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BS: Irish Travellers on the move

Jim Carroll 23 Jan 16 - 06:32 AM
Sandra in Sydney 23 Jan 16 - 07:21 AM
Jack Campin 23 Jan 16 - 07:36 AM
Vic Smith 23 Jan 16 - 08:11 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 16 - 10:09 AM
Rapparee 23 Jan 16 - 01:06 PM
Rapparee 23 Jan 16 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,# 23 Jan 16 - 05:32 PM
akenaton 23 Jan 16 - 05:36 PM
Gutcher 24 Jan 16 - 02:21 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 16 - 05:22 AM
akenaton 24 Jan 16 - 05:39 AM
Kampervan 24 Jan 16 - 06:03 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 16 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,# 24 Jan 16 - 08:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Jan 16 - 08:59 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 16 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,# 24 Jan 16 - 11:02 AM
akenaton 24 Jan 16 - 03:21 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jan 16 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Tyler Alderson 24 Jan 16 - 10:11 PM
akenaton 25 Jan 16 - 04:22 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Jan 16 - 04:41 AM
GUEST 25 Jan 16 - 04:45 AM
GUEST 25 Jan 16 - 04:49 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 16 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 16 - 05:54 AM
akenaton 25 Jan 16 - 06:02 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 16 - 07:42 AM
akenaton 25 Jan 16 - 08:53 AM
akenaton 25 Jan 16 - 09:03 AM
GUEST 25 Jan 16 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Tyler Alderson 25 Jan 16 - 04:34 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Jan 16 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Tyler Alderson 25 Jan 16 - 06:11 PM
akenaton 25 Jan 16 - 06:14 PM
GUEST 25 Jan 16 - 06:49 PM
Greg F. 25 Jan 16 - 07:43 PM
GUEST 25 Jan 16 - 07:47 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Jan 16 - 07:57 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Jan 16 - 08:43 PM
GUEST 25 Jan 16 - 10:40 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 01:19 AM
GUEST,Musket 26 Jan 16 - 03:26 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 16 - 04:28 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,HiLo 26 Jan 16 - 05:34 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jan 16 - 07:27 AM
akenaton 26 Jan 16 - 07:46 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jan 16 - 07:49 AM
Vic Smith 26 Jan 16 - 08:11 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 08:16 AM
akenaton 26 Jan 16 - 08:21 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 16 - 08:34 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 16 - 08:42 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 08:45 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jan 16 - 08:46 AM
akenaton 26 Jan 16 - 09:03 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 09:05 AM
Vic Smith 26 Jan 16 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Musket 26 Jan 16 - 09:19 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jan 16 - 09:22 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 09:30 AM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 09:39 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Jan 16 - 09:45 AM
akenaton 26 Jan 16 - 10:13 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 16 - 10:44 AM
akenaton 26 Jan 16 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Tyler Alderson 26 Jan 16 - 12:15 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 16 - 12:30 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Jan 16 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Dave 26 Jan 16 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,ND 26 Jan 16 - 05:31 PM
GUEST 26 Jan 16 - 07:14 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Jan 16 - 08:23 PM
GUEST 27 Jan 16 - 01:03 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 03:51 AM
akenaton 27 Jan 16 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Musket 27 Jan 16 - 04:39 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 05:06 AM
akenaton 27 Jan 16 - 05:39 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Jan 16 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Guest ND 27 Jan 16 - 08:25 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 08:59 AM
GUEST 27 Jan 16 - 09:21 AM
akenaton 27 Jan 16 - 09:31 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,ND 27 Jan 16 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 10:05 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,ND 27 Jan 16 - 10:54 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,ND 27 Jan 16 - 12:19 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 01:09 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 01:38 PM
Jim Carroll 27 Jan 16 - 01:46 PM

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Subject: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 06:32 AM

23 Traveller families have been evicted from an 'unofficial' site in Dundalk, County Louth this week – First reports said the eviction was carried out with the assistance of armed police, but there has been no confirmation of this.
The site was originally an official halting site, but was closed by the Council 8 years ago – the water and sewage facilities were ripped out and the electricity disconnected – no alternative accommodation was offered and the site has remained derelict ever since
The Travellers re-occupied the site when they had nowhere else to go.
They walked out of e meeting with the council on Thursday when council officials suggested that the men could move into a hostel in Drogheda and the women to a shelter in Dundalk – it was suggested that foster homes should be found for the children .
They are now scattered over a number of unofficial stopping places without facilities and have been offered no alternative. - No social or affordable housing has been built by the Council though there is funding available for Traveller accommodation.
The TFamiles are on the car park of an industrial unit, without electricity, water or
The council offices remained closed all day yesterday to avoid confrontation with those evicted.
A similar situation, with a smaller number of travellers (including 15 children) has been postponed for the time being on the other side of the country, in Galway.
Last month, following a horrific fire which caused the deaths of ten people, including 5 children, at Carrickmines, in County Dublin – plans to offer the survivors a temporary site were ababndoned when the residents of nearby Rathmines protested.
The families are now stopping in a car park without sanitation, water or electricity.
The attitude towards Travellers has always been bad, but this now verges on ethnic cleansing
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 07:21 AM

They walked out of e meeting with the council on Thursday when council officials suggested that the men could move into a hostel in Drogheda and the women to a shelter in Dundalk – it was suggested that foster homes should be found for the children .

break up families, just like to old workhouse days

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 07:36 AM

Meanwhile in Scotland:

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/councillors-should-stand-up-to-travellers-1.921065

That is surely incitement to hate crime but I can't find the right place on Police Scotland's site to report it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 08:11 AM

Both are just appalling stories. The Scottish one may just be the opinion of one deranged and disaffected letter writer but Jim's story of organised and co-ordinated civic and police action is outrageous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 10:09 AM

"organised and co-ordinated civic and police action is outrageous"
Outrageous maybe Vic, but hardly unusual around here.
Since we moved to this town 18 years ago, it has been the practice of the police whenever Travellers are in the area to visit all the bars and instruct them to close until they have gone away.
They tell the publicans that they will not respond to calls for assistance should any trouble break out
We've gone into town on numerous occasions only to find all pubs locked - entry by vetting only
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 01:06 PM

Yup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 05:10 PM

Yup again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 05:32 PM

Has Amnesty International been informed does anyone know?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 05:36 PM

As I'm sure Jim would agree Ewan's wonderful song was a lament for the passing of a way of life and a culture. A culture that I have some memory of....."They'll soon have machines....and the travellin' queens and their menfolk will need tae be shiftin".

I remember the travelling queens in Bute and the small farms of Mid Argyll....the tattie howkin' the shawin' o' neeps.....all gone just as MacColl prophesied.

Sorrowfully they are a sector of society which has just run out of road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Gutcher
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 02:21 AM

The tattie howkin, neep shawin, hay and corn harvest, all jobs where the travellers and the unemployed could garner a few bob, have indeed all gone, farms are now so mechanised that some farmers cannot even employ their own family members.
My last sighting of a travelling family with a horse drawen rig was in a Fife village, where, their cuddie must have died, the father was yoked between the trams and the rest of the family were all pushing behind up a lang stey brae.
When visiting our son in County Leitrim a few years back, on the day of a traveller funeral all the pubs remained closed for the full day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 05:22 AM

"Has Amnesty International been informed does anyone know?"
There is talk about involving the European Courts, but whether the hand-to-mouth Traveller organisations can manage it is another matter - there isn't the groundswell of support here that there used to be in Britain - students, sympathetic solicitors, Councillors - dislike of the Travellers here is fairly widespread.
A few years ago a Traveller was 'executed' by a farmer who suspected him of intending to burgle his property.
The farmer shot the man, beat him with a stick while he lay on the ground, went in and reloaded, came out and administered the coupe-de-grace - shot him dead.
The farmer never denied it, fully expected to be sent to prison - the jury thought it was a reasonable thing to do and acquitted him.
It really doesn't get plainer than that.
"Sorrowfully they are a sector of society which has just run out of road."
That is one of the arguments used to excuse what if happening here - it is also rife in Britain.
They haven't "run out of road" - the road deliberately.
It really does't help to reminisce about the "old ways" and the horse-drawn caravans - it's not like that anymore - some of these romances are a fantasy anyway - George Borrow's pipe-dream.
The irony of all this is that millions are being spent to provide a few Travellers housing (that most of them don't want anyway) while it would be far more economical to provide reasonably equipped halting sites where they can stay or go - the ones we visited in Britain, like the one in Winterbourne, outside Bristol, or the huge one outside Swindon, worked perfectly and the Travellers responded well to it.
The Traveller dedicated housing units here are little more than walled, cramped, expensive to build concrete ghettos shielded from the public gaze.
The spite shown towards Travellers is typified by the action of Louth Council in driving the families off, destroying the facilities and leaving the site empty for as long as they did - not as if the land was needed - pretty much the same as the scrap yard that became The Dale Farm site.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 05:39 AM

The point is Jim, that they have become a sector of society without a purpose. I agree that the "travellers" of today have little relationship to the culture which used to exist.

