All the legal hurdles have been cleared and this morning the eviction of Travellers at Dale Farm has begun. Already we see bricks being hurled, caravans torched and the whole complex is reinforced with barriers and obstacles. However the authorities are prepared, with Police executing what seems to be a steady operation to ensure the bailiffs can execute their duty. However many people are saying this is wrong, unjust and we should not be doing it until we have secured them somewhere to go. Personally I think that is rubbish, these people have deliberately flouted the law, both in setting up the camp in the first place, and then in not leaving when requested and finally in assaulting the Police in the execution of their duties. They are the ones that have broken the law, and they are the ones who should deal with the consequences.
It sounds like a hard line to take, but we have to draw the line somewhere. This camp has been set up on a greenfield site, which, if it had been a commercial venture, or a new Housing estate, there would have been a lot of fuss and anguish. They have flouted planning rules, which again, if it had been you or I, we would have been castigated by our community. Think also of their neighbours, what about their rights?
I do get frustrated at times with the constant idea that people who flout the law in this way are portrayed as the victims. In this paricular case, they have chosen their lifestyle and ALL it entails. Why should tax money go to helping people who live a lifestyle that largely helps them evade paying any tax at all? When you consider its estimated that it will cost £18 to clear the site, is that acceptable to the Tax Payer? What precident would
be set if they were just allowed to remain! It’s an interesting debate.
Overall though, we need to apply laws in an even-handed manner, and it apply to those at Dale Farm as much as it does to you and I!