Is it safe to go back, do you think?

The Roma who fled from Belfast face a worse fate back in Romania, journalists following up the story conclude. The Times’ David Sharrock finds them back in poverty-striken Batar and asks:

Just how terrified must the Roma families in Belfast have been to choose this over their imperfect lives in Northern Ireland? Florin Fekete returned on Monday with his wife and two sons. “There is no work here. Life in Belfast was good, we had really good times but I could not risk my family’s lives. I asked some of the ones who were attacking us, ‘What do you have against us?’.“The reply was, ‘We hate you because you are gypsies’. But even though I am afraid, I want to go back. Is it safe now, do you think?

Aida Edemariam of the Guardian can’t actually find any returning Roma, but Belfast’s reputation has arrived before them.

What’s going on in Ireland now?” asked a young man, intently, when we were at Vadul Crisului. “Can we go back to Ireland?” He has tickets to fly to Dublin next month. “Is it safe?” Are you going to Belfast? “No, no, no, not Belfast.” It’s a veritable chorus from the people surrounding him. What do they know about the attacks? Only what they saw on television. And what did they think of that? “We’re afraid to go to Ireland.” They’ve had problems in Italy and Spain, they say, but nothing as bad as Belfast. Why Belfast, do they think? Maybe it’s the spirit there. Maybe people are more violent. I don’t know I’m guessing.

Petru Clej reports for the BBC from western Romania on the reception they can expect.

But if Romanian journalists displayed sympathy, some of their readers voiced prejudices against the Roma minority – under the anonymity of the internet. Many objected to the Belfast migrants being called Romanians, and others congratulated those who intimidated the immigrants into leaving Belfast.
“The Irish have won a battle; the Romanians have lost. Congratulations, they did the cleaning,” reads one website posting.

Or did he mean “cleansing”?
.

A conclusion from Dimitrina Petrova, Executive director, Equal Rights Trust.

I was struck by two things. First, as anyone involved in equality law work would agree, Northern Ireland has been a success story: and yet, it is striking how superficial this success has been. The second is the very fact that a large group of Roma families are leaving a western city in which they had sought refuge. This is something new. In over 15 years of working with Roma communities across Europe, I have never witnessed a community willingly returning to eastern Europe, even in the face of sustained prejudice, violence and discrimination.

  • Multicultural Paradise

    [i]Florin Fekete returned on Monday with his wife and two sons. “There is no work here. Life in Belfast was good, we had really good times but I could not risk my family’s lives.[/i]

    Just exactly how did ‘Florin’ manage to have “really good times” in Belfast, given that they had no discernible form of income other than Big Issue selling etc?

    I’d love to know how exactly Roma families managed to support themselves while they were here in the same way that, to varying degrees, other immigrant communities living in Ireland have done so. For example, in the same way that Indian, Italian and Chinese immigrants to Ireland, especially in recent decades, carved out a reputation as successful businessmen etc. In the same way that eastern European immigrants have carved out a reputation as hard-working, albeit sometimes hard-drinking, conscientious and affable workers in industries that some of our fellow citizens simply won’t work.

    [i]What’s going on in Ireland now?” asked a young man, intently, when we were at Vadul Crisului. “Can we go back to Ireland?” He has tickets to fly to Dublin next month. “Is it safe?”[/i]

    This “young man” is returning to the Republic of Ireland at the height of a horrific economic crisis in which unemployment levels have now reached over 10% and will probably top out over the next 18-24 months at 20%. Exactly where is he going to find a job given
    (a) that the Roma community and their supporters often protest that they are considered “unemployable” by most employers, and
    (b) the aforementioned economic crisis and ever-growing unemployment levels?

    Is such an “open door” immigration policy really economically viable in the current climate or conducive to harmonious social relations?

    [i]Or did he mean “cleansing”?[/i]

    Brian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

    Well done, Brian: you have utilised the dreaded ‘r’ word to full effect. Again, well done in successfully killing off any chance of a reasonable debate on this topic by introducing baseless, but easily smeared, Nazi connotation and applying them to any dissenters.

    [i]In over 15 years of working with Roma communities across Europe, I have never witnessed a community willingly returning to eastern Europe, even in the face of sustained prejudice, violence and discrimination.[/i]

    There’s obviously a lot of money to be made in western Europe and our ruling liberal elite (who don’t have to live anywhere near immigrant areas) ensure that an abundance of human rights safeguards and activists are in an excellent position to shout ‘r’ at anyone unhappy with mass, uncontrolled immigration thereby ensuring that Romas etc. enjoy a relatively easy ride. I’d love one reasonable commentator to explain exactly how that money is made by this particular community.

