Travellers/Gypsies - Why the hatred?

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  • I always thought that "Irish Traveller" was a defining label used rather than meaning they all recently arrived from Ireland (like being Asian doesn't make you Asian born) ... I may be wrong, but I always believed there to were "Irish Travellers" who'd been here several generations but kept their accent because of the groups they mixed with.

  • I always thought that "Irish Traveller" was a defining label used rather than meaning they all recently arrived from Ireland (like being Asian doesn't make you Asian born) ... I may be wrong, but I always believed there to were "Irish Travellers" who'd been here several generations but kept their accent because of the groups they mixed with.

    I think that's correct to a degree, but my understanding is that these travellers have actually arrived from Ireland in the recent past. That's based on press reports though, so I wouldn't rely on it being accurate. :shrug:

  • i see so basicly they ve wacked up lets be honest a pretty ugly type of small village with no planning and anyone who has objected has been harrased and had death threats ok probably in jest we re told, and sat back and waited for the ten year lapse to occour,


    Nope.A couple of familys bought land at Dale farm and had planning permission to build on it.For about 40 plots from memory.They want planning permission for the extra 50ish plots and have been involved with the authorities for years so theres no 10yr lapse here.To get automatic retrospective permission there has to have been no challenge and no authority involvement and clearly thats not the case here.As far as I can tell the council havent had a good reason for refusing planning permission but legally they dont have to,they can-and do-withhold permission simply because they can.

    I don't think it's that simple. Travellers have never (certainly in recent years) travelled in groups of 100 families. The "community" only exists because they've ignored the planning regulations to start with. And I apologise in advance for going a bit Daily Mail, but if Irish travellers choose to come to England and ignore planning regulations, I sincerely don't think they have much case for complaining about their "community" being split up. That's really no different from a bunch of English people settling abroad with no regard for local law and custom.


    No,the 'community' has always existed but its been mobile with people living and travelling in smaller groups and only meeting up in these numbers for special occasions/cultural festivities.I cant think of anything more horrendous than living permanently in a group the size of Dale Farm but its not unprecedented or unnatural for discriminated against groups to flock to a 'safe' ghetto.


    There are a few Roma plots at Dale farm too by the way,and the Irish travellers (who are legally recognised as a distinct ethnic group) came over here during the potato famine so its hardly a recent invasion.I obviously dont know the ins and outs of every traveller at Dale Farm and its very probable that some have come over from Ireland since the farm was purchased but why is that any different than settled Irish coming over here to join family/friends/Irish communities in England? I'm really not getting the 'but theyre not British!' argument :S

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    Which is why I would argue that the whole situation needs looking at in a more constructive light. Travellers do face unreasonable hurdles when it comes to finding places to stop and/or stay. But that does not mean that it's OK for foreign travellers to set up the equivalent of a small village without planning permission. What I would say though is that if the eviction goes ahead, it should only go ahead if the government is willing to address the wider problem. It's stupid to evict people unless there's somewhere for them to go. I've seen arguments on both sides regarding the availability of housing and sites, and in the absence of objective information, I have no clear view on whether viable alternatives are actually available.


    They set up half a village without planning permission.Half are legally allowed to stay on that land and the contested land isnt going to be used for anything else so *why* do they need to go besides them not having planning permission that *could* simply be granted to make that problem go away? This is privately owned land,owned by the Travellers thats been developed over years not over a bank holiday weekend. So if you accept the principle that these families have to go somewhere why cant they stay where they are given the very specific circumstances of this site and the huge cost to all sides of going through with an eviction? Why cant this be used to look again at planning laws,especially in regard to travellers and gypsys (90% of applications initially rejected regardless of merit) and to have proper discussions about the issues instead of it being all about 'we didnt saaay they could have those extra plots and so we're not going to let them have them'?


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    I have no problem with disabled parking places, but I would have a problem with disabled people parking anywhere they liked. ;)


    :D And if there werent disabled parking spaces,despite the need,so someone bought a car park plot to use for that purpose?


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    No, they didn't "fund their own solution". Commune hippies bought land/property that it was legal to live in, and stumped up the inflated costs associated with that.


    Some communes did it legally.Tipi valley didnt/dont have planning permission,the site outside the old green gathering fields is still fighting planning to be allowed to stay and theyre just two off the top of my head.


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    And I'm afraid their nationality does have a baring here. It's ridiculous to up sticks to a foreign country and expect to be accommodated by that country.


