Gypsies and Irish Travelers in England

Libby Brooks “This middle England village is the Gypsies' deep south”

タイトルは、Warwickshire*1の某村におけるキャンプ用地に対する官民一体となった反対と規制強化を巡って、Equality and Human Rights Commission*2のTrevor Phillips氏が英国のジプシー(ロマ)及びアイリッシュ・トラヴェラーズの情況は1950年代米国南部の黒人並みだといい、Travellers' Times編集者のJake Bowers氏が"This is more deep south than middle England."と述べたことに由来する。

This criminalisation has been ongoing for more than two decades. Under the previous Conservative government, criminal justice and public order acts vastly increased police powers to evict those camping illegally, and repealed local authorities' duty to provide areas to camp. Those who buy land privately encounter punitive planning restrictions, with 90% of applications by Gypsies and Travellers rejected, compared with 25% of domestic ones – hardly an indication of Spelman's level playing field.

As a result, despite politicians' expedient focus on encampments, the majority of the community is now settled, albeit unwillingly. Only a third of the country's estimated 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers continue to live in camps, over half of which are provided by a local authority and where, despite paying rent and council tax, tenants have no security of tenure or legally enforceable standards of maintenance.

And there remains a shortfall of pitches, so around 25,000 individuals have nowhere to go where they are not breaking the law, despite research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found that it would take as little as one square mile of land to resolve this. For these people, who may be evicted up to 50 times a year, the prospects are now especially bleak.


(…) Gypsies and Travellers have the poorest life chances of any group: infant mortality is highest, educational attainment lowest, and life expectancy 10 years below average. If the travelling community is marginalised by prejudice as much as by lifestyle, then it is unsurprising that many express concern about the coalition's emphasis on localism: decision-making by the local majority threatens all chronically excluded populations, asylum seekers and street homeless.

While it is hoped the inclusion of Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers in the census will provide much-needed hard data, community organisations warn that fear of exposure to prejudice, especially among those living in bricks and mortar, may result in a counter- productive undercount. Especially as the government clampdown has occurred at a time of rising attacks and official crackdowns on Roma people across Europe.

また、最後にLibby Brooksさんは差別の背景として、定住民と非定住民というか、定住的生活様式と非定住的生活様式との文化摩擦を挙げている――”the absence of a desire for bricks and mortar will continue to be considered anathema, anarchic, acultural, and worthy of mainstream distrust or derision.”
なお、「ジプシー」については、 で言及した。英国におけるジプシー及びトラヴェラーズについては(昔私が関係した本で恐縮だが)デヴィッド・シブレイの『都市社会のアウトサイダー』を再度マークしておく。
Outsiders in Urban Society

Outsiders in Urban Society