    By the way, and just so there’s absolutely no ambiguity, I am a racist, a Nazi, a BNP supporting skinhead thug and a threat to political and social stability throughout the British Isles.

  • The people of Belfast should be ashamed.

  • Multicultural Paradise

    [i]The people of Belfast should be ashamed. [/i]

    Why? Around 0.5 million people live in Greater Belfast. The Romas have been intimidate out of their houses by probably no more than a dozen people.

    Use your brain, think and reflect before you consider typing vacuous little sentiments like the above which the chattering classes are so fond of – it’s like shooting fish in a barrel and plays well with the masses but, in reality, means f*** all and serves to taint 100% of the people with the actions of 0.000024% of the people.

  • Driftwood

    Belfast’s lost will be Dublin’s gain.
    A big loss to the NI economy, and unfortunately the Republic will gain from this brain drain.
    Oh well, what the hell.

  • EyeOnTheNorth

    Paradise

    Belfast should be ashamed, despite how small the minority was.
    The Roma are saying that of all the cities in Europe they go to, Belfast is the only one they have had to flee due to violence.
    So if it is just a few bored loyalist dickheads high on glue and bigotry, the fact is that they have a huge impact on our society, which shows how lenient we are when they are 0.001 % of our population.
    The fact the Roma were escorted from the country by authorities, when the cops should have rounded up the scummy spides and turfed them out, giving the Roma their homes, is a disgrace.
    The Hoods rule without fear, and for that, Belfast should be ashamed.

  • rob mcnaughton

    i am sure some of the roma were good law abiding people. evidence does however suggest that some were not, and in a community this small the PERCENTAGE of people who behaved badly was quite substantial. too high to be accepted by the populace as a whole.
    there is precisely the same issue with Sudanese people in Melbourne, a small community but too many were involved in petty crime.
    i contrast this in oz with many coloured communities from elsewhere close in africa such as ethiopia who have fitted in splendidly. they did not commit crime and were more “religious” in their ways of life.
    black people in oz in general are in fact warmly welcomed, as the crime of the afro caribbeans from non nuclear families so typical in england has not yet hit these shores. it is more of a crime than a colour issue.
    petty crime, such as stealing money from old ladies has meant that the community has acted where the police would not.
    had the roma in belfast removed the troublemakers from within their community and handed them over to the police then some of the problems could have been solved. if you are not part of the solution then you become part of the problem.
    i accept that this is not PC, but saying they are black skinned or gypsies and that this is the reason is clearly not the whole story.

  • Dave

    “In over 15 years of working with Roma communities across Europe, I have never witnessed a community willingly returning to eastern Europe, even in the face of sustained prejudice, violence and discrimination.”

    It’s a shame she wasn’t saying this when the UK government was telling its citizens that only 15,000 eastern Europeans per year would enter the UK in search of work and that they would all depart when they were no longer ‘needed.’ In fact, 600,000 of them flooded into the UK during the first two years and the number is now 1.1 million officially (and your guess is as good as mine about what the unofficial figure is). They have not, of course, departed now that they are no longer needed.

    In fact, they have the same rights under EU law to remain within the UK as its own citizens have and the State must justify any interference with their right to cross the UK border and reside within its State. The quota system that the UK applied to Romania and Bulgaria will expire in 2011 and the UK will not have any sovereignty over its borders between EU member states after that date (not that its quota system actually mattered since it is circumvented by declaring self-employment). So, all 14 million of these Roma may enter your State if that is their wish.

    The folks of NI are not alone in not wanting these criminal groups in their country. The EU’s “Discrimination in the EU: Perceptions, Experiences and Attitudes, July 2008” survey which asked the question “Would you feel comfortable or uncomfortable having a Roma as your neighbour?” found that only 36% of the respondents in all 27 EU member states would be comfortable with a Roma as their neighbour. Incidentally, only 24% of Irish people 21% of British people said they’d be comfortable.

    http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_296_en.pdf

    Because the Roma are an ethnic group under EU law, they enjoy special status and the protection of racial discrimination legislation (crimes against them may be carefully documented to shame the host nation but crimes by them must not be documented and must not be used to shame them). So even if you accept that these folks have a culture of criminality and anti-social behaviour, you cannot use that as a basis to exclude them from your State.

