At just before midnight most weekday nights, the scally cash machine parties begin in Liverpool.
Out come the freaks, old, young, children and babies in tow, and like they are answering the call of a piper, they wait for the stroke of midnight.
This is not the gathering of vampires. It is the gathering of druggies at the cash machines. It can be seen at most cash machine across North Liverpool, and some parts of South Liverpool.
Every two weeks money goes into their bank account at the stroke of midnight, and so every two weeks they are standing there shuffling about impatiently, their sullen and sunken faces braving all elements, waiting and waiting.
It becomes a slight social event, as they stroke each other’s attack dogs oblivious to the fact that the dogs are usually barking at other dogs in the queue.
Overtired children, awake when they should be in bed in order to sleep before school in 6 or 7 hours time, stand shivering in their pyjamas, next to the parent who is nervously fumbling with their cash card. The child clings to the parents leg in the hope they can avoid being bitten by the frightening collection of illegal breeds of dogs scallies are so proud to ‘own’.
Eventually, the cash goes into their accounts, and one by one they draw out what they can to fix their needs.
Their needs of course are the drugs they can buy immediately by just stepping into an adjacent phone box, placing their order and waiting for the car to arrive in order to make the exchange.
Some of the midnight cash machine visitors do it in style, booking a taxi to collect them from their free social housing, deliver them to the cash machine, wait, and then return them home.
The most popular cash machines are normally the ones associated with Post Offices, but for those with accounts they can access from any cash machine, the longer queues can be avoided. Nevertheless, midnight is the hour they will be there getting their free money from the hard working tax payers who are fast asleep at midnight, exhausted and trying to rest before their day of toil starts all over again.
No days of toil for the midnight cash machine visitors. For them, it’s a night of getting high, getting stoned, and wasted, wasting the cash that is supposedly needed to buy food and keep them alive until the next fortnight’s payment.
Two questions cross my mind when I see these midnight cash machine queues, if I’ve been working late and am driving home.
Firstly, why aren’t the children being protected by the local authorities? Children being dragged out into the cold alongside ‘mummy’ so she can get money for her fix, should be ringing alarm bells.
It is child abuse.
Plus a stoned parent is hardly in a fit state to deal with child care after the cash machine bounty has been converted to drugs, is it? These children should be taken into care. Why aren’t they?
Secondly, if these scrounging druggies are so able to use their money to buy drugs, surely they are being paid far too much?
There are plenty of hard workers on minimum wage who can’t afford the drugs these scroungers expect as a given. Can’t we take the spare money away from them and put it to use to help those who are trying to put something back into society?
I’m guessing that if these selfish wastes of space scroungers were to get less money fed to them via the midnight cash machine party, there’d be a terrible increase in the already high levels of robbery and taking from the hard working population in order to pay for their fixes instead.