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Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

InOBU 28 Feb 11 - 07:27 AM
InOBU 28 Feb 11 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Patsy 28 Feb 11 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 28 Feb 11 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 28 Feb 11 - 03:36 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 11 - 07:49 PM
InOBU 27 Feb 11 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Feb 11 - 03:43 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 11 - 03:18 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Feb 11 - 11:59 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Feb 11 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Feb 11 - 11:19 AM
InOBU 27 Feb 11 - 11:12 AM
InOBU 27 Feb 11 - 11:09 AM
GUEST 27 Feb 11 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Feb 11 - 10:38 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Feb 11 - 10:00 AM
InOBU 27 Feb 11 - 08:26 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 11 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 27 Feb 11 - 04:08 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Feb 11 - 04:00 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 11 - 03:34 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 27 Feb 11 - 03:12 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 11 - 10:28 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 26 Feb 11 - 03:00 AM
LadyJean 26 Feb 11 - 12:26 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 11 - 08:26 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 25 Feb 11 - 05:50 PM
InOBU 25 Feb 11 - 03:46 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 25 Feb 11 - 03:38 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 25 Feb 11 - 02:06 PM
GUEST, topsie 25 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Feb 11 - 12:41 PM
InOBU 25 Feb 11 - 12:15 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 11 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Feb 11 - 11:20 AM
GUEST, topsie 25 Feb 11 - 11:10 AM
InOBU 25 Feb 11 - 09:52 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 11 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 Feb 11 - 06:08 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Feb 11 - 03:55 AM
InOBU 24 Feb 11 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 24 Feb 11 - 09:02 PM
InOBU 24 Feb 11 - 07:01 PM
Penny S. 24 Feb 11 - 06:24 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 Feb 11 - 05:00 PM
GUEST, topsie 24 Feb 11 - 04:07 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Feb 11 - 03:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 07:27 AM

Oh.. after a quick re-read... the point about INTERPOL, there is a theory that US police departments learned to racially profile Romany people from working with former Gestapo agents, as the change was so immidiate. Also, the last sentence in the third to the last paragraph should read why is it that in the US, WHERE Traveller language...
=)
ALl the best
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 07:21 AM

Hi Peter:
One reason it is better to have discussions like this around a table with tea or a few pints, is that it takes so long to answer back and forth, there is lots of time for misunderstandings to fester. Secondly, in a format such as this, my inability to spell is painfully visable... =)

On the subject of Racial profiling of Romany and Traveller people here, and the subject at hand... The US provides a remarkably good environment to see what is Traveller and Romany culture, and what is a result of the effects of poverty and prejudice.

In the US, there is a remarkable situation for Romany people. The great majority of the American public has a much less fine tuned prejudicial eye than people in Europe. Most Americans cannot "spot" a traveller. So, Romany, Romanichal and Traveller communities are gennerally more able to conduct business day to day.

After WW II, the US began to work with former gestapo agents, setting up INTERPOL - the excuse being that they were expert in anti-comunist work. And perhaps cooinsidently, the work of "Gypsy squads" in US police forces began to change the way they investigated the Romany and Traveller communities, using family and community events to atempt to photograph every one of the some two million Romany and Traveller people in the US without suspicion of crime. They would then arrest young members of the community, often in their mid teens on false charges, intimidate them into identifing stacks of photos and then letting them go. For decades this resulted in creating a pool of information and a false immage of the community as criminal within US policing. After the case Socialist Worker's Party v the Attourney General was descided in the Sup. Court. and "Red Squads" were found to be unconstitutional, the "Gypsy Squads" were renamed special fraud investigative units, and the over all coordination of racial profiling was taken over by a "private" not for profit organ called the National Association of Bunco Investigators (if my memory is correct on the achronim.) Now the unconstitutional work was being carried out by police people working "on their own time". Their material has turned up in cases where chain stores have racially profiled Romany and Traveller customers.

So, you have a case where American Irish Travellers, and American Romany people have been racialized in recent time by one component of American society - recently you can add to this the press, who have run sensationalist and false storries, such as the "NBC Dateline" hatchet job done on the Travellers of Murphy Village, which contained, for example communion photos of a little girl broadcast by NBC as a wedding photo, and the testimony of a non-member criminal - given as an "insider" to the Romanical community - which they lump togetherwith Travellers as if they are the same community.

So, left pretty much alone, these communities developed into semi nomadic trades community which tend to be law abiding and stable. The Torrent County Texas prosicutors office, in a studdy a few years ago found there to be no more ileagal behavior among them then any other demographic in the US, and in fact there was far less than most.

But, still, in Texas, when a Traveller community began to register for the first time to vote, the incumbent political party in their local played the "Gypsy" card and attempted to deny them the right to vote claiming that there is no way to be sure of a Traveller's identity - using arguments based on the racial profiling materials from the NABI as their "proof".

So, when it comes to racial profiling and anti-social behavior, I'd say the lesson is that even when Travellers attempt to mainstream without having to give up their culture of nomadism, the prejudice persists. The prejudice is not caused by behavior of the Traveller or Romany communities. If leaving a mess is part of the culture, rather than a result of the lack of equal access to public accomodations, why is it that in the US, there Traveller language is more prevalent, all the structures of Traveller culture are found, leaving a mess at camp sites is non-existant? They are, in fact - much cleaner than many American communities?

