I was reading Pip Borev's blog earlier (really recommend it, fascinating stuff) and trying to work out how the Travellers had ever come to align themselves with the left in the first place. Surely an enterprising peoples who sell goods and services to market and receive little or no support from the public sector are about as natural libertarians as can be.
One would assume that the old right's sometimes less than accommodating approach to their communities may have something to do with it, but it's the 21st century and about time that we extended the olive branch to a people who live quite independently of the state, run what can only be described as small, for profit, businesses, and are, for the most part, hardworking.
Yes, you hear the horror stories about some traveller camps being a nightmare, thieves or vandals etc, but there are many which go without comment for good reason. There are good and bad people in any race, any community and any culture, and we need to be able to separate the criminal minority from the peaceful and non-aggressive majority.
But why should they choose to join us? Three reasons, really: education, regulation and planning permissions laws.
The main issue facing the traveling community, as pointed out by Pip, is a lack of opportunities within education. The left have created the education system which is failing them (and our children, as well). The left have created an education system with a one-size-fits-all approach, where children are put in the classes which are available regardless of their interest, and often the class is held back to the level of the least capable child in any given subject.
Many right-libertarians would prefer my suggested model, where education is provided by the private sector to meet needs and allow children to specialize, but state funds the education of those who's parents can't afford it (up to a reasonable value). This would allow people to choose between mainstream schools, setting up their own fully resourced schools or choosing more specific private schools which can play to their childrens strengths.
This would mean that should their culture choose to emphasize certain areas of education, or to use methods which they realized were successful for them, there would be no issue with it, and they would not be forced to fit the mold which government has created for them.
Many people argue that Travellers are not compliant to regulations in the country. Whether or not this is true (and I don't blame anyone for refusing to play by the beaurocratic rules) I doubt it will be the case for long as the EU extends it's talons deeper and deeper into Westminster, increasing regulatory pressure on all businesses, no matter how small or large, within the UK.
This could mean in future that hand crafted goods must be labelled with their country of origin, that taxation be applied to the proceeds of those goods or services, and worst of all, the paperwork that comes with running a small business in the UK. The left fully support this, and have historically opposed any business being above regulation.
The libertarian right, on the other hand, are constantly battling for a weakening of EU powers and an easier business model to allow people to more easily offer services and goods to the market. Lower taxes and less paperwork are on our agenda, as is less government interference in what you sell, how you market it and who you employ.
Obviously, this one got noticed at Dale Farm, and the left rallied around and pretended to oppose the law in this case. But history tells a different story, with the left constantly using planning permission laws to keep Tescos et al from expanding, and hence failing to fight them for the authoritarian nightmare that they are.
All in all, the left and Travellers are an alliance of convenience, but I think that a more natural fit is with the libertarian right, as we offer the open arms policy towards immigration (so long as the state isn't subsidizing it) but also want the government to keep out of peoples hair, let them build on land they own, let them help their children, and let them run their businesses.
So, what are you waiting for? Come aboard.