Wednesday 26 January 2011

Gypsies Shouldn't Be Demonised For Non-Compliance

I can see this being potentially divisive.

You see, my Twitter mate Uncle Marv really isn't too enamoured with Gypsies, in fact it's probably fair to say that he has a passionate dislike for them. I have to disagree and mentioned to 'Unc' that I'd explain why.

I've had a long acquaintance with Travellers and Gypsies (there is a difference though I'm still unclear of it myself, so for this article take one as also meaning the other and vice versa) stretching back to the early 80s up to and including the present day.

The first I met were a couple of guys who turned up in the Puddlecote-owned pub when I was a young teen. Ordering half a pint each, they sat quietly and chatted whilst some regulars demanded Mr Puddlecote Snr throw them out. He being fair and liberal (well, as a Puddlecote, he would be) told them that he may do but only if they did something to merit it, which didn't happen.

It didn't happen the next night either as they sipped on their half pints again, whilst again some regulars decided they knew what was best for the Mr Puddlecote Snr's pub. Ignoring the naysayers, and curious as to why these two harmless guys were so derided, Mr P approached the new arrivals to have a chat (lesson for kids, that's what landlords used to do in pubs). They instantly bristled.

"Are you fer barring us?", they asked
"No, why would I?"
"We seen yer talking there, thought that's why you was coming over, like", his eyes scanning the bar as he talked in a rural drawl
"Look, if you respect my pub, you're quite welcome to stay. OK?"
"Yer a Gent, Boss"

And then they had a bit of a chat. Just the usual stuff when one meets new people, really. That's when they ordered their first pints. They had stuck to halves for the simple reason that they expected to be turfed out at any minute merely for being from a Traveller community. It's what tended to happen to them.

Later that night, they asked if it was OK to bring other members of their "family" into the pub. Yes, that's right, they asked. Mr P replied that the same rules applied - no trouble, no problem - so they slowly increased in number. Four came in the next night, then five, then six, then - although there were about a dozen in all - they turned up regularly in small groups of that kind of size just as any other subset of customers.

They were good customers too, spending well and joining in with pub activities just like anyone else. A couple joined the darts teams and others - once the mistrust evaporated - would prop up the bar in friendly discussion with our other regulars.

A barrier had been broken down and those who opposed their inclusion that first night were as willing to chat to them as anyone else. A bit rough and ready, yes, but not any different to a roadworker with a cockney accent or a scouse bricklayer.

Fast forward nearly three decades and I have had no reason to change my view of Gypsies. My company employs around a dozen and, although feisty by nature, they are some of the best workers we have. They'll try it on occasionally - as do non-Traveller employees - but are perfectly accepting when knocked back, and are very reliable. Outside of work, I've also a few social Traveller acquaintances who are entertaining, witty and respectful, especially to Mrs P.

It shouldn't be difficult to understand why. Gypsies and Travellers have a deep commitment to family and community, whilst also respecting elders implicitly and possessing a very strong work ethic.

Yes, really. One of the biggest myths I hear about Travellers is that they don't pay taxes and just rip us off for our benefits, but nothing could be further from the truth in my experience. The men, especially, have a pride in being able to make their own income and will work harder than I've ever done in my life, without complaint. Remember that one reason for their being called Travellers is quite simply that they used to travel to where the work is ('used to' being operative and to be tackled further on) just as ultra-Conservative Tebbit was exhorting years ago, and as Iain Duncan-Smith advised recently.

They pay taxes too, and many would be very happy to pay more (I'll expand on that later as well). In most Traveller communities, the shame of not earning one's own living still exists where it has disappeared amongst other, more accepted, sections of society. Considering the determination of the MSM to only portray Travellers in a bad light, and at every opportunity** - anti-Gypsy articles sell many a newspaper - you won't find too many stories about egregious benefit fraud involving those who are UK-born.

