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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Travellers / Gypsies

Michael Howard, Tory bigwig and general idiot, has recently pushing the issue of illegal camps made by Travellers and Gypsies. I don't know if DM Andy has ever had to live in a village that has suffered from a traveller invasion (in Cornwall we did have a mini-one, long before complaining about it became newsworthy) but this is an issue, and the law - either as written or as implemented or both - basically leaves local communities hostage to the illegals and local councils, both of which are the problem.

And as currently implemented, the laws do seem to favour foot-dragging and manipulation by the Travellers/Gypsies. They know they are breaking the law, and I don't see why they should be allowed to get away with it when hunt supporters and told at every turn that their breaking the law would be dishonourable or something. I certainly wouldn't mind some formulae to close the loop-hole that is retrospective planning permission. And they do get away with it.

Plus there is local council incompetence (a factor in a situation in a nearby village here) that renders the local community even more helpless than usual.

I suppose my somewhat random thoughts here come down to this: why should the law-breakers (and there is no doubt that they are law-breakers) are allowed to oppress the law-abiding? Something is wrong with the Human Rights Act and various other pieces of legislation when that happens.

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