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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Indeed, it seems like there have been ongoing issues with the Traveller community showing a complete disregard for public property, private property, planning laws... there seems to be an inherently anti-social element in that lifestyle.
    Part of the reason for the disdain for planning laws is that only ~10% of planning applications by gypsies and Travellers are accepted, compared to a typical acceptance rate of ~80%. Most of these rejected applications are for land that the gypsy communities already own (also, considering how everyone's on about "crime", it should be noted that even trespassing is not actually a criminal offence, merely a civil one).

    The bulk of gypsies that live perfectly legally on official sites go unnoticed, and so don't counter the prejudice.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Part of the reason for the disdain for planning laws is that only ~10% of planning applications by gypsies and Travellers are accepted, compared to a typical acceptance rate of ~80%.
    By itself that figure doesn't tell us very much. Are we comparing apples with apples? What if a much greater proportion of Traveller planning applications are unreasonable or disruptive to the community?

    also, considering how everyone's on about "crime", it should be noted that even trespassing is not actually a criminal offence, merely a civil one
    That was certainly the traditional common-law approach, but since 1994 various forms of aggravated trespass, "trespassory assembly" and adverse occupation of residential premises. I'm no expert on housing law and property torts but I understand that the law in relation to squatters has been tightened up even further in the last five years.

    I think this has a lot of overlapping issues. It should first be noted that crime generally tends to be more common in impoverished communities. With regard to Roma and gypsy community attitudes to the state and law in general, I think there's a bit of a vicious circle. Much of the persecution of Roma over the past couple of centuries has been, in part, due to them not really fitting with the modern European state.
    Indeed, and perhaps it's understandable that groups who, within living memory, have been the subject of genocidal attacks would be suspicious of the state and its intentions. I suppose it's similar perhaps to some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities and their suspicion of outsiders and fear of assimilation. But in the latter case, I have little sympathy for them and I feel the same way about the Traveller lifestyle; where that regressive, paranoid lifestyle translates into harm to their children (in educational opportunities, in instilling backwards beliefs and practices in them).

    Furthermore, a lot of Roma interaction with the state (apart from the outrightly negative experiences, of course) often seems to be gauged, not necessarily intentionally, to their complete cultural assimilation, and so they reject it.
    I suppose this might come to the crux of the issue. Is there a relentless pressure toward assimilation? I have no doubt. But it's not like we want to destroy Traveller dress, cuisine, language. I think what people do find objectionable is people living a tribal, nomadic lifestyle and doing so in a manner that places additional burdens on the rest of society.

    While it is, of course, perfectly possible to be a settled Roma, I think demanding that those who do keep to the quasi-nomadic lifestyle give that up completely is unreasonable, just as it would be for the Sami or the Bedouin.
    Let's say some Bedouins came to the UK now, in 2017, and started living a tribal, nomadic lifestyle, setting up their tents on village commons and riding their camels through the streets (actually, the latter would be pretty awesome), and also engaging in various regressive Bedouin practices (blood feuds, FGM, smuggling etc) and preventing their children from engaging properly with the education system. Would it be incumbent on us to accomodate this lifestyle?
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    So the other day, in the midst of a debate about discrimination against one particular group, a Labour MP gets up and says: “Does my honourable friend accept that the public view of the community will continue to be shaped by the appalling behaviour of the minority, who bring absolute chaos to their own communities?”

    I'm sure we know that if he'd said it about Jews or Black people, he'd (quite rightly) be out before he even finished speaking. If the debate had been about Muslims, or Asians, or to a lesser extent Poles or Romanians, maybe a couple of Express or Mail columnists, or some obscure minor UKIP MEP, might have stood up for him and made the typical moans about "political correctness", but without a doubt it would still (again, quite rightly) be denounced by all the major parties and thrown out. Gay or Trans people? Would immediately (for good reason) be taken as proof by LGBT groups that British society still has a serious homophobia/transphobia problem.

    But instead he said it about gypsies, so that means it's all fine, right? No need for Labour to descend into bitter internal war for years over antiziganism (unlike the hairtrigger response to anything possibly construable as antisemitic), just like there was no need for the Tories to take any action when one of their MPs called gypsies "scum" who "do not deserve the same human rights as my decent constituents".
    I am not anti-gypsies myself, but maybe the difference in treatment is because being a gypsy is something you can easily change, whereas your race/gender/sexuality is not? The main complaints I've heard about gypsies is that they ruin common land by parking their caravans on it and then leaving lots of litter behind (which anecdotally seems to be true but I'm sure there are also environmentally conscious gypsies out there) and that they steal, mostly scrap metal - while this is certainly bad, it's obviously much worse to say they don't deserve human rights. However I do have concerns about gypsies and their communities, namely that their children can't access a proper education and I assume they also have difficulties accessing health care (can't register at a dentist with no address!). I wouldn't avoid making friends with gypsies or keep my children away from them and I condemn discrimination against them but equally it is somewhat to be expected that such a lack of integration into the leitkultur might cause a certain degree of friction
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    Apologies for delayed reply, I've had a busy week.

