Four Short Tales

      Donald Phillips
Four Short Tales

Don Phillips lives in a part of Spain where you have to speak the language. These four amusing and basically true stories reflect various moments in the last twenty five years he has lived there where this has caused the odd problem.Living abroad can be good and enjoyable, but there are some things that have to be taken into consideration before you go. Firstly the locals will almost definitely talk a different language and it is really up to you to learn enough of it to at least get by. Secondly, you have to accept that the natives will have different values and culture to the one you are used to. Lastly, if you do not accept all this and learn to live with it then you will be at the mercy of others whenever you want to do anything, such as buy or sell a house or query something in your bank statement. These four stories illustrate some of these difficulties in a humorous way.
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    Vengeance

      Donald Phillips
Vengeance

As a law officer you watch it all from a distance. But what happens when it gets personal? What happens when its your family dying? John MacAllister had been a CID inspector for nearly twenty years and thought he had seen it all. He had too, but not through the eyes of a victim. This time it was personal with his own family involved. He discovered he too had a dark side. Set In Bristol, England.John MacAllister is an honest copper. This honesty will probably mean that he will stay at his current rank for the rest of his time in the force, after a well known judge was sent down for three years for child pornography despite the attempts by the Chief Constable to get MacAllister to drop the case. He doesn't care. He likes being at the sharp end, has no desire to drive a desk and is respected by his officers.Then a hit and run by a youth in a stolen car causes his own daughter to be so badly hurt that they finally have to switch off her life support. When the culprit then gets off with 200 hours community service because of his father's position in the community and his contacts with the police and other bodies of influence, MacAllister changes. His patience gone he attacks the youth's father outside of the court and finally gets shuffled out of the force. This turns out to be to his advantage. Nobody kills his daughter and walks away scott free. Use a killer to catch a killer becomes his watchword.
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    Cocaine

      Donald Phillips
Cocaine

When Jack Ropell joined Customs and Excise he did not think it would ever be a life threateningly dangerous job. He also thought that Spain was a holiday destination. That was until he joined the anti-drug section. Then he changed his mind.Set in the decade of the nineties, this novel follows ten years in the life of Jack Ropell. Ropell was actually born in Yorkshire, but his parents moved to Canada when he was eleven. At twenty two he loses his younger sister to drugs while he is away from Quebec, Canada, at university in England. Driven by this and the continuing strife between his French mother and his Spanish/English father,Jack decides to stay in England when he graduates and join the British Customs and Excise.After two years in the job Jack gets to join the anti-drug squad and begins to find out what the real world is all about. The story follows his part in trying to prevent the ingress of drugs, in particular cocaine/crack, into Britain.During this decade cocaine production in Colombia was becoming professional and several Colombian drug barons were making more money than many countries or big corporations. National Police forces were struggling to contain the flood of cheaper and cheaper drugs into America and Continental Europe.This story is a fiction, but only in the characters involved. The actual story, the pain the suffering and the casual, but extreme violence used by the drug cartels against anyone who opposed them, is probably understated. One thing is for certain. it doesn't matter if you are a supplier, distributor, user or a lawman, sooner or later when cocaine is involved, it will ultimately become a matter of life or death.
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    The Opportunities of Youth

      Donald Phillips
The Opportunities of Youth

A humorous look at the YTS or YOPS schemes of the nineteen seventies by someone who worked in them for several years in what was then Avon County.This book is a comedy, but the reader needs to understand a little of the background of Youth Opportunities as they were known. In the late seventies the Thatcher Government determined for once and for all to destroy the power of the Trade Unions who they felt were holding the country to ransom and to be fair, the majority of people in the country at least half agreed with her. However, what the Thatcherites actually achieved with their monetarist policies was the destruction of the countries manufacturing base, which slid rapidly downhill and has been diminishing ever since. Apprenticeships and other types of trade learning practically vanished overnight as companies cut down on all possible expenditures and then went to the wall in droves, buried under an interest rate that finally topped out at eighteen percent as Thatcher determinedly pursued her policies.There is no doubt that this did severely curb union power. However, it also removed the livelihood and job opportunities of thousands upon thousands of school leavers. This was especially true for the less able kids who had relied on jobs in the manufacturing industries. And so in Avon County, now vanished from the face of the earth, ACYOPS was invented, (Avon County Youth Opportunities Scheme), to give these unemployed kids something to do. The idea was that they should be paid a minimum wage by the state and placed with kindly employers who would teach them the ropes in return for their prepaid labour. In other words free workers from the government in return for giving them real world experience. Some, the more able, were put straight with employers. The rest were first of all put with Supervisors in groups to learn such skills as building and painting and decorating. They practiced on community halls, church halls and other buildings whose owners were very happy to have the work done, however slowly, for only the cost of the materials.
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