As amongst any hopeless and purposeless community, problems arise, the same problems which affect many sectors of society.
The person who was shot, could just as easily have been a drug addict looking for money to service his habit.....I don't think he would have been targeted simply because he was a "traveller".
Round here, alcohol and drug addiction are very common amongst the "travellers"....they are considered by the vast majority of the population as anti social, perhaps it is time for the community to conform to societal norms regarding their way of life.

In saying that, I am saddened by the change in farming practices pointed out by Gutcher.....it has made the West of Scotland a poorer place in so many ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Kampervan
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 06:03 AM

The trouble is that these guys are 'different', they don't fit into a nice pigeon-hole and so the authorities don't like them. They're more difficult to control.

I really can't see what's wrong with establishing sites for travellers to stop at, AS THE LAW DEMANDS as I understand it.

This is going to be a really sad world when we finally lose all of those who are different from the norm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 08:30 AM

"The point is Jim, that they have become a sector of society without a purpose. "
Have no idea what that means - how can any sector of society have no purpose -
They are among the most resourceful and adaptable people I have ever come across
One source of living disappears, they find another
Among them are skilled tradesmen, and were they aren't, they learn when they are allowed to.
Regular employment is virtually impossible if they haven't a permanent address, as is education.
What people tend to forget is that most Travellers don't travel - they never did to any great extent.
WE mapped out the route of one of our most traditional Travellers, used in the 19406/50s in Kerry and West Cork - a 70 mile circuit.
The family travelled in the Spring, Summer and Autumn and rented a house in the winter - that was when the kids got their small education.
City dwelling Travellers adapted to the changes when they managed to get onto sites, but they have become less and less since the John Major government repealed the law making it compulsory for Councils to provide so many sites in each area.
WE saw Travellers move through three stages of employment during the time we worked with them; collecting scrap metal, tarmacking and then laying fancy tiled drives - they were also skilled carpenters, some retained the skills of metalwork, in London, some still sold sold horses at Southall weekly horse afir (anything from donkeys to thoroughbreds).
THey worked on the roads, sold bric-a-brac in the street markets (we even knew a man who sold paintings at Southerby's), roofing, casual farm work
WE did a programme on Kerry Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy for Irish radio - he took ten minutes to list and describe all the jobs he had done in his lifetime
The people we knew were the most versatile people I've ever come across.
Rural Travellers here are the same, given the chance but as there are a minuscule number of places for them to stop, that is hardly an option now.
The day we talk about "societies without a purpose" is the day we think about building the extermination cams (as was seriously suggested by a politician on the radio ballad, The Travelling people) - who knows - that may provide yet another source of employment for some Travellers!!
Jim Carroll
Now for something completely different - need help - hit the wrong button on my PC and the font has reduced itself to an unreadable size - how do I restore it (PM will do)
Am having to access this forum on a lap-top - hate it, hate it, hate it
Many thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,#
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 08:57 AM

First, Jim. Thank you for the explanation.

*******************************************

Second, GUEST, Date: 24 Jan 16 - 08:30 AM

Shut it down and restart the damned thing. I have your machine's twin, if not in manufacture at least in temperament.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 08:59 AM

Jim, Control plus "+" (shift key not needed)


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 09:16 AM

Many thanks for the advice Guest# and Acme - tried shutting it down - didn't work.
Control "+" worked like a charm on this - will return to Big Bertha later.
"You're blood's worth bottling" (or "you're handier than a small pot") as they say in Dublin.
Never get used to the readiness to help on this forum, thanks again
Jim Caroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,#
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 11:02 AM

Thanks, Acme. I'll try that too.

Jim, I don'tknow whether you're aware of a 'movement' named Freeman on the Land. When you have a spare ten minutes there is a good overview of it at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemen_on_the_land


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 03:21 PM

Jim, things may be different in Ireland, but here everybody knows the arse has fallen out of the scrap business.....none of the travellers round here are tradesmen....they take on some roofing work which I nine times out of ten, have to replace ....at half the price.
Most of it is extremely shoddy and executed with no knowledge of building practice.

I repeat, they no longer have a place in society where they can lead a nomadic existence AND provide for the welfare of their families and themselves.....

I notice that you did not address the high levels of alcoholism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 05:45 PM

"Jim, things may be different in Ireland, but here everybody knows the arse has fallen out of the scrap business"
The bottom fell out of the scrap business in the 80s Ake - keep up.
"none of the travellers round here are tradesmen"
How do you know - bad experience - we've had some god--awful plumbers working for us - none of them Travellers.
Sorry Ake - we're getting a bit of stereotyping here - the tradesmen I described above were all in London.
"I repeat, they no longer have a place in society where they can lead a nomadic existence AND provide for the welfare of their families and themselves..."
More stereotyping here - Travellers, gicven the opportunity, are quite capable of providing for their families themselves
Have you ever tried to bring up a family on the pittance given out on welfare.
You remind me of all thsoe people interviewed at the end of The Travelling people - "why can't they live like us" - _they don't want to live like us" - they're not real Travellers - real travellers live in horse draw caravans with a dark-haired bint dancing around an open fire banging a tambourine".
You want to meet real Travellers - go and spend some proper time with them.
Sorry - been here a thousand times before, usually with Conservatives.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Tyler Alderson
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 10:11 PM

I have had some experience with Travellers, having done my MA dissertation as few years back on them and their ballad singing. I have to say, Akenaton has a point, although perhaps Jim is right to question some of his wording.

The fact of the matter is, there was a time when you needed a good few hands at certain points in the farming schedule, but not at others. Travellers would work their routes such that they'd be in certain places in certain times, so you could count on people being there for the harvest without needing to hire them for the whole year. Many I talked to pointed out that everyone knew them and knew they were coming, and would have jobs for them to do once they got there.

Now, the mechanization of farming means that there are very few of these jobs left. Couple that with the rise of plastic making tinwork generally obsolete, the rise of machines making horses and donkeys generally obsolete, and the rise of online buying making traveling salespeople generally obsolete, and you've cut out most of the work Travellers used to do.

I've had many Travellers themselves tell me what I think akenaton is trying to say, that their traditional lifestyle and occupations are gone. And I do think that he's correct when he says that this has thrown their community into an existential crisis, where many do wonder what their "purpose" is. Much like in any marginalized community, there's a debate over how much to "assimilate" into the general population and how much to maintain their own social and cultural identity. Many more are getting leaving certs and even going to college now than ever before. Some try desperately to "pass" as settled by masking their Traveller heritage. Others proudly assert their heritage.

I talked to a young man whose father is a tinsmith. His father has ten children, and only he, the youngest, has taken any interest in tinsmithing (and even then he doesn't do much of it). I asked him why, and he told me that while they all know it's part of their heritage and culture, there's absolutely no money in it. Why take all that time to learn something when it won't feed your kids, especially if you have to work as hard as they do to find any kind of job? He's taken it on as a cultural endeavor, but it's not a "useful" trade anymore outside of that.

Jim, I too know many Travellers who are capable of supporting themselves and their children. But I think akenaton's point is that their itinerant lifestyle is not conducive to this, and again, I agree there. While I don't doubt that there are those who can still travel and do this, the vast majority of people need to have at least a semi-permanent residence in order to earn a steady income.

Are they a "hopeless and purposeless" people? No, I'd say there are many who still have hope, but I have met many who have pessimistic outlooks on the future of the community. And it is a fact that their original "purpose" (providing seasonal labor and facilitating the exchange of goods between regions), which they performed admirably for hundreds of years, is now largely gone. They're resourceful, yes, and I hope they find new areas to thrive in, but right now they're in a very tough transition phase.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 04:22 AM

Thanks Tyler.

Jim, we ALL have to conform to societal norms in all sorts of ways.
It seems to me that modern travellers are out of time....we need to have a look at how society is made up and working, construct a society where everyone is valued.......and that's us back to the old argument regarding financial aspiration as opposed to social strength and welfare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 04:41 AM

I don't see this so much as there being, or indeed needing to be a purpose for a community. Members of many communities have learned new skills. Members of communities from the Indian sub-continent are to be found throughout the retain and IT industries, for example and also finance and law. Members of communities from Africa and the Caribbean seem very prevalent in the caring professions. Without people from non-English communities our hospitals would collapse, and there seem to be many many Eastern European dentists. These are not purposes as such, merely callings or ways to make a living.

The Traveller and Romany communities traditionally had a hostility to literacy and schooling (for Star Trek fans, consider the Ferengi), and as a result they are now at a disadvantage in the conventional jobs markets. But since the advent of mobile communication and the internet this need not be so, and for many many years there have been Travellers and Romanies (by descent) who have been conventionally economically active. I know tolerably well one woman who was born underneath a set of railway arches, and married a "muddy" (longshore bait-digger). Her children are for example in the police and teaching. She is largely retired but was a schools assistant. I know quite well one chap whose family were "carny" but he made his way both in logistics and in IT. I know very well another whose maternal ascendants were Romany, who spent a long time in the navy (becoming an officer) then logistics, eventually becoming disabled by back injuries.