But instead of all this being seen as a good thing, as one would expect, it is linked to the problem that the British population at large generally have with Gypsies and Travellers ... their unapologetic adherence to tradition.

And this is what I find most odd about criticism of Gypsies. They are proud of their traditions and want to hang onto them yet are constantly being coerced to change by the same people who spit bile at British traditions being threatened.

They're disliked because they live differently; they're looked down on for being tacky or unambitious; and most of all, they are marginalised for not conforming to how others wish them to live. For not moving with the times; for not being 'progressive', one could say.

As a libertarian, I can feel every sympathy with them.

As alluded to earlier, Travellers mostly don't travel anymore, the vast majority live in houses and are therefore generally tolerated if still not entirely trusted. But for the minority who still wish to travel for seasonal work, or even who don't wish to live in a house as they are told they should, the irrational hatred is absurd.

The obligation on local authorities to find somewhere for them to settle was abolished in the 90s, so Travellers now buy their own land on which to live. Of course, once word gets out they have no chance of actually living there since a public whipped up by an unsympathetic media will routinely object to any plans they submit. So they began to move in and apply for retrospective planning permission, but Eric Pickles has stopped that now, too.

Remember that if they were allowed to live on the land that they own, their buildings would become taxable in any number of different ways, and they'd be pleased to pay it. Bloody tax-dodging Gypsies, eh?

They will live in a house like everyone else, or we won't let them live anywhere. Well, not near us, anyway, that just wouldn't do .. and of course, 'us' are everywhere.

A love of family, a natural propensity to work for a living wherever that work may be, respect for one's elders and refusal to dispense with tradition are surely Tory qualities by their very nature. Yet the laws which have most denied Travellers from living happily alongside the rest of us have all emanated from Tories, and the anti-Gypsy sentiment is mercilessly pumped out from Tory-leaning press.

Now, Uncle Marv pointed specifically to criminality being the problem. In fact, he uniquely pointed to criminality being the problem. I make no excuses for anything that Gypsies do which break any law (well, apart from one, obviously), but they aren't criminals because they are Gypsies, they are just criminals. Just as any other group of people shouldn't be dismissed for the few who cause trouble, neither should Gypsies, and d'you know what? Gypsies themselves would massively agree with that, it's not some conspiracy.

Like my example at the start of this, err, rather long piece (that coffee is keeping you awake, yes?) hopefully shows, if you extend some trust and respect to Travellers, they will return it. If you show them nothing but derision and condemnation, they're not going to respect you very much, either. It's not a Gypsy thing, it's just human nature.

The Libertarian view, I venture, is to treat Travellers of any hue as one finds them and to allow them to live how they choose as long as it doesn't harm others. If it does, then they are to be tackled appropriately and I bet you tons they'd fully co-operate, too. The (mostly) Tory press approach which so permeates public perception is to deny Gypsies their traditions until they comply with the consensus, the state invariably follows for fear of a voter backlash.

Our current approach to travelling communities is counteractive, self-perpetuating, and doomed to eternal failure. Sorry, Uncle Marv.

** This accident is a near family tragedy, this wilful attack on a family won't make any national newspaper.


johnlinford said...

As ever a well thought out and reasonable post, Dick.

I think the reason the MSM attacks resonate is that most in the middle classes will have had very limited contact with Travellers. Certainly those I have met through work are as you say, hard working and very respectful people.

However, my experience until my 20s was limited to once a year or so the car park of the train station I got the train to school from being occupied for a few weeks, blocking the (not cheap) parking spaces of comuters, creating what felt (to my younger mind, and purely as it was 'foreign' I expect) a slightly menacing atmosphere and leaving a mess when they did leave.

Unfortunately when interactions between cultures and groups are sparse, it doesn't take much for a minority to make an impression. The attitude towered the 'average american' or 'the gay man' are just as good examples of this.

marksany said...

Good post Dick. I have personally had good and bad experiences of gypsies.

Take them as you find them is a good way to go through life.

