Tuesday, October 23 2012, 9:21AM
“It is a blot on the traveller communities, but tarring all with the same brush is not the answer.Ethnic Gypsies do not associate with Irish Travellers, and there are New Age Travellers, and other travelling Groups with their distinct characteristics.Travelling Groups, seasonal workers, show-men and other nomadic tribes have all been a colourful part of British life for centuries, persecuted, tolerated and discriminated in degrees. Many are illiterate, engage in occasional work/low level criminality, but with strong bonds to their culture - the Bristol trial is that of a section that are criminals by any name and hope get their just deserts. Those living within the sites are also to be blamed to some extent for putting up with the criminality in their midst.Equally there are many from the travelling communities who are educated, trades, and professionals, settled down and given their life and limb for Queen and Country.The real challenge is how do you wean them off their nomadic ways and integrate with mainline British life. The freedoms enjoyed in past decades when farmers allowed them to stay during winter on their land and offered seasonal work are long gone, and local authorities have failed to allocate sufficient sites as was previously required under prevailing legislation, due mainly due to local prejudices - these prejudices are reinforced by cases such as the present one of engaging in slavery.Hope the Gypsy and traveller communities sort out the rotten eggs from within their communities as such instances drag the whole lot down. Unless they adapt and change, bleak future for all such minority groups who self-seggregate thmselves from main-stream life.”
Wednesday, November 07 2012, 3:19PM
“I know one of the men who lived on the Staverton site and worked with the Connors', there was no slavery! He always spoke of Mr & Mrs Connors with the utmost respect and was free to come and go as he pleased. I have been in utter disbelief since this news broke.”
Sunday, November 11 2012, 9:52AM
“Nobody worked with the ConnorsThey are on trial charged with servitude and slavery.If anyone knows of anyone who was not mistreated by themit should be reported and given in evidence”
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