a kid in a crap area with no money your going to do it.Parents are to blame, because there is some out there that just don't give a s**t about them. "Come here Malcolm you little f**kin s**t" Was what i heard being said to a 8 year old. I mean if your parents are talking to you like that, the kids going to take that attitude as he grows up.Then there is the parents that both have to work all day to keep the roof over there heads so have the kids locked out all day doing whatever they want. These parents have the guilt attitude and give little discipline to them when they are with them. Which results in a kid knowing he can do what he wants get what he wants because the parents are walkovers. "My dad can't tell me what to do, he's never around to be a dad, so why should I listen to him". What a lad sad to me while I was there.As for the article that's what we as kids did anyway when in town, messed about walked around looking at stuff we can't have. Only it wasn't mobiles and jewellery.

RWFebruary 11th 2008.

Very brave of you...and very funny. Quite sad really because these idiots are the future of our country!...scary thought.

LFebruary 11th 2008.

Wow, I can't believe that so many people are getting so annoyed about this. I've not seen as many comments about any other story on this site. I thought it was amusing and as I work with young people daily, thought some of it was quite accurate! Obviously not all young people in trackies are scum or scallies, but there's a fair few kicking around that are. Loads of teenagers are nice and polite, but there's some who aren't. Bit like in any part of the population..... Is it so horrendous to slag off adult scallies Greg, or just teenagers???!!

Drew PeacockFebruary 11th 2008.

I interviewed a lad for a job a year or so ago, He turned up in a white tracksuit...I asked him if he thought it was the correct attire to turn up for for an interview...He said "Probably not, but me Tacchini one's in the wash mate!"Out of seven people invited for interview, all under 18, two did not show, two came in jeans, one in a tracksuit and only one in a suit and tie...he got the job.This was for an apprentice locksmith, 3 years supervised training with day release at college. £150 pw rising to £250 in 3rd year...The one in the white tracksuit told me "You won't get anyone any good paying that low mate!" As far as I am aware, he still hangs around on Market St.

smartiemcrFebruary 11th 2008.

Labour have nothing to do with the success of the economy and inherited a wonderful economy in 1997? Absolute revisionist Conservative rubbish. And arrogance on the part of some people who think they could do a better job of running the economy than Gordon Brown. And for spacebeagle to say that some of the BNP's policies are more left-wing than Labour! Get a grip! This is the government who have lowered the age of consent for gays and brought in civil partnerships, introduced the minimum wage etc... to even suggest the BNP Nazis offer some kind of viable solution is just madness.And let's blame Labour for scallies now, because they never existed before 1997!? You can blame the government for some things, but that's just ridiculous. On the issue of scallies on the gay scene, tell me about it! Us gays used to pride ourselves on beoing fashionable, but oh how the tables have turned these days!

LouFebruary 11th 2008.

Oh my god if only he was being prejudiced and the world wasnt crumbling at the feet of the scally. Round em up and shoot em thats what I say....

NeekaFebruary 11th 2008.

do scallies know they're scallies? do they think "i'm a scally"?

LouFebruary 11th 2008.

although they do keep the nice people who make "blue wickid" (init) in big houses and fast cars.....

cocoFebruary 11th 2008.

Haha. Even though I assumed all of the above, and have seen it anyway. I'm glad someone took the time out to write about this. Funny... but sad. I think these types of scals are of specific to Manchester. One of the girls in my old high school 22 same age as me has three children now. My history teacher once said conscription should be introduced back in to this country. I laughed at the time, but now I can see he was serious, and why.

stalkedscallyFebruary 11th 2008.

mr toad, if he's on the wrong side can I have his mobbi & wallet ? Ill go halfs on his shoes (only like trainers)

JamesFebruary 11th 2008.

Strange that after all these comments you're the first to mention it. Does this reflect Moving Manchester's readership? In fact is it still going? Was it stolen by scallies?

BexyFebruary 11th 2008.

Greg is most definitely a scally... I reckon your the one gloved scally Ben was following?!

GregFebruary 11th 2008.

or "an hour in the life of a cheap shot prejudiced journalist"

Chav n DaveFebruary 11th 2008.