Again, you have not addressed the fact that halting sites I visited near Dublin, where there IS available trash collection, water and electricity, the communities are clean.

I am old enough to remember the "lanes" in Limerick, and the ill affects of poverty and discrimination against the poor resulted in similar conditions. There was no "tidy towns" program extended to Travellers, as far as I have witnessed.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 06:43 AM

Drifting away a bit back to BFGW I was amused by a little girl of 8 preparing to get ready for her communion in her first BF wedding dress. She was a typical slightly tomboyish pretty girl and her boy playmate of the same age was impatiently eager to see the end result. When it was completed he said how lovely it was and puzzled she said 'And you called me a rat yesterday!' kids are kids where ever they are.

Talking of Appleby Fair I thought that it must be around June rather than peak summer season, where exactly is it? I was chatting about it with some friends and we couldn't quite agree on where the location was.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 05:52 AM

Let me add that you don't have to argue your case with me, I am fully with both you on the case of traveller rights, equality and all of that. What worries me is the style of argument you both use. Greater injustice elsewhere doesn't excuse certain behaviour at home. I feel that that style of argument does not do your case any favours. Appalachian strip mining does not justify living in a pig sty, racial profiling in the US doesn't excuse behaviour in Ireland. I ran into the aftermath of a fracas in Ennis last year or so. People bleeding on the ground, groups of men running around with slash hooks, hammers and baseball bats. There's no excuse for it, and yes, there's terrible things happening in Libya and and all sorts of places but justice and equality begins at home, by righting wrongs, acknowledging wrongs done to a group as well as the ones done by same, not by using the former to excuse the latter.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 03:36 AM

Yes Jim you are being selective. You're refusing to admit each and everyone of us is obliged to take care of our own rubbish. You go on about it being discriminatory to put the burden on one community.

I put it to you that there is no problem at all with putting a few bags of rubbish in the boot of the car or the back of the van and drive to Inagh and you refuse to acknowledge it. It's about taking responsibility for one's own actions. Anyone who has ever been to the dump in Inagh will see dozens of people bringing recyclables or bags of rubbish, old washing machines, computers, garden refuse or whatever. Old people do it, young people do it, country people, townspeople, single people and families. There's no reason or excuse you have offered   that would explain why travellers from Ennistymon wouldn't be able to do the same (or the portion of settled people who dump rubbish all over the country side for that matter).

I'll leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 07:49 PM

"Your reading is getting a bit selective here Jim."
Not really Peter, I, and I should think, you are offered the choice of whether you pay to have your rubbish collected or take it to the dump; not an option offered to the Travellers, despite their proximity to the town and the fact that the refuse collectors pass the gates of the site at least three times a week.
A situation like the Ennistimon/Killshany site would benefit from being able to hire a skip to take the rubbish of all the families on the site on a regular basis, and have attempted to do so on several occasions, but have been refused each time.
The same was the case on one site we know of when they attempted to hire a portable toilet, and were turned down - no reason given.
Not a huge thing admittedly, but an indication of how Travellers are regarded.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 06:22 PM

Well, Peter, if your town, shire, village, county isn't sending a lorry around for your trash, there is a Traveller from Clare, living in England who rattled the bars of his local counsel until they did. Perhaps you might take a cue from him. There are rights we have as citizens, and collection of trash and delivery of mail and such are gennerally seen as rights.

In the US there is a police racial profiling manual (a completly un-constitution concept by the way) which has a paragraph in it on how to spot Romany family's cars. It then goes on to say that once the suspects cars are found, how to find the Romany people. It is one of the clearest statements of the idea of the Romany person as a permanent suspect of crimes unspecified.

The rest of the manual is equally in violation of international and US law, but at times is almost funny 'Be careful of identification in court as all Gypsies look alike..." is one of my favorite lines.

Best to all... cheers, lor


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 03:43 PM

It seems a little discriminatory to extend rubbish clearing facilities to one group in our community and not the other

Your reading is getting a bit selective here Jim. I clearly said in my post that I take my own rubbish to the dump, as do a great number of people without collection. It's not discriminatory to expect everybody to take responsibility for proper disposal of the rubbish they produce, as I said before, traveller or settled alike.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 03:18 PM

