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?
In spite of all my early liberalism, it is difficult to choose between plucking out one's eyes and sitting through a programme on gypsy lifestyles.
The Beeb would generate slightly more viewing figures were it to squander our licence fees on a special series commemorating that great Wonder of the World - the pikey miracle of resurfacing a Motorway with a bucket of used tarmac - and the pensioners' tears when these 'just happened to be passing by with enough spare asphalt to construct a driveway gangs', exploit the elderly.
We are fools to assist the perpetuation and expansion of a tacky and criminal culture.
Yes, just how did these people become pets of the liberal establishment?
How did they become pets? Because they are opposed to normal civilised life, the Law, etc. Guardianistas love people like that.
They are a weapon for the Left.
Note that worry about Green Belt land use is ok when pikeys do it but mysteriously wrong when anyone else does.
Or that ostentation and 'frills' would normally draw a sneer or two from the Guardianistas but not in this case.
In short - the Left have no absolute sense of right and wrong - everything depends on the group identity of the offender.
The British Left's love affair with gypsies goes back a long way.
The Stalinist songwriter and BBC favourite, Ewan MacColl, who more or less invented the British 'Folk music' scene (and ran it as a propaganda outlet for the Communist Party) was already bigging-up the 'travelling' community in the early '60s.
I suspect Gramsci would have understood why.
I would like to see the tax returns for this poor persecuted minority. that's if there are any, of course. ;-)
Quite apart from the rocketing crime rates whenever they infest a locality, their obvious contempt for everybody but themselves, and their parasitical nature and culture, maybe it's the way they tackle every contentious situation they've generated by arriving in huge numbers, guaranteed to intimidate not only law-abiding local people but also the police. In such situations, then obviously the authorities find it much easier to suppress law-abiding people than to deal with a large number of violent and intimidating travellers.
"Quite apart from the rocketing crime rates whenever they infest a locality...."
You might well think that, but to Guardianistas like Loopy Libby they're merely "decoupled from standard western ideas about property rights."
Gypsies became heros of the loony left when their name was changed from 'Gyppos' to 'Travellers'
It seems oh so romantic, so heart-warmingly liberal, so free-spirited... In other words, they got a cool name and suddenly aren't a social worry or a criminal haven anymore. In fact, it is us who are the problem as we are so, well, dull in our houses (where incidentally more Guardians are bought than on 'Traveller sites')
the pikey miracle of resurfacing a Motorway with a bucket of used tarmac -
or magically conjuring up a Winter Wonderland with a few tins of fake snow spray, I reckon
"We are fools to assist the perpetuation and expansion of a tacky and criminal culture."
There's a HUGE streak of misogyny in the culture. But would you see any of the feminists shrieking at the Sky Sports affair criticising that?
"Yes, just how did these people become pets of the liberal establishment?"
As Rob points out, because they are 'anti-norm'.
"I suspect Gramsci would have understood why."
"...to Guardianistas like Loopy Libby they're merely "decoupled from standard western ideas about property rights.""
'Unauthorised encampment'- what a classic Grauniadesque euphemism, rather like 'undocumented worker', one of their euphemisms for 'illegal immigrant'.
I won't be watching the programme, as I assume the programme makers will skirt around the subject of where, exactly, this 'impoverished' group sources the money that finances these grotesque splurges of ostentation.
I watched an episode of Gypsy Wedding. I waited the entire program for a Gypsy to appear and all I saw were Irish Tinkers. Are they all the same now or is it okay to conflate distinct cultures? Isn't that a bit, you know, insensitive?
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