    I dont understand :S So we dont have any kind of duty to anyone in this country who was born,or whos parents or grandparents were born,in another country? And if its so ridiculous why do english ex pat communities expect that accomodation and why do other nationalities that come to this country for a variety of reasons expect that they will be accomodated? The original Dale Farm travellers bought that land and built with planning permission,hows that upping sticks and expecting to be accomodated?

  • its pretty bad though imagine you live next door its not like a family or a couple of familes its basicly a total take over, i mean its not just like having a housing estate wacked up on green and pleasant fields its a great comunity with rubbish scrap badly laid tarmac everywhere and noise a fence round so clearly no one can integrate into the gypsy comunity, it isnt romantic lovely old carts horses nice old families is cold hard and frontial i think and i dont really think its fair on the people who lived peacefully and quietly there before the arrival of the travellar folk, i have no hate for the travellars i just wish that if they want to travel and live on the road they could and just wish all not some travellars could just well behave cos believe me some can be very nasty people but some are nice i dont know its a pity they cant buy an island somewhere and do what they like see how things go then its a generalisation but trouble does seem to follow them, whenever theres fairs near mates of mine a week later stuff always gets nicked. fences pulled down and fields parked on and rubbish everywhere sorry that just how it is. If i was the head travellar honsho id come out and not have my face blacked on telly and say look our image sucks this is what i want to do to put it right etc but no one will, so people make asumtions,


  • The problem is that for every one messy traveller site there are probably a hundred tidy ones but - as is the way of the world - it's only the messy ones that are remembered and constantly remarked about.


    Well after reading this post I thought I'd sneak a look through the fence of a local traveller site....I don't know if they have planning permission for this one but there are several bungalows....however all the trucks were parked up neatly and there was a distinct absence of rubbish.

  • No,the 'community' has always existed but its been mobile with people living and travelling in smaller groups and only meeting up in these numbers for special occasions/cultural festivities.I cant think of anything more horrendous than living permanently in a group the size of Dale Farm but its not unprecedented or unnatural for discriminated against groups to flock to a 'safe' ghetto.

    Yeah, but we're not talking about a temporary gathering, which would be a different issue and a whole different topic. :shrug:


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    There are a few Roma plots at Dale farm too by the way,and the Irish travellers (who are legally recognised as a distinct ethnic group) came over here during the potato famine so its hardly a recent invasion.I obviously dont know the ins and outs of every traveller at Dale Farm and its very probable that some have come over from Ireland since the farm was purchased but why is that any different than settled Irish coming over here to join family/friends/Irish communities in England? I'm really not getting the 'but theyre not British!' argument :S

    I'm not sure these Irish travellers came over during the potato famine! The reason it's different, is because it's taking the fucking piss to come to another country and then complain that that country's laws don't accommodate your way of life. I'd consider it just as rude if a bunch of English people emigrated to a strict Muslim country and complained that they couldn't build a Christian church. There's the additional issue of how much money they've actually got, and whether they could actually afford to go down a different route, but that's a difficult one because I don't think the press are exactly a reliable source of information.


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    They set up half a village without planning permission.Half are legally allowed to stay on that land and the contested land isnt going to be used for anything else so *why* do they need to go besides them not having planning permission that *could* simply be granted to make that problem go away?

    Because it sets a precedent. Why should a group of people be allowed to get around planning law by being persistent and awkward enough? Then there's the small matter of the local residents and whether they actually want the travellers to stay. Yeah, Britain suffers from NIMBYism, but that doesn't mean that the desires of residents should be ignored.


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    This is privately owned land,owned by the Travellers thats been developed over years not over a bank holiday weekend.

    Years during which there's been an on-going legal battle to get them out, as I understand it?


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    So if you accept the principle that these families have to go somewhere why cant they stay where they are given the very specific circumstances of this site and the huge cost to all sides of going through with an eviction?

    Again, it establishes the principle that if you're awkward enough and cost the authorities enough money, you'll be able to ignore planning laws. And again, the small matter of the local residents....


    Additionally, it's also possible that they do have somewhere to go... just not in this country. I'm withholding judgement on that one though because I don't trust the press as a source for unverifiable information.


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    Why cant this be used to look again at planning laws,especially in regard to travellers and gypsys (90% of applications initially rejected regardless of merit) and to have proper discussions about the issues instead of it being all about 'we didnt saaay they could have those extra plots and so we're not going to let them have them'?

    Because frankly, the problems are bigger than that. The planning laws certainly need looking at when it comes to travelling, but I'm not sure that there's any need for planning laws to be changed to allow the erection of small villages, complete with asphalt roads and wooden fences.


