Now I’ve always used the word ‘Romany’ all my life, I don’t know if it’s politically correct any more but I don’t really care, it’s not a derogatory term like Pykie or Gipsy so it’s the one I’ll stick with, and as I’ve apparently got Romany blood somewhere down the line I shall stick to my guns.

Now the Romany question is as guaranteed to get people as hot under the collar as Asylum Seekers and Paedophiles and for precisely the same reason – it’s the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard). You get the old “Listen I got nuffin against Gypos me but they thieve and leave shit everywhere.” Most of the people who say this sort of tosh have never met a Romany properly and they use the same phrases about Germans/Arabs/Asylum seekers/AN Other Johnny Foreigner. The big problem is that a culture of misunderstanding has grown up over time where the Romany community who by and large would prefer just to be left to get on with life in their own way anyway start to put up the mental barricades because the main interaction they have with the anchored world is negative and revolves around people hurling abuse, baliffs and council eviction officers coming round etc. etc. It is small wonder they don’t trust people. Now that is not to say they don’t sometimes exacerbate the problem but in a culture of escalating mistrust it is extremely rare for one side to just stand back and take it, in fact I can’t think of a situation along those lines where it has happened at all but feel free to enlighten me if you know of one. As regards the mess element well it’s not as if the rest of the world is exactly exemplary on this score but one must also bear in mind that we get rubbish collections which by and large the Romany communities do not. When we have had Binmen strikes the rubbish has piled up for us to, does this mean we should all move out because of making a mess, no it is seen as understandable what with the circumstances.

Another point is look at the surroundings that most Romany groups are forced to live in, they are not the most salubrious areas of town, why not, because those are the areas where the ocupants are richer and therefore have more political muscle. Now it is no surprise in studies that have been done regarding the occupants of the run-down inner city housing estates that provide people with shabby living conditions and they will treat their environment likewise and a process, not altogether sucessfully has sought to brighten up these sardine tins in an effort to keep the revolting masses happy sorry, provide tenants with an area of beauty of which they can be proud. If these studies are accepted enough to form government policy for even a right-wing party (that’s Labour I’m reffering to, the Tories don’t give a toss about council tenants ‘cos most of them never vote Tory anyway) on council estates, why is the same logic not applied to ‘Traveller’s Camps’? Add to the mix that the Romanies will always be unsure just how long they will magnanimously be allowed to stay in their scruffy corner of town and is it really a surprise that they do not spend all their waking hours keeping the area spick and span?!

What is it that people distrust so much? Is it just that Romanies are non-conformists, they don’t settle and become beholden to their material possesions which we are told we ought to be. Or is it that they are people who as they aren’t local aren’t wanted?

To my mind it’s more intolerance, it is just something that goes to illustrate ignorance and a lack of education and respect for the differences that make up the human race. It is a blot on any humane society and shows that the arrogant assumption that we live in a multi-cultural society is a false one, multi-culturalism implies tolerance and respect and that doesn’t appear to be the case from where I’m sitting.

Song Of The Day – Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah) Band – Urban Spaceman

Original Comments:

Katie made this comment,
Little bit obvious with that blog, point does seem to be kind of a given but no matter.
I am not wallowing actually, there’s nothing I can do about now and I’ve been revising most of the afternoon. Impressed you there haven’t I you patronising git. There is nothing wrong with Joy Division whatsoever, they’re great but I was impressed with the Air comment I would have thought that they are a little avant garde for your tastes.
Visit me @

comment added :: 7th June 2004, 20:34 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I think we could all do with more of the gypsy spirit (or Romany, if you prefer)–but it’s probably been bashed right out of us.

comment added :: 7th June 2004, 22:54 GMT+01
Katie made this comment,
Yours sweetie, yours.
There you go a kiss to make it better
Visit me @

comment added :: 7th June 2004, 23:09 GMT+01
ale2000 made this comment,
i did this blog because this is what my research is about…. particularly looking at native americans in north america. largely- the popular imagines just thinks about them as a people of the past…people not seen…living on reservations…which is far from the truth. most live in urban environments- NYC being the largest place for them. will post article on my site from NY times about this…
this romany’s term is new for me… obviously being from rome- so just being italian? educate me…
[Redbaron responds -Actually the word Romany comes from the name of the language originally spoken by the ‘Gypsy’ people. Interestingly enough their origin is from Northern India although they now inhabit most continents and are synonymous with certain countries such as Romania, Ireland etc. So there you go. I’m very glad it was of interest and you learnt a new word that makes the blog worthwhile.]

comment added :: 8th June 2004, 00:24 GMT+01