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Wednesday, March 26, 2008 

I got the gypsy blues.

Attack the gypsies week because they dared to move onto land close to where Tessa Jowell's ex-husband lives continues apace in the Sun via Kelvin MacKenzie's column:

I NOTE that Joseph Jones, who has reached the top of that august organisation the Southern England Romany Gipsy and Irish Traveller Network, has been silent on the issue.

That comes as a surprise to me. After all, it was only ten days ago that he was giving his views to anybody who would listen that Basil Brush — old Boom! Boom! himself — was being racist.


I wonder if that might be because there is no such organisation as the Southern England Romany Gipsy and Irish Traveller Network. There is an organisation called the Southern England Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller Network, but then the Sun and other tabloids always refer to Gypsies as "Gipsies" because it enables them to sidestep any accusations or racism or prejudice, however condemnatory they are of them, due to how Gypsies are now protected under the relevant legislation as a race. As you might expect, the Grauniad gives those who have moved near to David Mills a rather more sympathetic hearing than the tabloids have.

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I'm not totally clear how the use of gipsy rather than gypsy is allowing the side-stepping of protective legislation such as the RRA and HRA.
As the Guardian sugests in its article these are Romany gYpsies, assuming the quote to be correct. To my mind the alternative spelling should not provide a shield as it is clear who is being referred to. For instance, in O'Leary v Allied Domecq, (which added Irish travellers) to the groups, my view is that if a pub had a sign saying 'No travelers' or 'No traveller's' (sic) then this should still be indirect discrimination. That is my interpretation.
I will try to get in touch with a group representing travellers to see their point of view as they were helpful in the past.
I agree the Guardian article was more sympathetic.

Yeah I'm not sure exactly how it exempts them either, but I'm pretty damn certain it's a recent innovation designed to try to circumvent them from being accused of prejudice/racism.

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