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Playing fair? The revival of Romani lobbying in Multicultural Britain. ‘The future of Multicultural Britain: meeting across boundaries’ June 14-15, 2005. Dr. Colin Clark University of Strathclyde firstname.lastname@example.org. Introduction: what are the issues?.
‘The future of Multicultural
Britain: meeting across
June 14-15, 2005.
Dr. Colin Clark
University of Strathclyde
“The student of European history who searches
for Gypsies will find them only in footnotes.”
Lucassen, Willems and Cottaar (1998) Gypsies and Other Itinerant
Groups: A Socio-Historical Approach, London: Macmillan. (p.1).
“Though they have distinctive beliefs about sources of pollution, their culture is not so very different from that of non-Gypsies, except (in Western Europe) for their moving from place to place; this restricts their children's schooling, and because of circumstances in which it is done, attracts the hostility of the non-Gypsies. That hostility is not 100-per-cent unwelcome to Gypsy parents because it helps bind their children to the group’s way of life and discourages them [from] seeking opportunities in the wider society.” (my emphasis)
Michael Banton (1997) Ethnic and Racial Consciousness, London:
“The trawl through Hansard is revealing… Gypsies are
vilified… the themes are familiar and repetitive… the same
words keep re-occurring… filth, crime, excrement… there
are few words of sympathy.”
Royce Turner (2002) ‘Gypsies and British Parliamentary
Language’ Romani Studies, 12(1):26.
Key question: Can Gypsy issues ever be anything other
than a ‘vote loser’ for politicians?
We live in a modern Britain. We are proud to be part of a diverse and
multicultural nation. We are proud to be Gypsies and Travellers.
Too many councils, politicians and newspapers seem to think they
don’t have to play by the rules. Gypsies and Travellers are being
We don't want knee jerk reactions. We want solutions that are fair for
We need more choice, more legal sites, more dialogue and more
“The thorny question of how the media covers controversial
issues has reared its head again, with a Sun newspaper
campaign declaring "war" on a "gipsy free-for-all.”
(Paula Dear, BBC, March 11 2005)
Key question: are the media part of the problem or part of
Formed September 2002
“The Gypsy & Traveller Law
Reform Coalition is an alliance of
Romany Gypsy, Irish Traveller
and New Traveller campaign
groups committed to raising the
social inclusion of these and
other Traveller communities.”