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    :D And if there werent disabled parking spaces,despite the need,so someone bought a car park plot to use for that purpose?

    I wouldn't be happy if it was the field opposite my house, and they had no planning permission. ;)


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    Some communes did it legally.Tipi valley didnt/dont have planning permission,the site outside the old green gathering fields is still fighting planning to be allowed to stay and theyre just two off the top of my head.

    Most communes did it legally. But I'm not sure what your point is? :S


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    I dont understand :S So we dont have any kind of duty to anyone in this country who was born,or whos parents or grandparents were born,in another country?

    I don't believe we should have, if they've come here of their own volition and aren't fleeing persecution. I sure as fuck wouldn't expect to emigrate to another country and have the government house me :S


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    The original Dale Farm travellers bought that land and built with planning permission,hows that upping sticks and expecting to be accomodated?

    I have no problem with the original plot at Dale Farm. :shrug:

  • Yeah, but we're not talking about a temporary gathering, which would be a different issue and a whole different topic. :shrug:


    I'm getting confused now.I was talking about the 'community' that you were saying only existed because Dale Farm made it so.The community existed anyway and will still exist if Dale Farm is broken up.The importance of community to the gypsy/traveller people is something I was arguing back along but I didnt say that meant gypsy/travellers needed or wanted to live in groups of hundreds.There are several issues getting mixed up here because Dale Farm is Dale Farm,its not the entirety of the travelling communities and its pissing a lot of other traveller communities off as much as it is settled people.

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    Because it sets a precedent. Why should a group of people be allowed to get around planning law by being persistent and awkward enough?


    Erm,I thought that was the standard tactic with planning laws :S Its certainly whats advocated all over the net,including on here sometimes.If planning laws were reasonable thered be a case but nobody thinks planning laws are reasonable.You do know that the closest settled neighbours to Dale Farm had no planning permission for the buildings/home on that land,or for the static caravan/s there? Planning records show that area was notorious for chancers buying up land and using it to live or work on.Chancers from the settled community.You cant take a moral high ground on rules that many dont respect and nobody thinks are just to begin with.Well *you* can obviously,you can do and think what you like,but it doesnt make sense.

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    Years during which there's been an on-going legal battle to get them out, as I understand it?


    Or years during which theres been an on-going legal battle for legitimate permission for the site,depending on your perspective ;)

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    But I'm not sure what your point is? :S


    That Dale farm isnt doing anything *new* or 'unprecedented',and that its ok for hippies to do it because its sticking it to the maan but Travellers do it and theyre trying to cheat the maan and thats 'bad'? I guess I'm just struggling to get my head around all the double standards and changing of the 'rules' that I've been hearing from a lot of people I wouldnt have expected to buy into the prejudice against Travellers.The hate you expect,a lot of people are morons,but the righteous prejudice is confusing me.I feel like I've missed something :S

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    I have no problem with the original plot at Dale Farm. :shrug:


    I'd suggest you were in the minority in even understanding theres an original legal full permission plot there.The 'Travellers out' signs and anti-traveller movement in the area want them all out and most people seem to think the eviction is for the whole site.Which is of course a better sob story for Dale Farm but it shoots down a lot of the arguments about how the area will be so much better and safer once the scum have gone.There *is* a legitimate site at Dale Farm that will stay whatever happens in the courts.There are arguments for reducing the size of the site and there are ways that can happen,families who do have somewhere else to go (because youre right that we cant have it all our own way,as I also said ages ago),but the OP of this thread asked why theres such hatred towards these communities and that hatred doesnt seem to be distinguishing between the legal site and the unauthorised extension does it.

  • I'm getting confused now.I was talking about the 'community' that you were saying only existed because Dale Farm made it so.The community existed anyway and will still exist if Dale Farm is broken up.

    I was referring to the physical community at Dale Farm. Not "community" in a wider sense.


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    Erm,I thought that was the standard tactic with planning laws :S

    That's nonsensical. "They get away with it, so I should get away with it too" is not a rational argument. Regardless, I think you're exagarating the case. I'm aware of plenty of extensions, houses and buildings that have ended up being demolished for being in breach of planning regulations. "Getting away with it" is not the default outcome by a wide margin, and nor should it be. If people are "getting away with it", then that's an argument for stopping them - not for letting everyone else "get away with it" too.


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    If planning laws were reasonable thered be a case but nobody thinks planning laws are reasonable.

