UK, September 11, 2006
The Sun newspaper – well, some people think it is one others would dispute that – reported that a council in the UK was blasted for buying an illegal Gypsy site for £292,000 – spending £1.5 million on an upgrade, which the paper called “luxury upgrade” and then inviting the evicted “travelers” back (Shame the paper cannot work out whether it is Gypsies or Travellers). The Gypsies, so the Sun, now enjoy brick chalets, shower blocks and toilets at the cam in Bristol, and obviously the Sun is, yet again, trying to egg on its readership of mainly uneducated lower class white people in the UK, against Gypsies and Travellers by claiming that so much money is being spent on the Gypsy and Traveller community. Far more money is being wasted on pointless evictions actions again Gypsies and Travellers who have bought their own pieces of lands to make provision for themselves only to be turned down. This really, however, does show this stupidity once again. The Gypsies/Travellers who originally had the site in Bristol were evicted from an illegal camp and the council bought the land. I assume from the Gypsies/Travellers and then, amazingly, suddenly, it was possible to turn it into a Gypsy site (now they can charge rent and control who lives there and how), an official one. It is strange that permission could not be grated to the families who had the land before to stay there and live but the council themselves were able to give themselves planning consent for just a such a thing, a Gypsy site. This really is English law, yet again, at its best. It is that that the people should get concerned about and the wasted monies on evictions where it might not be necessary, especially in light of this where suddenly it was possible to have a Gypsy settlement there.
The questions that should be asked is – one - how come the Gypsies had to be evicted – and one can only assume at a high cost and – two – who then gained from the contract of refurbishing the once illegal camp and turning it into an official Gypsy caravan site in the Bristol area. It is hardly the “Gypsies” that can be blamed for this. It would have been cheaper, I am sure, had the people be permitted to stay on their land, on the “illegal” camp, and been given legal status and then they could have – and I am sure they would have – made their own improvements. Obviously, some friend of a councilor or a friend of a friend of a councilor was the beneficiary of the contract. What else could it be? Don’t blame the Gyppos for the failings and especially the sleeze and corruption of the governments, local and central.
© M V Smith, 2006