Ethnic Cleansing in Essex 89

Anti-Gipsy is the last socially acceptable racism. Even regular commentators on this blog chip in on Dale Farm posts with “They fly tip and make a terrible mess” “They nicked stuff from my local pub” “They just laid a quarter of an inch of tarmac straight on the soil” and other ethnic caricatures. “They” steal children too, no doubt.

Watching the violent ethnic cleansing in Essex live on TV this morning was a heart-wrenching experience. Councillor Tony Ball, leader of the authority conducting the ethnic cleansing, a Murdoch star, explains that his action is popular. I have no doubt it is. It would be popular in Basildon if the council hung a black man from the council flagstaff every day. No doubt the smug little bigot is a happy man this morning.

Those who justify breaking up family homes, destroying a community and disrupting childrens’ schooling, on grounds of narrow legality and planning law, have to answer this narrow legal point too. The attack (for such it was) on Dale Farm this morning was carried out by riot police with no participation of bailiffs. At least two female inhabitants, both travellers and permanent residents at the site, have needed hospital treatment. The police smashed down fences, both internal and external to the site, which the High Court had specifically said were on the site, legally owned by the travellers and could not be destroyed by the bailiffs. Where does that illegal act of destruction sit with the narrow legalistic defence of this racist attack?

Murdoch News this morning gave the gist of the police’s legal defence. Police had “Intelligence” of a “stockpile of items to be used as weapons”. They therefore had had to storm the camp in the interests of public safety. This necessitated the breaking down of the High Court protected fences as an emergency measure to save lives. All of which is a transparent pretext, a flouting of the law by the police much worse than any law the travellers’ flouted, because the police breaking of the law resulted in violence and injury. The weapons stockpile of course does not exist.

Let me state once more the key facts. Although situated in a greenbelt, every inch of the travellers’ site was brownfield land, previously occupied by a scrapyard. Satellite photos prove that the travellers did not expand at all onto green land. The reason they did not have planning permission is that multiple applications for planning permission have been rejected, and the reason they have been rejected is that Basildon Council are racists. A nice Tory builder would undoubtedly have been allowed to shoehorn countless houses onto this ex-scrapyard. The travellers do own all the land they were on.

What harm were they doing? None. What was their crime? Their ethnicity. All the else is legalistic camouflage of the type that states have used to pursue ethnic cleansing everywhere. Ethnic cleansing is always enforcing the law in the eys of the state which carries it out. That is rather the point.

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89 thoughts on “Ethnic Cleansing in Essex

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  • Szczurek

    Bravo Craig! An unpopular post which will win you few friends, however 100% correct.

    “A nice Tory builder would undoubtedly have been allowed to shoehorn countless houses onto this ex-scrapyard.”

    Absolutely. The behaviour of the police sends shivers down my spine. This is the way that they used to behave in Eastern Europe.

  • robert king

    Those pictures are rather chilling. People look at ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and wonder how it can have been allowed to happen. Now they know. This differs only in scale. What do people think of Germaine Greers piece on this?

  • conjunction

    Good for you, Craig, for this post.
    Although you should remember that weapons of mass destruction can take a long time to find.
    Perhaps these gypsies had weapons in their minds, as Tony Blair said of Saddam.

  • JimmyGiro

    It makes me wonder if the current spate of reality shows regarding Gypsies, is a subtle act of psychological preparation prior to the state storm.
    The thinking class begin rationalising the Gypsies, thereby making their issues less urgent come the breakwater; and the lumpen are prone to become cloy and even resentful of the attentions given to ‘them’. Hence both empathy and sympathy become exhausted.
    Therefore the over-exposure of Gypsies before their pre-planned destruction, is a means of softening any possible public moral reaction towards the states pursuit of intolerant orthodoxy… nudge, nudge; wink, wink; say no more; or it will be confabulated in a court of law, and used against you.

  • ingo

    The same attitude of british judges allowed Apartheid to develop in SA when they agreed to build concentration camps for the ‘unruly natives’.

    Britsh judges are responsible for the trauma dished out this morning to children. They have been forced to watch their relatives being tasered, writhing in pain, in uncontrollable spasm on the ground.

    This is the Con Dem policy of ethnic cleansing.

    For cllr. Ball to offer 8 pitches in Liverpool is throwing insult on to injury, it says it all. he did not mention this ‘vacancy’ at any time before.

