Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Time's Up!

For the Dale Farm illegal campsite:
“I’m very angry,” one woman shouts, face screwed up and emotions unchecked. “Why is that lady on the radio putting out all that c--p about us? I have three children. Where am I going to go?”

The immediate source of provocation is Radio Essex, which is running a phone-in on the 10-year battle between Basildon council and the travellers who have been living here illegally since 2001.
Yes, it's the longest-running eviction battle I've ever known, and at last, barring a last-minute reprieve from a judge who'd never dream of having to live next door to these people, it'll soon be over.
Understandably, the travellers don’t take too kindly to the locals ringing in to say they should “go back to Ireland”, and calling them, “a bunch of people who are trying to avoid paying tax and ignoring the rules of the land’’. But the real tension is caused by the knowledge that, for many of those who have made their homes here, time is running out. Tomorrow, a 28-day notice issued by Basildon council requiring them to vacate the site will expire.
Hurrah!
The travellers claim that, although the land is green belt, it was never a prized beauty spot. “It wasn’t all babbling brooks and big oak trees when we moved here,” says Bridget McCarthy. “It was a broken down scrapyard.” (The council confirms that a corner of the land had been used, without permission, as a scrapyard since the Sixties).
I wonder by whom..?
The local primary, Crays Hill, is now almost exclusively a travellers’ school; 107 of the 110 registered pupils are from the travelling community. They don’t always turn up for class – the Ofsted report cites “significantly below average attendance levels” – and tend to lag behind their peers academically. Local parents have felt pressured into bussing their children out of the area to other schools.
No doubt the teachers wish they could do the same! 'Welcome to Crays Hill, Miss Jones. Here's your key to the stationery cupboard, here's a class timetable and - oh, here it is - your Kevlar vest!'
The trouble is that there isn’t the same consideration for the rights and wishes of those who aren’t travellers. A wily few of the travelling community have become adept at exploiting legislation that’s intended to protect those who’ve been hard done by, and where they lead the others follow. What will happen next week?
If the council is smart, they won't move in immediately the deadline expires. Give the assorted hangers-on and publicity hungry media whores a few days with nothing to report, and they'll move on to their next cause, or have to go back to their own areas to sign on.


Then the bulldozers can strike.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the 3 Kids who aren't Pikeys at that school.

Span Ows said...

Me too! Although they're probably offspring of an illegal Somalian immigrant.

mocktheleft said...

And I shall be tweeting hurrah like a mad bastard the day the bulldozers DO roll in.

MTG said...

I often wonder if circumstances cause others to suffer recurrent images of Thatcher, complete with harridan cackle, "Rejoice!"

The travellers are a damn nuisance but only the strict conformists are in the mood for a street party followed by a striped pyjama destination for the evictees.

Captain Haddock said...

They should raffle tickets to drive the Bulldozers .. profits to "Help 4 Heroes" ..

SBC said...

"Local parents have felt pressured into bussing their children out of the area to other schools"

It's more likely that Mommy or the Au Pair drop off Tarquin and Jessica at school in their bull bar sporting -cos there is a real problem with kangaroos- 4x4...illegally and dangerously parked of course.

Personally I have very little sympathy for the pikeys or the nimbys. I used to hang out with some 'travellers' back, before they mutated into a Protected Ethnic Minority, back when we were allowed to call them 'thieving didicoys' and they were all good blokes with a heart of gold or lead -depending on what they had managed to nick that day.

SBC said...

"by a striped pyjama destination for the evictees."

When our local Council planned to build a site some of the 'protest' leaflets could have been written by Goebbels....almost word for 'wort'. Scary.

MTG said...

Resplendent as ever in your boundless munificence, mong capitaine.

Paddy said...

Sky News just showed a resident whose property overlooks the site being arrested for trying to stop the gypsies using his land as a toilet. Doesn't look too good so far.

Tattyfalarr said...

Oh Melv...invoking Godwin's Law ? I thought better of you...I really did.

Bye Gyppo said...

"Where am I going to go?” "

Er, how about back wherever you came from. I presume that place still exists.