Im all for sterilisation too Mr Bradley, as their breeding has come to such levels that they are no longer the minority underclass, they seem to be everywhere these days.....due to their apparent wealth loads of em drive, yet they live on benefits??? if they can afford to drive then they can join the workforce and stop hitching rides off the rest of us. Thats Labour for you, Give everyone as much free money as possible and raise living standards for all!, yeah right! whos paying? Us mugs as per. Immigrants illegal or otherwise are also bleeding us never mind the scally underclass living amongst us. We are paying for kids in Poland for Christs sakes who dont even live here as my friend Pete told me when he rang the DWP the other day...thats apart from the African scammers screwing us too but thats another debate......I'd also sterilise the liberal lefty scum who betray the Brits in favour of these foreigners and actually constantly make excuses for them and the poor scallywag.

GregFebruary 11th 2008.

I find it hard to believe that the workload of A&E is largely down to "Scally shootings". Drunken fights, accidents, sports injuries, car crashes, falling from bikes, a bit of DIY gone wrong surely rank higher in frequency.

amused!February 11th 2008.

This is quite amusing! I think everyone who is sticking up for scallies need to get a grip! Scals are ridiculous!

Chavvy JohnFebruary 11th 2008.

Blimey, Greg: get some reality here. It's not like they try to avoid being stereo-typed, all wearing the same uniform and behaving in the same, varying-degrees-of-offensive manner. Not journos: chavs 'n' scallies. Apart from the ones who realise, get dressed differently, get a job and then become responsible members of society. Or perhaps our journo's friends were just mis-understood and are in fact opting out of the rat race...

RitaFebruary 11th 2008.

Oh dear D. What should we do understand then, cuddle them. The worst scallies are careless of other people, the law and they blame others for their ills. It is their choice to be horrible, to spit, to swear.

Simple SimonFebruary 11th 2008.

Puzzled, where you say "I can't for the life of me see why anyone would be entertained by this awful piece of writing" - do you mean your comment? If you do I'm deffo in full agreement lol. I think this here article is a bit of a laugh, kinda like a silly conversation you have down the pub. Not sure bout what Keith says about it being a social release, but I think everyone needs to relax a bit and enjoy it for what it is, social commentary written to make us laugh. Next week could you follow a parking warden around? I've always wondered what they get up to when they're not laughing and taking photos.

stalkedscallyFebruary 11th 2008.

Well, Im horrified to realise that Ben "Big Hunter" has been stalking myself and chums. He'll be hearing from my legal aid/no win no fee,ambulance chasing lawyer in due course. Puzzled come on there wasn't 3 of us ! You really need to kick back and enjoy some aimless fun banter or we'll stick gum in your hair

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

I still can't get over how such a crap piece of writing has sparked so much debate... purely commenting on the actual standard of writing you have to be honest and say that the most interesting piece of this article is the comments provided by 'us' ranters!

LouFebruary 11th 2008.

You have obviously never been intimidated/verbally abused/spat at by a group of young people in the cinema/street or going into a shop etc. Unfortunately Greg my dear that is how these people who dress like that behave. It is part of their culture and I am sick of being scared of walking past a group of kids. I havent walked past one in the last few years who havent felt the need to be abusive. Its wrong that people feel intimidated by this group and type of person but its because of how they behave and I dont care if you do think its prejudiced.

Chavvy JohnFebruary 11th 2008.

At least ManCon have started the thinking process. We're talking about: I wonder if we can come up with something useful...

john (again!!)February 11th 2008.

Blimey! i've even moved a cultural gear. In my last post, apart from spelling "along" with 2 many "n"s, I wrote Fame, Celebrity And Monet. I of course meant to write "Fame, Celbrity and DEGAS. Or maybe Mondrian...(What was I thinking?)

stejaskiFebruary 11th 2008.

wow Former scally-great post!! kinda shuts everyone up! Nice one. Ive worked for the Employment service in the past and have dealt with "scallies" on a daily basis. Yes there are the little scumbags amongst them, like there are (in abundance) in the middle classes and "above". The majority of the ones I saw just wanted work, but struggled, through lack of eduction (and they would first to take responsibility for this) to be given a chance. I remember one lad and his albeit very young girlfriend stopping me in the street to thank me for helping him find a job. The article was funny, cos its true, and perhaps the next one should be on the dickhead middle class students from tiny villages up here pissing away Muumy and Daddy's money making tits of themselves. Loads of ammo there.

smartiemcrFebruary 11th 2008.

