Wednesday, August 31, 2011

dale farm, basildon

Is it right that people should be evicted from land they own

because there is no permission to live on it?

- after all, it was a car scrapyard.

Planning refused because it's a green belt. Excuse me? the preservation of pristine greenery? In Basildon? In a scrapyard?? Not to mention, next door to a legal site?

Planning is a tool to implement social control

i.e. a weapon against difference.

"Planning Law is the same for everyone", they say in justification, proposing an argument of equity: it's only fair, we all have to suffer the same restriction of liberty. But that's a meretricious argument. The self-righteous oppressors and their supporters do not want to live on pitches in scrapyards. This equitable law is a way of legitimizing some lifestyles while making others illegal.

That's why The Times (Leader, 14th Sept 2011) in claiming that "the best protection for ethnic minorities is the rule of law", then has no explanation for why, on the contrary, so many communities routinely set out to live invisibly to executors of the law of the land.

Tim Black argues that the focus should be on ridiculous planning law, not on victimization of traveller communities. I have sympathy for his view. To focus on the ruling itself being absurd and indefensible is (was?) the best chance of overturning it.

And to accuse the councillors themselves of being prejudiced against travellers is to move away from the overt wrong to an ungracious guess about the inferred motivation. Maybe.

But at the same time, prejudice against travellers is hardly irrelevant to this debate. As always, the Daily Telegraph provides a rallying ground, if you want to witness that prejudice in full cry.

Ones does not need to be personally prejudiced to be swayed by the existence of prejudice, not when it comes to decisions in which the public take an interest.


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