Condemnation is not enough

With the Roma persecution, condemnation is essential but not enough. In a clash between our own marginalised and Europe’s most persecuted minorities, there’s no contest. I’m no expert but I’ve talked to Roma and about them in Iasi, Romania where anti-racism is, shall we say, in its infancy and memories of horrific Jewish and Roma massacres in WW2 are underplayed. Roma are not easily assimilable. Some, not all, are travelling people.There are places in Europe where they have much less government support. I felt uneasy watching Jon Snow on his high horse with a PSNI officer a couple of nights ago. Yet Hugh Orde’s defence is plainly inadequate. Stepping down from the TV presenter’s and leader writer’s chairs, it’s more of a complex web of problems to be addressed that an ideological dispute. It’s always easier to describe than prescribe. Even here, language is difficult. Mark is unfairly pilloried for wondering openly if it’s a straightforward story of victimhood. South Belfast is one of few areas where the glaringly unequal live cheek by jowl, and student and immigrant lets abut. Catholics crossed the bog meadows long ago and the Village feels hemmed in. Fionnuala captures it perfectly and wrings her hands (as I would, Wellington Park being my birth place). Newton treats us to his delicious ironies and puts it down to imitating the BNP. Eamonn offers his partly convincing “Catholics up, Protestants down” identity analysis to the ignorant English but as usual fails to describe the socialist remedy that would solve it all. But for me, Mick’s thread

is the discussion that matters.
(It’s) a well oiled reflex, backed by mechanisms administered by the Housing Executive for parcelling victims of paramilitary violence, quickly and seamless out of areas dominated by one particular organisation and (often) into other estates controlled by their paramilitary rivals… It’s a short term tactic that has the positive short term outcome of getting the victim out of harm’s way, but it’s also a tacit admission that the functions of a democratic state are failing whole communities on the ground.
Even if these attacks are not paramilitary- directed, they are in the mindset. Meanwhile the Irish Times as usual in its leaders, looks on the bright side. Are they right? Is this having much of an effect?

Even as more than 100 Romanians were receiving police protection, 20,000 families in 11 communities across Northern Ireland joined in a “shared neighbourhood programme” designed to break down traditional barriers between unionists and nationalists. The scheme is funded by the International Fund and managed by the housing executive and it encourages communities to build shared neighbourhoods where everyone is accepted and respected. It offers hope to those courageous individuals who want to build a lasting peace and stable society where there was once division

.

  • the Holy C***

    Condemnation is not enough

    With the Mark McGregor persecution, condemnation is essential but not enough. In a clash between our own posters and Europe’s most persecuted blogger, there’s no contest. I’m no expert but I’ve read about Mark McGregor and about them in Ireland where anti-racism is, shall we say, in its infancy and memories of horrific sectarianism are underplayed. Mark McGregor’s ideas are not easily assimilable. Some, not all, seem pretty far out.There are places on the internet where he may even be actively dislked. I felt uneasy watching *Democratic* on his high horse in the comments section. Yet Brian Walker’s defence is plainly inadequate. Standing up from the computer user’s chair, it’s more of a complex web of problems to be addressed that an ideological dispute. It’s always easier to describe than prescribe. Even here, language is difficult. I expect to be unfairly pilloried for wondering openly if it’s a straightforward story of victimhood.

  • dodrade

    Is it me or are the media deliberately playing down the fact that these people are not just Romanians but also Romanies, perhaps fearing people will be a lot less sympathetic to them knowing they are Gypsies?

  • O’Donoghue

    One of the first issues of Viz I ever read and without a doubt the strip that stuck most with us was the tongue-in-cheek “The Thieving Gypsy Bastards” – a tale of stereotypical Romany types which despite pleading published in issue 44 The team knew they were probably in for a bit of stick with it and thus included a slightly shorter three panel strip on the following page entitled “The Nice Honest Gypsies”. The tact didn’t work (although the Viz office only received four complaints) and the comic was soon contacted by the President of the Romany Union in Texas to accuse them of inciting racial hatred and demanding a retraction. Still, it was a really very funny strip…

  • aquifer

    Condemnation belongs in a court of law. Lets have public prosecution, offenders apprehended. We may have to ask for some swarthy volunteers to bait the trap, but how hard is it to attract wannabee fascists? It may even be necessary to pay brave people to ‘live’ peacefully in an area for a time to gather evidence, but terrorism is terrorism and we have got value from undercover operations and electronic surveillance before. Think of it as a life insurance premium.

    Our political ‘leaders’ have thrived on impunity.
    Before they take up peace and justice powers they should be shown the difference between public order and impunity.

  • IJP

    It’s this line I like best:

    but it’s also a tacit admission that the functions of a democratic state are failing whole communities on the ground.

    Ultimately, everyone has to ask what they themselves are doing to make that democratic state function better. The vast majority could not even be bothered to participate in a democratic election a couple of weeks ago; very few indeed recognise the importance of a wealth-creating economy to a stable society (preferring to advocate “more resources” for every pet project under the sun); some do not even recognise the justice system (which itself fails to distinguish, as aquifer rightly says, between public order and impunity).

    The political procress may have worked, but the democratic outcome still has some way to go.