"The county dump is in Inagh, a few miles away."
It seems a little discriminatory to extend rubbish clearing facilities to one group in our community and not the other.
"the site on the Kilfenora road has been vacated and vandalised for ages"
As has the site on the Miltown road going into Ennis, but I have heard that it was local people did that one to make it unliveable for Travellers. This site is a typical council 'planned' ghetto built on a roundabout intersection of four roads, making it impossible for children to leave the site without endangering their lives
Rubbish and Travellers is a complex question.
Last year Irish TV presented a documentary on Borris Fair - I think the County Carlow one, which is one of the few remainin Traveller fairs in Ireland.
Locals have been campaigning for some time to have Travellers excluded "because of the mess".
The film team filmed the fair, before and after, and sure enough, a mess, despite the fact that Travellers had undertaken to clean up their act.
Two council officials claimed that most of the rubbish had been left by locals, some to get rid of unwanted stuff of their own, others, it was claimed, to give the impression that the Travellers were still making a mess, and so, should be excluded from their fair.
Similarly, back in the 70s we were in contact with a Traveller activist on the Garrett Lane site in Wandsworth, Roy Wells (a Gorgie married to a Traveller). The site was then the longest established in London, frequented by George Borrow.
Locals protested at rubbish and dumped cars in the area, so Wells set out to trace the owners of the cars and, with a little help from a sympathetic policeman, traced them all to settled people living within three miles of the site.
Wells and I later co-operated in preventing the fire-bombing of a temporary site in West London that I had learned about accidentally from a work collegue who was the brother-in-law of one of the would-be fire bombers. Had it gone ahead it would have undoubtedly led to serious injury at least - there were 2 dozen children on the site at the time.
The myth that Travellers would be welcome if they didn't leave a mess was exploded for me some years ago.
Less than a mile from here, a Traveller family used to spend the summer by the sea on a grass verge, stopping in a tourer caravan. They carefully stored all their rubbish in plastic bags and took it away with them when they left. Despite this, two years ago the local council moved in with a digger and churned up the site, making it both unusable and an eyesore.
One more go and I'm off to watch tele.
One night a couple of years ago I wandered into town for a pint, to find that every pub (around ten then) closed and shuttered.
As I turned away from my local the landlady opened the door and invited me in, telling me that the police had been around all the pubs 'warning' publicans that Travellers were in the area and that they should only let in people they knew, otherwise, the police would not attend any calls for assistance - not exactly a cross burning on the front lawn, but....
I'm not in any way excusing mess, but I am pointing out that it isn't always straightforward.
Must go - 'The Promise' calls.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:59 AM

"Oh Lizzie, Lizzie - have you ever seen the aftermath of a football match or a festival - before the cleaners move in? We all leave mess - some of us get it cleaned up after us."


Yes, Jim, I have...albeit on a not so vast occasion as you I expect. I clear up after the local football matches in the park down the road from me. I then ring up the Council, talk to the guys in charge of street cleaning and ask them what the fuck is going on when a society stands idly by watching it's younger generation simply throwing away their Lucozade bottles at half time, and then not bothering to pick one single one of them up. I also rang up the Sports Centre where these matches take place from and asked them the same thing...

We have stopped caring, as a society. Worse than that, we have ACCEPTED that these things 'happen', as your statement above shows.

I do not and will not accept it. The road where they drop their rubbish is the road by my home. The park where they throw their bottles down is my local park, where I walk my dog (and yes, I do clean up after him)

These kinds of things did not happen many moons ago, because it was not accepted and because we did not have all the bloomin' packaging and 'stuff' that we do now.

There is absolutely no need for anyone to drop any rubbish or leave anything behind them for others to clean up...and the more we accept it, the more chilling this world will become, inhabited by cowards who are too damned scared, or too damned disinterested and selfish to change things around...



"I lived in London in the 70s, at the time of the dustmen's strike ad witnessed the mountains of filth piled into our local parks and gardens when the rubbish-removing facility ceased to operate."

Bit like here in Torquay recently, when they changed the rubbish collection system and our roads were filled with rubbish for weeeks on end. I too remember that time..and even back then I wondered about a species which creates so much rubbish. Today, things are even worse. ALL the Government has to do is start fining supermarkets and wholesalers who create and stock heavily packaged goods in the first place. Then they'd stop stocking them and things would start to change overnight...

But first, we have to change ourselves, our outlook, our own behaviour and embarrass the hell out of others who don't give a shit about theirs...

Sorry, but I've picked up way too much filth to have any sympathy with lazy layabout good for nothings who don't care about others.....and I'm talking about ALL of them, Jim, not just those from certain communities, so don't get on your high horse again...


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:47 AM

"PS on the subject of non-Romany folks leaving a mess, do have a look at mountain top removal in the US... but, of course it is easier to look down at what the powerless do rather than confronting the real waisters in the world..."

Take a listen to Dan's 'Appalachia' for what goes on there...I've put many videos on my FB page about Mountain Top Removal, Lorcan, although they've probably dropped off the end of it now....

Nope, sorry, Jim, that doesn't wash with me. I used to go to some sites, with my brother, where the folks there were happy living amongst the rubbish, because it's how they lived...Their caravans however, were immaculate, gleaming in the sun.

I don't go a bundle on *anyone* who drops rubbish, it's one of the things that drive me nuts...and it's because everyone makes light of it, or expects others to clear it away that this country, and many others, are now covered with bloody rubbish.

If you don't teach children NOT to drop rubbish, of any sort, then how the hell are they going to grow up noticing their world, wanting to keep it beautiful, or having respect for others,whilst also expecting others to have respect for them?????

The Travelling Community is no different from any other community...and ALL communities need to get a grip on those who let them down and truly don't give a shite for anyone else.

As John Barden says in his song, just leave 'marks in the grass' and nothing else that betrays the fact you were ever there...

As far as 'being treated differently' goes, that's because they ARE different, choosing to live their lives differently from the majority of folks and sadly, when you do that, you are singled out and 'marked' by those who want all to be same...

If you recall, I home educated my children eventually, due to bullying and terrible exam stress...and trust me, I soon found out what it's like to be treated 'differently'...not just by the folks in my home town, who actively started to keep their children *away* from mine, in fear they too might want to be educated at home, but by many folks on here who ganged up against me, and on the BBC, for daring to do things my way and not theirs..

I have NO problem with Travellers, and would be happy if they moved in next door to me...but I'd be bloody-mindedly fuming if they moved in and started creating a mess, creating a noise, without any thought for me or the rest of their neighbours...and I'd be equally as pissed off if they were non-travellers.

