Dale Farm Travellers’ eviction postponed


The Travellers allegedly living “illegally” on Dale Farm in Norfolk – land that the travellers own – were due to be evicted today by Basildon Borough Council.  But a last-minute high court injunction has prevented the bailiffs from moving in until at least Friday, when a further high court hearing is to take place.

Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart also ruled that Basildon Borough Council cannot disconnect the site’s electric and water supplies after the travellers’ representatives said that disconnection would endanger the health of sick people living there.

This decision is a victory for proponents of law and order.  Basildon Council planned to enter the farm by force and destroy all of the plots on that land, even though Basildon’s enforcement notices do not give the bailiffs that power. The case hinges on the argument that residents have not been sufficiently informed about what is allowed on each pitch, and what must be removed., and the judge has ruled that this must be made clear so the travellers have the chance to abide by the enforcement notices before the bailiffs move in.  The judge was also concerned that these details had been withheld from the travellers so the bailiffs could just go in and destroy everything.

Another shock revelation is the fact that the United Nations had offered to help negotiate a “less dramatic” solution, but the offer was refused by the British authorities.  Jan Jarab, the European representative of the UN high commissioner for human rights, told the Guardian:

“There was communication between the British government and our headquarters, but it was made clear to us that we would receive a letter that that offer was rejected.

I understand that unapproved development of sites can be problematic for local residents – but the the Dale Farm site was previously a scrapyard!  Are heaps of rusting car parts and washing machines really preferable to homes?

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Child molestors really piss me off…


Just recently this blog has been getting Comments that consist of some inane crap and a link to sites that apparently contain child pornography – I say “apparently” because that’s what the sites’ titles say (eg “underage girls pix” and “lolitas”) – I haven’t actually visited any of these sites, and I urge everyone reading this blog to also stay  away from these pervert links.  I’ve been marking these Comments as spam as quick as I  can, but this still means the links are in my Comments for several hours or even days sometimes.

These Comments are getting past WordPress’s usually efficient spam detectors.  I think this is because the Comments are not being sent out en masse by spambots – I suspect that people are sitting at their computers, visiting as many blogs as they possibly can, and leaving the offending Comments.


So: please don’t give these beasts any oxygen by clicking on their links (you can often see it’s dodgy by hovering your mouse pointer over the link and reading its title); paedophiles, please piss off and peddle your filth elsewhere; and does anyone know of a method to delete the crap automagically?  I’m getting really sick of this.

The day they took the homeless away.


The day they took the homeless away

It was a bright but cold April morning when they came to take the homeless away. The majority of the workers in the office-retail park didn’t even notice – at most it was a fleeting thought, Oh, those smelly beggars and winos weren’t hanging round any more, swilling cheap wine and bothering everyone for “the price of a cup of tea”. But Emily noticed. For a while now she had become aware of one girl, maybe pretty under the greasy mop of hair and tatty overcoat – Emily had realised that the girl was probably the same age her own child would have been, if Emily hadn’t had the undifferentiated cluster of cells chemically removed a decade and a half ago. That was when Emily had started to buy an extra cheese roll and polystyrene cup of tea from the snacks booth at the top of the stairs from the underground car park. The girl liked her tea white with two sugars – Emily wondered if that was how her never-quite-child would have taken her tea if she… hadn’t had the procedure.

So that was why Emily saw the girl and her friends being escorted down the car park stairs and into a large white minivan, unmarked but with blacked-out windows that suggested there was room for lots of passengers. Emily was usually quiet and unassuming, but the rapport she felt had grown between her and the girl drove her to walk over to the van and ask one of the black-uniformed security guards what was going on. Where were these people being taken to?

The guard looked surprised at the use of the word “people”, but recovered his professional demeanour quite quickly. There had been complaints, he explained, so these… people were going to be bussed somewhere more suitable.

When Emily asked where this more suitable location might be, the guard was visibly perplexed. But the professional, emotionless expression quickly reappeared. He didn’t know where they were going, he said, he wasn’t driving the van. His job was simply to make sure that all the… people got in. Then he looked down at the paperwork on his clipboard. The conversation was definitely over.

Before the girl got into the van, Emily passed her the drink and roll she had bought for her. The girl silently took the gift, but didn’t look up. As the girl disappeared into the blacked-out van, Emily had to take a deep breath to suppress a sudden feeling of nausea. Somehow, Emily knew she would never see the girl again.

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