This article is hilarious in one sense, but also sad because it's so true! We all need to do something to halt this scally cancer which has taken hold of society. Okay, we've had scallies in the North West of England for years, but at least they used to fear authority slightly. Now they seem to walk around like they rule the place, as though they are in some way superior, and make law-abiding citizens fearful. Decent people of this country need to unite, stand up and show these scum bags what it means to live in a civilised society.Of course we should not stereottpe every teenager who dresses in a certain way, but should we have to put up with weirdos wearing balaclava-type hats and massive hoods in indoor shopping areas? NO!Should we have to suffer in silence in a coffee shop whilst some delinquent blasts happy hardcore dross out of their pay-as-you-squalk mobile? NO!Someone should teach these idiots some manners, maybe give them electric-shock therapy to teach them to say please, thank you and hold doors open for old ladies!One things for sure, when I go abroad I don't see this kind of behaviour anywhere near as frequently. Where are we going wrong in this country? They worship material goods yet don't want to earn the respect and work hard to get them (perhaps because Big Brother has taught them that being an idiotic chav is a viable career path). Oh, it makes me sick! As Alan Partridge summed it up: "Scum. Sub-human scum!"

ChiFebruary 11th 2008.

James, it's still going on but Flic Everett does it these days after there was a bit of a kerfuffle with the old company who used to have it. She's doing a good job with it too, but it's not around that much any more.

ChiFebruary 11th 2008.

Anyone else remember when Moving Manchester published an article exactly like this, an anthropological study of the scally? About a year and a half ago? Hurrah for fresh new journalism!!!

jomovFebruary 11th 2008.

So funny! They have a choice...get some education, get a job!They are the future?Hopefully some will actually change paths and see they are wasting their lives but some of them no doubt will be the future fraudsters claiming incapacity benefits and living off the tax payers...

NeekaFebruary 11th 2008.

No he's not, he uses big words. Its true, we do expect certain behaviour because of their appearance, but they never let us down do they?!

john (again!!)February 11th 2008.

Jon

AliFebruary 11th 2008.

Don't be boring Greg-its funny

GregFebruary 11th 2008.

Lou he is being prejudiced. Following people around expecting certain behaviour from them because of how they look & then broadcasting it with the intention of encouraging acceptance of nasty views.

smartiemcrFebruary 11th 2008.

Oh what a pity you aren't in power John, I'm sure you have all the answers. But since you're not Labour or a Tory you're wasting your time sadly! Anyway, you've gone off on rather a political slant, where was your reference to how New Labour have created the scally?

KarenFebruary 11th 2008.

In taking the piss out of poor uneducated scallies this has nothing on Catherine Tate and Little Britain.

CampbellFebruary 11th 2008.

Matt, that's going a little far isn't it? And it's not middle-class to say so but surely working in A&E you might want to think through the consequences. I agree with UEFA 'It's a basic characteristic of most humans to not want to harm others, it's inhuman to want to hurt and scare people all the time'. That's what you'd be doing. The big problem is the fact that nobody, none of the agencies seem to know how to deal with the anti-social behaviour. Giving the bad young people adventure trips and free boxing classes seems like a reward, which is wrong? What is wrong with trying to impose a fear of authority and sanction. Above all, we have to ask where does this lack of self-control come from? Maybe there are examples of methods which have worked in turning kids around. Let's look to them and see if they supply any answers.

CaradogFebruary 11th 2008.

Well while scallies are generally useless they do make nice eye candy. There's a whole bizzaro subculture of gay scallies, particularly centred in Manchester. Curiously replellant and facinating at the same time...

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2008.

