Saturday, April 28, 2007

Know your neighbour

Bradford University school of lifelong learning and development are running a Civic and Community event today.

Gypsies and Travellers have been resident in the UK for over 500 years. What do we really know about these communities who have been our neighbours for so long?

09.45 Registration
10.00 Brief History of Gypsies and Travellers including who are they?
10.30 Question and answer session
11.00 Break
11.30 Gypsy and Traveller Culture
12.30 Quiz
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Answers and comments
14.45 Do Mang Mandi DVD
15.00 Break
15.15 Travellers today
16.00 Question and answer session
16.30 End

I think "Do Mang Mandi" means "You tell me" but there isn't much on Google.

I'm not going to the event, I'm not that interested and it all sounds horribly politically correct.

My own experience of Gypsies/travellers is reasonably benign, limited to being sold lucky heather and being in a car that was kicked by a drunken one after a Councillor got out to read an lamppost enforcement notice.

I've heard some horror stories though, including from senior police officers.

(I was once at a public meeting where a District Commander was forcefully making a point that illegal action would not be tolerated. She referred to them as Gypsies throughout and had actively encouraged the farmer whose field they were trespassing in to get his tractor and muck spreader out. She was berated by some lefty Councillor for her callousness and how the problem was with her, not them. She replied that she didn't care what trendy name, label or excuse was used, criminal behaviour made them criminals and they needed to be dealt with firmly).

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