As Bruce said about something else on Mudcat recently 'bullshit is bullshit'...and it matters not where that bullshit comes from.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:19 AM

I don't want to distract this discussion into the state of one halting site.

But again, the collection argument does NOT wash in my opinion. The county dump is in Inagh, a few miles away.

Like many other people without regular collection I bring my stuff there. People who can't be arsed to do that, be they settled on halting sites or on roadsides, there's no excuse for their behaviour.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:12 AM

PS on the subject of non-Romany folks leaving a mess, do have a look at mountain top removal in the US... but, of course it is easier to look down at what the powerless do rather than confronting the real waisters in the world...


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:09 AM

Oh my, some Gyzho stole and ate my cookie... that guest above with the three questions is non other than me... did not realize I had been gyzed. Lorcan


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:04 AM

Dear Peter, Question 1. WHen you put your trash out, does not the town come and pick it up for you. 2. Is the sufficent and regular trash pick up on that halting site? well... here is a three, have you seen photos of New York during trash hauler strikes?


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 10:38 AM

Jim, the site on the Kilfenora road has been vacated and vandalised for ages, it's a big pile of rubbish.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM

You are right - no it doesn't Peter; but it does give the situation a little balance.
It was our experience that the best kept sites in the UK were those with hard-standing, running water (not a stand pipe for all families), efficiant lighting, kitchens and toilets.
Travellers treated them as homes rather than temporary stopping places until they could find something better.
I get the impression that Lizzie was describing short-stay, usually illegal sites where the occupants lived in permanent expectation of being moved on.
Expecting them to clean up such sites after tham is a little like evicting tenants and expecting them to clean the windows before they go.
Haven't been past the site in Ennistymon for a month or so, but the last time we were there, it wasn't too untidy.
We do have one of the residents calling here regularly who is very mixed about it and looks on it as temporary - it is somewhat overcrowded.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 10:00 AM

Come on now guys, the 'but other people make more rubbish' doesn't really wash.

Rubbish at bottlebank the local garage in Miltown or rubbish dumped in the ditches by the locals doesn't negate the state of the halting sire on the Kilfenora road outside Ennistymon.

Everybody should take care of their own rubbish and not pass the buck because others are making a mess of it as well.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 08:26 AM

Jim beat me to the punch, so I will add, land mines and other unexploded ordinance... and also advise those who believe that Travellers are dirty, to go to well regulated halting sites which have trash pick up, no sense in picking it off the ground if no lorry ever comes to take it away... and go to such places as Murphy Village, a Traveller settlement here in the US, and you will find lovely homes, manicured lawns, and unlike, say, New York, folks don't drop wrappers on the ground - the place is imaculate.
As to "scrounging". Romany people and Travellers invented recycling.
When settled people recycle, they do so with huge companies, which add great cost to the whole process and they are considered the saviors of the environment, where the constant, reworking of cast aside stuff by Travellers is much more the way nature works, and is a much more ecconomical way of doing things in the end... no big corportate saleries to get paid for the idea of turning an old TV antena into a low=D whistle, etc.
By the way, Paddy Keenan once quipped to me, that if he knew how much Low D wistles would some day cost, he would have kept making them out of TV antenas rather than learning the pipes, and he'd be a rich man today.
Best to all
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 05:38 AM

"leave rubbish everywhere and create havoc for other communities..."
Oh Lizzie, Lizzie - have you ever seen the aftermath of a football match or a festival - before the cleaners move in? We all leave mess - some of us get it cleaned up after us.
I lived in London in the 70s, at the time of the dustmen's strike ad witnessed the mountains of filth piled into our local parks and gardens when the rubbish-removing facility ceased to operate.
Lovely irony here in Miltown.
The people who drove out the above-mentioned family used the exact argument you just have.
About a year earlier the town had a bottle bank, but the council had to remove it because of locals leaving rotting rubbish piled up against it.
It has since been reinstated in a local petrol station; a few months ago the owner had to have it removed to a walled enclosure with security cameras trained on it for exactly the same reason.
A wonderful photograph in the local press a few years ago showed a sign at the side of the road reading "DO NOT LEAVE RUBBISH" - piled up with plastic bags full of rotting rubbish!
Virtually all of the Travellers we met had no running water, no sanitation, no mains electricity, no rubbish collection........ none of the things we take for granted as essentials of daily living, yet they managed to keep themselves personally clean and well turned out - been in enough caravans to know that as a fact.
Mankind is by far the world's dirtiest species - please don't be selective.
I have yet to meet a Traveller who dumps toxic, even radioactive waste, or destroys wildlife to the point of creating endangered species, by indescriminate dumping or filling our seas with tankers full (or should that be previously-full) of oil.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 04:08 AM

There is built in prejudice against Travellers in Britain and Ireland - hard to describe it as racism as Travellers are not oficially recognised as seperate ethnic groups.

The last census of Ireland had 'Travelling community' as a choice under the heading 'ethnicity'. And possibly the one before last as well although my recollection of that is less clear.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 04:00 AM

I could have been driven out by folks on Dartmoor, had I given into them, as it was I stood my ground and learnt there are absolute bastards out there, no matter what their skin colour, race or tribe may be.

