Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Adolf Hitler's Day Out At Dale Farm

Today has seen the violent eviction of some 80 Irish Traveler families from their homes on the unapproved portion of the Dale Farm settlement. Police and bailiffs used tasers and riot batons to force their way through barricades to seize the site from the people who have lived there for over ten years. Basildon's Tory Council, carefully stewarding council taxpayers money to avoid any waste of public finance, have spent over £18 millions pursuing their "final solution" (their words) of evicting people and leaving them with nowhere to go.

A wide range of political, rights and faith groups had campaigned to keep the site, but the Conservative Council with the aid of the baying right wing media have hounded them out. Children attending local schools who lived there will not be able to complete their education; sick people have to leave their homes, while one family with a baby barely a fortnight old are tonight on the nowhere.

Why has this been done? What on earth has possessed this Council to expend so much time, money and effort on removing people from half the site? Why has it been so important for them to reclaim what they have decided to be "greenbelt" land, but was in fact previously a scrapyard filled with rusting metal car wrecks, a site greatly improved by the travellers who made it their home? Indeed, why have the Council been prepared to risk the people they evict ending up in far less suitable locations across their district, rather than let them be where they were? Why, when half the site is fully legal and will remain in place, has it been so necessary to remove these families? When 90% of retrospective planning permission applications in National Park areas are approved and the Conservative Government has just proposed new planning laws which automatically presume in favour of development of greenbelt, why has it been so important to reclaim the Dale Farm scrapyard?

How to get retrospective planning permission in Basildon
The Council and the local MP vehemently deny that anti-traveller feelings or incipient racism were anything to do with it. On the BBC news Channel this evening, local MP John Baron (Conservative, of course) spluttered that in Basildon, they are "used to living with travelers" - indeed, they have almost 120 legal pitches for caravans (perhaps, at a push, 450 people out of Basildon's population of 175,000!), ignoring the fact that over half of these are in the legal part of Dale Farm. The Travellers would be welcome to live anywhere legally, he declared (ignoring the refusal of the Council to grant permission to a new site although one had been identified and would have been fully funded at no cost to local people). Pressed as to where they might go, he proposed Liverpool, at the other side of the country.

Dale Farm Scrapyard - the "greenbelt" in 1998
Take one look at that doyen of right-wing raving prejudice, the Daily Mail, and you soon see the true reason for this and who the Tories are trying to appeal to as the economy reels from the impact of the recession - read the frothing readers' comments under the article about today's evictions and you see how truly skin-thin civilised attitudes and values are among some of our compatriots, and how totally ostracised as "The Other" Travelers are in the eyes of "middle England" (the spelling mistakes are the Mail readers', not mine by the way!) :

I thought the definition of Romany is to roam ? ..Not pitch for 10 yrs ........ Fancy a nice drop of Tarmac on that there drive ?
If you need someone to open the gate....
At last the stupidity of the courts has ended and we can fnally put the rubbish out, funny that we have still not seen the men of Dale Farm fighting for their alleged rights, leaving it to their big mouthed wives as usual? As for the activists stick them 10 to a cell as they like being with each other so much, bunch of half wits with no jobs fighting lost causes and using state benefits to fund their actions.
I must express my indignation at the police brutality at DaleFarm. There just isn't anywhere near enough being dished out...........
Dale Farm before yesterday - home to 80 families
And so on...These are the most popular comments of over 1,500 posted in just the last few hours, nearly all dripping leaden poison about people most of them have never met but about whom the loaded prejudice of journals like the Mail and the Sun have legitimised as targets of stereotypical hatred.  The violent evictions at Dale Farm also come just days after the Conservative Mayor of Prestatyn in North Wales told a council meeting that Adolf Hitler's Nazis, who exterminated over 1,500,000 Romanies in the Holocaust, "had the right idea about how to deal with gypsies." 

Prejudice? More than a little evident. Racism? Absolutely. Justice? Absent. Basildon Council's insensitive (though perhaps revealing) reference to a final solution for Dale Farm may not involve the utter horror of Nazi Europe, but in truth how far removed from the sentiments of that time are the motives of many of those behind the eviction? And how important indeed it is for progressives and decent people of all hues to stand against such appalling bigotry and inhumane prejudice as has been unleashed by the removal of people from an old metal scrapyard which they had tidied up and turned into their home.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.


  1. Depressed beyond tablets20 October 2011 at 00:20


    Don't make me laugh you silly cock. Few behave in a more odious way than our 'pikey' friends. They bully, intimidate and 'annexe' land as they see fit. These are just thugs who want to break any law they don't like.

    They came for the reflexologists, but I wasn’t a reflexologist so I did nothing
    They came for the camp TV chefs, but I wasn’t a camp TV chef so I did nothing
    They came for the RoMos, I laughed
    They came for the martial arts enthusiasts, but I wasn’t a martial arts enthusiast so I did nothing
    They came for Eamonn Holmes and I think I’m right in saying I applauded
    Sometimes it's best to turn a blind eye

    Half Man Half Biscuit: Turn A Blind Eye

  2. When the Green Party of England and Wales was subjected to a ridiculous Nazi slur, Greens complained bitterly that they would never do such a thing.
    Frankly your Hitler claims make the samizdata article look like a work of intellectual genius.
    Pavees (Irish Travelers) face more discrimination and prejudice in The Irish Republic than they do in the UK, something the Green Party (Comhaontas Glas) did nothing to change in its brief sojourn in government with Fianna Fáil.

  3. Travelers are persecuted around the world - a recent UN report showed how they suffer frequent murder in Iraq; and the long history of persecution in eastern Europe is well documented. I can't comment on how Ireland compares to here - if as you say it is worse than here, that is terrible. But that hardly makes things here acceptable, so I can't quite follow your point.

    The statement lauding Hitler was made by a Conservative Mayor, condemned by his own mouth, not by my writing. And Basildon Tories were the ones who used the term Final Solution in regards to Dale Farm, not me - I did point out yesterday did not involve the horrors of Nazi Germany; but it is right to question the train of thought and beliefs of these people. Persecution of the Romany in Germany predated the Nazis by some decades.

    And, much as I repeatedly vote for it, I don't speak for the Green Party here.

  4. I see Green Party Brighton Council are 'dealing' with Romanies...

  5. Indeed, by undertaking to identify a permanent site for them - something Basildon refused to do even although both a potential site and money were available and the people at Dale Farm had offered to move there.


    Under the 1968 Caravan Sites Act, English Councils had a legal obligation to each provide at least one official site for travellers. The last Tory Government repealed it in 1994, leading to the shortage of sites we now have and causing problems for both the travelling and static communities.

    It is great to see Brighton's Green Council taking action to turn this around in spite of there being no legal obligation for them to do so.