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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  • MrD

    Craig I think you ought to answer at least some of the points made against your ‘ethnic cleansing’ terminology. Do travellers (or whatever they call themselves) get ethically cleansed from sites they occupy legally? Would the same treatment be meted out to native British citizens in the same circumstances? If the answers are respectively no and yes, the issue here is legality, not race.

  • craig Post author


    Actually there is a large extension on the back of this house that was built without planning permission. Council not asking for it to be pulled down. Yesterday my neighbour told me the enormous extension on his house had been built without planning permission too.

    The point is not that if I had built at Dale Farm without planning permission my house would have been pulled down. The point is that if I had owned that old scrapyard and applied for permission, I would have got permission, because I am a nice middle class non-traveling ethnically British guy. When they try to “play by the same rules” they get refused.


    Back in the Nineties as a Greenwich Council local government Principle Officer I was able to successfully get the Council’s Race Committee to formally accept the ethnicity status of the gypsy community. But oh boy did the Council Race Advisor hate my guts henceforth for pressurising the Council to accept enthnicity status for white skinned travellers. Fortunately I had sufficient seniority to get an adequate hearing.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Good on you Craig. As others have said, defending the travellers likely won’t be popular with the majority, but you’re in the right.

    I agree, it’s not ok to say that because some travellers steal or dump rubbish that they’re all collectively to blame for it. It’s just as wrong as it would be to blame all white or all black people for the actions of some black or white people.

    The police far too often seem to be biased in favour of whoever has most power and money, rather than just enforcing the law in an unbiased way.

    On the up side The Guardian reported that the verger of one cathedral in London that has an Occupy Wall Street style protest outside it asked the police to leave when they started forming a line to keep the protesters out and gave sermons against greed and against allowing poverty

  • carolyn child

    Would you please explain how this is ethnic cleansing,the travellers who have not broken the law ie they have obtained planning permission for their homes are not being evicted.If you broke the law would you expect to be exempt from justice?Craig let me know the address of your house & I will inform your local council that your extension was built without planning permission ( is the extension big enough to require planning or is it within the permitted size that doesn’t require planning?)

  • nuid

    “I agree, it’s not ok to say that because some travellers steal or dump rubbish that they’re all collectively to blame for it.”
    That would usually be my own attitude. But having dealt with a very wide variety of traveller groups and families over 60+ years, I can tell you that these behaviours are more the norm than not.

  • nuid

    “When they try to “play by the same rules” they get refused.”
    I wasn’t talking about planning permission when I spoke about playing by the rules. I was talking about their abuse of settled communities, and law breaking of one sort or another, from stealing to destruction of land owned by others.

  • craig Post author


    what evidence do you have that these particular people have done any of that, other than your characterisation of gypsies in general?

  • OldMark

    ‘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”.’

    Exactly. The Irish judiciary knows the community better than the bewigged logic choppers sitting on the equivalent bench on side of the water, who apparently swallow the drivel extruded by the likes of Mr Cameron here about Irish travellers being a distinct ‘ethnic group’.

  • carolyn child

    These people are travellers not gypsies.Craig can you explain how it’s ethnic cleansing when the travellers who are there legally with planning permission are not being evicted,it is only the ones without planning permission who are there illegally that are being evicted,surely if it was ethnic cleansing all the travellers would be evicted?

  • BGD

    LOL. So one is warned off making generalisations about Irish traveller culture but Mr Murray can do the same thing about the largely white working and lower middle class people of Basildon. Got to love liberal sentiments.