What I see here more than anything is just a continuation of class divisions. A lot of people forget where they came from and what they once were like as a kid too. Pretty much most of us were absolutely awful as children/teenagers. But eventually we grow up and become 'human beings' although judging by the replies so far this is not the case. Peoples views on this article (or someones pathetic attempt to make themselves feel better about their own place in the world they exist) is absolutely shocking and does nothing to build relationships between people from different backgrounds.

the man from greggsFebruary 11th 2008.

i though scallies ate more greggs? I stand corrected

JohnFebruary 11th 2008.

Labour has had very little say in how the economy has "succeded" over the last 10 years, Smartiemcr, they just like to claim the credit. If anything, they inherited good conditions from the Tories in '97, but were lucky enough to ride on the back of rather good world-wide economic conditions - over which they have had very little say - while claiming all the credit.

Wayne and WaynettaFebruary 11th 2008.

You're right. You can get some really easy laughs out of grunting scallies so let's go ha, ha, ha, ha, ha , ha....ad nauseaum

Chav n DaveFebruary 11th 2008.

i know why Hoodies are so-called, its cos they are all acne-ridden on their ugly in-bred faces and so have to hide themselves due to the fact that their pathetic mothers weaned them on sodium benzoate-fuelled soft drinks and McDonalds! Half of em are weedy pathetic wimps, how many do you see that are six footers and muscular?? check it out...thats why they need the safety of the gang. Spinless wimps the lot of em. Cowards too and attention seekers (lack of males in the household) so i purposely ignore any loud noises they emit (like playing mobile phone music on the bus), i always walk past em head high walking confidently cos i refuse to be intimidated by them, they are powerless lost little boys, being scared, thats what gives them the power dont you see? Dont cross the road when you see em, walk straight past as if they dont exist, the media have put them on a pedestal as it is, why give them this coverage??

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

I can't for the life of me see why anyone would be entertained by this awful piece of writing. I know i'll get all these comments back now saying i love scallies or i don't have a sense of humour but i don't really care. Basically the 'worst' thing these scallies did was spit their chewing gum out. Did they stab anyone? Did they shoplift? Did they actually do anything illegal or unethical? NO! So this isn't exactly a story is it? Their only crime was to 'hang around town' something we all did when we were younger. Were all grown up (i'm presuming) so slagging off a bunch of kids because of the way they look and speak (which they're doing to fit in with everyone else)isn't anything that i'm interested in to be honest! Now come on bring on the 'witty' replies....

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

Not that original Bill but still pretty funny!

Former scallyFebruary 11th 2008.

I grew up on a Wythenshawe council estate. My Dad was in prison most of my young life and my Mum who had me at the grand old age of 16 would often take me out of school on her shop lifting excursions. My Mum was actually serving a sentence whilst she was pregnant with me, so technically I am a former con too. My school, Poundswick high closed down during my O-level year due to a NUT standoff with over some expelled kids. I could go on and on but the point is I got a 1st in engineering, completed my MBA and am now a director of my company. I had more obstacles than most and I overcome them. Nobody regardless of their socio-economic background/race etc should be able to abdicate from personal responsibility. This country provides opportunity for those who wish to take it. Rant over, thanks for listening.

spacebeagleFebruary 11th 2008.

If smartie would care to re-read my last post re the BNP, I said ECONOMIC policies. Two of the three examples he quotes in his response are social policies. Clearly, BNP social policies would be impossible for anyone but the most hard of thinking to vote for, but that wasn't what I was advocating. The point is that Blair is a war criminal who will hopefully get his just desserts one day and Brown is a ****ing coward, who (I think) disagreed with the war in Iraq but never has the balls to say so. Sorry to everyone for going off track. Great posts by btw, John, you got it right!

RachelFebruary 11th 2008.

Gregg,The scallies didn't let themselves down though did hey by actually doing something useful while on the streets of Manchester. Therefore the opinions of most people have been proven right.........they are a waste of space and oxygen!

eddy rheadFebruary 11th 2008.

