Friday, July 22, 2011

The Big Gypsy Eviction

The BBC ran this programme last night, a documentary with a human-interest slant on the unauthorised Dale Farm Traveller site and the eviction that may take place shortly. It was reasonably fair, though it didn't go into the technicalities of the matter, rather concentrating on the people involved. Those technicalities are briefly that the Dale Farm land is owned by the Travellers, but it is Green Belt and has no planning permission. Planning rules are there for very good reasons and you just cannot pitch up and build what effectively constitutes a village in any field that you think fit. There has been considerable adverse impact on nearby residents for example, and the documentary illustrated this to some extent.

It also illustrated the culture clash that has made this whole issue so much more difficult. There have been threats of violence from the Travellers when they don't get what they want, as illustrated in this BBC article:

"We're fighting for our homes," says one man, as he adds gas cylinders to a barricade.

He demonstrates how the cylinders can be be lit so a large flame flies out. "The first man that comes in is going to die," the man warns.

And Mimi also has a warning: "Basildon will go up in fire before we go."

The police take this sort of stuff seriously, which is why they are on hand at the Council whenever there is any Traveller business under consideration. So, the professionals think that this is more than just bluster.

I don't know who is advising the Travellers, but do they actually think that this sort of thing helps their cause? Certainly, support among the settled community for action on any unauthorised development in the Green Belt remains high.

Most people do not react well to threats.


Anonymous said...

The programme was superficial – for example, the human interest slant could have included the impact on the village school .

It failed to discuss why & how the travellers came to be at Dale Farm, who is responsible for the lack of sites, why caravan pitches are not integrated into mainstream housing provision or make any comment on the uneven distribution of authorised sites in Essex and neighbouring counties .

I agree with you that support for action against unauthorised development is hardening.

Anonymous said...

i didnt see the programme last night but this whole farse is sooo doing my head in! iam a contactor, i work away, on the roads, and living in a caravan. 6 years ago i bought myself, out of all my hard earnt money, a brand new Hobby caravan...£17,000 and full of everything i ever was my home!! My mother was also dying of cancer at the time. because i was honest and telling insurance companies that im a contactor, working away and it was permenant residense, no one would insure me! i had to come back to where my mother was living because she was so poorly. i lived in the van at my friends small holding. my home got stolen from there, by gypsies, police knew which troop it was but did nothing..i could do nothing!! THAT WAS MY HOME AND THEY DIDNT CARE SO WHY SHOULD ANY OF US CARE FOR THEM!!! everything my mother had ever given me was in that caravan...she died 2 months after!! LOW LIFE SCUM..sorry but true, they do not care about any one and yes they are all the same

Anonymous said...

Like any other ethnic minority they cannot all be tarred with the same brush. Whoever stole your property can rightly be called what ever you like but so can any thief from any other background. If you know who stole from you but don't get any help from the Police, then go to the Police Complaints Commission. You have rights too and that should be recognised.