MTG said...

A harsh call, tatty.
I merely balanced on the wire whilst strutting my stuff, darling.

RAB said...

Never fear Dale er... Farmers

Vanessa Redgrave is riding to your rescue!

Hee Hee! You're Doomed! Doomed I tell ye!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/cristinaodone/100102579/vanessa-redgrave-backs-the-dale-farm-travellers-thats-bad-news-for-them-good-news-for-us/

SBC said...

According to Radio 4, the travellers have lost their last minute appeal.

Chalcedon said...

Why don't they just travel? Being stuck on one site for 10 years doesn't equate to traveller even if they are living in a large caravan. Ah, it must be a new race of mankind then.

Anonymous said...

'..followed by a striped pyjama destination for the evictees.'

Is that what the current fashionwear in Eire then ?

Good riddance to the worst kind of rubbish.

Neddy Seagoon said...

MTG said...
Resplendent as ever in your boundless munificence, mong capitaine.


Melvin, are you really Bluebottle?

SBC said...

"Why don't they just travel?" Well to be fair to them, although I don't particularly inclined to be, it is a question of 'travel WHERE?'.

No one wants them next door, no one wants them traveling on the road. Which is, admittedly, in large part their own fault.

They bought the land legally, fair and square and this is really a fight about the 'state' (ie the council) maintaining it has the right to tell people what they can do on their own land.

If it were a permanent site of Black Liverpudlian Lesbians & Gaurdinistas Against The M-whateverthefuck do you think the council would be as keen..?

Spanish Inquisition said...

Excuse the theatrical entrance (dramatic pause) but we have information that someone using this blog was trained in judo by the Great Bert.

Anonymous said...

"They bought the land legally, fair and square and this is really a fight about the 'state' (ie the council) maintaining it has the right to tell people what they can do on their own land."

And your point is? The Town and Country Planning Acts date from about 1947. The council is not "maintaining" it has the right to tell people what they can do on their own land; it has that right and it is frequently used against people who wish to do nothing more disruptive than enlarge a window opening, or build a garage in their garden, but such people do not threaten bloodshed if crossed.

Nothing stops the Pikey Party standing for Parliament on a manifesto that promises that whatever is left of this once green and pleasant land can be covered in tarmac and broken machinery by whoever bought it "fair and square".

SBC said...

"
And your point is?"

That the council's decision to enforce is purely political and not out of any concern for the maintenance of the green belt (normally they can't sell out the Green Belt fast enough).

Give it five years and suddenly the cleared site will suddenly be reclassified 'brown belt' and sold to Whimpyescosoft.

Cynical? Moi? Yep.

Tattyfalarr said...

MTG - A harsh call, tatty

Nah not really...just forgot the ;) to indicate tongue firmly in cheek.

;)

JuliaM said...

"And I shall be tweeting hurrah like a mad bastard the day the bulldozers DO roll in."

Me too! I only hope my regular traveller-supporting follower is still listening :)

"I often wonder if circumstances cause others to suffer recurrent images of Thatcher..."

All the time. They'd have been out long before now with Maggie still in charge.

"They should raffle tickets to drive the Bulldozers .. profits to "Help 4 Heroes" .."

What a splendid idea!

"When our local Council planned to build a site some of the 'protest' leaflets could have been written by Goebbels....almost word for 'wort'. "

Are you surprised? Their reputation proceeds them, and the mess they leave behind each illegal stop (those that DO move..) confirms it.

JuliaM said...

"Sky News just showed a resident whose property overlooks the site being arrested for trying to stop the gypsies using his land as a toilet."

That's the poor sod who has had death threats from them, also ignored by the useless cretins in Essex Police Farce.

"They bought the land legally, fair and square and this is really a fight about the 'state' (ie the council) maintaining it has the right to tell people what they can do on their own land."

If they'd knock down something I built without permission, they should do the same to everyone else. No sympathy for the 'planning rules are wrong!' argument.

If they are, the only 'fair' way is to be wrong to everyone equally.