I dont mean to be a wooly liberal but in this stunning piece of investigative journalism what exactly did these kids do wrong or anything different than what we all did as kids? In the "Top Ten" you can substitute the looking at mobile phones and jewellery for something a bit more 80s but it seems these kids did exactly what i would have done when i was there age. Be a bit annoying, waste time, wear daft clothes,look a bit surly and lets face it - i would love to insult buskers and chuggers most of the time aswell.As far as i can tell none of them did anything illegal (is spitting illegal?) but once again teenagers make an easy target for poncey middle class journalists who think its alright to make offensive generalisations about a whole social group. Would this article be 'funny' if the social group in question were an ethnic minority or perhaps disabled people?

JonFebruary 11th 2008.

Now its Fame, Celbrity and Degas. Because of you post I spent the whole weekend living a life of fame, celebrity and Monet, it was excessive but cultural, I loved the time after the sweet sweet moments spent with Scarlett Johannson when I tippy-toed across the water-lillies.

juliefFebruary 11th 2008.

and they are all ugly - you never see a good looking scally!

AlanFebruary 11th 2008.

But it still is funny.... anybody who understands British history understands that this sort of story is our safety valve. It's how we cope. Scallies today, immigrants tomorrow and we muggle on and get through it. i love it we are so the least Fascist country in Europe because we love a good moan. And then some tea and a bit of cake.

DaveFebruary 11th 2008.

Greg's a scally

DaveFebruary 11th 2008.

stating the obvious is what makes it funny. It's also what makes it pretty scary. It's no exaggeration. Kids do this all day instead of being at school.

UEFAFebruary 11th 2008.

Let's raise the debate. Of course all scallies aren't evil. But the despair people feel about certain of them is that seem to take joy from being bad, from intimidating people. It's a basic characteristic of most humans to not want to harm others, it's inhuman to want to hurt and scare people all the time. And yes they probably did come from backgrounds with low expectations and aspirations but then loads of people share that background and don't become as hopeless (and I mean without hope of improving themselves, getting on) than some of these kids.

The answerFebruary 11th 2008.

I think genocide is the only answer here, surely with today's technology bio-chemical weapons can be designed to target a specific group of people?!? You might think they are harmless but they're like cancerous cells infesting the body of this country...And look at this this way, Chavs are the (ever so slightly) classier evolution of the scally, the next stage are those vile specimins that drink in the printworks, and they then evolve to the Deansgate locks crowd who act as though they're millionaires but probably work in Topshop..SAVE MANCHESTERSAVE THE WORLDDESTROY THE SCALLIES!!

GezFebruary 11th 2008.

But it is witty and mirthsome. That's good enough for me

JimFebruary 11th 2008.

At least Manchester Confidential are being honest, up front they say, 'We understand that this is an unfair piece of commentary without any attempt at balance. Still the idea intrigued us.' In which case we should read it as such more for the amusement rather than the slight to these poor tormented young folk.

DescartesFebruary 11th 2008.

Let's be honest though guys, it's the parents fault aint it.

GregFebruary 11th 2008.

All kids act a bit hard in front of their mates and often dress to conform with their peers. Sure there are some nasty pieces of work, always have been, but these are kids who have not yet fully developed. By sterotyping people due to what they look like, you are creating your own fear. You can't be middle class without riff raff to look down on.

JohnFebruary 11th 2008.

Well, Smartie, I wasn't necessarily going to comment on who has created the scally: they've been there all alonng.I think what has certainly not helped the situation is how fame, celebrity and monet seems to be the right of everyone, without having put in any effort to earn it.Look how mediocre performance is rewarded with a large pay-off in higher circles, whereas, at our level, we'd be sacked with little or no recompense. Friend Tony is a cracking example of this: a mediocre performance in office - especially on the back of 3 large consecuitive majorities - when this could have been put to good use in actually creating change in all sorts of areas, but he and his cronies just went for head-line grabbing short-termism.I don't think we have a decent government or opposition, so that is the reason I can't align myself with either side just yet. However, I do despise Blair for his mediocrity.

matt the kipperFebruary 11th 2008.