It seems to me that there are two questions. Should the old ways be remembered and cherished? I think so. Africans and Caribbeans would be emotionally poorer if Black history were not celebrated, and First Americans and Australians should celebrate their histories. So should Travellers and Romanies. Secondly, should they be preserved without evolution? I cannot see that. In all four cases unless Disnified they would be pathways to being trapped in poverty and disadvantage. What would make sense would be modern educational access in a mobile context, and the enablement of sufficient access to empower an itinerant lifestyle until the carrot of economic empowerment caused that lifestyle to fade away.

It won't happen with conservatives racists and bigots in power though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 04:45 AM

Whether static or mobile, perhaps more emphasis should be placed here on consistent full time education for travellers children.
Surely a responsibility should be paramount over all other considerations ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 04:49 AM

I see Richard amply addressed my post while I ws still typing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 05:31 AM

"But I think akenaton's point is that their itinerant lifestyle is not conducive to this, "
As things stanbd at the present time this is true - their lifestyle has been destroyed by the fact that they have been deliberately forced off the road and onto permanent sites,
The Major Government ended the legal obligation to provide permanent sites (which were never adequate anyway) and the situation is that the majority of Travellers simply have nowhere to stop - nowhere.
Some ghettoiesed Traveller housing has been built here - a pinprick compared to the overall problem, a few crude halting sites exist - usually miles from the towns, with a standpipe, portable toilets and a single light - but by and large there are only unofficial sites with no facilities whatever.
Settled people refuse to have them living in houses near to them.
The winter we moved here, a caravan fire left a family homeless.
The council, in a rare display of charity, agreed to house the family until after Christmas and found them an empty house on a small estate.
THe residents formed a mob for a few nights, stood in the roadway chanting "Travelers out, residents in".
The family persevered for a time but finally, when the mother and her kids were stopped on the main street and told, "If you hang around you'll be needing the services of the fire department again",
thay left and spent Christmas in a borrowed tourer holiday caravan in a car park next to the Atlantic   
A local meeting was organised by the Bishop of Kilaloe, to try and reconcile the situation - he was more or less told to mind his own business.
Travellers are not trying to maintain their itinerant lifestyle - they are fighting to stay alive.
No idea what your solution is Tyler, but I sense the same old hostility and total misunderstanding we encountered for over the thirty years in our work with Travellers from Ake.
I opened this thread to explain what has happened recently here - it is one of many examples and it stands to accelerate.
I really would appreciate some human feedback rather than having Travellers being presented as "problems" rather than human beings.
The last time I heard Travellers described as "a sector of society without a purpose" was by Councillor and JP, Harry Watton who recommended that those who would not change "the impossibles" be exterminated - that was in 1963.
Things have got unbelievably worse since then.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 05:54 AM

By the way Richard - throughout the time we worked with Travellers there was no opposition to literacy - students supporting them actually hired old buses and set up schools which were well attended until the Councils closed them down.
Travellers, certainly over here, have now set up their own literacy, art and education programmes, often unfunded.
Travellers who have nowhere permanent to stop are at an immediate disadvantage as far as general education is concerned and the persecutiuon that goes on in schools, both from pupils and in some sad cases, by teachers, is considerable.
As far as literacy being a disadvantage - my experiences in the building trade have shown literacy never to have been a issue -ever - office work maybe, but not the type of work Travellers tend to take up.
Employers are reluctant to take on people who can't provide an address, not because they can't read and write.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 06:02 AM

You fail to see that society, not the travellers per se, is the PROBLEM.

There is unfortunately no immediate sign that any meaningful change is about to take place in society......you should know what needs to be done, yet you stick to the illusion of social change which we have seen over the last couple of decades.
Financial aspiration has killed many cultures ruined our environment and most importantly to me, desolated the countryside and ways of life in which the travellers were an integral part.

I have worked with the old Scottish tinkers, shared a can of tea and a wee dram with them after weary days on our hands and knees thinning turnips in the long dry summers, under the whirling tumbling Peewits and listening to their wild melancholy cries.....makes me sad just to think about it.......all gone, even the Peesies and all the other birds which were the evening song of the West of Scotland....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 07:42 AM

"You fail to see that society, not the travellers per se, is the PROBLEM."
On the contrary - a society that will not accept anybody whose lifestyle is "different" is exactly the problem.
Laws have been introduced and in the Travellers case rescinded, to bring about necessary changes - the simple act of providing land with drainage sanitation water and electricity is all that is necessary to alleviate the present situation - there is no shortage of land nad evicting Travellers costs far more than leaving them where they are - got and look how it cost to clear dale Farm.
Travellers are numbered in thousands in Britain and in Ireland - they are not being allowed to stay where they are and settled people don't want them living next door - you work out the horrifying alternative.
It is not finance but greed which is killing cultures in Britain - and in the world -go and look at the percentages of who owns what in the world today - unimaginable.
Travellers wealth don't even blip on the figures.
Humanity is destroying the planet; global warming, greenhouse gases, rain- forest destruction... acquisition.... - not alternative lifestyles
All your romantic reminiscences don't begin to address the real problem - there is a process of ethnic cleansing taking place in these islands at the present time - if it continues, Travellers will become Britain's Native Americans, Maoris, Australian Aborigines..... races of people who have been deliberately wiped out by "progress".
Simple question Ake - I have outlined what I believe is happening now - at this moment.
How do you suggest the present situation is dealt with - or don't you believe it exists (sorry - two simple questions)
Please try to address your answers (if you are intending to give any) to the fact that we are talking about human beings - men, women and children, and not "a problem"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 08:53 AM

Read my post again Jim.....of course modern society is the problem, but travellers have no option but to conform in the short term. Hopefully sometime in the future we shall see a REAL societal change in which people are not measured by how much money they are capable of gathering together, but in what they contribute to society.

I feel you are being rather deliberately obtuse, you asked me to go and meet some actual travellers and I responded that I have worked and socialised with them probably before you stopped pissing your pants.   You have an obsession with bigotry, you see it in every doorway except the one in which it dwells.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 09:03 AM

Another thing Scottish and Irish Travellers are not a "race", but a Group, most descendants of the old clan system, or Lowland Scots itinerants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 09:32 AM

"Another thing Scottish and Irish Travellers are not a "race", but a Group,"
Can't speak for the UK but recent research has dated based on DNA has dated Irish 'Tinkers' back as far as the Bronze Age, I suspect (based on Lucy Duran's wonderful programmes of twenty years odd ago) that this is the case with all Travellers in these Islands.
"but travellers have no option but to conform in the short term."
And you appear to be equally obtuse - how can they conform if they have no stopping places and are refused access to settled property.
There is no "short term" about this - like in Tesco's sale 'when they're gone, they're gone'
Our thirty odd year association with Travellers didn't just consist of sitting around the campfire for a cosy chat - it was thirty years of interviewing them intensively, first about their oral culture and early history, and later about their urban experience - this included witnessing evictions and actual examples of persecution and, on a number of occasions, actually being subjected to that persecution ourselves because of our associating with "those people".
One night we got a call from one family in Hackney
Their 14 year old son had been arrested, unbeknownst to the parents, not charged, but told he fitted the description of someone who had been seen breaking into a house in Birmingham, driven up to that fair city in a police car, still not charged, and finally released without being questioned - and left to make his own way back to Hackney with about a fiver in his pocket.
I think I've mentioned my playing a part in preventing a fire-bomb attack on an unofficial site on Streatham Common because of a mouthy workmate whose brother-in-law and his neighbours were organising the event - as I was once told by an attractive young lady when I attempted to bat above my league "Come back when you've got hairs on it".
I have no "obsession with bigotry" - I say what I see, and you really aren't helping to change what I'm seeing here.
I ask again - what do you propose should happen to those being ethnically cleansed, or am I imagining it all?
You have little to add to the discussion here other than to express your disapproval of Travellers lifestyle - just like all those nice householders at the end of 'The Travelling People'
Did You know that, shortly after the radio ballad was made, a Midlands Council received a large sum of Government money tp ease the lot of Travellers in their area - they used it to evict the Travellers and fence off the sites.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Tyler Alderson
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 04:34 PM

Jim, I think yourself, myself, and akenaton are all in agreement that society has failed the Travellers, and that discrimination, NIMBYism, and a general lack of caring (and worse) has forced them into their unfortunate predicament. I also think we're all in agreement that the general public should be much less hostile to Travellers, and that they should be allowed to live, work, and travel as they please.

I sense no hostility towards Travellers in akenaton's posts. Instead, I get the opinion that the old lifestyle of travelling and doing various jobs is at this point sadly unsustainable. With that, I think you'll find little argument not only from me, but from many members of the Travelling community.