Soon it won't just be the Travellers who are being driven out of their homes, but those on benefits too, who are being seen as having used the system, whether they have, or have not, whilst the government turns the population against each other...

The term 'scrounger' is being used more and more, programmes are even being made about them now....soon folks will stop distinguishing between those who are and are not scroungers, and lump them all in together..

I've seen films of the way Travellers are treated, Jim, of how they wreck their caravans, move them along..

Sometimes, the Travellers are their own worst enemies though, because of those within their communities who don't give a shit, leave rubbish everywhere and create havoc for other communities...

I don't care who people are who behave like that, it's not on, in my book. I clear up after the messy bastards around where I live, who don't give a damn about anyone else. They're not Travellers, but even if they were, I'd be as seethingly angry with them as I am with this lot...

Here, you wanna hear about the TRUE Gypsies and Travellers...? then take a listen to the beautiful and moving song from John Barden...

Marks in the Grass - Youtube


ALL communities need to weed out those who bring them down...and that goes for The Travellers, as much as it does for the sods who set fire to Travellers houses for no apparent reason...and for those who set fire to non-Traveller's houses for no apparent reason...




Oh...and you know where you can stick your half-hearted apology I'd assume....

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 03:34 AM

Never thought for a moment you were a racist Lizzie - though I do find somebody who is unable to distinguish between a family made homeless by an accidental house fire and one driven out by a chanting mob because of what (not who) they are, a little - what's the word - 'interesting!!'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 03:12 AM

Well, at least we've cleared that up, and removed any insinuation from you, Jim, that you feel I'm racist.

Mills & Boon? Sorry, but give me an old-fashioned gypsy caravan, a horse and the open road, any day, over a souless retirement flat where all you see are four white walls, and all you hear is the lift ferrying the other elderly residents, their cleaners, or their medical staff, up and down, down and up, all day long....I'd far rather die staring at the stars, feeling the wind on my face, than in some hopsital bed, or alone in a sterile flat...

Of course, I much prefer to die staring at the stars in the arms of someone who loved and treasured me too...but failing that, the stars will do just fine..


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 10:28 AM

Lizzie;
The only reference I have made to racism here is in pointing out the dangers of different groups of Travellers using other groups as scapegoats - not making it up, I saw it happen and I provided an example.
There is built in prejudice against Travellers in Britain and Ireland - hard to describe it as racism as Travellers are not oficially recognised as seperate ethnic groups.
That was not what I was refering to - I was somewhat taken aback by your Mills and Boon type comment - nothing more - you were the one who brought 'racism' into the exchange, not me.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 03:00 AM

"Don't have to Lizzie - you've just played it for me
Jim Carroll"

Really? And in what way would that be, Jim?
Come on, if you make statements like that, then be brave enough to stand by them....and explain them...

I've seen you throw 'racist' around to many people...but you don't seem to ever stay long enough to explain your theories behind it...

I'll leave it up to you....


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: LadyJean
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 12:26 AM

You see these documentaries on television; look at these terrible, horrible people, who aren't like us. Look at the terrible, horrible things they do, that we don't.
In the U.S. you'll see them about various religious sects, as well as some cultures. There's never any explanation as to WHY they do what they do.
Though they usually provide someone, often someone labeled an expert, to make all kinds of sensational accusations and comments, that are never questioned.

I remember, several years ago, CBS did a serious hatchet job on a communal sect called The Bruderhoff.   

It gets the viewers, but creates no end of problems for the subjects.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:26 PM

"Don't give me shite, Jim, or play the racist card"
Don't have to Lizzie - you've just played it for me
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 05:50 PM

"...It is to live without the need to justify yourself to the rest of the world..."

Absolutely wonderful piece of advice, for everyone..


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 03:46 PM

Well yes, and again, I am back from one meeting and must run to another, which tells alot about this settled life... at the time one is living rough, it is not at all romantic, in fact, when I say I'd be more healthy, it is because I averaged 145 lbs living hard, and for those who met me at Mudcat gatherings can see, running the theater and such, I am quite a bit more than that... but, knowing what it is to live hungry and cold is not romantic.
But, the mindset is acceptance of this as your life. It is to live without the need to justify yourself to the rest of the world... getting interupted again... latter all


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 03:38 PM

"Are you for real Lizzie?"

Yup...people also die from being fires in cramped horrible houses, you know, Jim. Just last year two children died here in Torquay in just such a fire.

Actually, I'd like to live on a barge too...that really appeals to me, travelling up and down the canals.

When I lived in Horrabridge, for the first time round (yes, I lived their twice) the 'locals' were always going on about folks like us moving into their village. They'd park their cars across our gates deliberately (we lived next to the newsagents)...so I'd climb over my gate, walk over their bonnets...and they didn't do it again...

When I went back to live there, started cleaning up their village, as it was also MY village, they looked at me differently. I painted benches, painted the bus shelter, the sign posts, picked up the litter, the beer bottles, the broken glass, the dirty nappies, the used condoms...THEN, I was finally accepted...

Mind you, I couldn't have given tuppence if the scummy bastards had accepted me or not, because I'm happy with who I am...but hey ho, such is life...

Don't give me shite, Jim, or play the racist card, or the 'are you for real' card, because it's not just Traveller folk who have it hard in life you know....

