"Bad Lads, RAF National Service Remembered".
This was my second book to be published and it was written because I was always hearing my mature passengers moaning about the antics of their teenage sons. They always seemed to finish their rant with the same question, "Why don't they bring back National Service to control these tearaways?" I was one of the two and a half million 18 year-olds who was called up between 1945 and 1963 for National Service, so I thought that if there was a general feeling about bringing back National Service, it would make a good story.
Like many other 18 year-olds I hated the thought of being yelled at for three years to get my haircut and I tried my damndest to wriggle out of it, but to no avail. So I decided to weigh up my options and go for the service that would be the cushiest. The word on the grapevine was that the RAF was the cushiest, but they were choosy and didn't accept yobos like me from the seedier part of North London. But I had a trump card that I thought might get me in, I was a promising footballer and had just signed as a professional for Leyton Orient. The trump card came up trumps and I had wangled my way in.
The book takes the reader through 'square-bashing', my first posting and then my punishment posting for allegedly threatening an NCO - all written with tongue-in-cheek humour. The book sold very well to guys who had done National Service and no, bringing back National Service wouldn't completely cure the culture of gang violence and teenage aggro. But it would go a long way in helping the youngsters to become responsible adults.