Dale Farm squatters are just plain wrong

Simon Hughes, at the Lib-Dem conference, has said that it’s his party’s job to “Rein-in the ruthless Tories”, especially those on the right wing (he means, of course, the conservative wing of the Conservative Party).  I don’t know exactly whom he had in mind, but as a eurosceptic and climate-sceptic Tory MEP who wants to see lower taxes and limited government, I suppose I’d qualify for his strictures.  Especially as I support the Dale Farm evictions.

I hadn’t intended to return to the Dale Farm travellers (or “squatters”, as they are more accurately called).  Dale Farm is not even on my patch (though we have our own problems with such folk in the East Midlands).  But I was moved to do so by a couple of comments from Dale Farm squatters which I heard this morning on our highly-esteemed nationalised radio.

A woman (maybe the one in my photograph — who knows?) insisted “We have the same right to stay in our homes as everyone else”.  But that’s just the point, lady.  You don’t.  Most people live in property that they’ve bought or rented.  If bought, the buyer will have had his solicitor check out the status of the property and ensure that it is legal and conforms to planning laws.  If rented, the landlord will have done so.   And you, Mrs. Squatter, have exactly the same rights as everyone else.  You are equal under the law.  You can go and rent or buy a legal property, like everyone else, and then you will have the same right as everyone else to live there.  But right now you don’t, which is why you’re being evicted.

According to press reports, many of these people do in fact own property (presumably legal) in Ireland.  They just choose not to live there, and prefer instead to squat illegally in Essex.

The second comment, from a man, was that the Council had spent £18 million on the eviction, to recover a site worth only £2 million.  (I have no idea if these numbers are correct, but let’s take them at face value).  He condemned this as a waste of public money.  But I suggest that the main purpose of the eviction was not to recover the land, but to up-hold the rule of law, in which case it was money well spent.

The squatter used the £18 million figure to condemn the Council for waste.  What he ought to have done was to accept responsibility, and apologise, on behalf of the squatters, for wilfully imposing this cost on the good people of Essex, and on their Council.  I hope that Essex County Council has its Legal Department considering whether it should seek to recover the costs of the eviction from the squatters.  It may be, of course, that they have no assets to recover in the first place.  On the other hand, maybe they own extensive properties in Ireland.

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5 Responses to Dale Farm squatters are just plain wrong

  1. Sue Swbk says:

    I totally agree. If they want the same rights as everyone else, then they shouldn’t break the law.

  2. maureen gannon says:

    They are law-breakers , nothing more nothing less, as for the agitators that are now there for a bundle with authority,turn the water cannons on them arrest and sentence and if on benefits withdraw them and let them start working for the luxury of being anarchists.

    As for the travellers let them go on the land that is a legal site and if not ship them back to Ireland because the non travelling Irish theink we are mad for entertaing them in the first place they don’t

  3. ian says:

    Funny how Ireland, which threw them out, never got pinched under human rights legislation.

    • maureen gannon says:

      I was in a pub in Waterford when a crowd of Irish tinkers [which is what they are called in Ireland] they have since adopted the name of Travellers were celebrating the fact that they were leaving for the land of milk and honey. England

      I am pleased to know there is someone else Ian who is aware that Ireland threw them out , in my book they are law breakers the anarchist’s who have joined them are there to be confrontational and when the travellers spokesperson say’s we don’t want confrontation interpretation is unless we don’t get our own way. your telling me that she doesn.t know why the anarchists are there . it’s time for the law to stand for all and not exemptions.

  4. If they are Irish travellers then surely they should travel back to Ireland.where they came from otherwise if they wish to be British citizens they should integrate fully and stop their undesirable, anti-social, insular and illegal activitity and live by the laws that we have to.

    As they are citizens of Ireland then I doubt the legitimacy and credibility of the claims that Ireland expelled them as under international law a country is not permitted to expel her own citizens as so I honestly believe.

    However I await clarification on the matter


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