Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dale Farm and The Voice of the Bigot

After promises that there would be minimal police intervention in what is essentially a civil matter involving breaches of planning consent, it was these very people who breached a back wall at Dale Farm and started the days chain of events. The whole scenario astounds me. Many people of all creeds and class are involved in planning disputes with their local authorities, both individual home owners and larger corporations. ( Tesco are notorious in flouting the law). It is rare that these people are subjected to the type of vitriol that has been aimed at the Traveling community who call Dale Farm home.

In a more enlightened and accommodating society, in which I hoped we now live, it has. been saddening to hear and read of comments which can only be construed as rascist. In this age it is no longer acceptable for sectors of society to voice shortsighted and ill informed stereotypical opinions against various ethnic groups, but some peoples opinions towards the travelers have left me stunned. All the usual stereotypes have been trotted out- they don't pay tax, they leave rubbish everywhere, they shoplift, they steal etc, etc. One comment on twitter even described them as ' scum'. The residents of Dale Farm are not on trial. The only issue in question is that they have broken terms of planning consent,and that hardly warrants the degree of hatred aimed at them.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Simple Things

So I'm laid on my mat, still in my sleeping bag in a tent in the middle of Leicestershire countryside, peering out at the cloudy sky and rolling green fields, thinking, " Lifes not so bad!" It's the start of October, the start of the dark mornings and cold nights, but the last few days have been idyllic. There's something so pure about camping- not the fill your car with every creature comfort sort of camping, but the walk to the campsite, with everything in your rucksack sort of camping. Waking up when it gets light, snuggling when it gets dark. Listening to the radio on Radio 5 live, above the rustle of the wind and feeling comforted that you are not at home getting irate about who Louis puts through to the final 16, but feeling that maybe the experience would be more pure without this damned phone.

There's a couple on the far side of the field, who appeared walking into the campsite with full packs, looking like they had been on the road for a while. She's got a mediterrean look about her, while he's got curly hair and thick beard. They're young, but you get the impression that they've done the usual India/ Thailand thing and , now they are just carrying on. Traveling the world in their two man tent, with nothing to show for it but late night stories in the dark, experiences of different people and different places, the sun, the wind and the rain- and, of course, their love.