And she does no better with this one:
…Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, Channel 4's new documentary strand. The first episode, screened on Tuesday, lays out the arcane courtship rituals and lavish sartorial preparations that precede the marriage vows, which are typically undertaken by girls still in their teens.
However benign the treatment, Kiely, now working as a youth adviser at the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit…Good! That’s identified another post that the councils can cut without affecting vital services. Thanks for reminding us, Libby.
…, is not alone in recognising that it doesn't take much to bolster crude stereotypes.Well, a ‘Guardian’ columnist should know, since it’s hard to find one that isn’t peppered with references to ‘the greedy bankers’, lately…
For her, the accent on frills and flouncing is a missed opportunity to show contemporary Traveller culture as it really is. But it also serves as a reminder of how entrenched is mainstream ignorance of this community – which will be defined as a separate ethnic minority for the first time in March's census – beyond the tabloid narrative of dirt, disruption and deviance, or home counties hysteria over green-belt land grabs.Oh, how much most of the mainstream might wish they could remain in ‘ignorance’ of the uplifting effects ofthis vibrant community, Libby.
And talking of Meriden…
One such case involves an unauthorised encampment in the Warwickshire village of Meriden, part of the environment secretary Caroline Spelman's constituency, where local people have been staging a round-the-clock protest for the past six months. Last Saturday, Spelman assured campaigners that legislation tabled by the coalition this week would bring "fairness" between the settled and travelling communities, saying it would make provision for more authorised sites, while closing the loophole that allows Travellers to apply for retrospective planning permission after setting up camp.Who could argue with that? Expecting them to abise by the rules everyone else has to?
Libby could, of course:
But, taken alongside the immediate reversal last summer by the communities and local government secretary, Eric Pickles, of previous efforts to provide legal pitches within all local authorities, what this effectively amounts to is the criminalising of a way of life.Oh, really?
Tell me, Libby, when others flout planning regulations (by building illegal extensions or, on one case, an entire HOUSE hidden behind bales of straw) and the local council send in the bulldozers, do you similarly bewail the 'criminalising of a way of life'?
Or do you only take out an onion when it's the 'travelling community' who are flouting the planning regulations everyone else is expected to live by?
… there remains a shortfall of pitches, so around 25,000 individuals have nowhere to go where they are not breaking the law, despite research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found that it would take as little as one square mile of land to resolve this.Hmmm, where do you live, Libby?
Because I think I’ve found the idea ‘one square mile of land’ for them. You won’t object to your new neighbours, will you?
EHRC chair, Trevor Phillips, observed that for this group Britain "is still like the American deep south for black people in the 1950s".Oh, please!
Debating the Warwickshire protests with Spelman on Radio 4 last weekend, Jake Bowers, editor of Travellers' Times, suggested that opposition was underpinned by racism, arguing: "This is more deep south than middle England."Who knew the wit and wisdom of Trevor Phillips could reach such a wide audience?
Of course, for Libby, it’s all the fault of people who live in houses:
… the majority of us live according to a global economic framework that holds home ownership as one of the ultimate markers of social success. And so the absence of a desire for bricks and mortar will continue to be considered anathema, anarchic, acultural, and worthy of mainstream distrust or derision.Yes, Libby, that’s why middle England don’t like them. That’s why they run motorhomes off the road, snub anyone who buys a holiday caravan, abuse Scouts in the local woods when they are practicing their woodcraft…
Or perhaps it’s the criminality and mess and animal cruelty and ghastly, complicated murder cases that they object to?