There are times when a blogger is overcome by some people's generosity and this is one of them for me. Euan Taylor has offered me the publication rights - under the author's copyright - of The Journeyman which he wrote some years ago and I was delighted to accept: if the truth be told I snapped his hand off. With Euan's agreement I've decided to publish it as a series, in chapters, and the first will be published this Sunday evening at 7pm when I do hope you will enjoy this tale of 'one man's struggle to uncover a world of bribery and corruption that runs to the heart of government'.
I suppose I was just an ordinary bloke. I mean I was no Adonis, never shone in any sport, not even in bed; hadn't any inclination to being the hero. Probably trusted who I shouldn't have and didn't listen enough to those I could, or so they told me after. For thirty-eight I smoked too much, wined and dined and supped the malts too much; but that was all part of the business, the style that was necessary to prise the hints and nudge the tips to win the contracts.
Don't get me wrong, I hadn't done too badly, I'd a cracker of a wife, kids I thought the world of, a couple of Jags in the drive, four? no, five houses, a yacht and the usual gubbins of stocks, investments and insurances.
When Mrs T and her lobotomised boneheads came into power and the going got tough I worked harder and got tougher, but it wasn't enough. I was in engineering construction and this was the eighties; the boom titty, bust titty, bust, bust, bust time, and I got beat. Didn't think I would, but I did and guess who by? You got it, a publicly owned, blue chip industry being primed for privatisation then sold for half it’s worth to feed the idiotic dogma of feline ego. And how did they do it? Oh the usual, lies, deceit, delays, nods, winks and legalised attrition. They took the lot, and much more. But the much more's my business and not part of this story. Nor is this a whinge, in fact, allowing for a healthy dose of cynicism, more the opposite.
I suppose like most other ordinary folk in this chunk of land I was totally apolitical. One lot got in and by the time all their buggering up was coming to rotten fruition they were out and the other lot were in and taking more for doing less. So, with few exceptions, we had a mediocre bunch of self-serving underachieving status-seekers that gave about as much toss for us as we did for them. But, and isn't this sad, they believed we had belief in them and all their schemes, when really all we were was apathetic. Anyway, that's enough of them and it's more than they're due.
This story starts in the fifth one, my favourite home. It's strange how you can forget the loss of possesions but never the memories of happenings in or around them. Today they were coming to repossess it. Once I’ve closed its door I’m homeless.
Not that that particularly worried me. By this time I was numb. I’d a vague notion of making a stand. Blast a few of them before they got me and get it all done a dusted. Truth is I'd never been into guns and hadn't a clue how to go about getting them, as you're about to find out. Besides I knew it wouldn't be the 'them' that I'd be shooting; it would be their sad shit-for-brain minions. Meanwhile the 'thems' would be carving out a deal with a contact that would earn them a few tax free Ks, and boy, does that piss you off.
You see as I closed the door of my ex home. Set in its five acres, the three wooded separated by the stream that I threw the keys into before loading my two bags of worldly possessions into the struggling Sierra. I knew all the chunks that had been carved out of my businesses and other homes. The deals made that fed the liquidator and his cronies, that squalid bunch of vultures, a stolen feast and left the creditors crumbs while they harped on to me that “it wasn’t personal”. Of course it’s personal you cloned fuckwits it’s impossible for it not to be.
As I waited for the car to shake itself into action I gave a last thought to burning the place to the ground. But there was still too much of ‘us’ in it and I was already a ‘thief’ because the eight hundred in my pocket was from the sale of the mower and garden shed. Assets I'd disposed of before the vulture got round to calculating his cut from them. Besides, Rag had half of the equity to come and that could be her and the kids’ only stake for the future.
I couldn't blame Rag for making the decision she had. If anything it was a relief, decisions were no longer part of my character. Two years of futility had skinned me into the legless lemming syndrome, powerless to move and no bloody value if I did, so why bother. When she left, the coldness of the house matching the bitter February weather, I felt a vacuum sucking the spirit out of my life. I'd neither love nor possessions left and once the weeks of knifing self- pity dragged over I found there was nothing left to torment me. O.K, I knew I still had the love of Gemma and Stuart. Though questioning my right to it, I felt I had to re- earn it and perhaps win my place back with their mum. Something, anything, that would make up for the misery I'd let fall on them ten times over and give me back belief. Belief in myself and my values. Gradually it dawned on me that I had one thing going for me. Now I was a nobody, zeroed, erased, nil credit, valueless in a bottom line world.
Something else I should tell you? Though if you have bought the book it's too late, so thanks for the contribution. But if you're part of the Bagshot mafia, believe the law has anything to do with truth or justice. Westminster any reverence for democracy, or respect is warranted by rank, birth, bank account or dubious honour, this isn't the book for you.
Brian Cameron, we'll call him, because this is only a story, a figment of my imagination where we'll change all the names and places because it could never have happened, could it? So Brian Cameron, 38, ex husband, father, businessman, gold card human had only one ex left out of two to play and at the stage where he cared little how it played out, either existence, or ex-has-been.
One final admission. If by reading this somebody thinks they can finally finger me, don't bother. If this is being read, I'm already dead.