Sep
03
Fighting To Survive | Britain’s Forgotten Men


It’s not nice, asking the public
for money. Young people of Manchester
have had enough. We’re not getting any fucking help. I’m a land pirate
and I stole your building. If you want it back, take me
to court and get it back. Cover your face!
No-one’s happy around here. You look out of your window
right now in Wythenshawe, you see a nine-year-old kid throw
a brick through your car window, what do you do about it? Phone the police?
Police won’t come out. Would you go out and try
and grab hold of him? If you touch him,
that’s assault on a minor, the police will definitely
come out for that. Would you go and see his parents? There might be drug
or alcohol problems. If you go outside again
there might be a gang of them. They might come back the night after
do your car in, do your house in. What would you do? Nothing.
You do nothing about it. What makes that
social scenario worse, worse than the fact
that you would do nothing about it? The fact that the kid knows there’s
nothing you can do about it. Hey, welcome to Wythenshawe. POLICE SIREN WAILS Greg lives on Wythenshawe’s
Benchill Estate, a place made famous when
David Cameron was accosted by a lad waving gun signs. Wythenshawe is a very large
geographical place. Very defined gangs, you know,
you’ll see the tags. If we could unite the estates,
if we could do that, why don’t we? So we did. So what do you call it? United Estates of Wythenshawe. Greg used to run the doors
around Manchester, a pretty rough profession, but for nearly 20 years
he’s run his own gym helping get local kids
off the street. Why a gym? Because gyms speak
a common language, don’t they? You’ve got swathes of kids that
won’t be seen dead in a youth club and the cool kids stay away, so if they stay away,
it’s not a cool place. I remember coming with my dad, and just bit by bit I used to start
training myself as I got older. Greg’s gym has helped take local
lad Jimmy from scrawny youth to Commonwealth boxing champion. Trained there for like a lot
of me big fights. It toughens you up, cos in winter it’s bitter
in here, you get what I mean? You grab an old cold bar, it puts
hairs on your chest, doesn’t it? Do you want to jump in with me or..? I’ll jump in with you, if that’s
all right. Jump in with me. Jump in with me for the day. Right, I’m off mate. Right I’ll
see you in a bit. See in a bit. See you later. After starting
training at Greg’s gym, Jimmy quickly rose through
the amateur boxing ranks before turning pro and getting
a shot at the world title, aged just 23. ‘Bravery is keeping him upright! ‘Down he goes. ‘And then the white towel
is coming in. ‘They know that should’ve
been a knock down. ‘He holds the white towel out
and the fight is all over. ‘Kelly sportingly
congratulates Liam Smith.’ In the 14 months since his defeat,
Jimmy’s had surgery on an elbow, and fought a handful of low-key
fights as he tries to rebuild his
career. With the money from his world title
fight, he’s bought a house, got married and had a kid. Don’t know your boys name yet.
Oh, Jimmy. Jimmy Junior. Jimmy, of course. Real men
call their kids after themselves. I’m Jimmy, my son’s Jimmy,
my dad’s Jimmy, my son’s son will be Jimmy because
I’ll get him in a headlock if not. My grandad’s Pascal,
but his brother is called Jimmy and my grandad’s grandad
is Jimmy. So yeah, there’s a fair few of us. Let me find this little monster
and I’ll bring him down. Jan? Yeah? Are you changed?
Hang on, just changing him. Has he sharted? Do you want to see the biggest head
on a baby you’ll ever see? This is pure Irish
and good breast milk for you. This is what you get. Who’s that? Tonight, Jimmy’s fighting
to get back on the bill at the 21,000 capacity
Manchester Arena. Good boy, aren’t you? You’re due a sleep, though, aren’t
you? You’re getting a bit naughty. They were too small for him
when he was first born so he can wear them now, can’t he? Yeah, pop them on
over his little babygrow. Yeah. It’s a chance to get his career back
on track and secure a major payday. All right, babes. See you later.
OK! See you later. For him and his young family. Have you got folks at home?
Do you live with your parents? What do they say about
what you’re up to? What does your dad say? We’ve only inherited it from them.
What do you mean? How you doing? All right, man.
