Monday, 19 May 2014

"Faces of the Underworld"

This interesting series hosted by Bernard O'Mahoney is a tie-in to his successful book entitled "Faces" in which many not very familiar or completely unknown names feature.  So far, he has covered Glasgow, London, Manchester & Newcastle, and what makes a welcome change, is that people no longer "say the right things".  As an example, Eddie Richardson, talking about the Krays, did not hold back.  "They did not have a brain between them" making a joke of claims by "Gang Boss" Lambrianou that "Reggie could have been a successful businessman"  I have posted before that if they were the "Supervillains" some people still make them out to have been, then why did they need crooked businessmen like Freddie Gore & Leslie Payne to do their deals for them?  It must have come as a shock to the lunatic fringe, i.e. the Kray fan club, to hear Fred Foreman say that a number of big villains had a meeting to discuss getting rid of their heroes, due to them not caring how much Police attention villains started getting, because of their activities.  Foreman stated it was either arrest or a bullet.

    Manchester had to have the QSG, as they had been a dominant force from the 60`s.  Every big city has a thriving underworld as crime does not stop at Watford Gap.  Nice to see Arthur Donnelly interviewed, but that city has changed so much with the gun gangs running riot and the emergence of Paul Massey as a significant force.  I think this is the first time I have ever seen him in talk in a documentary, but despite prison sentences, Mr Massey has never been convicted of actual crime, his stints inside resulting in convictions for violence.  Obviously, the Police will say different but it has to be backed up with proof, which has not happened.  One thing that does stand out is that he is totally fearless.

    Newcastle naturally featured Paddy Conroy, and the troubles between the Conroy, Sayers and Harrison families.  Again, nice to see other faces such as Billy Robinson and Kenny Anderson.  Panda Anderson spoke about when the Krays visited Tyneside but says he was not impressed with them.  Others spoken about included Viv Graham & Lee Duffy and an interview with Brian Cockerill, showing the Northeast has never been a pushover.  Funnily enough, it was never named as a city that the "Gang Boss" and his brother were going to take over.  

    Glasgow featured Arthur Thompson, Paul Ferris & Walter Norval, whose name, south of the border, was not as big as Thompson, Ferris, et al, but he has been a major force for decades, and if what is said about him is true, then stands alongside Thompson as a Capone comparison.  He certainly did not stick his head above the parapet in search of publicity or notoriety.

    Mr O'Mahoney is not a universally liked man.  Some have called him a grass, because he was put in a very difficult situation but he does not care what others say or think about him, and he does answer honestly.  Those who have hated him, do so because he speaks his mind, not making the right noises.  He once called me stupid in an email, politely, but he was right.  It was a wake up call I needed, and have never looked back.