    That's a very broad statement. Some aspects of planning laws are unreasonable, but not all of them. I certainly have no problem with planning laws that stop people throwing up small villages wherever they feel like.


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    You do know that the closest settled neighbours to Dale Farm had no planning permission for the buildings/home on that land,or for the static caravan/s there? Planning records show that area was notorious for chancers buying up land and using it to live or work on

    And again, that's an argument for making sure that those people don't get away with it - not for everyone else getting away with it too. Hypocrisy sucks, and people should be treated equally.


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    Or years during which theres been an on-going legal battle for legitimate permission for the site,depending on your perspective ;)

    Irrelevant. You can't argue that they should be allowed to stay because they've been there for years, when for all those years they've known full well that they were there illegally. A legitimate legal battle would have been fought before moving onto the land.


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    That Dale farm isnt doing anything *new* or 'unprecedented',and that its ok for hippies to do it because its sticking it to the maan but Travellers do it and theyre trying to cheat the maan and thats 'bad'?

    Sorry, I don't see hippies or travellers as two distinct and separate groups. Nor do I feel that it's "ok" for hippies to ignore planning law any more than I feel it's ok for travellers to ignore planning law - or any other group, for that matter. Sure, if you can chance it and get away with it, then good luck to you. But that doesn't mean that you have a right to get away with it, it doesn't mean that planning law is entirely unreasonable, and it doesn't mean that the wishes of local residents shouldn't be considered.


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    I guess I'm just struggling to get my head around all the double standards and changing of the 'rules' that I've been hearing from a lot of people I wouldnt have expected to buy into the prejudice against Travellers.The hate you expect,a lot of people are morons,but the righteous prejudice is confusing me.I feel like I've missed something :S

    Can't comment on that. Haven't really encountered it.


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    but the OP of this thread asked why theres such hatred towards these communities and that hatred doesnt seem to be distinguishing between the legal site and the unauthorised extension does it.

    I think the hatred is entirely disproportionate, I think some of it is stirred up by elements of the media, I think some of it is a natural human mistrust of outsiders and people they don't understand, but I also have to say that a large part of it probably originates from an entirely accurate impression of how a lot of travellers behave. :shrug:

  • Quote from Atomik

    A legitimate legal battle would have been fought before moving onto the land.


    There are plenty of legal precedents for retrospective permission,eg supermarkets.I'm not arguing that people should 'get away with it',I'm saying that in practise people look for loopholes and ways around an initial no and dale farm arent doing anything that others havent done before and will again.Theyve not ignored the authorities or simply battened down and defended,theyve actively sought to put their case and get the right permission.And no,that doesnt mean they should get it it just means they have been trying legitimately.


    I've said repeatedy that I think Dale Farm took the piss in terms of numbers and this should have been resolved years ago but it wasnt and thats as much the fault of the settled community as it is the travellers there.At this point a mass eviction is stupid,expensive and counterproductive to relations between our communities and I genuinely dont understand why a better solution hasnt been found.Clearly Dale Farm needs to reduce in size,not because they dont have planning permission for those plots but because the sheer number of them puts too much strain on the settled community there.Theres no legitimate reason why permission cant be given for some of the unauthorised plots,theres no legitimate reason why some of the familys cant leave (although,its privately owned land so how long before people drift back?) but both sides digging their heels in for an all or nothing win isnt going to get a satisfactory longer term solution for either side.

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    a large part of it probably originates from an entirely accurate impression of how a lot of travellers behave. :shrug:


    Exactly the same way a lot of settled people behave.I have had so much shit from people in the settled community my whole life but I dont tar all non travellers with that same brush.But hey ho,some groups gotta be the universal scapegoat right.

  • Grey area; yes, some travelers do abuse their surroundings. When I lived in Wales, a group of travellers came and took over the car park, using the toilet facilities as their own, blagging free electric and taking over the park and littering it up so the the local kids were scared to go there. Luckily they were moved on after a few days. Such blatant piss takers give the traveling community a bad name, but it's also true that people like to condemn those who do not conform. The same people most likely who think that all unemployed people sit around drinking beer and smoking weed all day and have no wish to work. These people exist, but they are an excuse for prejudice and ignorance, not a majority.

  • There are plenty of legal precedents for retrospective permission,eg supermarkets.I'm not arguing that people should 'get away with it',I'm saying that in practise people look for loopholes and ways around an initial no and dale farm arent doing anything that others havent done before and will again.Theyve not ignored the authorities or simply battened down and defended,theyve actively sought to put their case and get the right permission.And no,that doesnt mean they should get it it just means they have been trying legitimately.