    Because the UK has signed up to these Roma having a ‘right’ to live in the UK, the question of whether or not these Roma are a benefit or a blight to the UK can no longer be asked. So, the victimizers must be presented as victims, and any objection that the UK citizens have to be victimised by these groups must be presented as racism on their part and something that the state must eradicate – it is not the culture of criminality of the Roma that must be erased (that must simply be ignored) but rather the culture of those who object to parasites and criminals among them is what must be erased. To this end, classifying the crimes that EU nationals commit in the UK is deemed by the EU to be unacceptable “racial profiling” which is not allowed. So, don’t ask how many of them are claiming welfare or how much they are claiming or what crimes they commit because this information is simply not available to the citizens of the member state lest they use it to make an informed decision about the merits of immigrants that they are no longer entitled to make.

  • Harry Flashman

    “The fact the Roma were escorted from the country by authorities, when the cops should have rounded up the scummy spides and turfed them out, giving the Roma their homes, is a disgrace.”

    Why should this be an “either/or”? Indeed the police should prosecute and severely punish the “scummy spides” but equally the Roma should be asked to leave Northern Ireland, they are not citizens and appear to have no legal right to be in the country.

    Punish both sets of law breakers and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Jimmy

    And how is the plight of the Roma ‘our’ problem?
    Surely as Romania is an EU country, its civil service and government has a duty of care toward them its their people not ours, with financial help and support from the EU budget.

    Good riddance to the Roma, we are not and should not be Trans-national social workers for a bunch of univited social pariahs.

  • Big Maggie

    Jimmy,

    “And how is the plight of the Roma ‘our’ problem?”

    Because they’re your fellow human beings, that’s why. And were driven out by your fellow citizens in a disgraceful way.

    “a bunch of univited social pariahs.”

    I don’t recall inviting the social pariahs of the Village into this world. Who did, you?

  • Jimmy

    Big Maggie, Sympathy and aulturism can only go so far until we realise that we just can take or care for every and any ethnic group that sees itself and percieved as being an underclass or victim.Sorry I deal in realism. Thats what the European Union is supposed to be trying to fix and blatantly failing to do so.It created the free borders but distributes aid unequally from west to east Europe.
    Helping people from foriegn nations, failed states in poverty just cant go on. I sympathise with the Roma but again they are not our problem.

    The social pariahs of the village, like it our not are our pariahs, for us to deal with, they have an inane right to be here. Perhaps if we had properly educated them, give them sustainable jobs and a decent outlook maybe they would not have carried out thier actions.These kids were as much victims of the Political elites and thier ridiculous, insistant, multicultural ideology.

  • fin

    Perhaps the Roma should be encouraged to run as MLAs. NI continously has the begging bowl out in London asking for billions more on top of the normal handouts for the wee 6, if the Roma are the professional beggars that everyone claims they’ll be better at the job than Robbo, and I’m sure be happy with a lot less commission than Robbo charges the taxpayers for doing the job.

    I wonder how many Roma on benefits it takes to equal the cost to the taxpayer of Robbo’s monthly food bill.

  • Big Maggie

    Jimmy,

    “they have an inane right to be here”

    I’ve a feeling you meant something else :^)

    “Perhaps if we had properly educated them, give them sustainable jobs and a decent outlook maybe they would not have carried out thier actions.”

    Seriously, Jimmy, do you read what you type before posting it? Are you telling me the thugs are undereducated? What, they didn’t go to school like the rest of us? Of course they did. If they got no learning it’s because they did nothing to receive it when it was being taught. Education is truly wasted on some kids.

    And somebody is supposed to “give” them jobs? Wrong. The onus is on them (and it is on every one of us) to look for a job while making themselves employable. The Belfast Telegraph is short of a few sellers now I understand.

    Similarly the onus is on the xenophobic thugs to cultivate a “decent outlook”. They’ve passed the age of reason, correct? Time to take control of their lives.

    “These kids were as much victims of the Political elites and thier ridiculous, insistant, multicultural ideology.”

    Jesus on a pogo stick! You’ll have me weeping into my hankie yet. The only victims were the Roma and the church members who gave them sanctuary. I won’t have anybody sympathizing with less-than-useless thugs and remain silent.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I am not sure that I completely go along with the argument that this is all about the rising tide of fascism, the BNP, nazis and all the rest.

    The intimidation used against the Roma is typical of a brand of thuggery that occurs across the UK, I’ve been on the receiving end of it (to a lesser extent, of course) myself. It got press coverage because a small ethnic minority was on the receiving end. This is the problem where a group of slack-jawed thugs basically decide they have the right to determine who gets to live in a neighbourhood and who does not, and to implement their will they deploy low-level tactics like vandalism, graffiti, smashing windows, burning cars and property, etc. It doesn’t take a vast organized conspiracy, political parties, nazis, or anything else. It doesn’t even take the recently-decommissioned guns of a paramilitary organization to do it.