Smoking Hot said...

lnteresting post Dick. l myself worked with travellers on the fairgrounds in my youth. Still have many great friends from them days.

Much the same can be said about Motorcycle Clubs. l may write about the ones l know one day. :)

will said...

if i had a blog i would have written about gypsies recently.

the village i grew up in had several sites, different families etc. everyone had a few kids in their class at school. the rest of the village was fiercely middleclass and as part of that tribe i grew up pretty much hating gypsies.

now having read alot of libertarian and anarchist literature ive got a newfound appreciation for the theory of gypsies. (im not going to argue what is or isnt the reality). think of stereotypical gypsie traits that we are lead to believe and then think of a few key tennets of libertarian thought -
non recognition of taxation, storing wealth as gold in preference over fiat currency, avoiding entrapment by the statist policy of home-owner-ism (planning laws controlling land use and forcing us to spend a lifetime paying to house ourselves), homesteading unused land (im stretching it here because obviously in most circumstances they are violating property rights - but 'public land') and as DP rightly highlighted travelling to find work rather than crying till the work is brought to them.
this is purely hypothetical ramblings but i think it shines a light on our ridiculous statist lives.

Jim said...

Its all very well to say they should be able to live on the land they buy - well we'd all like to do that wouldn't we? Buy a cheap (by housing standards) plot of land somewhere out in the country, and build a house, free of any restrictions like planning permissions, and building regs etc etc. But we can't because the law forbids it. So why should gypsies or travellers be treated any differently? Why should they be able to flout the planning rules that apply to the rest of us? From what I've seen of their sites, rules on waste disposal don't seem to apply either.

And as for the criminality element, well we'll never know really. Round my way there are a number of big encampments, and the police won't go near them. They have to have a fleet of riot vans and an army of backup if they want to go onto the sites. So for anything less than murder they don't bother, its not worth their time and effort. Something that you or I would get pulled for in a flash gets ignored when its travellers involved. Plus all the witnesses tend to clam up too. A friend of mine was present in a pub when a group of gypsies trashed the place (in a revenge attack for some insult or other). No one was arrested, as no one 'saw anything', and the landlord refused to say anything either.

And as for being honest taxpayers, you're having a laugh. I deal with gypsies, and its ALWAYS cash (which I, actually being an honest taxpayer, declare), and no receipt is ever asked for. Don't tell me that all goes in the books (if there are any).

Anonymous said...


Over the years I've known a fair few gypsies or diddaquoy as some called themselves. I had a bit fun and done a fair bit of good business with the gypsy community and I have to say that the general animosity toward them is, I feel, unwarranted.
Romany gypsies seem to see a distinction between themselves and 'travellers' though, whom they see as a lazy shiftless bunch. I my experience they were often refering to Irish tinker families when speaking of travellers. I have no direct experience of them so can't comment.

Top post by the way.

Dick Puddlecote said...

johnlinford: I think you've hit a lot of buttons with that, John.

There is a lot of misunderstanding between groups and also, it has to be said, a lot of refusal to accept that Travellers have definitely made efforts to be less contrary (or even downright rude) over the years. I wonder if such advances are being properly reciprocated, is all.

Marksany: It's how I take everything, and everyone, in life - which I know you do too. :)

SH: I'd be very interested to read it.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Will: Very interesting to hear how your views have changed (and I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I never would). The first Travellers I met were decent so I couldn't say that if my initial thoughts were like yours that I wouldn't have gone the same way, but I have an inkling I probably would have done for the same reasons you mention.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Jim: I don't think Travellers want any favours insofar as planning and building regs go. I think they just want to have their plans looked at without being dismisseed as being from 'them'. Quite the opposite of demanding to be treated differently, I believe they just want to be treated the same as anyone else putting in the same request.

On waste disposal, I think you'll find that legal sites pay council tax just as we do, and even those who have not yet been turfed out by councils are provided bins and pay a fee to the council to take them away. If you know different, I'm happy to be corrected.

