Lunchtime and I’m parking up at the Arndale just as Radio 1 reports from ‘Manchester’s Arndale Shopping centre’ that £900m spent on anti-truancy measures has come to nothing. This would explain the small but loud and indicant party of scallies (chavs to southern readers): two teenage girls maybe sisters, maybe friends and a probable mother.
‘You can’t shop Saturdays, too busy innit? They’d have me go in [to school] for the afternoon,’ says one girl. ‘But I can’t go in like this, can I?’, drawing attention to the scally-chav uniform (Ugh Boots, pyjama-style tracksuit) that’s taken the place of her school uniform. ‘They’d only make me sit with Mrs ??? all afternoon. I’d just sit there right, going “yeah, but… no but… yeah right, but…” and what’s the point of that, eh?’. Mother looked rightly sheepish throughout.