As for my solution, I don't have one, or at least not an overarching one (one should always be wary of final solutions anyway). Really, the solutions should come from inside the community, since they know what's best for themselves better than we ever would. But if you asked me what should be done, I'd say that expanding access to education, skills/job training, and public services is key. The education system has completely failed Travellers, which has left the ones my age (20s) in the lurch without sellable skills or even basic literacy. I'd also say that we need to address the health problems running rampant among Travellers, particularly mental health issues like drug abuse, suicide, and depression. Housing needs to be found for those that want it, with proper utilities and in suitable areas, rather than shoved in the forgotten corners on the outskirts of towns. Trespass and right-of-way laws should be relaxed and suitable halting sites established for those who can still travel.

All of these have one thing in common, which is that they require the cooperation of both the general public and the Travelling community. I think this is the hardest part, because of a general distrust on both sides. I was told many times as I was welcomed into homes that the response may have been different if I had been a settled Irish person rather than an American. I think many of the things you've mentioned give a good sense of why that is. Settled people have their own horror stories about Travellers, many untrue or exaggerated for sure, but others that need to be acknowledged and dealt with. The media's portrayal of Travellers gives many people who've never actually met one a very bad impression, which is a problem that should be remedied.

All in all, I think one of the best things to realize is that everyone in this thread has been sympathetic to the plight of the Travellers, and wants to help. It would be best if, rather than fighting over words and phrases, we joined as advocates for helping Travellers get what they need and deserve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 05:20 PM

I think you need to read Akenhateon's old posts. I infer that his present assertion that the traveller community is purposeless is a dog whistle for genocide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Tyler Alderson
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 06:11 PM

Possibly. Or maybe his point of the community being "purposeless" is not some sort of condemnation of the community but an observation of the mood of the community. It's not that they are inherently "purposeless" (what would that even mean?), it's that they are seen as and made to FEEL purposeless. It used to be that Travellers were needed by people to do various jobs, and now that those jobs are generally gone, people don't see the need for Travellers. So, they figure they should get a house and a 9-5 and get along like the rest of us do. They, in essence, feel like Travellers have no purpose, and this has become engrained in the way society talks about Travellers. Assimilation is the name of the game and has been for a while, and if they won't assimilate, well, that's their problem.

Of course, this is awful rhetoric, and like you said, there is no inherent "purpose" needed for a community. But that doesn't mean that the existential crisis of the past 50 years for Travellers can't be boiled down to the fact that many people (and not just settled people) feel that the community is, for lack of a better term, purposeless.

Again, maybe I'm not picking up what he's been putting down, but this is the impression I get.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 06:14 PM

Richard is referring o posts of mine concerning modern "travellers" who were using a purpose built site near where I live to store and deal drugs to local addicts.
They also were involved in money lending and extortion at knife point.
These people were taking advantage of their special status grouping and where the site was situated to evade prosecution.
Anti discrimination legislation made arrests difficult. Finally the site had to be closed and the families rehoused in more accessible accommodation where the police could keep tabs on them.

I followed the situation for a number of years and have spoken to the young victims of these thugs........they are not what I would refer to as travellers, but they were using the legislation to their advantage and to the terrorising of the drug users, many of whom carry the scars to prove it.

Being sympathetic to the predicament of travellers does not equate to the support of brutal thugs....to serve an agenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 06:49 PM

Travellers do themselves no favours by colluding with popular media to be depicted as undereducated bare knuckle fighting thugs,
backwards religious reactionaries, or ridiculously over extravagant tasteless gaudy teenage virgin brides ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 07:43 PM

Ya sure they ain't Muslims too, Guest?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 07:47 PM

Greg, why would UK travellers portray themselves on TV or elsewhere to be muslims.
Please explain your fuddled comment ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 07:57 PM

The 06.14 and 06.49 posts are nothing other than blatant demonising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 08:43 PM

"I get the opinion that the old lifestyle of travelling and doing various jobs is at this point sadly unsustainable."
I made a point of saying right at the beginning that I believe this attitude was romantic nonsense - it is Ake who constantly harks back to it - not me.
"I sense no hostility towards Travellers in akenaton's posts"
Anybody who uses a term like "The point is Jim, that they have become a sector of society without a purpose." is hostile, as far as I'm concerned - no section of society has "a purpose" other than to do the best for their family and stay alive - the Travellers are probably the most protective and loving people towards their children that I ever met.
"Really, the solutions should come from inside the community,"
No they most certainly don't - not for us in the settled community nor for Travellers -
None of us decides to be homeless - it is beyond our control - yet count the number of homeless people in Britain and Ireland today - what alternative have they?
Mental health issues, drink and drugs is due first to urbanization Travellers moving into cities and youngsters picking up city habits.
Drugs were rife in Britain in the 'Swingin' Sixties' yet the Travelling communities were relatively untouched by the phenomenon.
Sure - there is a drink problem among Travellers - if I was forced to endure they conditions thay have to I'd probably rat-arsed every night.
A Traveller boasted on 'The Travelling People' that 'Wars and murders were aspects of settled, not Travelling life - and he was right - MacColl even wrote a short song about it entitled ' The Gypsies Answer'

"They say we leave litter and mess up the land,
We're the dirty Travelling people.
But who laid the blight on each mill and factory site?
Was it us - or the Gorgio people?

They say we're a menace to the health of the land,
The unhealthy Travelling people.
But who poisoned the air and the rivers everywhere?
Is it us - or the Gorgio people?

They say we're dishonest, not worthy of trust,
The thieving Travelling people.
But who kills for gain, who robs banks and holds up trains?
Is it us - or the Gorgio people?

They say we are quarrelsome, given to blows,
The violent Travelling people.
But who starts the wars, breaks the first of human laws?
Is it us - or the Gorgio people?

They say we are backward, retarded and dull,
The ignorant Travelling people.
But who judges and condemns those who're different to them?
Why you do - the Gorgio people."

A survey was done in Britain in the seventies and it was found that the most common convicted crime among Travellers was not possessing vehicle tax and insurance - official.
Travellers do know what's best for themselves, but they are the last people to be consulted when it comes to legislating on Travelling life.
The authorities decide that Travellers can no longer remain on the road - even though it is far more economical to keep them there rather than build largely unwanted houses in walled-off ghettos      
When sites are built they are never consulted - their needs are decided by outsiders - social prejudice takes precedence over both Travellers need or even economic considerations.
Travellers once played an essential part in rural life, both in Britain and Ireland - things moved on and the Travellers adapted - it is the settled communities and the authorities who have failed to adapt to the fact that, all of a sudden we have this community of strangers amongst us - Britain has never come to terms with immigration for pretty much the same reasons - an inbuilt fear and mistrust of strangers.
Anybody who has spent any length of time with Travellers will know that, once your get to know them, and they you, they are friendly, gregarious and embarrassingly generous -
They have no great culture of acquisition, so much so that, if you openly admire something they have, you will end up taking it home, whether you want it or not -
I'll tell you about a gold necklace Pat still treasures sometime, or the time I went into a pub (in my working clothes) in Battersea looking for a Traveller who was not there, and refused a drink from a another Traveller I had never and began to head home
I was taken outside and given a fiver because he thought I had refused because I couldn't afford to buy a drink in return.
The people we recorded became friends - some of those friendships lasted as long as the time we worked with them -
I'm not a particularly weepy person but one of the few times I openly wept was when we were informed over the phone that Mikeen McCarthy had died.
You say Travellers need to co-operate - with what exactly? -
All they are being asked to co-operate in at present time is their own destruction - there is simply nothing whatever on offer - Where are they supposed to go - to foster homes and hostels and refuges, as suggested by the Louth Council.
None of this is in any way new.
At the height of the housing boom in London, Hammersmith Council, under Mrs T's friend, Lady Porter (she who moved council tenants into asbestos-riddled flats so she could sell their former homes privately and alter the election balance of the Borough) - moved the Travellers to a legally required Travellers site under the elevated section of the Shepherds Bush Flyover - it was found to have one of the greatest concentrations of lead fumes in Europe.
You don't have a solution - my heart bleeds for you!"
Can you explain why Travellers could not be found halting sites with basic facilities where they can stay, or go for periods, if they wish - I'm buggered if I can
It's a far cheaper solution than evicting them and a million times more economical than the walled concrete ghettos that house something less than twenty percent of Travellers on the road today?   
Sorry to be so long winded, but for further reading, I suggest you read anything written by Sharon and George Gmelch, or, for Britain, the superbly humane, 'The Gypsies' by Civil Servant and eventually Chairman of the British Board of Customs, Sir Angus Fraser.
The latter contains all the humanity and understanding that is missing from this discussion.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 10:40 PM

Steve - you are inadvertently mistaking the 06:49 PM post for demonisation.
Read it again and note the emphatic question marks.

I trust your usual intelligence to now realise this.

It is a valid question based on individuals / minority sectors of the travelling community
prostituting and distorting their culture on TV for the prurient entertainment of the mass audience.