    That's not "trying legitimately".... that's "trying to fiddle the system". Just coz others have done it, it doesn't make it "legitimate". However, if it was as legitimate as you say, then they'd move off once they lost the battle, in the same way that others who lost the battle for retrospective planning permission would have to come into line with the law.


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    I've said repeatedy that I think Dale Farm took the piss in terms of numbers and this should have been resolved years ago but it wasnt and thats as much the fault of the settled community as it is the travellers there.At this point a mass eviction is stupid,expensive and counterproductive to relations between our communities

    The fact that it's "expensive" has nothing to do with it. It's only "expensive" because the travellers are making it so. Similarly, creating a small village without planning permission is "counter-productive to relations between communities".


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    Exactly the same way a lot of settled people behave.

    No, not in the same way at all. "Settled people" don't exist as a distinct group about which you can generalise. Travellers I'm afraid do. That's not to say that I tar them all with the same brush by a long shot, but when your experience of certain communities is consistent, it becomes reasonable to draw generalisations.


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    But hey ho,some groups gotta be the universal scapegoat right.

    It's not about scapegoats. There's a huge debate to be had about what can be done to facilitate the travelling lifestyle, whether it's even viable in modern Britain, and what kind of travelling groups or communities can reasonably be accommodated. Settling in large groups, creating a virtual village and refusing to leave is not the best way to begin that debate. That's what's counterproductive. There was a legal site at that location already, and any chance that legal site had of improving relations with the community and setting an example of how things could be done has been shot to shit.

  • Quote from Atomik

    No, not in the same way at all. "Settled people" don't exist as a distinct group about which you can generalise. Travellers I'm afraid do. That's not to say that I tar them all with the same brush by a long shot, but when your experience of certain communities is consistent, it becomes reasonable to draw generalisations


    So what constitutes a 'distinct group'? How about 'men'? My consistent experience of settled men growing up was they were bastards so is it reasonable to generalise that 'men' are bastards? Or how about 'people on benefits',is that a distinct group you can generalise about? Or how about catholics,or asians,or immigrants? Or is it just 'Travellers',a section of society that consists of several different ethnic groups and cultures,that counts as 'distinct' enough for this argument?


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    Settling in large groups, creating a virtual village and refusing to leave is not the best way to begin that debate.


    No but the more of these debates I get into with 'settled' people (who actually are a 'distinct group' from a Travellers perspective) the more I think doing just that is the way forward.Its what groups have done throughout history the world over,grab land,plant a flag and tell the locals to go fuck themselves.And its tended to be more successful than trying to enter into a debate about the right to even exist with 'locals' who have their minds made up already.


    The antics of Dale Farm have pissed off a lot of different Traveller groups,people whove been working with settled communities in a range of ways for decades to try and break down barriers and dissipate the hate and fear,so its not easy to defend them but the settled community are really not coming out of this well either.There cant be any reasonable debate when the level of prejudice is so high and its not just up to the prejudiced against side to change.

  • I say make it easy them travel. Do what we need to do to let them live on the road. Make it possible for traveller people to live their lives as travellers. The authorities have been making traveller life impossible for a few generations now and this must have some impact on relations between the travellers and settled people. Treat travellers with respect and lets hope we get it bk. The authorities can just tell travellers no you can't stay here, move on. They block off the old sites and empty roads that were once used by travelling people deliberately so they can't stay there. There's no respect or regard there for the travellers and so how can we expect it back?

  • So what constitutes a 'distinct group'? How about 'men'? My consistent experience of settled men growing up was they were bastards so is it reasonable to generalise that 'men' are bastards?

    You're free to formulate your own generalisations, and decide for yourself whether they're reasonable or not. The alternative is that we don't formulate sensible and cautious views - as distinct from prejudice - about groups of people with whom we come into contact.


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    Or is it just 'Travellers',a section of society that consists of several different ethnic groups and cultures,that counts as 'distinct' enough for this argument?

    Please don't project views onto me which I don't hold. I have repeatedly pointed out that "travellers" consist of several different ethnic and social groups. Any one of those groups is more distinct than "settled people".


    This is just descending into semantics now, and it's a waste of time really. :shrug:

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    No but the more of these debates I get into with 'settled' people (who actually are a 'distinct group' from a Travellers perspective) the more I think doing just that is the way forward.Its what groups have done throughout history the world over,grab land,plant a flag and tell the locals to go fuck themselves.And its tended to be more successful than trying to enter into a debate about the right to even exist with 'locals' who have their minds made up already.