I thought I'd follow some scals around the other night - I ended up down Canal St dancing to cheesy hi energy pop tunes - nobody bloody well told me that Scal fashion is trendy on the Gay Scene.....oh the shame if my mummy finds out I was dancing to Abba....sob!!!!

Keith BradleyFebruary 11th 2008.

In a week when three yobs have been given long prison sentences for the drunken murder of a decent man, I think this is quite relevant debate to be having. Sure, not all scallies are violent, drunken scum but enough of them are such that the popular image we see here is created; For the hand wringing apologists among us, that image was not some kind of immaculate conception, it grew from peoples experiences or perceptions! The question is what do you do about people with poor education, little motivation to get a job and no aspirations to better themselves? The problem surely lies with the parents who have so little desire to see their children achieve anything. To quote Robert Heinlein 'there is no such thing as a juvenile delinquent, only a delinquent parent'. Did you know they had an active eugenic sterilsation programme in socially democratic and liberal Sweden as recently as the 1970's?

BillFebruary 11th 2008.

Puzzled, get a sense of humour, get a life.

WazzaFebruary 11th 2008.

Mancon say at the start it's unfair Journalism and is obviosuly written as a bit of fun. It's funny. Who cares if it pokes fun at stereotypes. Get to school scallies

General Giles St JohnFebruary 11th 2008.

Yes we should all go to war...country pulling together...Dunkirk spirit.....scallies in uniform, scare the leaving **** out of me. Those tracksuits scare the living **** out of me too. As Wellington said during the Napoleanic War 'scum of the earth' about his British underclass soldiery.

YawnFebruary 11th 2008.

Exactly Jo. Come on Puzzled. Your puzzing yourself. It's an hour in the hour of a scally. They do nothing. That's the point

rive gaucheFebruary 11th 2008.

there should be a regular article on chavs - it is entertainment - and their brands they love them so much, more than their mobile or their bonehead. And they recycle most of their social security payments by smoking, so they do get involved in recycling.

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

I'll draw a line under the sand as soon as people realise that this 'story' is completely pointless! it wasn't a story because NOTHING HAPPENED! That was my only point. I don't like scallies i don't stick up for them, only 2 years ago i was jumped by 3 of them and left in hospital. All i'm saying is this story doesn't give an actual insight into 'an hour in the life' of a scally it's just a really boring, unfunny piece of writing. The end!

DFebruary 11th 2008.

Genuinely depressing, nasty little piece of writing this. However as most of the comments are in agreement with the writer I think its probably me that's looking at the wrong website. See you later

Mr PulitzerFebruary 11th 2008.

Ben what is you address we lost it? Cubby meanwhile is going to be sent our 'no sense of humour' prize. This was a very funny idea, should have done it for a whole day, or a whole day and night.

PuzzledFebruary 11th 2008.

So Martin do you ever come up with original comments or do you always read someone elses then copy them? And Dave are you telling me that that story 'excited' you. Looks like your the one with the interesting life!

AliFebruary 11th 2008.

Do I follow him? Do I wait outside? Unbelievable. I'm waiting outside for him. haha!

MichelleFebruary 11th 2008.

As Jonathan Schofield, the editor of this site wrote about the Tory report on Manchester: 'Immigration is also a vital component in change. More than any other UK city aside from London, Manchester has always grown through immigration, both internal and international. Immigration might create tensions, especially when closely identified with religion, but it also creates tremendous dynamism. When populations get old, they get whingy, in the UK the rich moaners get second homes in Spain and carp about the UK, the poor stay and do the same. Immigration means people arriving with a desire to succeed. Literally fresh blood. Immigration and Manchester go together hand in hand.' That's totally the Manchester atitude.

just a thoughtFebruary 11th 2008.

for all you scally sympathizers... bet you wouldn't get any of em a job at your place!!

MickFebruary 11th 2008.

not a lot of time for this today but, come an spend some time around piccadilly and you'll appreciate these are a kind of their own. no prejudice - just true. BUT - be as ''confident" as they are with you and you'll have little to worry about. Maybe they don't all have the greatest dress sense or manners of the wider world but they are not all going to stab you either.

SnatchFebruary 11th 2008.