    Not a single transit site has been build in the East of England for the last 10/15 years and this eviction of gypsies, from their own land they still own after this rupture, is utterly risible and disgusting. Its down to peaople like cllr Ball to provide and he, as much as his Conservative collegues up and down the country, failed for over a decade, merely fanning the prevailing prejudices with his bigotry.

    This will make relations with travellers worse, for decades.

    This is another human rights issue where Cleggs ears should be ringing, but he does not care, indeed he is a Conservative. If he lets this happen, he is a fascist, forget the closet.

  • Jives

    @ JimmyGiro

    I think youre right.Much foreshadowing by Psy-ops apparent of late.
    Note,also,the timing.It deflects the chattering classes away from the Fox debacle and Cameron gets to look tough,to boot.The agenda pushed in the next few weeks will be immigration/cultural identity.
    Good solid Tory vote winner.

  • Jives

    @ Robert King.

    I used to like Germaine Greer however,in a Newsnight Culture Show in 2003,just prior to the Iraq War,she ridiculed and trashed Harold Pinter’s latest poetry,like some demented Establishment harridan.
    Since that i have zero respect for her,it was a complete hatchet job and i honestly felt she’d been ‘turned’ to the Establishment line.

    It was great to see Pinter get the Nobel prize for literature a few years therafter.

  • John Goss

    A reporter on BBC News just asked Councillor Tony Ball if he had any sympathy with people who were being removed from their homes to which he replied he had sympathy with the women and children but followed this by immediately pointing out they are illegally occupying this land, showing he had no sympathy whatsoever.
    The cost in legal terms has been astronomical. The cost in human terms even higher. Basildon Council should be ashamed of its policy of ethnic-cleansing.

  • Komodo

    Hmmm. Isn’t the issue more that ONLY a developer or extensive landowner would have secured PP for the site? Would anyone have got PP without a brother-in-law on the council? Indeed, that looks like a sweet little redevelopment site, which I am sure a developer will have an eye on. I suspect that is the real motive: that the evictees are travellers is a detail. It’s just convenient that travellers have a truly appalling reputation, which has nothing to do with sinister plots and everything to do with leaving a bloody mess everywhere they go. (Some do, some don’t, I hasten to add)

  • ingo

    John Goss, Cllr. Ball is wrong, the evicted travellers still own the land, just are not able to get planning permission for housing.
    Should they decide to keep to the previous use, a normal scrap yard, Cllr’ ball can refuse it, but they will most likely ghet it re instated after appeal.

    Half of the site has planning permission and I question why Basildon council has given the initial go ahead for housing, why some and not others? Once a site has been given planning application for the initial housing it should have been far easier for follow up others to be granted.

    Maybe not enough bakshish was offered?

  • david

    I think your going a bit far with the ethnic cleansing thing there Craig. I still maintain that you clearly havent had much interaction with the traveller community, if you had then you would not be so fast to defend them.

    Their right to live an alternative lifestyle does not give them the right to make other peoples lives difficult. Like it or not, accept it or not, believe it or not, travellers can and do make peoples lives difficult.

    Irrespective of the logic of the law, the law has spoken, and it had clearly stated that they have to leave. They have been given chance and time to do that peacefully, they chose instead to stand and fight a battle that they will lose. As to breaking down a fence… big deal… If it was safer for the police to enter the site that way then thats the way they should have done it. Police officers have a right not to be attacked as well. Trying to go through the main gate would obviously have caused a lot more injury than the method that was chosen.

    I dont often support the police, but on this occassion they have done what the law courts have instructed them to do, and I think they did it in a manner that caused the least trouble, as trouble was always going to happen here.

    They have built a settlement that is not permitted, and thats pretty much the end of the issue.

  • havantaclu

    David said: ‘They have built a settlement that is not permitted, and thats pretty much the end of the issue.’

    Very much like Palestinian villages in the West Bank, then.

    At a village not far from where I live, travellers bought some land, hoping to build themselves houses. It took, I believe, a decision in the House of Lords to allow them to obtain planning permission, as there were many objectors.

    Now the houses have been built, and have been constructed in ‘traditional-to-the-village’ materials. It remains to be seen whether the locals will now start to accept them.

  • Jives

    ‘ The scaldies cry us ‘tinker dirt’
    And sconce our bairns in school
    Who cares what a scaldy thinks
    For a scaldy’s but a fool
    He never heard the yarlin’s song
    Nor seen the flax in bloom
    For they’re a’ cooped up in hooses
    When the yellow’s on the broom ..’