    More successful according to what criteria?! As a strategy, it also has a good track record of fostering intractable prejudice and getting people butchered! :eek:


    I find it odd that you can advocate that approach in the light of what's happening at Dale Farm. All it seems to be achieving is to get people forcibly removed and to encourage negative views of travellers amongst the wider community.


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    The antics of Dale Farm have pissed off a lot of different Traveller groups,people whove been working with settled communities in a range of ways for decades to try and break down barriers and dissipate the hate and fear,so its not easy to defend them but the settled community are really not coming out of this well either.There cant be any reasonable debate when the level of prejudice is so high and its not just up to the prejudiced against side to change.

    I'd certainly agree with that. But there also needs to be a recognition that a lot of the prejudice isn't unfounded. Without that acceptance, you'll never get anywhere near a solution. Again, many of the problems with the travelling community are the result of social policies applied over the last few decades, so it's not a case of saying "these people are EVIL!!!". But there has to be a recognition that many peoples' views of travellers - prejudiced or otherwise - are formed as a result of actual experience.


    I do think there's a question of whether the travelling lifestyle can reasonably be accommodated in modern Britain. Sometimes, we just have to accept that history and society have moved on. Nobody would suggest that the government should try and accommodate hunter-gatherers or Christian hermits. I have no view on the answer to that question, but I think it's worth asking.


    Personally, I have no problem with the notion of society/the government doing more to accommodate travellers. That would require a little give and take on both sides though. For a start, travellers might have to accept that larger sites are too problematic to be viable. And the government might have to accept that relaxed planning laws are necessary for travellers.


    However, the starting point for this debate has to be what do travellers actually want? A settled lifestyle with their own community? More official sites? Easier access to short-term rural park-ups? Etc etc etc. And the answers to these and other questions will no doubt vary depending on which groups or individuals are answering.

  • I say make it easy them travel. Do what we need to do to let them live on the road. Make it possible for traveller people to live their lives as travellers. The authorities have been making traveller life impossible for a few generations now and this must have some impact on relations between the travellers and settled people. Treat travellers with respect and lets hope we get it bk. The authorities can just tell travellers no you can't stay here, move on. They block off the old sites and empty roads that were once used by travelling people deliberately so they can't stay there. There's no respect or regard there for the travellers and so how can we expect it back?

    This is partly true. The government have certainly restricted the available options, only to complain when travellers then pursue the only remaining options that are available to them.


    However, from personal experience, I can honestly say it wasn't as simple as that.


    I witnessed all kinds of shit from the "new age" travelling community in the early 90s, and none of it was ever gonna make the travelling lifestyle any easier. People pulling up on farmland, letting their dogs run wild, leaving all kinds of shit behind. People stealing from local shops. People abusing local residents. People stripping lead and copper from empty properties. These weren't exceptions or unusual events. I remember going with some traveller mates to a free festival in Wales once and watching a convoy of vehicles rip a hole in a hedge and pull into a field. You can justify that shit in whatever ways you like, but ultimately, the fallout from the government was inevitable. The fact that people became distrustful of and prejudiced against travellers was inevitable. The fact that rural communities didn't want traveller sites anywhere near them was inevitable. The fact that park-ups were barricaded and blocked off was inevitable.


    Yeah, that wasn't the only side to the story, but it's a mistake to assume that the government and people at large suddenly started to stigmatise travellers out of the blue.


  • Yeah I guess all these issues are genuine and have done nothing to help the interests of travellers. What I would say is that before the new age travellers started to come on the scene they were still blocking off old roads (happening even in the 30's) and trying to settle the folk in council houses (50's) which a lot of our travellers hated. (I'm only talking about Scotland though) Many of our travellers settled during winter often anyway and they no longer work in the berry fields in the way they used to. The authorities seemed to think traveller children were being mistreated if they turned up at a camp and the kids were muddy or whatever and the kids could be taken away to a home. They were terrified of doctors as well which meant if they really had to go to the doctor and had left it too late they were seen to have been mistreating again. The authorities obviously didn't get where the travellers were coming from and the travellers didn't trust the authorities but I do think they wanted the travellers off the roads because they thought it was in their interests. The settled people also didn't get travellers. My gran said they used to walk about the streets with their hair down and would breast feed their kids older than we would (for obvious reasons to us) which was shocking at the time so I think they always faced a certain amount of prejudice. She said they fought a lot and used a version of gaelic which none of them could understand but they weren't bad people. When the travellers did settle often the kids had a hard time at school and the older boys could be prone to hassle from the police etc. We have settled travellers where I'm living still but there's not much trouble between the two communities. I know one traveller women had to take her kids out of the local school cause of bullying and I also know a traveller tried to con my granny and she ended up chasing him out the garden at the age of 82 but that's all I've heard about. You still see some travellers on the roads which I like actually. A lot of our old ways are dying out and I guess the traveller life is part of that.

