Quite by chance whilst walking along the road yesterday I was hailed by a passing car.
I didn't recognise it, but I certainly recognised its occupant - one of the denizens of the Glasgow not-totally-legal fraternity.
Anyway, he offered me a lift and we got chatting about this and that. I asked him how things were.
"Terrible - no one's getting a turn at the moment. We're having to rely on the fags to keep us going" This refers to the ( approximate) 300 white transits that come to Glasgow loaded with cigarettes and tobacco every week from Spain. They used to come from France but that got too expensive. From Spain its marginal but still worth it.
"We're having to cut loose some of the youngsters." This means those at the bottom of the pile are being told to make their own way without the umbrella; cf cutting jobs in the private sector.
" And we've had to have some serious discussions about our cover." This refers to pay-offs to various bodies; cf reducing in-costs.
" And I'm not taking a holiday this year." Wow.
So you can see that pretty much the same things happen right across the spectrum. The man who told me things were up in one section of the somewhat-illegitimate world has gone out of business. The older, wiser " companies" with a spread of interests will cling on.
But even the criminals are feeling the pinch