    From a lovely song by Adam MacNaughton about Scottish travelling folk.
    YouTube >’Yellow’s on the broom’..check it

  • johnf

    Senior Conservatives actively sought donations from wealthy Jewish businessmen to fund organisations run by Liam Fox’s friend Adam Werritty, the JC can reveal. The operation was part of a broader fundraising drive within the Jewish community authorised by David Cameron’s personal friend and party co-chairman Lord Feldman, although there is no suggestion he was involved in the Werritty transactions…

  • MrD

    Craig, are you aware of the stories circulating regarding the wealth and property of the traveller families back in Ireland? It does rather suggest a different story to the one you’re running with here.

    Also I’m not quite sure why you think this a case of ‘ethnic cleansing’. They’re ethnically Irish. I don’t think this country discriminates against the Irish as a rule.

  • dean

    “Ethnic cleansing”???? Sorry I didn’t catch how many died during the eviction. Also you seem to have an awful lot of anti-Semitic backers here, am I to understand that the the gassing of six million jews is ok but the removal of some people who were asked to move ten years ago isn’t?

    I believe the gypsies should be allowed to stay there as they own the land and that the eviction is wrong and a waste of taxpayers money. But calling it genocide and ethnic cleansing? have you not read about the horrors in Rwanda, Kosovo, Chechnya, Palestine, russia under Stalin, the Spanish inquisition…………

    a little perspective please

  • mary

    Thank you very much Craig for sticking up for this minority. Minus the tear gas and the live rounds and aerial firepower, the overwhelming numbers of riot police, security and the rest might as well be the IDF goons oppressing the Palestinians or the USUKIsNATO equivalents operating currently in the Middle East and beyond.

  • Steve

    I have to put my neck on the line and disagree with you to a point. These people are not ethnic Gypsies but Irish travellers. But they don’t travel anymore. They are no different ethnically than any other Irish man or woman. Secondly the slurring of reputations to justify this maybe wrong but the clearing is correct. Do you want a planning free for all with certain self imposed minorities allowed to be above the law? You went after Fox relentlessly because he digressed from an imposed ethicise.

    As for stealing things certain crimes are very common in the traveller communities, one being artifice burglary. “I have come to check your water flow madam” Then come in and steal mostly elderly vulnerable people’s things. The second is more subtle but far more effective that’s doing the old ” We work for the council and have a load of tarmac left I will do your drive for 50 quid scam. Or “your gutters and roof are dodgy let me fix it. The again elderly and vulnerable fall for this and they are taken to the bank and bullied threatened into handing over tens of thousand of pounds. Have you noticed that the men never appear on camera and the women and kids always act as spokespersons? Well maybe the men don’t want to be noticed or identified?
    Secondly plant theft. Plant nowadays has very sophisticated satellite tracking equipment fitted. Funny enough I have personally recovered large quantities of plant and stolen cars from within and the immediate environs of many a traveller sites.

    When I worked in a rural county a few years ago I stopped some kids stealing gas bottles from an industrial site. When mums and dads came to pick them up all driving brand new top of the range 4×4’s. One had a false tax disc. Further enquiries showed the car was from Devon registered to a man with a very English sounding name. I called him and asked where his car was. He answered in my garage. They had stolen a car and put on false plates as had the other two families that turned up. The cells were full that night. When asked about any contact with travellers recently. He stated a group had been camping illegally opposite his house and had just left leaving tens of thousands of pounds of damage to the cricket pitch and pavilion in his village. Another regular job was to go and arrest a group of traveller brothers who regularly tarmaced elderly peoples drives and then marched them to the bank to take huge amounts from there bank accounts. They had acquired a large plot and built 3 large houses totally illegally. They employed local builders didn’t pay them and beat them up if they complained. One of the houses never got windows fitted as no builder would work for them by the last house. A 6 year legal battle ensued with a few council officials being beaten up and some of the brothers and the dad going to jail. Eventually the houses were pulled down.

    I am sure you will say you are stereo typing and victimising these poor people. And yes I am but it is through years of experience and observation. In the same way as you stereo type the “Tories” or “Nu Labour” I am sure that many Tory politicians and Labour ones are hard working descent people trying to help the world be a better place. But you make sweeping comments slurring all of them. The crimes that are committed by the traveller community are vastly under reported for political correct reasons just as the crimes committed by a few politicians are exaggerated by a hungry media.

    If we allow people to flout the law in one way they inevitably flout it in another way. Don’t confuse what is happening at the Dale farm with ethnic cleansing. The poor Kosovans didn’t get the luxury of tens of thousands of pounds in legal aid and the ears of a very sympathetic Court that if it could would bend over backwards to ensure their human rights were protected far more than any person they impact upon.

