Planning laws are deliberately biased in favour of gipsies and travellers, a Government minister has finally admitted.Well, thanks for finally confirming what everyone has already known for a few years now….
After years of official denials on the issue, Communities Secretary Shahid Malik confessed that travelling families are treated differently from 'the settled community'.
Justifying the policy, the minister said: 'Fairness does not mean treating people equally; it means addressing the different needs of different people.'
Mr Malik's confession has been hailed by campaigners as a 'long-awaited admission of the truth' which they say reveals the way planning laws are weighted in favour of gipsies and travellers.And the reason for this very un-English state of affairs?
And it explains why many, if not most, local campaigns against unauthorised or proposed encampments are doomed to failure, no matter how justified the objections may be.
The poisonous fruit of Labour Party and ‘progressive’ identity politics, of course:
The Chambers English Dictionary defines fairness as 'honesty, impartiality, justice'.Welcome to Labour’s Britain, where who you are confers extra privileges under law – just as it did hundreds of years ago.
Mr Malik's apparent redefinition of the word stems from the Government's decision in 2000 to classify gipsies and Irish travellers as distinct racial groups under the Race Relations Act.
This decision - coupled with changes to planning law and a desire to build many more gipsy and traveller sites - conferred extra rights upon these groups under both race relations and human rights legislation.
Thought we’d left all that behind? Yeah, me too.
Don’t expect it to be any different in future, either:
Conservative local government spokesman Bob Neill said: 'It's not fair that planning applications are treated differently purely because of the type of person who is applying - the same, consistent rules should apply whatever your background.Words are cheap, Bob. What do you plan to do….?
'Under Labour, law-abiding families who work hard and pay their taxes face reams of red tape to extend their houses, whilst travellers are given special treatment to concrete over the Green Belt and defy planning rules.'