Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do You Remember The Days of Slavery

I commented a while back on the radical new "welfare to work" strategies allegedly being pioneered by the travelling community in Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Derby, which were reportedly capable of transforming homeless alcoholics, one of the more intractable and challenging groups for any social worker, into dedicated Stakhanovite block-paving operatives working up to 14 hours a day.

It looks as though transformative work therapy is being more widely practiced than thought - and with characteristic modesty, the liberal mouthpieces of said community are neglecting the opportunity to more widely publicise alleged achievements which the publicly funded welfare to work agencies such as Atos could only dream about.

I must say this BBC report is very mean-spirited, and seems to show little understanding of modern labour market conditions and radical management styles :

"Twenty-four men suspected of being held against their will have been found during a raid at a travellers' site. Four men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of committing slavery offences in the raid at Greenacre travellers' site, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, on Sunday. The men, who are English, Polish and Romanian, were found in "filthy and cramped" conditions, police said. Detectives believe some may have been there for up to 15 years.

Those arrested are being held on suspicion of committing offences under the Slavery and Servitude Act 2010. They are being held at police stations across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Weapons, drugs and money were also found at the site, police said."
I don't know. There's always someone waiting to trumpet an anti-business agenda - and more often than not it's the BBC.


Anonymous said...

slavery going on here for 15 years and the police didn't have a clue. Too busy nocking middle-class BMW drivers on the M5 I expect.

By the way, I see that Bradford and the West Midlands are 8x less likely to bother insuring themselves to drive than the rest of the country. Something else the police have been turning a blind eye to.

James Higham said...

Insurance? I heard the word once.

JuliaM said...

You'll note that the 'Guardian' is desperately throwing cold water on the reports by allowing the sort of 'victim statement' that would have Julie Bindel and Cath Elliot frothing at the mouth in rage should it be, say, a trafficked sex worker interviewed thus....

Double standards, much?

Mark said...

'Double standards, much?'

Absolutely Julia- the attribution here of pro-traveller sentiments to a 'wife' of one of those kept captive is especially dubious - I'd put money on her being a 'wife' of one of the 'slave-owners', not one of the captives-

'Speaking at the door of her mobile home, one woman – who said she was the wife of one of the arrested men but did not want to be named – said the police claims were "ridiculous".

She added: "The men who were taken were getting paid £30 a day, they had somewhere to live, this is all a load of nonsense."

Police claimed the suspects lured vulnerable men from dole queues and homeless shelters to work at the site. But the woman said they came voluntarily because they knew Travellers would give work to men down on their luck.

"Isn't it better that they have a roof over their head?" she said. "What are they going to do now – when the police have finished with them they will be homeless. It's up to them how they kept their homes, but they could come and go whenever they pleased."

She accused the police of harbouring prejudices against Travellers. "It's complete lies and they are trying to make Travellers look bad. There are two sides to this story," she said.'


Anonymous said...

Homeless people being press-ganged to work for gypsies is mentioned in the 2005 book 'Stuart, A Life Backwards'. The author, Alexander Masters, relates the claims but comments that he finds it hard to believe that any of the rough sleepers he'd met would be capable of working.

A homeless charity in Masters' home town of Cambridge also tried to get the police to investigate similar claims because they were hearing them more often from their 'clients'. At the time the police dismissed them as the fantasies of drunks.

It's good to see that they are now being taken more seriously.

Bobo said...

Vanessa Redgrave was calling 'em "warm,wise and gentle people" a couple of weeks back, as she enjoyed a clay-baked hedghog in a traditional brightly painted Romany horsedrawn vardoi.

Has she made any comment today, yet?

Liberals: forever mugged by reality.

Anonymous said...

Remember when mainstream wite socities had slavery we are collectively responsible, we know this because 'we' are being asked to fund reparations.

When a vibrant group practice slavery I suspect it will all turn out to 'isolated incidents' and unrepresentitive individuals.

Anonymous said...

Stop whingeing.