Criminality is a problem, as I mentioned, but I still maintain that allowing Travellers to be part of society instead of shunning them would go a long way to alleviating that. Besides, how is what you describe much different to some no-go council areas. We don't automatically assume all council tenants are violent crooks, so why Gypsies?

And cash in hand is rife with any manual occupation, that's a bit of a straw man to be aiming at purely Gypsies. Firstly, it couldn't happen if the public weren't complicit in wanting to avoid VAT etc, and secondly, there are far more egregious tax abuses than those directed at Gypsies IMO. (that's without mentioning that the state only wastes the bloody money when it's volunteered anyway) ;)

Dick Puddlecote said...

MitB: Ta, fella.

I'll admit to being vague about distinctions of Travellers myself (hopefully someone may turn up and elucidate us) but I can only speak as I find by meeting. They being Irish and English-born. I think they're still classed as Romani, though stand to be corrected.

subrosa said...

Good post Richard. In this area gypsies are usually welcomed. Until recently they used to come here every summer in order to pick fruit and when the season was finished off they went again. Occasionally a family would stay behind and decide to live in a house, but I don't know any who do live in houses that wouldn't prefer being on the open road.

The distinction here is between gypsies and travellers. We consider travellers to be people who just fancy wandering. Gypsies are far more organised and as you say, far more family orientated, and that alone encourages responsibility.

In any section of society there are those who are irresponsible. Gypsies are no different and yes, they do work hard, as local employers here know.

JuliaM said...

"The men, especially, have a pride in being able to make their own income and will work harder than I've ever done in my life, without complaint."

There's certainly some truth in that.

I've got friends in HMRC, and they tell me that a recent discussion on their noticeboard centred on genuine gypsies requesting they be taken OFF the benefits list that a partner had put them on without their knowledge...

Of course, there's the others that give them all a bad name. Perhaps that's the difference between Gypsies and Travellers?

JuliaM said...

"So why should gypsies or travellers be treated any differently? Why should they be able to flout the planning rules that apply to the rest of us?"

That's the key. Let one group flout the law on 'cultural' grounds, and especially if that one group is one that has a poor reputation in the wider community, and it's a recipe for trouble...

Divide and conquer?

William said...

As with most 'minority groups' the gypsy community gets 'tarred with the same brush' by the MSM which to be honest is where most people get their opinions of gypsies from which explains an awful lot of the prejudice against them and shows just how easily people are willing to accept whatever they are told by the MSM as fact.

On a slight aside who in their right mind gets paid in cash and declares it all to the taxman?
Do these same people then declare their income from the items they sell on e-bay or at the car boot sale or unexpected windfalls from a distant relative?

I despair at times but it supposed to be a free country so each to their own.
I make it my responsibility to hang onto as much money I generate in my personal economy as I possibly can. The state's economy is it and its slaves own affair.

nisakiman said...

Interesting blog. Here in Greece, where I've lived the last eight years or so, the Gypsy community is very distinct, both visually and socially. They are very obviously from the original Romany stock, which I believe originated in India, and are much more dark-skinned than the indiginous Greeks. The women always dress in a particular style; there is no mistaking them.

They form an integral, if separate part of Greek society. They are both travellers, moving around in trucks with a small 'living area' section selling all manner of goods, from live poultry to plastic goods to Chinese-made chainsaws, and homesteaders, buying a piece of land upon which several families will build houses and make a small community. The homesteaders tend to do the scrap metal runs and to sell fresh fruit and veg from their pick-up trucks. They are an accepted part of Greek life, and although the Greeks don't exactly welcome them with open arms, they are nevertheless accorded respect, and interact with the locals in a friendly and non-bigoted way. There is a tendency to see them as light-fingered, and maybe they are; I have no personal knowledge of that aspect.

Anonymous said...