By shaking hands with TV production companies and accepting big fat £££s
they knowingly conform to and confirm the negative stereotyping that Jim here is so fiercely fighting against.

[re: Hegemony]

They are guilty of collusion against the real positive interests of their community for their own petty personal individual profit.

Oh well, if I have to be forced into explaining a point that was offered as an open question to stimulate discussion.

You don't sign your name to your most contentious posts, "Guest." Is it a valid request that you stand up and take responsibility for your opinions when they're so abrasive? ---mudelf


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 01:19 AM

IF your not
Living on the edge

Your takin up room

Sliversprings Guru


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 03:26 AM

It's funny how the rest of society can act.

A good few years ago, at a public meeting I was being questioned (I chaired the local health authority at the time) by members of a Parish Council over our attempts to send health visitors into a nearby traveller camp, their beef being spending public money on them.

Despite all the positive reasons I (with support from our director of public health) gave, the saddest part for me was that nobody was interested in the health of the children at the camp, but seemed satisfied with our action when we pointed out the prevalence of TB in the traveller community and that they share pubs and supermarkets with local people.

Whatever views are of individual traveller contact, and when in business I have had a factory unit broken into and tools stolen, later recovered in a police raid on the site next to the industrial estate, and no, I wasn't a bit surprised.. People are people are humans.

Humanity is important, or should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 04:28 AM

"By shaking hands with TV production companies and accepting big fat £££s they knowingly conform to and confirm the negative stereotyping that Jim here is so fiercely fighting against."
This is, of course true - like all basically poor people, Travellers will make money where they can to support their families.
I find the hypocrisy towards bare-fist fighting stunning.
It is a detestable 'sport' - as it was when I was an apprentice on the Liverpool Docks in the 1950s/early sixties, where I, had I been that way inclined, could find out where the latest 'cash fight' was taking place and spend my lunchtime watching two men stripped to the waist beating each other to a pulp with bare fists.
If I wished, I could have gone off to a badger baiting, or a dog-fight or a cock fight a few miles outside the city.
The kicking matches, where two mill workers would stand facing each other wearing wooden shoes, and take turns at kicking each other's shins until one of them could bear the pain no longer had, sadly, not long gone.
Mikeen McCarthy's father, Michael senior, was a miner for a time, and he prize fought bare fisted in the South Wales mines - with miners (he was the only Traveller in the game there).
I was once taken to a 'coursing match' by a tradesman where I worked, in Waterloo, North Liverpool - perfectly legal (it remains one of the popular 'sports' here in rural Ireland).
The sound and vision of two dogs fighting over a live hare, one holding one leg, the other another, until they managed to tear it in half, while men formed a ring and placed bets as to which of them would 'win' has never left me.
Nowadays, if I was into blood sports, I can turn on tele and watch two men beat each other brain-dead with gloves on.
Or I might even go into the countryside here and see groups of mounted men setting off to hound a fox to death - slowly and extremely reluctantly becoming a thing of the past.
Sex - now there's a thing - I can trawl the net and watch couples shagging whenever I choose - if I was into that sort of thing, I could find the same happening to children, and I'm assured that snuff movies, where women are filmed being raped and even killed are doing the rounds.
One of the sports around here is boy-racing, where young men climb into cars and turn our lanes into death traps - often killing and maiming themselves and innocent locals in the process.
We take the piss out of young Traveller women who marry in grotesque costumes yet happily accept all the risible fashions that appear on our screens in 'fashion shows' or in 'extremely Come Dancing - or some of those shows (very popular in the U.S. I understand), where parents dress up children (sometimes little older than toddlers) in adult costumes, complete with full makeup and hair styles, as 'jail bait' for the titillation of adults.
Don't get me started on the stylised violence that is on offer nightly - sometimes meriting its own channel.
We accept all these without a blink, yet hold up our hands in horror when a people who have been culturally and socially marginalised continue with a small number of practices that were still fairly common within my lifetime certainly.
The Travellers we knew were a highly moral people - we must have attended a dozen weddings (not a sign of the big frocks in those days - unless you counted Confirmation Dresses) - the parents went to sometimes extreme measures to ascertain that their daughters remained virgins right up to marriage.
Here we are - I opened a thread on what is happening to Travellers in Irealnd this very minute and am once again back to fighting to defend the people who are at the brunt of social ostracisation and persecution - funny old world!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 04:48 AM

"You don't sign your name to your most contentious posts, "Guest." Is it a valid request that you stand up and take responsibility for your opinions when they're so abrasive? ---mudelf"


[ mudelf - I use a consistent recognizable name when matters relate to my own personal life,
or the 'comedic' semi fictional world associated with that name & persona.

(except for when I simply forget to type a name)

But I remain anonymous when the point is more important and pertinent to a discussion
than the ID of the person making it.

These are my personal general rules of conduct and engagement

As a moderator of a board plagued by ad hominem rancour and stalking from thread to thread,
you should understand and respect this choice of modes of expression;
rather than getting obsessive with IP addresses, and adding your own unwarranted petty sniping comments.

The other alternative is multiple guest IDs depending on the thread and subject matter;
but we've already been there and agreed it is not positively conducive to mudcat community cohesion...??? ]


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 05:34 AM

If guest posting is allowed, moderators should not harass those who comment as guests. Simple really.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 07:27 AM

No posting without logging in. Everyone has a unique moniker. Jesus, it's so bloody hard, isn't it, mods? It's your system so don't knock it when "Guests" (and what a laugh THAT is!!) abuse it. Which they do, often, and which they are doing in this thread. The whole point is to make you think twice before you say bloody stupid or abusive things, because you know you can be identified and exposed, and, if necessary, sanctioned. It helps to protect everyone from abuse. I'm sick of hearing sanctimonious guff from "Guests" giving us their fake rationale for wishing to be anonymous. You can be anonymous even under those rules. I haven't a clue who akenaton is and have no wish to know. Make us log in. Make us have unique monikers. So easy. So sensible. Absolutely not a single reason in the world for not doing it. Not one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 07:46 AM

The mods are the law around here, they do a difficult job usually rather well.....a few little slips but we are all human.

I they wanted to do so, they could expose/exclude all the ABUSIVE guests, but they are good souls.....better than me :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 07:49 AM

I didn't actually mean expose them by revealing their true identities, to be clear. And I don't see how you can exclude anyone for very long when you can post without logging in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:11 AM

Jim Carroll wrote:-
"They have no great culture of acquisition, so much so that, if you openly admire something they have, you will end up taking it home, whether you want it or not - "


How true! It taught me not to admire items in the homes of settled travellers in Scotland for the embarrassment that ensued when that item was immediately offered to you as a gift. Similarly, after you had stayed a short time in their houses and a good conversation had just started when without asking if we were hungry, a cooked meal would turn up for us. I can remember times when we had just eaten and had to tuck into another meal for fear on our parts that we would be giving offence.
The lack of a great culture of acquisition that Jim mentions is central. If they have had a good day with money, they immediately became millionaires spending and lending until it was gone with no thought for the morrow. This is just another of the qualities that make their communities alienated from profit-driven Britain and Ireland where even health, care and education are increasingly in the hands of the acquisitive and exploitative.
In contact with Scots travellers, I found an almost child-like enthusiasm for life despite all the venomous discrimination that they were subject to. Again, child-like, huge rows would flare up where you thought a fight was inevitable and five minutes later all was peaceable as if nothing had happened. Professionally, I had many contacts with English travellers from my senior positions in Special Education and I always found myself acting as their advocate, seeking understanding for the difficulties these families found themselves in.
The similarities of the lifestyle and position in a rapidly changing society of the Travellers in the British Isles and the Manding jalis of West Africa that we have spent so much time with in the last 20 years (we are off there again for another five weeks at the beginning of February) is remarkable. One thing is certain; some of the most enjoyable, rewarding times of my life has been spent with these two very different, very similar communities even though it is sometimes difficult to empathise with or understand cultural differences.
It is what we have gained from these contacts, the kindnesses that we have been shown, that makes us, and I am sure Jim Carroll too, such fierce defenders of the travelling communities in virtually all circumstances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:16 AM

Steve, I disagree with your severe rant regarding 'GUEST' posts.
There.. now what..?

Behind the scenes, mods depending on Hi Tech capabilities, should be able to identify IP addresses like fingerprints ?

That's mudcat admin business - not yours or mine - and for the most part they deserve our respect and cooperation.


You'e stated yet again your entrenched view on guests.
I equally believe threads like this are ruined by stalking ad hominem squabbling.

As soon as certain mudcatters post they are attacked, not for what they wrote or intended, but for what their foes blindly/intentionally misread,
or dredge up from previous skirmishes.
What kind of quality debate does that personalised confrontational behaviour encourage...???

In this thread, I am firmly 'on Jim's side' [if positions need to be staked]

But although I mostly disagree with Keith & Ake I do not automatically discount entirely what they have to say.
I read what they write, not what my righteous progressive 'convictions/prejudices' filters incline me to imagine they wrote or intended to mean.

