We’ve had an e-mail from the “Grauniad”.
Ever vigilant to enforce political correctness and to assist the left wing thought mafia to combat opinions which do not treat any anti-social minority as a protected species, that campaigning newspaper has woken up to 2 blogs on our website.
Or, if its e-mail is accurate, it has been woken up by a self-interested pressure group. The e-mail states; “A few Gypsy and Traveller community groups have recently got in touch to share their concern of what they fear is rising hostility against their community… They point to two posts… as examples of prejudices”.
The posts they identify were as long ago as 2016 and February 2017 which hardly indicates a current purpose of pushing “through much stricter laws against travellers” as the “Guardian” e-mail also suggests.
Both were written against the background of regular invasions of Sandwell by groups identifying as travellers who frequently set up unlawful sites on public open spaces and private land. The term ”unauthorised sites”, frequently used in this context, obscures the fact of their illegality. But unlawful they are.
Frequently, these unlawful trespasses were worsened by the commission of criminal damage, breaking down fences, busting locks etc., to get onto the site in the first place. These are plain facts.
To suggest that these groups ought to obey the law and should be sanctioned if they don’t is hardly prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers. It’s a prejudice against those who break the law for which we make no apology.
Gyspy and Traveller community groups might be better regarded if they advised their members against unlawful trespass, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour rather than whingeing to the “Guardian” that the reporting of these facts amounts to prejudice.
Nor were these unlawful trespasses the end of the problem. Land owners whether public or private frequently had to incur expense in court costs or by employing bailiffs to get travellers off land. More, it cost Sandwell council tax-payers several hundred thousand pounds per year to clear up after traveller occupations.
A local newspaper was able to edify us by printing a picture of a traveller child openly defecating in a field occupied by travellers. Filth and the dumped by products of trading activities carried on by travellers such as vehicle tyres, building materials and metal needed costly removal. It was not a case of a few left over bunches of lucky white heather.
Are the concerned Gypsy and Traveller community groups advising their membership to be better behaved or apologising to Sandwell residents for the cost and disruption caused? Bet your life they aren’t.
Here’s what we wrote then and of which Gypsy and Traveller community groups are said to have complained;
- February 2017 “Whether through ignorance or political correctness they seem to regard travellers as “old Meg she was a gypsy who lived upon the moor” types when it would be more accurate to identify “Mick the white van man who collects “scrap” where he can” as a more typical modern traveller”
- 2016: "Travelling is essentially a lifestyle choice. The argument that it is an inherited way of life which should be accorded special privileges to the detriment of the settled community is bogus. Trespass to land and criminal damage by travellers is no more justifiable by ancestry than it would be for a Norwegian tourist to excuse rape and pillage as an expression of his Viking blood.”
This is our reply to the Guardian today.
"As stated in the blog, our answer is to discourage not encourage illegal traveller encampments. This means, among other actions, speedy evictions from unauthorised sites and the robust enforcement of the criminal law. We will always be on the side of Sandwell residents who have suffered from widespread anti-social behaviour that unauthorised sites bring and on the side of the hard pressed Sandwell council tax payers who have to foot the bill for the inevitable clean-up costs associated with these unauthorised sites."