The BBC’s coverage of the traveller eviction at Dale Farm was so biased this morning I nearly brought up my breakfast. What the presenters seemed to be forgetting as they harangued the leader of the local council was that part of the site was built illegally, which is why the council have been fighting to evict it. It’s a common traveller tactic to buy land which is designated as Green Belt (meaning no dwelling, temporary or permanent can legally be built on it), build houses and park their caravans on it, then apply for planning permission retrospectively. When this is inevitably denied they keep appealing through the courts while bleating about their “human rights” to anyone who will listen.
“It’s our land, why shouldn’t we be allowed to live on it” is their cry. The point is, the only reason they can afford to buy that land is because it has been designated Green Belt, there is nothing you can do with Green Belt land except walk around on it enjoying the view so it is dirt cheap. The same acreage that you can buy for a few thousand pounds would cost you millions, if there was any chance of getting planning permission to build residential property on it. All the liberals and anarchists who flock to support the travellers’ cause would be singing a very different tune if some millionaire tried to buy up Green Belt land to turn into a luxury resort but it’s exactly the same law that applies here. If the travellers were allowed to stay it would set a legal precedent and no Green Belt land would be safe.
As to where the travellers should go when they are evicted from Dale Farm and other illegal sites, as far as I’m concerned that is their problem. They choose their lifestyle, it is up to each individual to take responsibility for their lifestyle choice, it’s not the taxpayer’s responsibility to fund those choices. If you want to live an “alternative lifestyle” fine, but pay for it out of your own pocket and live within the law, don’t expect the rest of us to fund your choices and don’t expect the law of the land to bend to accommodate you!