    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    By itself that figure doesn't tell us very much. Are we comparing apples with apples? What if a much greater proportion of Traveller planning applications are unreasonable or disruptive to the community?
    Well, I can't provide stats on the subjective idea of what's a "reasonable" application, but the question of it being "disruptive to the community" is part of the problem I'm getting at here. If the wishes/needs of the settled population trump the wishes/needs of Travellers everywhere, it's essentially saying that Travellers belong nowhere and have rights nowhere.

    Indeed, and perhaps it's understandable that groups who, within living memory, have been the subject of genocidal attacks would be suspicious of the state and its intentions. I suppose it's similar perhaps to some ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities and their suspicion of outsiders and fear of assimilation. But in the latter case, I have little sympathy for them and I feel the same way about the Traveller lifestyle; where that regressive, paranoid lifestyle translates into harm to their children (in educational opportunities, in instilling backwards beliefs and practices in them).
    I agree that a paranoid attitude to outsiders is a problem in any group, but I still think it needs to be a two-way street and the state needs to win some trust among Romani and gypsy communities. Personally, I'm of the opinion that a few basic symbolic moves would go a long way:

    - I'd restructure the census form slightly, since at the moment the only relevant ethnicity option is "White - Gypsy/Traveller", which is a bit awkward because i) No "Romani", ii) Some Roma and Gypsies would dispute that they are white, and iii) it implies being an ethnic Roma/Gypsy and having a Traveller lifestyle are the same thing, and that if you're settled you can't be an ethnic Gypsy.
    - I'd like to see Angloromani recognised as a minority language. I don't expect this would have any more significance at a practical level than the current recognition of Cornish or Ulster Scots does, but symbols mean stuff.

    Also, more Porajmos commemoration would be a bonus, though I think this is getting better already.

    Let's say some Bedouins came to the UK now, in 2017, and started living a tribal, nomadic lifestyle, setting up their tents on village commons and riding their camels through the streets (actually, the latter would be pretty awesome), and also engaging in various regressive Bedouin practices (blood feuds, FGM, smuggling etc) and preventing their children from engaging properly with the education system. Would it be incumbent on us to accomodate this lifestyle?
    I think this is a different situation, because such Bedouins would be arriving as modern immigrants, rather than having had communities here for centuries as the Roma have. But setting that aside for the moment, I think it would be possible to take on things like blood feuds and FGM among Bedouin without necessarily destroying their nomadic lifestyle of camels and tents.
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    I am not anti-gypsies myself, but maybe the difference in treatment is because being a gypsy is something you can easily change, whereas your race/gender/sexuality is not?
    I think you may be mixing up Roma/gypsy ethnicity with the nomadic Traveller lifestyle. The Romani are a distinct ethnic group descended from people who migrated to Europe from Northwest India and Pakistan around 1000 years ago. Part of what confuses the issue in the British Isles is that there are also non-Roma Traveller groups, most notably the Lucht Siúil/Irish Travellers.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    I think you may be mixing up Roma/gypsy ethnicity with the nomadic Traveller lifestyle. The Romani are a distinct ethnic group descended from people who migrated to Europe from Northwest India and Pakistan around 1000 years ago. Part of what confuses the issue in the British Isles is that there are also non-Roma Traveller groups, most notably the Lucht Siúil/Irish Travellers.
    It was my understanding that there aren't really any Roma in the UK and when we refer to gypsies we mean travellers. I don't consider Irish people to be a different race.
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    It was my understanding that there aren't really any Roma in the UK
    Around 100,000 (not including any more recent arrivals from Eastern Europe), though estimates of Roma numbers are notoriously difficult, given there was no census option for them at all until the last census, and what there actually was that time was the somewhat imperfect "White - Gypsy/Traveller".

    I don't consider Irish people to be a different race.
    "White - Irish" is a separate ethnicity on the census form.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Around 100,000 (not including any more recent arrivals from Eastern Europe), though estimates of Roma numbers are notoriously difficult, given there was no census option for them at all until the last census, and what there actually was that time was the somewhat imperfect "White - Gypsy/Traveller".



    "White - Irish" is a separate ethnicity on the census form.
    Ethnicity is different to race. You can't be racist against people of your own race. Regardless, as I said in my original post, people don't hate gypsies for their race - they hate them for their lifestyle and behaviour.
 
 
 
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