  • nuid

    We don’t call them gypsies in Ireland, Craig.
    Everything I’ve listed above is either from personal experience, that of extended family and friends, or reports in Irish newspapers. E.g. my brother was the one bitten by the horse. My father was the man dying of cancer. (The traveller took the wallet from his jacket hanging on the chair, beside his sick bed, having entered the bouse by the back door while his mate engaged my uncle in begging conversation out the front.) I have them begging at my own door, and they’ve stolen from my garden. A relative of mine worked part time in an off-license and the staff kept a baseball bat behind the counter *only* because of the travellers coming into the premises, stealing, starting brawls and threatening the staff. The manager often had to call the police.
    I have engaged traveller women in conversation at the door (when giving them money and clothing) and I know the men folk drink their dole and then send the women out to beg. But the same women that I have helped will knock and ring at the door in a harrassing manner if I’m not quick to answer them. Meanwhile, I have seen sites left by travellers (on land belonging to others) left in such a state that you’d be nervous walking around on it for fear of what you might catch from the refuse. I do not exaggerate. Clearly all of those examples and others that I could (yet) give you do not relate to only one or two families.
    You put together my parents’ experiences over decades, my own experiences over decades, those of my friends and family, and read reports of events in the Irish papers for long enough, and you will find it damned hard not to stereotype travellers, believe me. It’s not in my nature to do so with any group, but I have given up with this one after so many years. Given up.
    Are you wondering how I knew/know they are travellers? It’s easy – they have a particular accent/way of speaking which anyone in Ireland recognises straight away, leaving aside their manner, mode of dress, or anything else.

  • carolyn child

    Craig how do you know there is no stockpile of weapons?Only one woman went to hospital with a minor back injury,four people were treated for breathing difficulties because the protestors set a caravan on fire & one person had a nose bleed.I listened on the BBC as the police explained that had information that weapons had been stockpiled,as it was was they had bricks,stone & urine amongst other things hurled at them,so tell me Craig how do you know there is no stockpile of weapons.If it was a green field site don’t you think the courts would have thrown it out.I won’t hold my breath for a reply

  • glenn

    I’m just surprised the “intelligence” about this stockpile of weapons didn’t also include the threat that they would be deployed within 45 minutes, thereby necessitating immediate action!

  • John Edwards

    This reminds me of a tale I was told by a retired Police Dog Handler about when dogs were first introduced to the Police force back I think in the sixties. He was investigating a burglary and became convinced that the thieves came from a travellers’ site about 30 miles away. However, he had no evidence whatsoever.

    So with a colleague he put the new police dog in the back of the car and drove 30 miles to the travellers’ site, put the dog on a lead and gathered all the residents of the site together.

    “This dog has followed a scent over 30 miles from the scene of a robbery” he announced “When I release this dog it will identify the culprit”, “and we will then know exactly who did it”

    As he motioned to release the dog one of the travellers stepped forward, put his hand up and admitted “It was me Sir”

    Intelligence led policing at its best.

  • Canspeccy

    “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”
    It would surely be even more popular if the council would hang a few white liberal Scotch separatist advocates of uncontrolled mass immigration from the council flagstaff every day.

  • Mr D


    “The point is that if I had owned that old scrapyard and applied for permission, I would have got permission, because I am a nice middle class non-traveling ethnically British guy. When they try to “play by the same rules” they get refused.”

    This is conjecture. You don’t know that for sure, so it doesn’t make much of an argument. Sure if you had sufficient cash and influence and were able to bribe a few bent planning officers you might (and this still isn’t certain) get permission to build a small housing development there, but that’s an argument about money and corruption not ethnicity.

    Also there are any number of ethically British middle-class citizens who have trouble with planning permission, including at least one Conservative MP in the House of Commons.

    I think this is special pleading, and you shouldn’t be wasting your time with it.

    Also you didn’t answer my point about the wealth and property which the Irish owners of Dale Farm are said to have, which from what I can see may be something of a game-changer.

  • kathz

    I looked at the #dalefarm hashtag on Twitter and found people calling for more violence by the police, bombing the site and massacring the inhabitants. I don’t think the term “ethnic cleansing” goes too far.

  • HAL

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

    And the way they still do.