Ake is an articulate quality thinker, despite accepted conventional wisdom that he is scary bonkers more far right than Hitler.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:21 AM

Vic I recognise that culture from many years ago, but do you seriously think that the culture still exists?
It's thirty years since I saw a genuine traveller and I live in a rural area.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:34 AM

"Vic I recognise that culture from many years ago, but do you seriously think that the culture still exists?"
It most certainly does.
"genuine traveller "
One of the most horrendously inaccurate phrases to have sprung into existence in the last half century - there are no "none-genuine" Travelers in the Travelling communities, certainly not in my experience.
All come with a long-standing pedigree going back generations of having lived and worked on the roadside.
Some Irish families took to the road at the time of the famine, just as some Scots did at the time of the Clearances - long enough ago to confirm them as "real Travellers"
The "real Traveller" argument comes from the cosy picture of painted of campfires and Travellers who knew their place - the invention of writers like George Borrow.
Thanks Vic, for your very moving account
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:42 AM

Incidentally, the one blip in the term Traveller came with the advent of 'New Age Travelers' - clearly defined and recognised as different as the 'travellers' who daily travelled into work by train each morning.
We wer pleasently surprised to find that many of our Travellers sympathised with them as fellow-victims
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:43 AM

Jim, what about the new age 'trustafarian' crustie travellers that have sprung up since the swinging 60 ?
I don't know if they still exist to the extent of their 1980s presence ?
Do you think they have muddied the waters regarding popular stereotypes
and real life rural encounters ?

What do Trad Travellers tend to think of them ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:45 AM

uncanny cross post Jim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:46 AM

I don't actually care what you think, Guest, and I won't take you on apropos of your post because I can't respect people who try to talk to me with a cardboard box on their heads. If you're someone here who posts under another name, then (a) you haven't said anything that would cause you to think you should hide, and (b) you are operating under multiple identities, which I regard as wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:03 AM

Well I agree with GUEST in everything he says in his last post, though I am too much of a realist to accept his kind compliment.. :0)

He is right on the button with the remarks about stalking and taking ill feeling from one thread to another.
Although we may disagree on one subject, on others we may be comrades if we allow our perceptions "free rein".

Jim and I have battled for years but recently I discovered that I share his radical views on folk music.

I agree with him that the culture of the old time travellers should be encouraged and supported, but it's thirty years since I met a genuine traveller...the wheel may yet spin into more of a subsistence economy where travelling people will have a full part to play and a full contribution to make.

Jim says that the old culture was a load of romanticised nonsense, then goes on to say that travellers have been negatively affected by modern society and assimilation into urban life???

They were a people of their time, as much as is the Gaelic language or the crofting way of life.....they were never really free, none of us are; they were bound by the seasons, the sky above them and the ground beneath their feet.
They were not acquisitive, because in the society that I remember so well, nobody had anything worth stealing and everyone knew that taking from one was robbing the whole community, for we all depended upon one another to a great extent.

Materialism and consumerism has rendered the old travelling people redundant and only a huge change in society can save them.....if that is even possible, we have all become so wrapped up in ourselves and our "rights" that we are hardly worth saving. :0(


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:05 AM

?????

I'm not hiding,
posting as guest just seems a no big deal default position unless I write something intentionally consistent with my long 'established mudcat ID / persona'.
Otherwise, I don't care if posterity credits me for random thoughts and statements here at mudcat - no matter how incisive or ridiculous.
We all have our odd quirks and idiosyncrasy. I'm not particularly driven by ego. I can't be bothered with all that tiresome nonsense.

You're mostly top bloke but seem have an oversensitive hostility to guests ???

Oh well, we'll have a laugh in another thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:12 AM

What do Trad Travellers tend to think of them ?

Not very much in my experience. In interviewing parents in my previously mentioned position of head of Special Schools, I started to hear - "We're Gypsies ( or we are Romanies) - nothing to do with that new-Age lot.... they give us a bad reputation." Reclaiming the once-despised terms became a badge of pride. I sometimes asked such people if they were members of the Romany & Traveller History Society and if they were not I gave them the home phone number of the head of the organisation (who is a friend of mine and lives in this area). She had encouraged me to do this and give the phone number. She was a regular at our folk club and sometimes she would turn up with sceptical, suspicious looking friends who she knew would be delighted to hear the Travellers mentioned and praised as the sources of the songs that were being sung and the tunes that were being played. I always tried to look at her when such comments were being made to catch the broad grin on her face.
We have even been to some of their events and played tunes for them, for although they have lots of step-dancers in the local area, they do not seem to have any musicians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:19 AM

My views, and I reckon the views of the other Muskets for that matter don't necessarily resonate with the guest's (above.)

That said, I am 100% with him or her regarding the post not the poster. We decided to share a log in (which none of us can be arsed to use these days) in order to confuse the few lunatics who loved stalking us round the threads, spewing bile and judging posts by the person not what they wrote.

IP is irrelevant. Many of us with phones, ipads and laptops with corporate VPNs aren't displaying our own IP anyway, plus anyone can have a IP generator. I am in France skiing right now but have "Tunnel Bear" on the iPad so I can do my on line banking and watch Ski Sunday on BBC iPlayer.

Akenaton is right about those exhibiting abuse. He should be grateful moderators tolerate his bigotry because I fucking well don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:22 AM

You can't look at a Guest's posting history here because all such clowns are rolled into one. I don't care what the mods can or can't see as that is not relevant to me. I've likened it to sitting in a pub with a bunch of blokes all with boxes on their heads and voice-distorting apparatus fitted. The occasional madman might think that that's fertile ground for a constructive discussion but I don't. Akenaton, you may well agree with all that this charlatan says, but at least you haven't hidden behind "Guest" when you've posted your routinely silly opinions, and for that you deserve a modicum of respect if for nothing else. And Guest, for all I know you're someone I know and love, but you can just bugger off until I know who I'm talking to. You've bundled yourself in with a very bad lot. Racists, fascists, religious bigots, Islamophobes and antisemites have all posted under Guest. I hope that makes you feel good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:30 AM

Yeah Musket - VPNs.. I can't be arsed with them.
Except for when one of my favourite music blogs got banned for some dicks sharing kindle books.
Had to faff about trying different free Vpns.
But thankfully that blog just moved countries and reappeared through normal browsing again.

So my IP is always absolutely stark naked for any mod to see.
I'm not bothered - I'll trust them not to peep through my keyhole or bathroom window.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:39 AM

Steve, if this was my site and I had the technology, I'd implement a system whereby any 'From: box' left blank would be allocated a randomly generated name based on IP;
and that name would appear consistently whenever that IP posted anonymously...

Many of the random names might be very unflattering depending on my whims when programming the system.

That'd be a fair compromise ??? But it aint my site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 09:45 AM

For me, it's a very simple matter of wanting to have at least a rough and consistent idea of who it is I'm talking to. I will not to speak to people on the phone who don't give me their name either. I don't care whether anyone's stalking me around threads and probably wouldn't even notice it. I have sensitive antennae which quickly tell me whether the game's worth the candle, and I'm listening to them more and more. The current terrorism thread is a case in point. I have strong views on the topic but I really can't be arsed to take on the bigots any more. If there's bile being spewed and the other posters are not shitting on the perpetrator, the thread's dead anyway. I have an inkling that my writing style would give me away anyway if I tried to hide. There is not a single good reason for not making everyone have a consistent user name. The word guest should never, or at least very rarely, appear. As for the post not the poster, nice idea but almost all Guest posts on controversial topics are abusive. So much easier to do when you can hide, and, let's face it, abusive anonymous guests are all hiding behind each other. The very worst people on the forum are also the very safest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 10:13 AM

"The "real Traveller" argument comes from the cosy picture of painted of campfires and Travellers who knew their place - the invention of writers like George Borrow"

I disagree Jim   Travellers have many names, in Scotland they were tinker.....from the tin craft that they practiced I believe.
The (modern) Traveller, presumably came from the fact that they were itinerant workers.....as has been stated several times on this thread there is no longer any seasonal farm work to do.
I agree, that a degree of "building work" has been attempted, but most of these people have no recognised training or work base.
Most only give a mobile telephone number on their written invoices.
To be honest, round this area most of these so called travellers are simply con men, preying on elderly people or those who wat their work done on the cheap......On the cheap usually works out much more expensive, when folks like me have to undo the damage, or explain to the customer that no work has actually been done to their roof!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 10:44 AM

"Not very much in my experience"
Didn't suggest they identified with the New Age Travellers Vic - more an attitude of 'live and let live' which extended to tramps and homeless people.
One worrying aspect of Travellers life was a tendency to scapegoat other groups - particularly prevalent in those who claim to be "real Romanies" - the Irish and the lesser number of Scots Travellers were the butt of much of the stereotyping in London - largely by English Gypsies - the very term "Romany" was used to demonise other groups of Travellers
THis sort of thing happens when communities are under pressure and looking for someone to pin their own indiscretions on - immigrants maybe.
Ake - we'll never agree on anything while you use such loaded and extremely reactionary terms such as "real Travellers" - there ain't no such animal and if there were, it would be as important as "real Britons" or real Anglo Saxons -such stuff are pogroms made of.
I most certainly did not say that "the old culture was a load of romanticised nonsense" far from it - I said that the outsider's view of that culture, largely based on the romantic and unattainable image of writers like Borrow was both nonsensical and harmful.
Aspects of the old culture were certainly disturbing - arranged marriages, for instance, but that happened in settled rural communities too and is still very much favoured by Royalty and the upper classes to keep thrones, estates and family firms together.
More later - must wash my hair still got it....Wheeeee!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 11:00 AM

"Ake - we'll never agree on anything while you use such loaded and extremely reactionary terms such as "real Travellers" - there ain't no such animal and if there were, it would be as important as "real Britons" or real Anglo Saxons -such stuff are pogroms made of."

