Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I really didn't want to comment on Dale Farm......

.........I know that many of you are sympathetic to the community there and, as I appear to be upsetting folk left right and centre, I thought I would give it a rest.
But I can't! I'm involved - not with Dale Farm but with an embryonic form of Dale Farm. You see, my garden (wasteland some would say) backs onto God's good Pembrokeshire countryside. We have a hedge boundary and then a beautiful 10 acre field - so far so good.

Sadly, gypsies lack the romance
factor these days
But since April a gypsy family (we called them Diddicoys years ago in Middlesex) has moved onto the land and parked their caravan against the hedge. They have brought with them some 5 or 6 vans and cars in various stages of decay. They have dug a sewage drain from their van to the local open ditch/stream which used to be a wildlife haven - now it's a haven for flies. In addition, there are unlawful activities taking place at night which I cannot go into here but the local flying squad don't want to know; you see travellers illegally camped and law-breaking activities are no go areas for our boys and girls in blue - another bit of political correctness!

I do not want these people there. It is not my land but I can see their vans and their litter and hear their banging, hammering and drilling all day long as they try to earn a crust (honest or dishonest) by doing something or other with lumps of metal.
Am I being uncharitable? Where would these poor souls go if they were moved on?
Well, maybe to the county travellers site that has all the amenities required.

I've tried the Christian approach, the friendly "Hi I'm your neighbour" tack but all I get in return is a glowering scowl and no words.
What happens next? Maybe a wagon train of Dale Farm evacuee mates will show up and fill up the 10 acres. If that happened, part of the countryside would be destroyed. When the time came for us to sell up we probably would not be able to do so. I know this is nimbyism pure and simple but, dear friends, I ask you - "Would you like this going on at the end of your garden?"

And, anyway, if these people are so keen to use the word 'travellers' rather than the more honest 'tinkers' or 'gypsies' why don't they bloody well travel? Why do they want to squat on some other person's plot of land.
Isn't that what we call theft? Is theft justified if you are homeless?
I don't think so.

Now some Catholic Bishops have issued a sympathetic statement regarding the Dale Farm evictions; that is fine and good but there must also be a realistic appraisal of the rights and wrongs of the matter. It is no use bringing in the 'poor, homeless people good - moderately financially stable people bad' argument. There are moral codes here for all parties, church authorities, local government, travellers and established council tax homeowners.

I hope that Dale Farm gets sorted out for the benefit, first of all, of the legal homeowners whose properties border the encampment - and then, for the travellers, that they may be moved to a place where they will thrive, even if it is at the expense of the tax payer.

And I also hope that 'my' travelling family move on pdq - sorry but that's my honest (and not unchristian wish).


  1. The way I see it, when "Travellers" come on to farmers land they usually leave behind a mess and damage to farmland,distress to the local residence who have been victims in one way or another from theft, break ins, very loud noises/music that go on into the small hours, aggression and intimidation over very small situations.
    They do not pay towards the upkeep of society, which most residential population have to, although they enjoy electricity,water and other amenities.
    This life style of the Traveller is a dishonest existance, quite likely not lacking in comforts the earlier travellers experienced.
    They have plenty of hard cash, big expensive cars and 4x4's. How do they get this wealth and why are they not made to put something back into the "community pot" No integrity! They may feel happier if they did contribute and maybe this would create more love for those outside their own society, who they show great contempt towards in the main.

    We've had experience over the years and seen the effects but not at such close range as you. Our sympathies.

  2. You have my sympathy.

    Tinkers take advantage of the liberal ethos in the UK to impose themselves with virtual impunity on any unfortunate community they choose. They have no respect for their neighbours and they get away with it because of the wet liberal ethos in this country.

    As you have learned, even the police don't want to know in case they are seen as not being 'politically correct'.

    In the meantime, travellers cause problems almost everywhere they go, while they live off the 'fat of the land' and put nothing back into society.

    They were a regular feature on our local common every July until the council put in bollards to block access for motor vehicles.

    A convoy of caravans used to roll up every first week in July without fail and take over the common which made it off-limits for the local community. They normally stayed for a month or so. When they left, the council had to send a clean-up squad around to clear up all their litter. During their residency, neighbours were careful to keep all access to their property locked.

    They turned up as normal in the July after the bollards had been put in and we enjoyed watching them try unsuccessfully to gain access to the common for about two hours. They left after this and, to everybody’s great relief, have not been seen since.

    They are just as much a problem in Ireland. A farmer in Co. Waterford woke up one morning to find that one of his fields had been occupied overnight by a band of tinkers. He tried all the normal legal methods to move them on but to no avail.

    In the end, he hired a JCB and dug a deep trench across the entrance to the field which stopped all movement of motor vehicles – even 4X4’s. The travellers were enraged and complained to the local council. Their main complaint was that emergency services would not be able to gain access if one of the babbies (sic) was taken ill.

    The council, after due consideration, informed them that the farmer was perfectly entitled to dig a trench in his own field. They were gone the next day! This is a true story.

    I don’t think you are being unchristian in your attitude. Quite the reverse – it is the tinkers who are being unchristian in how they take advantage of honest hard-working people.