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.
Left-wingers, I'm going to be somewhat annoyed at you if you agree with the statement here but still campaign to keep Tescos out of your towns. Planning permission laws are ridiculous, and unfortunately it has taken people being forcefully evicted from their home of over a decade to make the left see what we've been saying all along.
In this instance, we're dealing with a special type of planning permission law, dealing with designated 'green belt' zones which are supposed to preserve wildlife areas between towns. When I talk about this, you're probably not imagining a concreted-over piece of land which was being used as a scrapyard, but that's pretty much what Dale Farm was in the 1980s when the Travellers started to use the site.