  • Quote from Atomik

    The fact that people became distrustful of and prejudiced against travellers was inevitable. The fact that rural communities didn't want traveller sites anywhere near them was inevitable. The fact that park-ups were barricaded and blocked off was inevitable.


    Travellers have been in this country for centurys and theres always been prejudice and hatred.This country had the death penalty for Travellers,Traveller children were removed from their families the same way Australian aboriginal kids were,Traveller adults were imprisoned and deported simply for being different.It wasnt the 'new age' wasters that fucked things for the Travelling communities,it was ingrained prejudice that clearly still exists today.


    And those wasters werent Travellers,they were people from the settled community who decided to 'drop out',get wasted and cause a trail of destruction around the country.But somehow that settled community,that most returned to,doesnt take any responsibility for the behaviour of 'their own'.

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    it's a mistake to assume that the government and people at large suddenly started to stigmatise travellers out of the blue.


    As above,todays attitudes arent new,theres been no 'sudden' stigmatisition,just excuses why settled society hasnt moved on in its attitudes.

  • Travellers have been in this country for centurys and theres always been prejudice and hatred.

    There's always been prejudice and hatred directed at/from differing sectors of society.


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    And those wasters werent Travellers,they were people from the settled community who decided to 'drop out',get wasted and cause a trail of destruction around the country.But somehow that settled community,that most returned to,doesnt take any responsibility for the behaviour of 'their own'.

    Ahhhh. Traveller snobbery, eh? "Them and us"? ;)


    So if you live on the road and travel, you're not a traveller unless other travellers say you are? :S


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    As above,todays attitudes arent new,theres been no 'sudden' stigmatisition,just excuses why settled society hasnt moved on in its attitudes.

    I honestly think that's bollocks. Most people don't even think about travellers until they have direct experience of them. And when they do, they generally think about colourful gypsies floating around the idyllic countryside in brightly-painted caravans.


    Until the various segments of the travelling community accept that prejudice doesn't just exist in a vacuum, then there's no hope of any solution. :shrug:

  • There's always been prejudice and hatred directed at/from differing sectors of society.


    Yep but consistently at the Travelling community.I'm not making this up to win an argument,Travellers are still heavily discriminated against in this society and the background to that does matter.Especially when there are calls for Travellers to meet settled people half way.Hell,the Jews got discriminated against and were allowed to steal another peoples country as a 'sorry' for how their people had been treated.its not asking a lot for simple acknowledgement of the discrimination Travellers have faced.

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    Ahhhh. Traveller snobbery, eh? "Them and us"? ;)


    You started it :ppp Youve been arguing that Travellers can be bunched together as a distinct group because their behaviour is different to that of the settled community so how is it not relevant when its people from that settled community behaving badly in this way?

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    So if you live on the road and travel, you're not a traveller unless other travellers say you are? :S


    Its not whether other Travellers say you are but its about more than just getting in a bus and causing trouble before going back to trust funds or dole and bedsit land.There are several distinct groups of Travellers in this country and all but the 'new' Travellers have their own culture and heritage that makes them Travellers even if theyre living in settled housing.All Travellers living on the road or semi nomadically share certain similarities and have similar needs and wants but that doesnt make them all the same.And the brew crew/gear heads that you were talking about above in no way qualified as 'Travellers',they were taking the piss not joining a lifestyle.

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    I honestly think that's bollocks. Most people don't even think about travellers until they have direct experience of them. And when they do, they generally think about colourful gypsies floating around the idyllic countryside in brightly-painted caravans.


    You know very different people than me then.And with respect just because you cant see the discrimination and everyday-way prejudice it doesnt mean its not there and very real for the people on the recieving end.

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    Until the various segments of the travelling community accept that prejudice doesn't just exist in a vacuum, then there's no hope of any solution. :shrug:


    Until the various segments of the settled community accept responsibility for their part in the divide,historically and contempory,then theres no hope of a solution.But Travellers arent just going to go away and theyre all getting savvier about law,media and the power of the net so at some point the settled community is going to have to deal with this reality.Plus the 'new' Traveller numbers are growing thanks to the 'state of the country',and this government have suggested caravans as a solution to the housing problem,along with people movin to where work is,and thats going to have an effect on things too.We're way past the stage of settled people saying to Travellers 'well,prove you can behave and we might not be so obnoxious to you'.