I had a couple of travellers who cut down an pruned a row of trees in my back yard a few years back.
I concurr they did the job well and charged a fair price .
They were also polite and the misses made them cups of tea now and again.
I must admit I dont think I would weild a chainsaw on top of tall ladder.

Jim said...

I'm sorry but you are being incredibly naive. Round my way there are a number of illegal gypsy encampments, where they have purchased land and set up camp on long Bank Holiday weekends. A planning application is lodged at 10 to 5 on the Friday night, and work is completed immediately, within days. They do not apply and wait to see what the outcome will be, they just do it anyway. Knowing that they can then game the system for years with applications, appeals, human rights cases etc etc.

The latest ploy is to go illegally onto private land and get a child registered at a local school and/or at a local doctors for some illness, and then claim they cannot be evicted as it 'against their human rights'.

Look I have all sorts around here. We get the traditional tinkers, who are fine. They have horse drawn caravans and carts. They do odd jobs, collect scrap metal etc. They have to move on because they need new grass for the horses. And they can't be too criminal, its hard to do a fast getaway in a horse drawn caravan!
We have the non travelling gypsies who live in either illegal or semi legal camps. These are the ones I do business with. They're OK, but you have to be careful. One wrong move and you could be in need of new knee caps. They are all in business but don't have to comply with all the rules that normal businesses do, because the bureaucrats don't want to get involved. Far easier to hassle mainstream businesses like me, than get involved in having to have some massive police operation to enforce the law. There was a good example locally a while back - a traveller firm did a lot of block paving in the area. They were cheaper than everyone else, so got a lot of work. Mind the reason they were cheaper was that they just tipped the waste from the jobs in the nearest farm gateway........
Then finally we get the travellers, who are the pits. They break into private land, trash the place, cause loads of damage, steal whatever isn't nailed down and generally cause mayhem wherever they go. The police don't want to know about them either, just to get them off their patch asap, so they don't have to deal with them. And the landowner is left with a massive legal and clear up bill.

You should try having some of them land next door to you, and see how you like it.

Bucko said...

Well written post. I agree with your Libertarian standpoint and I dont care how anyone chooses to live. Thats thier issue, not mine.

My experience with Gypsies is very limited, however, every time I have met Gypsies it was working in pubs. They would get refused for being dressed like scruffy bastards and threaten to put our windows through or come back with the entire fucking encampment and wreck the pub.

If they would have just made a bit of effort on a Friday night like evryone else, they would have been welcome. Instead the arrogant bastards were abusive and more often than not, very violent.
They thought they owned the bloody town.

Like I said, my experience with Gypsies is limited but it has never been good. Not once.

Mental Crumble said...

Like most householders, I would reserve the same welcome for travellers, or gypsies, sweeping into the local area with the same joy I would usually reserve for an outbreak of the Ebola virus down the road.

They create a crime wave wherever they go, consitute a hazard to public health and a blight on the lives of people who work hard to build their homes and communities. There is nothing romantic about them at all.

I'm not alone in believing that we should slam the door shut on itinerant Irish tinkers and their Eastern European namesakes arriving and abusing our neighbourhoods.

Caedmon's Cat said...

Gypsies and travellers represent everything that is abhorrent to the State (which in its usual pathologigal fashion wishes to contain, tax and control them) and repulsive to the NIMBY values of the ignorant and feckless. For that reason alone, gypsies and travellers get my vote.

Jim said...

@Anonymous (10:14): and do you think your travelling tree surgeons had the correct chainsaw operative licences, insurance to cover any damage to you, your property or members of the public? And did they have a waste carriers licence to transport waste (the tree clippings), and did they dispose of them at a licenced site? Did they do the job in a safe manner?(If they did it up a ladder, I'm guessing probably not). Did they charge VAT?

All these things (and more) are required by legitimate tree surgeons (A friend is one so I know a bit about it). And they get very p1ssed off that pikies with a chainsaw but no qualifications and complying with none of the rules that apply to mainstream businesses constantly undercut them for work.

