Interviews. By Uncle Monty.

Street Interviews.
By Uncle Monty.
Photos By Alex Albion.
Part 1 of 2.
What folkz say and think about The Big
Issue, and its thousands of UK street
vendors, was a mixture of good, bad, and
the indifferent. But, the bad and negative
public comments seemed to come thru the
loudest and the most often from the mem-
bers of the public. I randomly and informally
approached folkz at five English towns - Bath,
Shrewsbury, Eastbourne, Cambridge, and
Ceneral London - to do my open street
interviews with them, off and on,
over a period of three months.
What struck me the most was the verbal
hostility against The Big Issue by those
who are the remotest from it or have no
contact with such. And, who also had no
desire to learn about homeless people and
the national problem of homelessness
and marginalization in today's
almost Third World Britain.
Eastbourne Was A Washout.
My questions are followed by answers in
"quotation marks" from those I interviewed:
Describe The Big Issue in 3 or 4 words:
“What is it?” “Sold by the homeless.”
“Know nothing about it.” “To help street
people.” “Supports lags ... drug addicts.”
Would you give a homeless person a job?:
“Not sure I would.” “They’re too lazy.”
“What kind of job do you mean?” “Yes,
if they want to work. Most don’t ...”
Where does The Big Issue money go?:
“Provide aid on the streets.” “To
the homeless off the streets.” “To give
jobs to those who aren’t homeless.”
“It goes to charity, doesn’t it?”
“Haven’t the faintest idea.”
Do you buy The Big Issue?:
“Why should I?”- “Once in awhile.”
“Never have, never will.” “I have
my regular vendor. She’s nice.” “The
price is abit much, don’t you think?”
Do you know anyone who is homeless?:
“Yes, my next door neighbours became
homeless after they couldn’t pay the rent.
He got sacked in the job. She got pregnant
again. Their kids were wild. No good kids,
I’d say.” “The only ones I see, but don’t
know, are them on the street with Big
Issue to sell.” "A homeless woman I
saw in the park I tried to help her, but
she started shouting and screaming
at me. So that did it for me ... "
Would you give a couple of quid to a Big
Issue sellor without buying the magazine?:
“I always do.” “Yes, I would. I’ve done so
before.” “I buy to read it. No. The profit from
selling it is enough without giving a “tip” on
top." “Only if I have some change at
Christmas. Otherwise, no!"
Is the problem of homelessness getting better
or worse or about the same or don’t know?:
11 said – "Better." 28 said - "Worse." 9 said
“The same.” 5 said - “Don’t know.” A few
others had no answer at all.
Street Interviews At
Central London Was Rough.
Have you been homeless in the past 10 years?:
Only two said "yes" with the overwhelming
majority saying they had not been homeless.
One, however, said he'd been homeless as a
little kid during the London Blitz. He was
age 81, I think, he said.
Do you know who is John Bird?:
“Vaguely.” “Who?” “Yes I do. He’s my
hair dresser.” “Old guy who talks about
beggars, right?” "I don't recognise
Do you know who is Peter Bird?:
“Never heard of him!” "No."
"Peter Bird could be anybody."
"Should I know him?"
"Is he gay(grin)?"
Of the 50+ people I randomly picked on the streets
in five UK regions, all were old English born and
working or retired white folks with the majority in
the age range of 45 to 65. Males and females were
almost equally divided. My sample is not intended
to be a formal one nor of sociological form or a
academic poll of any sort.
I asked my Big Issue-cum-homeless questions
quite casually. My sample from Central London
will appear separately in Part 2. Add then another
34 people to my overall informal sample. Across
the country about 1 in 4 people refused to be
interviewed on the streets for my sample. The
interviews took place only on the streets and
not elsewhere. Immigrants, foreigners, the
homeless, and Big Issue vendors, were im-
mediately excluded from being interviewed
for sample purposes.
Best to everybody, Uncle Monty.
+Animal Welfare Sunday, 2010.
Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals
This year, Animal Welfare Sunday is on Sunday
3rd October 2010. See report from last year and
details of this year's theme ... www.aswa.org.uk/
World Homeless Day, 2010.
Feedback & Comments
COPS THAT KILL. By Uncle Monty.
{ To enlarge any image, just click on it }

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

here i go again mate
whats up? saw u on tv and
pope. nice ah? like u doing
dont buy big issue
yes give to the vendor like
me. dont see why tbi gets
all the cash. give it to
the vendors first. i'm still
looking out for u mate in
covent garden
i'll keep looking. have
a great day monty my mate.