Mudcat Café message #300843 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24468   Message #300843
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
19-Sep-00 - 02:36 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
You got to move fast to keep up with the times
For these days a man cannot dander
There's a bylaw to say you maun be on your way
And another to say ye can't wander

"Though I guess there will be those of you who can justify the action!!"

If I was on the road with my family I'd certainly want a place to stop, and a school playing-field might be less hostile than other places. At least school teachers don't normally have shotguns. Even so, I'd feel safer with a few other families along with me.

No, I don't feel it hard to see why you had your "invasion." There may be a few council provided sites around, but there are precious few pitches in Hertfordshire or in Essex for families who are still wanting to travel, or who haven't got where they want to get to, or who have reason to be in a particular place, such as a chance ot get some work, or a wedding or a funeral in the extended family.

And it's sad that a whole school community reacts as if it was an invasion, rather than as a chance to meet and learn from people with a different way of life, who might have something to teach. And I'm doubly sad for what all this must have taught the children. In both communities. There are some things moire important than games periods.

I can understand how this kind of thing happens. There's a vicious circle here - housedwellers feel threatened by travellers, so get hostile; travellers feel threatened, so move in larger groups; larger groups are felt as more threatening,and are more disruptive. And of course politics come into it. There are not many votes in being seen as "soft on travellers". And teachers don't make themselves popular either if that is how they are seen by parents, or by employers.

There are ways of turning this around, but it's much easier to see travellers as the problem, to be moved on, or preferably eliminated. In this country and this time that means pinning them down in one place and dispersing them and assimilating them. But in some places and times, that has meant by killing them. And that is still happening today.