    There is an issue of law and order here that, sooner or later, we need to confront, right across Ireland and the UK. To elevate this somehow into a suggestion that there needs to be a “debate” about whether or not Eastern Europeans have a right to be here is not only missing the point, but it is ascribing these protagonists a degree of intelligence that they don’t possess as well as helping to provide them with justification.

  • Big Maggie

    Comrade,

    Well argued.

  • Brian Walker

    All, It surely is shaming that this has happened, even if we don’t go all out for blanket condemnations. 400 metres away from where I type in London we have the equivalent Roma. London is hardly without racial tensions but currently there are no particular flashpoints and vastly greater numbers of legals and illegals are being absorbed, not without difficulty but without this kind of high profile group departure. Belfast ought to learn form London’s wider experience. What analysis has been made of this sorry affair? Despite all the rhetoric, we still don’t really know what precisely happened. The agenda has moved on with sighs all round. Not good enough. What was the PSNI role? It seems to me from the public discussion that the PSNI evaded the problem for a number of potential reasons: fear of stoking a loyalist backlash; failure to see the pattern of incidents; or maybe just plain indifference, in violation of the McPherson rules. They are now trotting out the universal cliche, that “lessons have been learned”. I hope they have. But what lessons? We should be told.
    Secondly, our own underclass needs a level of deep treatment it doesn’t appear to be getting although a good deal of money is thrown in their direction. We need open honest debate followed by action that doesn’t lapse back in a discussion of 1690, or even 1969. There are other minorities in NI who have suffered. At the very least, politicians ought to remember they do have votes.

  • Jimmy

    they have an inane right to be here”
    I’ve a feeling you meant something else :^)

    Yes I did.

    (“Perhaps if we had properly educated them, give them sustainable jobs and a decent outlook maybe they would not have carried out their actions.”

    ‘’Seriously, Jimmy, do you read what you type before posting it? Are you telling me the thugs are undereducated? What, they didn’t go to school like the rest of us? Of course they did. If they got no learning it’s because they did nothing to receive it when it was being taught. Education is truly wasted on some kids‘’.)

    That’s like saying that black youth crime in London as apologists usually refer to is caused by Social deprivation, poverty, a failure of state and society to include them, lack of role models insufficient employment, isn’t it? god forbid the accusation that it may be that young black men may be naturally predisposed to Violence maybe they are just naturally bad? Aren’t they? So why exclude the young people of the village from the same social factors? Do young black men get the same education, is it wasted on them also? or is being a minority different? Why didn’t the Roma educate themselves? You cant have it both ways.

    (‘’And somebody is supposed to “give” them jobs? Wrong. The onus is on them (and it is on every one of us) to look for a job while making themselves employable. The Belfast Telegraph is short of a few sellers now I understand‘’.)

    Correct to an extent but Does that include the onus on the Roma too? The Roma are a self excluded group from society. So by your reckoning anyone who begs, steals or breaks immigration laws should stop what they are doing and look for gainful employment? As a self excluded group they refuse to adhere to those civil norms.

    You know as well as I do that in a neo-liberal economic society, it is inherently unfair, it creates and underclass and disaffected and unemployed wherever it is practiced. We cant all get on our proverbial bikes and succeed, the class structure doesn’t allow it, there is always a surplus of unemployed or unemployable i.e. the underclass That, included the thugs.

    (‘Similarly the onus is on the xenophobic thugs to cultivate a “decent outlook”. They’ve passed the age of reason, correct? Time to take control of their lives‘.)

    Maggie, what’s learned negatively especially in NI is not always easy to brush off, our Politicians haven’t even got near to the age of reason, how do you expect the easily influenced underclass to behave? Kids in the village or Ballymurphy don’t live in a normal society.

    These kids were as much victims of the Political elites and their ridiculous, insistent, multicultural ideology.”
    (Jesus on a pogo stick! You’ll have me weeping into my hankie yet. The only victims were the Roma and the church members who gave them sanctuary. I won’t have anybody sympathizing with less-than-useless thugs and remain silent.)

    They were also victims if they felt so low and of little self esteem that they did what they did, are you saying they were naturally bad? Don’t know about you but I think people are made bad rather than born that way.