  • I have know a number of travellers become settled and I believe there is very little discrimination, certainly compared to what black and asian people had to put up with. In fact unless it was pointed out, you cannot tell the difference between settled Irish and travellers. The problems arise because the travellers like to keep off grid, so they do not have to pay Income Tax, VAT etc. and it is hard to track them down if they break the law.
    If the travellers play by the rules then there no problems, if they want to buy a caravan site for 500 people then expect to pay up to 2 million pounds, rather then buying a bit of green belt land on the cheap and then converting it into camp site.

  • If the travellers play by the rules then there no problems


    The problem is that the rules are all set up to make it practically illegal to be a traveller, so quite often playing by the rules is not an option.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • The rules are setup so I cannot get a lovely detached house looking over the sea, but most people have to put up with it.


    If you like travelling but need a fixed base for doctors, schools etc, perhaps you could get a house/flat and join the caravan club.

  • I have known a few Romany gipsies along the way, and other travellers who have dropped out of their native culture for one reason or another. The one thing that you can't fail to notice is the tribal prejudice and discrimination which exists between the different sub cultures.


    Only the real gipsies stand apart because they are deeply suspicious of anyone outside their own culture, and expect the same in return.They live by their own honour code, with even homicide being justifiable in some circumstances, and do not seek the approval or otherwise of mainstream society. They are not eligible to use any social welfare services (health,education etc.) as they pay no tax on their income, but do so because they can and we won't refuse them.They are clean,don't make a mess and respect the countryside.The thing that distinguishes them from other travellers is that they were born outside of mainstream society and do not willingly participate in any way at all.Try telling a gypsy he's a bit of a hippy.

  • Quote from Tommyd

    I have know a number of travellers become settled and I believe there is very little discrimination, certainly compared to what black and asian people had to put up with. In fact unless it was pointed out, you cannot tell the difference between settled Irish and travellers.


    What you believe and whats true are two different things.And Travellers arent all Irish.

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    The problems arise because the travellers like to keep off grid, so they do not have to pay Income Tax, VAT etc.


    The overwhelming majority of Travellers do pay income tax,VAT,and all the other costs of settled society.

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    If the travellers play by the rules then there no problems,


    When traditional stopping places were made unusable the government told Travellers to buy their own land and said planning permission would be given to live on it.And to the surprise of no one in the Travelling communities that planning permission failed to materialise even when the land was such that no settled person would want to live on it.90% of planning applications from Travellers and gypsys are initially rejected out of hand,regardless of merit,just on the grounds theyre from a Traveller.Theres boring government stats to prove that,its not a secret.So if Travellers do 'play by the rules' there are problems but for the Travellers who end up with no legal place to stop.And Travellers do actually matter as much as settled people,we're all human beings and its a sick reflection on human beings that our default position seems to be 'well I have to suffer so so should you'.

  • "The overwhelming majority of Travellers do pay income tax,VAT,and all the other costs of settled society."


    Now, you are having a laugh, I am sure they pay some but the correct amount?

  • "The overwhelming majority of Travellers do pay income tax,VAT,and all the other costs of settled society."


    Now, you are having a laugh, I am sure they pay some but the correct amount?


    What,besides prejudice,makes you think they dont?

  • It`s all to do with poeples exposure to the travellers and their lifestyle, and I`m afraid to say,, the exposure people get around my way is not good.. the travellers we see are the filthiest people I`ve come across, They always leave a trash tip full of human waste etc when they leave,, this is what people see, so this is what they are judged on.

  • Because all work is done for cash, with very little paperwork, no VAT nos. etc


    But it isnt.Thats just another myth.A lot of Traveller men are VAT registered,legit self employed people.And many Travellers are employed in the settled community in a variety of jobs just like any other community.There used to be less paperwork because of high illiteracy rates but thats changed loads and theres organisations that help Travellers with that stuff now.

  • But it isnt.Thats just another myth.A lot of Traveller men are VAT registered,legit self employed people.And many Travellers are employed in the settled community in a variety of jobs just like any other community.There used to be less paperwork because of high illiteracy rates but thats changed loads and theres organisations that help Travellers with that stuff now.


    I would like to believe you but unless everything has changed in the last few years, I still find it hard to believe.