Mind if I join you? No, no. How’s the grafting going today? Shit. Why’s that? Not made anything really. Spare change please. Excuse me, sir, do you have 39p? Yo, bro! Don’t do that here, mate. I’ll give it to you, come
here, and I’ll give it to you. Just take it in copper, bro. So sorry. Sweet, bro. He’s a fucking knobhead. Seen him around? Yeah, I’ve seen
him around and that, yeah. Just seems a bit weird that
you’re having to give him 39p. Just to fuck him off cos
otherwise he’s going to fuck me up. He’s asking people, I could be
getting that, know what I mean? With such slim pickings, Jordan
can’t afford a hostel for the night. Where have you been staying? I’m staying in the squat,
the Corner House. The owners of the
Cornerhouse Cinema have won a High Court ruling allowing them to evict
everyone in the building. In a couple of days, the squatters
will be forced out, whether they have
somewhere to go or not. I’ll glue myself to the windows,
I’ll chain myself to the door, I’ll put a D-lock round my neck
and round the inspector’s neck, and then put a chain around the
bloody padlock on the building and say, “Right, lock on, you’re
not throwing any of us out today.”. In an effort to reduce
the nation’s welfare bill, benefits across the country
have been cut. Mikey thinks it’s disproportionately
affecting the poor so he’s running a voluntary
drop-in for locals who are struggling
to make ends meet. A lot of people are being kicked off
the benefits unfairly, so they are looking
for a reason to sanction you, they’re looking for a reason to take
the only money that you have to pay for your accommodation,
to pay for your food, your water, gas and electricity,
and to pay for your life. And they’re looking for an excuse
to kick you off it. People just give up and end up on
the street, end up doing drugs, end up with mental health problems. You can’t really come back
from something like that. What type of things have
led you to be in this situation? Like just…bullshit
after bullshit really. I was living with my mum
and it was hard, you know, to keep up with rent payments
and stuff like that, and she was drinking a lot so she
went into a dry house, you know, to try and get off the drink. So I went to the hostel
cos she was moving house. There was issues
in your hostel then? Yeah. You’d been there for six,
seven months? Close to nine months. And not moving you on at all?
Not really. So, tell me a bit about the hostel. It’s not nice.
Got to keep your door locked. If you go to the toilet, or
whatever, you lock your door cos you don’t want to risk
someone taking a load of stuff. Someone had their trackies nicked
the other day, just off a radiator. Like an estimated 83,000 young
people, Jack has nowhere to live. Yes, he’s been put up in a hostel, but housing benefit only covers
his full rent if he’s not working. I’m just on benefits at the moment. I can’t work cause my rent’s £255.69
a week with a £10.30 service charge. So your rent’s 250 a week,
£1,000 a month? Over, just over, yeah. Plus
a £10.30 service charge on top. So a normal job pays
on average about £250 a week, and my rent’s £255 a week,
so even if I’m like working for a full week, I’ve still not
got enough money to cover the rent. With the price it is in a hostel, you’ve not even got enough money
to save up to get out to even go private, so you’re forced
into waiting for a council gaff. So everyone tries to find their own
way of making a bit of money
on the side. What do you do? I do tattoos, me. Just to make a bit
of extra change really, cos you can’t
really live off £10 a day, or I can’t anyway,
it’s too difficult. It went pretty well. Got £55 and a bottle of JD. What will you do with the money? I’ll probably just get a haircut
and a top up for my phone. ‘The police have completely
cordoned off Whitworth Street West. ‘That means you can’t get
onto Oxford Road…’ After a High Court ruling,
police and bailiffs are moving in to evict the homeless
and the protesters from the Cornerhouse squat. You can send me to jail
all you want, you know? Jail’s like… It’s more
comfortable than this. Has the Council come up with a plan
for how to house the dozens of homeless people
who are living in this building? The Council have no plan,
other than passing the buck and then throwing you
to a private landlord. Can you spare change, please? Do you think you could cope
with living on the street? Not really. No, it’d do me in. Mentally. You’re surrounded by everything, drugs, alcohol, violence,
loan sharking, bullying, sexual abuse. I know a lot of homeless people
who’d rather be in prison. When you’re in prison,
you’ve got a roof over your head, you’re getting fed every day. You don’t have people coming out
of a pub in the middle of the night pissing on you, and shit like that. The streets is just
the roughest place to be. When the bailiffs kick the door
down, when everyone gets kicked out, where do those dozens of people go?
Nowhere! If you live in a city centre,
just be honest with yourself and look around and feel the guilt
when you look at these people because essentially it’s our fault,
you know? It is, it’s our fault
because we allow it to happen. There’s a man who fights
for people’s rights. There’s a man who fights for people
who can’t fight for themselves. For now, the Cornerhouse squatters
have resisted the eviction. Power to the people! But the bailiffs will be back. ..bring home the bacon. They all look down when they see me.
They’re all pussies.