Thanks..and up yours....as they do say.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 03:23 PM

"Ohhhhhh...how romantic is *that*, Lorcan!"
Several winters ago a Travelling family (a couple with 6 children) around here were burned out of their caravan following an accidental (not always the case) fire.
Uncharacteristically, the local council moved them into an empty house in the town here.
The following day they were greeted with a mob of locals outside their door chanting "residents in - Travellers out", led by a leading lay-member of the local church.
The family put up with this for a few days, until one day when the mother was shopping in the town she was stopped by a burly local man who told her that if they hung around much longer they would be needing the services of the local fire department again.
They borrowed a holiday caravan and a three man tent and moved down to a car park on the nearby Atlantic coast. Two weeks later the youngest child celebrated her first bithday and her first Christmas in a cramped tourer van while her brothers and sisters crammed themselves into a tent adjacent to the seashore.
Romantic - Barbara Cartland could have written a book on it.
Are you for real Lizzie?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 02:06 PM

"As to how would I like to live? Oh, my, Allan, I have lived by the side of roads, I have lived in a narrow bunk aboard traditional sailing vessels, a cold water cabin in Ireland, I've lived on Indian reservations, sleeping around an open fire in hunter/gatherer worlds,"

Ohhhhhh...how romantic is *that*, Lorcan! :0)

You know, the other day I was cleaning an elderly lady's flat for her, it was one of those bloody awful retirement places, where folks wait to die behind closed doors, in silent hallways, and all that can be heard is the lift going up and down to the various floors...

So I'm doing me dusting and thinking, "Shite, when I get to this point I'm off to live in a Gypsy Caravan somewhere, to stare at the stars as the frost forms on my old wrinkled face.....

Maybe it's in my genes, my Spanish Gypsy Ancestry coming back to me, but I truly can't imagine anything worse than being trapped in one of those places...

Lorcan, you can light the fire....I'll get the goosefeather bed out next to it, and we can watch the comets together...

What do you say? ;0)

RaggleTaggleGypsy-O-O-Ohhhhhhhhh


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM

Phoebe Buckley


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 12:41 PM

Jim: I well remember that exchange in The Travelling People. The first article I ever wrote for Folk Review, back in Sep 1972, was called The Radio Ballads Revisited, and of course I quoted that bit, pointing out that it was the only time in the entire series that Charles Parker let his interviewer's voice be heard in a broadcast. "You can't mean that!" he exclaimed in astonishment to the councillor who wanted the intransigent among the Travellers 'exterminated'. "Why not?" came the bland reply.

My piece was ambivalent about some of the methods used in the Radio Ballads, and some of the juxtapositions. But I finished with the assertion that "The Travelling People is one of the great contributions of modern art to tolerance and understanding". I don't know if the old Argo collection of The Radio Ballads is still available on CD; but this one, in particular, would be well worth hunting down by anyone who is finding this thread of interest.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 12:15 PM

Might have to run in the middle of this... but here is a start.
As to romaniticism, I have been thinking of this when Allan asked if I'd like to live like... and my answer about my health. It is really deeper than that. Among nomadic Indians I travelled with, yes, I would be healthier. But among nomadic Romany people, it would not matter as much.
When a nomadic Romany friend George and I would take law students to Washington, for a varriety of reasons, reasearch, lobbying, meetings with other travelling communities, we would use a car with a T-tag, one not registered as it was in the process of being sold. I'd toss my pipes in the boot, and George his "fender bending tools". We'd take almost no money and sometimes would return with a different car, instead of a rental, George would sell that car and pick up another to sell. We'd drop the law students off, say at the national archives, George would fix dents in cars, I'd busk, then we'd put on our suits and go to the Capitol building to speak about Romany and Travelling rights.
Must run so to cut to the chase, we did not worry about getting all the potential difficulties planed for, but took what we needed to live in the moment of need. hell I am being called, more later...


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 12:07 PM

"Human frailty Jim - we need our myths....."
We may need ours, but the Travellers most certainly don't.
As I said, the romantic image projected by people like George Borrow, Dora Yates, Leland, Sampson et al may have been with the best of intentions but the fact that it presents a myth rather than a realistic picture of Travelling life has given the non-settled, hostile 'buffer', 'Gorgio' whatever term you use, a very heavy stick to beat Travellers - "They are not real Travellers, why should we have to put up with them".
If you have any doubts on this, I suggest you listen (if you haven't already) to the wonderful sequence of settled people talking about Travellers in The Travelling People, which, not coincidentally ends with Birmingham Justice of the Peace Harry Watton proposing that all Travellers who refuse to conform to settled life be "exterminated".
Travellers we have met and befriended down the years, in real life, proved warm, friendly and generous, often to the point of embarrasing us.
They were excellent company and I have no hestation in saying that our lives were enriched by knowing them - they left their fingerprints all over our lives.
They really need nobody to 'paint out the warts'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 11:20 AM

Human frailty Jim - we need our myths.....


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 11:10 AM

There was another very positive portrayal on Radio 4 this afternoon: 'Against the Grain' - 'Horsewoman Phoebe Buckley on being a Romany gypsy'.
Phoebe is a successful event rider. She and her family describe themselves as 'Gypsies', 'Romanies' and 'Travellers' interchangeably.
I don't know if this will be available to listen to later.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 09:52 AM

Jim is right, in my estimation. Here in the US, Romanichal folks, Pavees and Vlax Romany people are thrown together in "Gypsy" boat. It doesn't matter if you are nomadic and "in the rhelem" or a settled lawyer (not me - a Romany lawyer driven from the profession because of his mother's living her spiritual beliefs, in Romaniya...) - you are subject to loss of your basic rights as a US citizen. When working towards a unified Romany responce, I often told friends in these communities that as long as it is one boat when it comes to discrimination, we should all row together.