No Jim, there is a distinct difference between "real travellers" and real "scots or Britons"
Scots or Britons are defined by their country of birth. Travellers are defined by their behaviour....itinerants.
When they stop travelling they are no longer travellers no matter what nationality they are, whereas Scots or Britons can never change their place of birth?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Tyler Alderson
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 12:15 PM

Jim, I think you're misunderstanding my point RE: solutions and cooperation. I'm not saying that somehow the onus is on them or that they haven't been cooperating. I'm saying that many solutions to deal with the Traveller "problem" (a terrible phrase) are decided unilaterally by the government and settled people. So rather than giving my own solution, I figure we should listen to what Travellers want/need and cooperate with them to help bring that to fruition.

I've read the literature you suggest, and have consulted your own work (at least what's publicly available) as well. I agree with you on your major points, and I respect your opinion, as you've been at this longer than I've been around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 12:30 PM

"by the government and settled people. "
Minus the Travellers, of course
" Travellers are defined by their behaviour....itinerants."
No they are not - they are defined by history, background and even there DNA now - whether they Travel or not.
Nonb- Travelling hahas been forced on them by changing circumstance, evil laws and prejudice such as yours
I am a Briton living in Ireland - my change of location has dne nothing to change my national or cultural identity
Thy identify themselves as Travellers, the state defines them as Travellers, they are documented as Travellers - whether they move o stay where they are.
I suggest you listen to the final ten minutes of The Travelling People - you will find yourself there in large letters.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 12:34 PM

Can I assume that you don't regard Jeannie Robertson or the Stewarts as 2not real Travellers" because they lived in houses
Love to see you say yes
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 01:15 PM

Akenaton:

"Scots or Britons are defined by their country of birth."

Not entirely, although anyone born in Britain is entitled to British Nationality (I think this is true, it used to be), so are many other people. Which is why I get annoyed with UKIP types going on about "jobs going to people not born in Britain". None of my children were born in Britain. All are British citizens and have been since birth. Neither Ted Dexter nor Colin Cowdrey were born in Britain. Nor was Boris Johnson but I would happily do without him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,ND
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 05:31 PM

Looking at this thread has been an eye-opening experience for me, I thought Mudcat was all traditional music. It's interesting though to see how the discussion has developed quite aggressively over such a short time.
I wonder, if "Travellers" are to be a group with certain rights and privileges, should they not be more clearly defined than appears in the thread? They seem to range from settled people whose ancestors travelled to anyone who wants to roam freely, with complete flexibility in definition being dependent on the point the writer wishes to make.
My only direct contact with travellers was over 50 years ago, the chap and his wife were charming and friendly, but he had a reputation as a bare-knuckle fighter and featured in the Sunday papers for kidnapping his debtors from Manchester pubs to build a monument on Snowdon to his dead father.
As a group they can't all be bad, but the piles of rubbish after many temporary sites have been vacated are not imaginary and I do get the feeling that many think that laws are meant for others, not them.
They are the victims of "progress", however it is defined, but are by no means the only group to be affected, think farm workers, miners,steel workers. They have had to face up to changed circumstances, can "Travellers" be immune?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 07:14 PM

Travelling people in Ireland have become identified with terrifying violence in robberies of isolated rural farmhouses and of the old and alone in cities. Traveller weddings often involve fighting with axes and slashhooks. Travellers are at the centre of the cruel trade in rhino horn. And there are extremely wealthy Travellers who don't put their hand in their pocket to buy houses for their homeless fellows.

It's all very well to call on your society to give you a home and to recognise your unique culture and heritage, but there should be a quid pro quo.

And yes, I posted this anonymously. I'd be afraid not to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Jan 16 - 08:23 PM

In other words, you're happy to be a demonising coward. You are simply not listening to the stuff in this thread about travellers that people with a hundred times more knowledge than you are telling you. Give me the travelling people, with all their imperfections, over you any day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 01:03 AM

No, I'm not demonising people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 03:51 AM

"No, I'm not demonising people."
That's exactly what you are doing
This thread is about the treatment of hiuman beings - what you appear to be arguing is that "they deserve to be treated the way they are" - demonisation, whichever way you look at it.
I was working as an electrician in London during 'the Troubles'
One customer told be "We have an Irish neighbor so we always check under the car before we drive off in the morning" - that-s a summing up of your argument   
"Travelling people in Ireland have become identified with terrifying violence in robberies of isolated rural farmhouses "
No they are not - please provide evidence of where they are.
One man (John Ward) was executed for trespassing, some of the people found carrying out burglaries have been Travellers, many many more have not.
Rubbish - years ago the council placed a large rubbish container in a car-park to collect large material - boxes, etc - they had to remove it because of people piling up rotting household waste.
One of the classic photos in our local paper was of a 'No Dumping' sign piled around with rubbish dumped from passing cars.
Our rivers have been polluted, our roads are a mess - try waling up O'Connell Street and se the mess   
Sure - there are villains among Travellers as there are in any community - but condemning entire communities is no different than 'all Irish are.." or "all blacks are..."
If we are going to continue here I suggest we leave this felelr to lurk in his anonymity - unless he'd like to sum up his argument by telling us what should happen to Travellers - people like this never do and usually leave it to the Harry Watton's to make their case for them.
Any more on whether you regard Jeannie Robertson and The Stewarts as "real Travellers" yet Ake?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 04:34 AM

Perhaps "Ex Travellers" would be more appropriate Jim.

Regarding criminality and anti social behaviour, of course the lack of purpose to which I referred earlier and the sense of hopelessness in being tied to a lifestyle which is all but gone and unsustainable, throws up these symptoms, making the chasm between the communities even wider.

The "special group" legislation is also an impediment to integration as the settled communities see it as reverse discrimination in creating areas which are to all intents and purposes "beyond the law"

The old culture has gone Jim, how do you propose to deal with these transient people, do you want them to be assimilated into the settled community or should we have separate legislation to cover all groups who do not wish to conform?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 04:39 AM

The only areas of The UK that are beyond the law are in the mind (I use the word advisedly) of Donald Trump.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 05:06 AM

"Perhaps "Ex Travellers" would be more appropriate Jim."
Thank you, thank you, thank you Ake - you've really made my day Jeannie Robertson - Ex Traveller singer!!!
Ill hand in on the wall next to Monty Python's "ex parrot"
Can I call myself an Ex-Brit, d'you think?
I'll be chuckling all day
That really does expose the crassness of your argument.
"The old culture has gone Jim,"
Have already said that, why repeat it?
How do you propose to deal with these transient people
I've already covered that also.
Temporary sites where Travellers can stay for a short time and permanent halting sites where they can return to for longer periods were fought for and won back in the early sixties - we recorded on them in the seventies
Subsequent Governments undermined the the principle of them and they ceased to be developed - John Major's repealing the Caravan and camping act dealt the death blow to the idea.
It was a convenient and economical solution to the situation, it suited all parties and cost far less than than the grossly inadequate ghettos now being built, which does not meet the Travellers needs and only suits those who find Travellers offensive as it hides them behind high walls.
No Traveller is arguing to stay on the road permanently - that is gone.
What they are arguing for is to be able to retain their Traveller identity by still having the option to Travel, whether they exercise it or not.
You say Travellers can't be described as "real Travellers" unless they travel, yet you also argue that if they do, it can't be catered for by modern society - isn't legislating entire communities out of existence 'ethnic cleansing' - if not, what is it?
Jim Carroll (ex electrician)


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 05:39 AM

Jim, I know two people called Mc****, one is settled and his family have been as far back as he can remember, the other is a member of a travelling family who visit this area ......they both originate from the Aberdeenshire area, probably related some time ago. Are they "Travellers" by way of their DNA?.....or are they just Scots with different lifestyles?
My friend Mc**** will be upset if he has to define himself as an itinerant traveller, taking into account that he has a rather high position in the local authority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 05:49 AM

Actually, most of those of my friends who are full or part blood Romany (I go only on what they say) are pretty dismissive of other travellers.