  • talen

    craig you ask what their crime is,if you knew anything about this you would know that the site has been raided on several occasions.Thetravellers have been caught selling sofas that where a serios fire hazard they were also caught smuggling in thousands of cigareetes fromeurope to avoid paying tax on them.As someone who lives just a few miles from the site i suggest that you find out more about the subject you are commenting on and then we won’t have to listen to you spouting all this misinformed rubbish about ethnic cleansing

  • Jives

    @ Dean

    You ask Craig for a little perspective then conflate ‘some’anti-Semitic comments with the notion that gassing 6 million Jews is ok??

    I think you may need a little perspective yourself after such curious logic.

  • mary

    Ingo ref concentration camps, I expect you know this history and that the British hands are not clean.
    The earliest of these camps may have been those set up in the United States for Cherokee and other Native Americans in the 1830s; however, the term originated in the reconcentrados (reconcentration camps) set up by the Spanish military in Cuba during the Ten Years’ War (1868–1878) and by the United States during the Philippine–American War (1899–1902).
    The English term “concentration camp” grew in prominence during the Second Boer War (1899–1902), when they were operated by the British in South Africa.
    There were a total of 45 tented camps built for Boer internees and 64 for black Africans. Of the 28,000 Boer men captured as prisoners of war, 25,630 were sent overseas. The vast majority of Boers remaining in the local camps were women and children.
    I believe we used them in Kenya for the Mau Mau resistance.

  • mary

    I see that some of the correspondents here are falling into the very large hole that Craig prepared for them.

  • mary

    Right wing hypocrisy.
    Hands Off Our Land: the ‘huge’ lobbying war chest behind the builders
    Property developers have mounted a “huge” lobbying campaign backed by the rich and powerful to alter radically planning laws in favour of development, the head of the National Trust has said.
    Enough said if you can spot the irony!

  • PT

    “Watching the violent ethnic cleansing in Essex live on TV this morning ”
    you were obviously watching a different channel to me…? i saw violent protestors showering the police with urine, blocks and other items.
    For those complaining about travellers being unable to get planning permission, how do they explain the legal side of Dale Farm?

  • PT

    sorry mate – but you are talking total and utter rubbish

    “What harm were they doing? None. What was their crime? Their ethnicity. All the else is legalistic camouflage of the type that states have used to pursue ethnic cleansing everywhere. Ethnic cleansing is always enforcing the law in the eys of the state which carries it out. That is rather the point.”

    you build a house in your back garden and see if you get 10 years before you have to pull it down!

  • Jack

    On personal experience alone, I’ll lay odds that – once the travellers have been convinced they now have little option but to sell the land they own but can’t live on – that land will suddenly become free for ‘more suitable’ (and far more profitable) development.

    What a cesspit this country has become.

  • nuid

    Irish Travellers are recognised in British law as an ethnic group. The Republic of Ireland, however, does not recognise them as an ethnic group; rather, their legal status is that of a “social group”.
    “I still maintain that you clearly havent had much interaction with the traveller community, if you had then you would not be so fast to defend them.”
    Agreed. I’m afraid that many of those here defending the Dale Farm “travellers” (?) would become NIMBYs very fast if they had experienced what I have over (almost) a lifetime. I don’t blame anyone who takes the attitude “pay your taxes, and abide by the same laws we do, and we’ll get back to you”.
    Regular drunkeness, brawling, stealing from the ‘settled community’, drug-dealing, inter-family feuds that cause mayhem in the streets (sometimes at their own weddings), half-wild horses that run amok and bite people, breaking into houses and brazenly stealing from a man’s wallet as he lay dying in bed from cancer, drawing the dole, drinking it, and then sending their women and children out begging around the local houses (sometimes banging 11-12 times if they don’t get a quick enough answer), moving on from sites illegally set up on farmers’ land and leaving intolerable messes of stinking dangerous rubbish behind … no, let them behave properly and they’ll get sympathy from me for any difficulties regarding lack of halting sites or lack of cooperation from councils. But until then, I don’t have any.
    And sorry, but ‘ethnic cleansing’ is ridiculous terminology. And what is it that defines them as a group more than anything else? Travelling. So let them travel. If they’re going to put down roots for 10 years and then complain about their “settled community” being broken up and their children taken out of school, etc, they’re not travellers at all, are they.
    Let them play by the same rules as the rest of us — whether on the road or off.

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