In the UK here we have a charity called The Big Issue that provides help to the homeless by printing a magazine and selling it to the homeless for a pound and then the homeless sell it to Joe Public for two pound. Each seller has their own ‘pitch’ in the town centre and they have official ID as legit vendors and everyone knows about them in the UK. The charity was launched in 1991 and is seen as one of the more ‘cool and hip’ charities to support so lots of celebs got involved and gave interviews for the magazine.
I was reminded about The Big Issue the other week when I was wandering around Cardiff and noticed the usual load of wino’s in the town centre. You see them in all town centres, there’s usually a group of them, about four or five, drinking cheap booze, scruffy, noisy, cursing at passer-bys and occasionally they have a small dog with them.
What was surprising was that as I was walking past nearly all of them had either Irish accents or Glaswegian accents and it got me thinking, every single time I’ve noticed the local town drunks, be it in London or in one of the many towns I’ve gone on road trips to, they always seem to be Irish or Glaswegian.. and I started to wonder why that is.
Could it be something similar to The Big Issue, are there spots allocated to all citizens of Ireland and when we get to sixty do we have to give up our day jobs, don scruffy clothes as the drunks put on our nice clean ones and then spend two years drinking cheap wine and beer whilst shouting obscenities at passer-by’s and sleeping under bridges. And then after two years a woman comes along with your Irish replacement and you are relieved from duties and allowed to go home?
I will find out in ten years time.