Michael Carroll is infamous in the tabloid press as the King of Chavs after winning £9.7m on the national lottery in 2002. Michael bought 80 cars, several mansions, invested £1m in Rangers football club, built a car-racing track and invested heavily in gold bling jewellery. Along the way, the former dustman has been deserted by his wife and child, had a spell in prison for failing to comply with a drugs treatment order and turned the lives of his neighbours, Allison and Sid into a living hell. They have had to put up with two years of caravans, cars and tyres being set alight, cars being raced constantly and long days in which Michael, the self-proclaimed "Chavvy McChavChav", and his friends sit in BMWs revving the engines until the early hours. Carroll is remarkably frank about his worldview – "I want my kid to follow its dreams. If he wants to be a bank robber, that's cool with me".
How you use and spend money reveals your deepest beliefs. We don't need to ask Michael what he believes in order to work out the worldview that has captivated his imagination. Carroll believes in his own autonomy. No-one has the right to tell him what to do! Many western people would agree with Michael that 'following your dreams' is the very essence of the good life. Few are as frank as Michael in being open to bank robbery as a possible career option for their children. And yet the secular slogan – 'follow your heart' or 'be true to yourself' can admirably describe the lives of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. These men certainly did follow their hearts and look what it did for the world.
- Where has Michael gone wrong?
- Is there anything wrong with robbing banks?
- When is it right to follow your dreams and when is it wrong?