All this poking fun at the "underclass" is all well and good. However, at the risk of resembling a tree-hugging twat, may I float the idea that "scallies" are in fact society's problem. You may, in your witty prose, generate some mirthsome, middle-class anecdotes, but you are in fact marginalising a swathe of society further. I am surprised at my reaction as I am often known to hold some rather fascist views, but I find this article rather distasteful and unnecessary.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2008.

Sterilise the lot of them!The sad thing now is all the scallies I went to school each have about 6 kids of their own. Yet more dregs of society to keep Elizabeth Duke and McDonalds in profits! When I was younger I did 'hang around' in town. But rather than spit, snarl and generally annoy everyone else in the city we kept ourselves to ourselves, didn't go looking for trouble and amazingly enough managed to resist the urge to share some tinny god awful music blaring from our mobiles. In short, me and my friends were not scummy little scrotes. And as for 'is spitting illegal', it bloody should be. I am sick to death of dodging great big balls of phlegm on the pavement, forget about cigarette dimps - fine the spitters! Power to the (non scummy) people!

matt the kipperFebruary 11th 2008.

Mark says he's with Greg and we are taking cheap shots - so whats an expensive shot then Mark ?? Maybe Multinational Corps who blag their tax breaks???- yep they do but I'll have a go at them just as easily - HOWEVER - ScalScum affect day to day life on more immediate levels - ie actual physical harm - so having a go at the pale weasely faced scrotes who terrorise the streets aint a cheap shot in my book - its a lovely expensive one ! Let me guess - you and Greg are nice safe middle class left wing tosspots with jobs in education, media, social services or some other such hand wringing crap. Me - I work in A&E and merely save lives and patch injured people up on a day to day basis - and plenty of em have been put in A&E by Scally Scrote Scum. A 9mm bullet in the back of the skull would be a nice solution methinks.Then take the cost of the bullet from their 'jewellery ' and phone collections.

markFebruary 11th 2008.

I'm with Greg, cheap shots done again and again.............

spacebeagleFebruary 11th 2008.

I can't believe smartiemcr believes that Labour have got something to do with the 'economic miracle' we've enjoyed these past 10 years. Gordon Brown did two good things as Chancellor. 1. Giving the Bank of England authority to set interest rates (albeit with rather too narrow a remit), 2. Flogging fresh air (sorry that was 3G licences), to the mobile phone companies for £22 billion, other than that he's the luckiest politician ever to have lived! And as for defending the working classes? as Jim Royle would say, my arse!(Google 'political compass' for more thought provoking ideas) The most left wing party in (mainstream) British politics is now the Lib Dems, even some of the BNP's economic policies are to the left of Labour! Labour are unbelievably authoritarian with the easy targets, such as us, and proceed to do **** all about the low level harassment, vandalism and petty crimnality which we all forced to tolerate and which is the essential point of this rant!

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2008.

I know genocide is wrong, but...!Nothing like tarring the world with a big stereotypical brush eh? I really don't get chavs at all. My friend was beaten up by these 2 drunken, obese chav girls once (shemales), yet a couple of weeks later they were commended for raising the most money in the school for charity! Why help some people yet randomly attack others? Sometimes they don't even take your stuff, it's just some odd violence from within. Hello, Clockwork Orange society.

boonFebruary 11th 2008.

There are 2 types of scallies, the ones just being kids and going through a phase and the downright dangerous ones......career criminals in training

CubbyFebruary 11th 2008.

Of course scallies aren't above criticism, yes make fun of them! But writing an article which is basically: scallies spit, hang around the Arndale and wear Elizabeth Duke isn't funny or clever. It's just stating the obvious.

HerodFebruary 11th 2008.

See my point now!

gold earringsFebruary 11th 2008.

Jeez Greg get over your self you scally lover. Scallys are scum and should be treated with contempt! They are thick, buy pasties from 'Gregs' bakers (now we know why he is so angry!!) All they do is breed more of themselves. YUK!

The BakerFebruary 11th 2008.

nothing cheap about scallies Greg, they cost a fortune in policing, benefits and child maintenance, and Mcdonalds straws.

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