Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dale Farm

Been listening to the 5-Live coverage of the drama unfolding in Essex this morning and reflecting on the positions commentators have taken up on this controversy:
  1. Oppressed minority and abusive authority
  2. Wicked pikeys who're getting what they deserve
It's a bit of a surprise to find that the 5-Live coverage wasn't really coloured overtly by one of those two positions, there seemed to be a genuine spirit of inquiry, at least the reports I listened to. It seems the BBC hasn't totally been given over totally to its intrinsic political bias but lets withhold judgment on that one for the time being. I'm not going to express any opinions on what I think of the rights or wrongs of the evictions because I don't really have any. With controversies such this the public is almost always left in the dark because the media is preoccupied with promoting their view with little regard to the facts. Leaving the rest of us in the dark as to the circumstances leading to the conflict, such is the case here. Sure I can make assumptions based on stereotypes and that is indeed what a lot of people do. The reticence displayed by the male residents when it comes to appearing on camera as led folk to draw negative conclusions about the residents at the site.

There's assumptions being made about the role of authority too, there's a suspicion of connivance and various accusations being leveled at the local authority. Racism, is the word I've held being leveled, somewhat incongruous seeing as there is no racial distinction between the two sides. Such accusations are culturally derived invocations, magic words, spells recited to conjure sympathy. They're a reflection of the people using them, whom in the this case are the protesters who've attracted themselves to this issue. Rent a mob, is what The Daily Mail would call 'em justified in this circumstance because they're there for the aggro and publicity rather than any conviction in the cause. There you go, I've made an an assumption based upon a stereotype rather than evidence.

The practical consequences of the eviction, once it's completed would seem to represent a problem. Just where are the pikeys going to go once they've been turned out?  I did hear an official fielding questions from the press and when he was asked that he said something like:

"We've informed them of the location of unoccupied legal sites..."

"We don't want to go to Liverpool" was the response he quoted. Well I don't blame 'em, If the solution to problem of relocation is to move people hundreds of miles from their present location away from any work, jobs they might have.

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