Sunday 28 September 2014

At times I couldn’t quite make out if this was a news story or an extract from a geezer’s autobiography.

“The judge knew I’d been fitted up. But I had the worst record of all of them. He said I was the saddest case in front of him, and said my powers of leadership would have won me medals in a war. Then he pulled a 30.”

The above paragraph encapsulates the article, this Gordon Goody and old school gentlemen criminals completely. I don’t have the court transcript – and I’m sure as shit no-one at The Observer has checked them – but I’d love to know if the judge actually said this. These were different (ie fucked up) times.

It feels like a fabrication, but evoking the war in those days was very powerful – and as common as women being treated like dogshit. Men were revered and violence was respected. Perhaps the judge was in awe of GG.

Didn’t stop him pulling a 30 though, did it? A fackin thirty.

Why didn’t the writer just translate it into English?

“I knew if I stayed in England with my pals I’m going to go at it. So I thought ‘no’, and here I am. Don’t ask me the question would I do it again. People do ask. If I was 33 and the facilities were the same as they were then I’d be tempted but present-day crime is not for me. Not really.”

Present-day crime. Or future crime as it was from his perspective back then.

What he means is he doesn’t know how to read his emails. Let alone commit cybercrime. Perhaps he should take Barclays up on their offer of teaching old people how to use computers. And then do an e-job with a crew.

And also, “not really”. It’s not really for him. It’s not really a categorical no is it?

“Guns came in after the train,” he says. “I owned two shotguns but I’d never have taken them on a job. If someone is on a bit of work and they’re going to do a lot of bird, then they’ve nothing to lose. They made a rod for their own backs.”

He’s a fucking gent isn’t he? A real gent. I am sure he only owned a couple of shooters for wedging doors open or mixing a large pot of stew. WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN? If someone is on a bit or work (doing a robbery) and they’re going to do a lot of bird (serve a substantial prison sentence) then they’ve nothing to lose (then they’ve nothing to lose). They’ve made a rod for their own backs (they’ve made a rod for their own backs).

I think he means that if you take a gun on a robbery you might as well use it. And I’m pretty sure guns were used in crimes before the train robbery. They think they’re the fucking magnificent seven the train cunts. Well more accurately they were fucking thieves, no matter how many of them Phil Collins wants to play in biopics.

The main thing I like in the article is:

“The name and the fact that, as Goody later recalled, McKenna looked like the comedian Frank Skinner were all Goody knew.”

Surely that is all he knows. Not what he knew. I suppose he has known it for about 20 years or so. Unless he Frank Skinner at the time. Which I don’t think he did. As he was six or so at the same time of the great train robbery. So it’s probably a thought that occurred to him since the early 90s when Skinner came to fame.

My favourite bit about that quote is that when I read it in my head my brain inserted ‘real name Chris Collins’ after Frank Skinner’s name. It seems appropriate somehow.

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