It is more than just Traveller nomadism. In the Americas, US, Canada etc. nomadic origional nations are stripped of rights everyday. Settled people believe they have the right to exclude those whose culture is less agressive. There is no more agressive stance on earth than to claim sole ownership over that which all beings were given, the resourse of the earth.

Just as Thomas Jefferson wrote that England held him in the "bonds of slavery" because of a tax to end slavery through the control of sugar (not tea) while he ignored the humans he litterally had chained to his plow and his land, settled people with their massive stocks of weapons of war, with their armed police, with their walls and laws of exclusion, claim that the nomadic people are violent and dangerous. Well, there's lots of roads to the truth, and if that is your world view, and you wish to be a little bit more well rounded, spend some time in an Innu hunting camp, travel with a herding society, walk into a night club in New York with Romany "Gypsies" and find out that the public accomodation laws don't apply to you suddunly, and perhaps your view of the truth may be shaken a little if not broken all together.
All the best, to all
Lorcan


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 06:32 AM

I honestly believe tht George Borrow, as well-meaning as he was, did more damage to gypsy culture than any other single individual by presenting them with an image they could not possibly live up to.
I see some of it here on this thread.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 06:08 AM

'Dividing the various travelling communities by surrounding some of them with a meaningless aura of romanticism will hasten the end of Travelling life'

There was a cheap plaster plaque in our house as a kid 'The interior of an Irish cottage'. There my Grandads old shilleligh gathering dust in the shed. A few old John McCormack records 'The Old bog Road', 'The rocky Road to Dublin'. My other Grandad's songs and stories, clog dancing...scarcely tolerated. A few old stories (mostly bloody depressing) from my Grandma and her sisters, one or two old faded newspaper cuttings and photographs.

that's all most of us have of our past, our roots. People take the piss out of the Yanks and their green beer on St Patricks day. I can sort of relate to that. The oklahoma Bomber, Timothy Mcveigh's insistence that he was '10th generation Irish'.

Do you know ralph McTell's song 'The Gypsy'. You'll find the lyrics on the Weather the Storm site.
http://www.weatherthestorm.it/_private/lyricsuk.htm



romanticism ....maybe. perhaps its just the buman trait of trying to give things a positive spin.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 03:55 AM

"If they describe themselves as Romany then that's good enough for me,"
The problems of Travelling life today are ones experenced by all Travellers, not just 'Romanies'.
There have been tendencies within the various Travelling communities to look for scapegoats to blame for some of the wrongs committed by some Travelling people - "It wasn't us 'real gypsies', is must have been them 'mumphers', 'knackers', 'pavvies'" - or simply 'Irish' or 'Scots', which can be just as damaging and discriminatory as the attitudes adopted by the settled community, and just as racist.
Dividing the various travelling communities by surrounding some of them with a meaningless aura of romanticism will hasten the end of Travelling life just as quickly as anything the settled community can throw at them - divide and conquor is one of the oldest tactics in the world.
'A moral tale'
We (my wife and I) have been involved with Travellers, mainly Irish, for over thirty years and have noticed that the greatest problem experienced by all Travelling people is the shortage of stopping places.
In the 1980s Traveller friends of ours in London formed a group made up of Irish, Welsh, Scots and English people, to campaign for sites. They got some suppport from solicitors and others in the settled community and eventually the local authorities agreed to provide a few sites, but insisted that they would only deal with 'real gypsy' organisations. One of these 'real gypsy' organisations (who had not taken part in the campaign) took control of a couple of the sites provided and allocated the stopping places to 'real gypsies', moving them in from the rural areas around London. Most of those given stopping places had neither the desire to nor the intention of stopping in London, and after a short period, moved back to the countryside. These 'real gypsies' sold the sites to the people whose campaigning had secured them in the first place.
This incident did more damage to inter-Traveller relations than centuries of anti-Traveller activity had ever achieved, and helped the Conservative Government of the day repeal the 1968 Caravan and Camping Act, thereby leaving all Travellers with little chance of obtaining stopping places.
As I said - divide and conquor.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 10:24 PM

I'll have a listen... tell thee a quick funny story first - I was singing in a band with another Quaker, and she and I often spoke plain with each other, thee and thy, and Seaneen, who was from Lancaster would fall in as well, as his family in Lancaster still used thee... he found it very comforting that we used the singular of you with him...


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 09:02 PM

Well, Lorcan, its not really just an Irish or a traveller thing. People in England did, and to a lesser extent still do, hide their regional accents and backgrounds. they see it as a possible disbarrmement from from social advantage.

i was quite surprised when the young consultant seeing my wife, this week spoke in deep Lancashire accent. It still seems strange to my generation to think of a young upwardly mobile - speaking with the accent of a Coronation Street character, the sort that i grew up with. You weren't really brought up proud of your roots.

Because of my parents religious beliefs - I attended a Quaker public school when I was about fifteen.
the Headmaster used to say, We're terribly sorry Whittle, but we really can't understand a single word of what you're saying. Perhaps if you stood up and tried to enunciate more clearly we might get it.....