But would the H&S executive want to know if you told them about dodgy travellers cutting trees down from ladders? No. And would the Environment Agency care if you told them travellers were burning tree waste on their sites, or dumping it in farm gateways (I get a lot of that)? No they wouldn't. But if either caught my tree surgeon friend flouting the law like that they'd be down on him like a tonne of bricks.

Why? Because he lives in a house, is easy to find, won't do a runner, won't threaten to break anyone's legs, and would turn up in court if he was prosecuted. And would pay the fine too. So he's an easy target.

When the bureaucrats start applying the laws that the mainstream have to comply with to travellers, then I might have a little more sympathy.

Snakey said...

There is a far more dangerous group to worry about than gypsies.

I don't recall ever being forced through threat of violence and/or imprisonment to hand over at least 50% of my labour earned fiat currency week after weary week to Gypsies.

Rather than concentrating on damning the politicians, corporations and bankers as the major thieves and psychopaths within our society it appears to be a far more comfortable exercise to attack a bunch of people who have no power whatsoever over anything. Do Gypsies steal trillions of pounds so that they can piss it up against the wall on Marxist based "community" projects and even worse, so they can kill innocent civilians in far off lands? Didn't think so...

We have massive problems to deal with, all of which have been caused by the egregious and overpaid elites who run our increasingly totalitarian State. Gypsies, tinkers, travelers etc are the least of our problems.

Anonymous said...

My only experiance with them was when they took over the local cinima car park for a week.

That same week several gangs of people went through the neighbourhood breaking down garage doors and taking whatever they could carry.

No arrests where made.

When they left, they left piles and piles of rubbish, including the stolen goods not worth taking.

So ask anyone in my area about travellers, and the answer you will get is "fucking scum".

will said...

what riles people against gypsies, as can be seen in some of these comments, seems mainly to be their 'illegal' use of land.
perhaps the greatest evil perpetrated by our rulers is the restriction upon use of land. why do we need permission to live or build upon a piece of land that is rightfully ours? why is a hectare of land 8k but over 100k with this magic permission?
this ancient and unquestioned control is what forces us to struggle our entire lives in a vain attempt to pay for the roof over our heads. it also has the useful side effect of maintaining an otherwise unnecessarily high level and long duration of earnings that just so happen to also contribute tax. another useful side effect is that of protecting and inflating the value of land which is still largely held by the same age old elites.
we are subjected to this evil and it angers us to see some brave souls living free from coercion. the closed minded reaction is to clamour that some of the livestock are escaping the pen and that the farmer had better do something. instead why not point out the presence of the pen and all escape the farmer's evil clutches?
there is no need for coercive planning laws. anything you want can be achieved through voluntary arrangements. you dont want the farmer to build on the field out back? then pay him to enter into some form of covenant. you dont want your neighbour building an extension that blocks out your light? then you'll have to ask him to enter into a mutually binding agreement where you both promise the same.
just because you like the woods and the hills you have no right to coercively limit the legal owners' use of that land. you could buy some shares in the holding company and exercise control that way.
if youre complaining about the rat race, living your whole life as a wage slave, or the cost of housing and simultaneously bemoaning the gypsy scum then you have only yourself to blame for upholding the ancient enslavement land use laws.

will said...

on the seperate point regarding tree surgery
i know some lads in the arboriculturalist game and theyre all good blokes but that doesnt make them any different to any other trade that delights in limiting entry to the market and protecting inflated incomes. when a private individual (the gypsy scum) uses his private property (chainsaw) on my private property to cut down something that i privately own why does the state need to weigh in with magic licenses? its up to the operator whether he takes the risk of wielding a tool without official training and its up to me whether i take the risk of him ruining my day by dying. if i want to pay for a qualified operative then i should be free to choose not forced to.
on the subject of littering and theft then that is a breach of property rights and indefensible.

Jim said...

@Will: of course the tree surgeons don't like the competition, its only natural.

