Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar

Comment, Comics and the Contrary. Contact: aj_bartlett1977*at*yahoo*dot*co*dot*uk
Enter your email address below to subscribe to Bartlett's Bizarre Bazaar!

powered by Bloglet

Monday, March 14, 2005


Acceptable racism

When The Sun can escape serious condemnation for its campaign against gypsies, and when Michael Howard can resurrect the old racist canard that ‘immigrant bring disease’ (which I discussed here), we seem to be entering a phase when language is being used in a dangerously incautious way, even by people who we would expect to know better, language that tags societies problems onto particular groups of people, making the people themselves the problem to be resolved.

Please contribute to the campaign to make it clear to The Sun that not all ‘the Great British Public’ is behind them on this issue, and that we are also aware of where this kind of demonisation can lead. Any kind of report, account, or history will do. Thanks to the blogs Perfect and Full Spectrum Democracy for linking to this campaign. And by the way, you don’t have to support the rest of this site and its politics to send The Sun a ‘gipsy story’, I’d rather that you sent your stories as individuals and encouraged your friends and colleagues to do the same. But please do register your abhorrence for a newspaper with the circulation and responsibility of The Sun running a campaign against a group of people using the language of ‘war’.

Please can you help, Mr. Bartlett. A few months ago, several dozen gypsies camped illegally on the filed behind my house. If they stay permanently, my house, into which I have sunk my life savings will be worth a fraction of what it cost me. The local council shrug off all complaints in the direction of central government.

Could you please help me to draft a letter of complaint that will not be taken as Fascist racism. I mean, which words and phrases are OK, and which are not? Thank you.
Is this an attempt at humour Mr Duff?
No, Mr. Anonymous, it is not! It is a condition in which many decent, ordinary folk (dare I say, 'working folk'?) find themselves. I thought they were the type of people that the 'Trot-lot Tendency' were eager to help. Apparently not, judging by our host's reluctance to come forward with suggestions.
Who owns the field behind your house? Is it yours? If not, what if the owner wanted to build a large estate on it? A supermarket? Or a motorway, a runway extension, a railway line, a reservior, an abbatior, a quarry, a landfill site?

How about a seasonal campsite? A theme park? A University Hall of Residence? A sports stadium?

Would you complain? Who would you complain to? If it's purely your property value you're worried about, gypsies are the least of your worries.
I think the problem is this. Councils across England have not met their obligations in providing legal sites for gypsies and travellers. Gypsies and travellers, necessarily, end up setting up illegal sites.

The problem with The Sun's campaign, after we get past its violent, aggressive language aimed at people, who, in the scheme of things, are fairly vulnerable politically, legally, socially and economically, is that they don't want legal sites. It isn't about legal sites or illegal sites. It is about gypsies.

And this is the problem with David Duff's complaint too. He complains that gypsies have lowered the price of his house. This was a very real concern of white people in the 1950s when the hysteria and politics of hate was centred on black immigration. Unfortunately at that time, black people did make the area less desirable to many wealthy (and not-so-wealthy) white people, and therefore brought house prices down.

But this wasn't an argument that anyone should have supported then, and the argument that gypsies should be stamped on because they bring down house prices is just as despicable now. The problem with both David Duff's argument and that of The Sun is they would, if taken to their conclusion, not allow gyspies to live anywhere, except perhaps in camps out of sight of his 'decent people'.

The question has to be for David Duff, and The Sun. If you do not support John Prescott's plan to ensure that there are sufficient legal sites for gyspies and travellers, where do you suggest they set up site? Do you plan to criminlaise them out of existence?
Well, what's a body to do? All I asked for was some advice as to how to voice a complaint concerning *illegal* gypsy encampments which would keep me clear of the 'anti-racist thought, word and deed police'.

As far as I can fairly judge the comments above, I should have no business in complaining at all! So that's it then. Apparently it was nothing to do with racist language after all, it was the very act of complaining that provoked Mr. Bartlett's ire. Well, at least we now know.
I sympathise, David. I also find that complaining about development around my house quickly incurs the wrath of the politically correct thought police, who tell me I have to put up with whatever is put next to me becase the market demands it.

Perhaps it's time to abandon such naive old fashioned ideas as actually owning a quiet, pleasant place to live and follow the itinerant lifestyle?

Acceptable racism is an oxymoron! Keep up the good work.
Post a Comment

<< Home


August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   March 2007  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

«#?» Listed on Blogwise