  • Charlotte

    As an Irish woman I can confirm that the travelling community in Ireland are not treated as equals for the simple fact that they do not conform to the ‘norm’. I sit in local pubs, stand outside Churches after mass and hear the majority of those I encounter describe their distaste for other nationals within Ireland. I am ashamed to say that we present a friendly face but under neath there is blatant racism and disregard based on pure ignorance. We do everything we can in society to judge others. A few blogs list the crimes committed by some members of travelling community. Would you dare be so bold to list the crimes committed by other nationals such as Polish, Irish, Africans etc. You certainly would not because there is a law to protect against open racism. The reason you bloggers can list these with ease because you know that we are operating under institutional racism and you wont be challenged because they are travellers. It is not that long ago that we had notices up ‘no blacks, no Irish and no dogs need apply’ relating to housing and work. People back then justified their open racism because they could. it took years of battling to get protection against this level of racism. the simple fact is that the travelling community are recognised as an ethnic group and therefore are entitled to receive culturally sensitive services like any other group. The fact that the travellers in Dale Farm bought the land and when allowed developed sites. What other community has done this. We go to housing authorities and have our homes built for us. No objection to that a it meets the need of vulnerable people. There are elders and children and yes vulnerable women within this community that require an extension of support like all others. Shame on all of you who think that your open discrimination is apt.

  • Canspeccy

    “The behaviour of the police sends shivers down my spine. This is the way that they used to behave in Eastern Europe.”
    Well, then, everybody from Slovakia, Poland, Czechia, etc. might as well just go home.
    Or is it worth putting up with a fascist police state for the sake of a free lunch or taking a job of some dumb British bloke?

  • Canspeccy

    “We go to housing authorities and have our homes built for us. No objection to that a it meets the need of vulnerable people.”
    Why are you so pathetically vulnerable that you expect the state to do everything for you?
    Is it because you’ve been induced into a condition of apathetic feeblemindedness, by kindergarten to early middle-age brainwashing enforced by the parasitic state apparatus in the name of education?
    Or is it because the lib-left screwed you by inviting in millions of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the third world who are willing to take your job at minimum wage or less?

  • Alan

    The Irish media have (as they always do) portrayed the travellers in the most racist of ways, that they wouldn’t do to immigrants for the most part. The Sunday World regularly carries lurid stories of crime, social welfare fraud and family feuds. Fist fighting – originally a way to settle disputes within the Traveller Community – is now portrayed as mere fights for money. Last night 18/9/11 on RTE Radio news, the site was described as “illegal, an enclave, hijacked land & contaminated” all lies. Doubtless many Irish people agree with the eviction as anti traveller racism runs deep here. Regarding, the start of the post “Anti-Gipsy is the last socially acceptable racism.” Craig no doubt would agree that Islamophobia is perfectly acceptable also. Also cultural racism is acceptable as well. With reagrd to “They” steal children too, no doubt.” this is said today in Italy about the Romani Gypsies with the same ferocity as it was about Jews in Medieval Italy this also runs very deep. The situation is much worse in Eastern Europe for the Romani in particular as Szczurek has noted. Just take Hungary as an example with Jobbik/Magyar Garda constantly scapegoating which has lead to pogroms and deaths in rural areas. Given the scale of the economic crisis this is going to get much worse. We need to follow our brothers & sisters in Egypt & Greece and resist or god help us we’ll be destroyed.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Crab wrote “I dont know – this seems too simplistic to me. What would Solomon do?”

    He’d say “Do what i say or i’ll have you all cut in half” So wise 😉

    They courts sort of have gone down the Solomon route already by allowing that half the traveller site is legal and can stay, but i thought they should have waited for the planning decision on another site the travellers wanted to move to that’s coming up in a month or so.

    I suspect Craig’s right that the council will soon decide some big building firm or wealthy developer can build on the land the travellers are being forced off

  • mary

    ‘Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about— we were decent people —and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?’
    An excerpt from
    They Thought They Were Free
    The Germans, 1933-45
    Milton Mayer

    But Then It Was Too Late

  • Suhayl Saadi

    King Solomon would get some bees and a large, filled honeypot. Then he would take the Queen of Sheba (known as ‘Bilqis’ in Muslim narrative) and would roll her out of a very plush, red carpet. Bilqis would begin to eat the honey and the bees would not touch her. With the wisdom thus imparted, the bees became travellers.

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