But its not a question of you being allowed to choose a qualified tree surgeon or not is it? You don't get that choice. The law says if you do this type of work you need x,y and z qualifications,insurances and permits etc etc. We either repeal those H&S laws, and allow anyone to work however they please (and then you would have a choice to pay less and get a dodgy tree surgeon, or pay more and get a qualified one), or we enforce the existing law on EVERYONE.

Technically you are breaking the law yourself by employing (even as a self employed contractor) a non qualified person. I occasionally employ a bloke to come and saw up fallen logs on my farm. I have to ensure he has the correct chainsaw equipment and qualifications, otherwise I am liable if he has an accident. You might find out yourself if your itinerant tree surgeons cut down a tree on someone's head, and do a runner. You as householder would be 100% liable for the injuries caused as you were employing them.

timbone said...

I remember being horrified when I saw homes and communities being destroyed in Zimbabwe with government and police backing because they didn't want them living and working there. I watched a programme this week and saw that it happens in the UK as well.

Anonymous said...

Dick, excellent post and I appreciate where you're coming from on this topic and I treat people as I find them.

However, down my way, there's a few bad egg tinkers in the "traveler community" and they rocked up from Ireland in appreciable numbers 2 to 3 years back. Systematic fuel theft at epidemic proportions from local hauliers, farms and even domestic heating oil. Live cables stolen from industrial units. Taxi drivers bilked out of fares and threatened. Many times The culprits were videoed, photographed and followed back to their sites.

The local plods refused to even attend in many cases - even providing a crime number for insurance is "passively resisted".

These are new guys, not the folk that have being flowing back and forth across the area for generations.

Some I know and have spoken to are keen to make a fresh start over here, others are obviously treating the UK as the land of easy pickings.

Some say the Irish gubmint paid some of their tickets across the sea...

It's a very charged issue and some unscrupulous non-travelers are leveraging the timidity of both the municipals and the unwillingness of the travelers themselves to police the situation - to pull some right stunts with land.

Neal Asher said...

I suggest you look at stories about places like the Crays Hill site, Dick, and perhaps consider the Tony Martin story. My own experience of 'Travellers' when I was grass-cutting for a living was to have to chain up the mowers in the back of my truck. They were agressive thieves. Now maybe there's a distinction: good honest old gypsies as opposed to 'travellers'. Maybe.

Guthrum said...

There is a didtinction to be made between 'Gypsies' an ethnic group, and travellers who have been subject to discrimination under the Elizabethan Poor Law based on the settled Parish, the reign of 'Good Queen Bess' was largely a police state where no mans property and person was safe down to the large moving population of 'Navvies' who built first the canals then the railways in the 1800's.

The settled feared the unsettled, so it goes on.

Good post

I am Stan said...

Yo Dickie,

Around 15 caravans parked next to my favourite fishing pond last summer, result?, human shit and used toilet paper scattered everywhere, even in the nearby kids playground, and no trout left!....BAH!

Ps. thats my only experience with our Tinker friends......

Ross said...

i really have a dislike for modern Travellers (or gypsies whatever you want to call them) they have a smug stuck up attitude that because they are in a group and the police wont touch them they can act and do what they want when they want my father is a children entertainer (magician) and he recently attended an event at a local pub for a gypsy family within 5 minutes the kids were swearing throwing things at him and damaging his thousand pound equipment the owners of the pub had to lock him and his equipment in the kitchen to protect him from the drunken rabble he called the police and when he mentioned that they were travellers he was told its a civil matter and none of their business.

when he was packing up his car to drive home three drunken blokes ran out of the pub screaming and shouting that they wanted their money back because he didnt let them shout obscenities and throw things at him he was lucky a group of locals stepped in and told them to fuck off which they did (typical gypsy scum run off when they get out numbered)

i myself have never had a good experience with any gypsy under the age of 70 the older ones are quite nice and down to earth but the majority are loud mouthed violent and think the world owes them a living

so no i can not stand gypsy scum