Nowadays, its probably not so bad. you hear regional accents all over the place, but in my time and my parents time. Mainstream culture went one way, and the rest of us did what we could to keep up.

I written a couple of songs on the subject. the irish tinkers Son is about denying your roots. I have it playing on my main page.
http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/

And Auntie Nellie is a Lancashire accent piece. Which is also on the first page.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 07:01 PM

Dear friend Allan: In my interactions with England, I find there to be a great deal of lack of understanding of the difference between intergration and assimilation. England has a deeply conformist culture ( though being quiet proud of its own excentricities, often...)

The concept that intergration is a one way road is wonderfully seen if thee rents the very good film, "The Man Who Never Was..." There is a moment when an English officer is asking for the body of a man's son, to use in a war time spy event, and he makes the mistake of saying (as it turns out to a Scott) "your son will have done something important for England". The father replies, often you English say England when you mean Britain. I hear echoes of this when thee speaks of abandoning the Irish thing, while writing on a folk music web site... after all, we are speaking of our deep families traditions, national and ethnic traditions here - they are worth not abandoning with out thought.

As to how would I like to live? Oh, my, Allan, I have lived by the side of roads, I have lived in a narrow bunk aboard traditional sailing vessels, a cold water cabin in Ireland, I've lived on Indian reservations, sleeping around an open fire in hunter/gatherer worlds, and ... and now in a very comfortable flat over the the theatre I now run. I work more hours now, and hot showers are quite nice, but... working for a living, rather than living as my work - either are good. I still dream of walking miles with my beor, my pack and my pipes in cold pouring rain, and the lovely weight of bags of coins from busking, so wet and misserable you had to laugh, and so happy for a pint and a hot meal when the busking was good... busking up a plane ticket for example... and if you can't imagine the joy in that... well you never will.
Oh, one thing I know, I'd be less heavy today, less headachy, less troubled by gout if I stayed in a few of those rough old worlds, and I miss them.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 06:24 PM

The greens round here (NW Kent) have little banks around them to stop caravans pulling off the roads. But in summer there are usually ponies grazing, piebald and with feathered fetlocks.
I saw a funeral a few weeks back, with white horses with white plumes pulling the glass hearse, white limousines behind it, and a string of pickup trucks with great flower tributes showing the history of the person - I suspected it to be from the local community. Some live in a site by the A2, others in houses.
Every now and then we would have a child brought into school, but this was always a little fraught. Kent has a support officer or two to help with background, cleanliness laws and so on, but dealing with children whose parents use the "p" word and the attitude that goes with it is not easy. The first child in my class unfortunately arrived while the class had a very disturbed boy who would find out everyone's weak spot and pick at it, so with her, it was the "p" word. I tried to explain to the parents while they were shouting at me that he had an insult for everyone and we were trying to control him, but they took her out of school. They used to watch at playtimes because they were afraid of bullying - which we didn't actually have, apart from the disturbed boy who brought in what his father did to him.
The second one was a boy who was eager to learn. He changed our music programme, which was all set to use the "Gypsy Rover", and which he cogently explained was not appropriate. His parents moved away again, back into Greenwich, a borough which prides itself on being an equality borough, and sticks notices on its lamp posts to tell people this. His mother registered him into school on a day the head teacher was away. The head came back and unregistered him. The traveller liaison person who spoke to me about his work was not happy about this, but was bound by the head's decision.
The swimming coach at our local pool described some lads there by the "p" word, as if it was perfectly normal. There's a long way to go before people are easy with the nomads.
I've heard so much argument in the last few weeks from different communities about "travellers", "Irish travellers", "Romanies" and "gypsies" that it is really hard to know which words to use fittingly.
I have half a dozen pegs left which we found in my Dad's shed. I think they are about 50 years old. They are superb at keeping the washing on the line, and don't pinch it into odd shapes. I don't think they were cut down from a point, though, because the outer surface of the peeled wood goes right up to the open end. If that makes sense. They are more as if the stick were cut down into a deep v. I've been wondering how to get more. I think I would do myself damage trying to make them.
I have not watched the programmes, though I gather they sneaked some stuff about how badly the people are treated in to the voyeurism. If this was intentional, to increase sympathy, they may have made a mistake, as some places have had people commenting about the source of the money. Rather as a news broadcast about (non-traveller) children in poverty hovered about the (very lower class) mother's 9carat bracelets and rings while she described how difficult it was to feed her children and live in their tiny accomodation. There is nastiness about these days.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 05:00 PM

"The more "hecks" that Lizzie throws around, the more I detect a whiff of prejudice."

Eh? Would you care to elaborate a little more? Sighhhhhhhhhh....


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 04:07 PM

If they describe themselves as Romany then that's good enough for me, and I think it likely that if the programme makers made a point of describing some of them as Romanies it was probably because the Romanies had asked them to.


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Subject: RE: Big Fat Gypsy Weddings
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 03:24 PM

Can I point out that it is a tad discriminatory to attempt to distinguish between 'Romanies' and 'Travellers'.
There is much to be discussed about the practical differences (if any) between those claiming to be the former and other itinerants, but makers of programmes like BFGW cast their nets wide enough to include all Travellers in their vitriol spray.
Nowadays, the main difference between the various groups is that Travellers as a whole have yet to receive official recognition as ethnic groups.
Jim Carroll


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