Here is the song "Marks in the Grass" - verses written by Ken (Romanyman) of this site, chorus and tune by John Barden (the Barden of England) of this site. Ken is I think full blood Romany, John part Romany part carny traveller. I hope I got that right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h64rwtkDN7c


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,Guest ND
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 08:25 AM

The Jeannie Robertson conundrum could be solved by using, "people of traveller heritage" in the way that "coloured people" have become "people of oolour", but I think Jim Carroll has a bigger problem.
Quoting his last post,
"No Traveller is arguing to stay on the road permanently - that is gone.
What they are arguing for is to be able to retain their Traveller identity by still having the option to Travel, whether they exercise it or not."
As a settled citizen I interpret this as saying anyone who self-identifies as of traveller stock should automatically have rights equivalent to those of a member of the Caravan Club, at taxpayer's expense.
What started as a genuine humanitarian issue has slid into cloud cuckoo land.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 08:59 AM

""people of traveller heritage" "
Sorry - this is a nonsense
Jeannie Robertson, The Stewarts, Duncan Williamson and dozens and dozens of others who have long enriched out lives have been known as Travellers, though most of them were settled for decades.
Now, at the behest of a few bigots, we have to re-write their history and re-title them - cloud cuckoo land is right.
Travellers do not "self-identify" - they have been referred to as such for many centuries - that is how they are designated by society in general
Irish Travellers have been DNA identified as having been around since the Bronze age - many families have travelled their areas centuries longer than the settled occupants have lived there.
As I said, according to researchers such as Lucy Duran, there are indications that the case is the same with all Travellers
Travllers have lived as they ahve for centuries - not a matter of choice, that is the heritage into which they were born.
For crying out Ake (and your new friend) - this really is getting creepy!
Incidentally - when we moved here 18 years ago or nearest city (Limerick) was known as "Stab City" due to the behaviour of a few bad families - for for thought for those who need feeding
Jim Carroll (Ex Liverpudlian chuckle - chuckle)


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 09:21 AM

Jim, as much as I respect and support you, it does get a bit tiresome when you respond to folk who query your specialist knowledge & experience
by automatically harshly dismissing what they have to say and calling them bigots.
Please just show a bit more patience and tolerance for 'ordinary folk' who may be trying to positively understand these complex issues
after a lifetime of negative cultural indoctrination against travellers ?

You never know, you might better win them over you your thinking that way ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 09:31 AM

Jim, you are wandering off into the realms of mythology, I cant make out what you are trying to prove....That travellers are a distinct race like Romanies?....If so you're gaunne have a hard time bud.

My point is that the old travellers way of life had nothing in common with the so called travellers of today.....and these people do not deserve "special status", as there is nothing special about them either in race or culture.

The last two tinkers in the West of Argyll were Camerons I knew them well and they shared our food and fireside on mony a cauld winters night. They walked the roads till they were over eighty, refusing a bed indoors on even the cauldest night.
Mrs Cameron sold leather laces and small hardware from a huge wicker tray, dressed in long woolen skirt and a dark green tartan shawl, they carried their bow tent with them always, and died together within it when it caught fire down near Lochgilphead.

Don't try to lecture me on travellers, they were part of my life as I was growing up and your charges of bigotry are simply a sign of your political blind spot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 09:36 AM

""Som of teh argument here is opn bigotry- that Travellers are thieves that they are not "real Travellers - so classic as to have formed the cornerstone to the radio ballad half a century ago.
My own experience is totally immaterial to all this - this is a community of human beings in desperate trouble - we should be discussing how to help them, not arguing about what to call them.
I don't think I have been impatient in my effort to do so - somewhat depressed and angry that we should be raking over centuries old prejudices maybe.
WE really have been here before
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,ND
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 10:03 AM

Equally "people of colour" have been called "coloured people" for generations, things move on. Give us a clear definition of "travellers" and there is a chance people will agree with you. Persist in bending it to suit the argument of the moment does no service to your argument. In this unequal world there lots of groups of human beings in desperate trouble, many of whom are taking more active steps than the "travellers" to improve their lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 10:05 AM

I have given my opinion as to what I believe should a happen about providing adequate stopping places for Travellers
I would be polite if the person who requested me to do so responded
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 10:22 AM

Traveller DNA
Worth a look
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,ND
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 10:54 AM

Don't know if I have missed something, in which case, excuse me, but the only recommendation I picked up was your approval in an early post of sites at Winterbourne and Swindon. Assuming similar sites were to be more generally created, what would be your criteria for siting? Do we take a "traditional" view and put them one day's horse and cart distance apart, or accept progress and stretch that to a lorry and trailer journey? Do we provide them on traditional routes or should there be universal coverage of the country? Do we need to know the numbers of travellers affected and are they generally or locally distributed?
You refer in a number of mails to bigotry, so I looked it up. My dictionary defines a bigot as, "A person obstinately and unreasonably holding some creed or view and intolerant towards others". Does it only apply to those questioning your views?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 11:32 AM

"Temporary sites where Travellers can stay for a short time and permanent halting sites where they can return to for longer periods were fought for and won back in the early sixties - we recorded on them in the seventies"
"Do we provide them on traditional routes or should there be universal coverage of the country?"
The policy of the original Caravan and Camping was to calculate how many Travellers were regularly in each borough and create the number of sites needed to cater for the number
Boroughs claiming no Travellers applied for exemption.
Travellers had no say in where the sites were located and were quite happy to accept the Council's decision, but more progressive councils involved them in what should be included and how the site was laid out.
Both Swindon and Winterbourne adopted this policy, with great success.
"Does it only apply to those questioning your views?"
I'm not the one questioning the right of Travellers to have somewhere to stop, or casting doubt of a centuries old definition of what constitutes a "Traveller"
If "bigotry" includes arguing the case strongly for a persecuted and neglected minority - guilty as charged.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: GUEST,ND
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 12:19 PM

So, based on your mail, there should exist details of the boroughs not claiming exemption and the number of sites required. I willingly bow to your better information on the subject than mine and ask you for that information to enable me to assess its likely cost against competing demands for funding, such as hospitals and schools.
You only plead guilty to one aspect of bigotry, the second was intolerance, which I interpret to be unwillingness to accept that alternative views may be valid.
The centuries old definition of what constitutes a traveller related factually to people who travelled, it is thinking such as yours which has extended that to what I wanted to call, "people of traveller heritage" who have settled. If your definition can accept flexibility you can hardly quibble if others chose to adopt their own categorisation of sub groups.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 01:09 PM

"So, based on your mail, there should exist details of the boroughs not claiming exemption and the number of sites required. "
They'll be a little out of date, but they would be a rough guide.
The police usually keep records of Travellers in the area as do local Councils, social services and doctors who have been visited.
Traveller organisations like The Gypsy Council and The Romany Guild have usually co-operated with assisting and in the old days. Sympathetic solicitors like Norman Bell and others offered their skills to assist Travellers - all kept records.
Nationally, Gratton Puxon, M.P. Norman Dodds and Jeremy Sandford are now dead, I think, but records of their work must still exist.
For Irish and Scots Travellers, the Churches have always been ready to assist.
If the old requirement numbers are no longer available or relevant, it wouldn't take much more than phone calls and a circulation of questionnaires to arrive at a rough estimate - then it could be done over time by simple observation.
It's all ben done before.
I am certainly not intolerant that other views exist - I know they do - this is what we have been discussing - what these views mean in relation to a group of people with a dire problem is a different matter.
It has taken us over five days to get as far just considering the practicalities of any suggestion.
I fail to see why hospitals and schools should come into any of this unless you accept the principle that the lesser well off should be the ones who suffer to assist the even lesser well off
If The Government can find funding for Trident Missiles it's a sad state of affairs if they can't readjust their present policies to provide basic stopping places for the current Traveller Traveller population - this is not a case of finding new funding but to re-direct cash being already spent to evict and harass those with no official stopping places - I suggest you look up how much it cost to evict those families occupying Dale Farm and then to contiue moving on those families who could find no new sites - sort of like kicking around a heap of rubbish until it dissipated.
Why abandon a long standing term like Travellers in order when it is perfectly serviceable, understand and acceptable and documented - it's been log established that Travellers are a distinct cultural group with a history stretching back at least a millienium
Jim Carroll (Ex Liverpool supporter - chuckle, chuckle again!!)

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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 01:38 PM

Out of interest
The Dale Farm eviction of 86 families cost Essex Council £22 million - £21.3 footed locally by the ratepayer.
The Council originally proposed to sue the evicted families for the cost of their eviction, but presumably abandoned the idea as their trip to the European Human Rights court would have been more spectacular than an elephant's enema.
The site was originally a rubbish dump, and since the eviction has lain unused.
To leave them where they were would have cost nothing.
You work the logic of that out and let me know
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Irish Travellers on the move
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jan 16 - 01:46 PM

PS The cost of moving the evicted families from place to place since their eviction has never been calculated.
Jim Carroll (Ex)


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