  • danielmoran

    eyeofthenorth…. msg 5. too right, eotn, the response of the authorities seems to reward the culprits. i was watching on ‘let’s give in to dup blackmail, how the panel saw it, and they all spoutred platitudes, claiming that of the small number who hounded the romanians out and the small number who helped afterwards, it was conveniently the helpers who were the real belfast. carruthurs was possibly the most biased i,ve seen him. i used to think he was impartial, but now i see that goes along with the whole circus at stormont and the ‘our wee country’ mentality. the broadcast media in n.i. are a joke. [the press follow their readership agenda, so they don’t count as balanced. all it takes now is for the duppers to set up a craven news channel like faux news in the states, for the U.S. republicans.

  • danielmoran

    brian walker… msg16
    ‘there are other minorities, politicians ought to remember, who do have votes.

    very true, brian given the margins now, our pols can afford to be complacent for a while yet. It should be said that the margins between the native groups, is small enough now that the unionists can’t really depend on a majority at the next assembly elections. even if unionists weren’t split three ways. the westminster margin is closing dangerously, and diane dodds showed no scruples in playing the siege mentality card at euros. [not that it did her much good.].

  • Big Maggie

    Jimmy,

    “That’s like saying that black youth crime in London as apologists usually refer to is caused by Social deprivation, poverty, a failure of state and society to include them, lack of role models insufficient employment, isn’t it? god forbid the accusation that it may be that young black men may be naturally predisposed to Violence maybe they are just naturally bad?”

    Thanks for bringing this up. Did you by any chance catch an incredible docu on Channel 4 on Monday? Entitled “Rape in the City” it concerned gang rapes perpetrated by young blacks, mainly in London. Hats off to C4 because they had a black guy (Sorious Sumara) presenting it. The gloves were off, no PC or pussyfooting around the issues. It does appear that there’s a very serious problem (or properly a raft of problems) with young black men, at least in England. It was compulsive viewing. Shocking stuff.

    “Maggie, what’s learned negatively especially in NI is not always easy to brush off”

    With you all the way on that one!

    “They were also victims if they felt so low and of little self esteem that they did what they did”

    Two issues here. One, thugs usually have more self-esteem than anybody else. I came across this recently in a book by the psychologist Martin Seligman:

    When bad things happen, we can blame ourselves (internalize) or we can blame other people or circumstances (externalize). People who blame themselves when they fail have low self-esteem as a consequence. They think they are worthless, talentless, and unlovable. People who blame external events do not lose self-esteem when bad events strike. On the whole, they like themselves better than people who blame themselves do. Low esteem usually comes from an internal style for bad events.

    There’s a lovely symmetry in that don’t you think?

    Two, how do you know why they [the Village people] “did what they did”? Are you sure you aren’t seeing stuff that isn’t there? Me, I don’t know. But I do know that it all comes down to hatred. Very sad. They should take a couple of years out, travel, broaden their minds and perspectives.

    “are you saying they were naturally bad? Don’t know about you but I think people are made bad rather than born that way.”

    Jimmy, eleven days ago I was presented with my newest grandchild, the most adorable wee bundle of innocence you could imagine. Badness in her?! Perish the thought!

    Mind you, they tell me she has her granny’s mouth…. :^)

  • cynic

    Can I say from the outset that I welcome people from anywhere in the world to come and share our little space. They add value to our community in so many ways and we can learn from them. If they break the law then treat them exactly the same way that the local scumbags are brought before the courts. However I have noticed that by and large the bloggers that I perceive to be from nationalist and republican backgrounds have been very supportive of the Roma’s and have defended their right to be here. This is a position I share with them! However when they take cheap shots at the Loyalists who contributed to the conditions leading to the exodus I start thinking pot and black! The Nationalists and republicans have hardly been very welcoming to the presence of our British friends on these shores.

    E FROM ANYWHERE

  • Reader

    Big Maggie (quoting): When bad things happen, we can blame ourselves (internalize) or we can blame other people or circumstances (externalize).
    Or we can work out what actually happened, and deal with the reality.
    So far as I can see, the externalizers can be bitter, whiny, MOPEs. I have shared offices with people who blame anything and everyone except themselves when something goes wrong.
    But if externalizers without achievements are looking for someone to blame, internalizers with no achievements can perfectly well be looking for some outsider to look down upon.

  • oldruss

    cynic, Jun 27, 2009 @ 09:08 PM:
    “The Nationalists and republicans have hardly been very welcoming to the presence of our British friends on these shores.”

    That was ‘tongue-in-cheek’ as they say, was it not?

    If I may be permitted one comment, with the caveat that it is coming as it does from an outsider, this type of discrimination and violence directed towards an outside group (the Roma) seems to not be significantly different than the discrimination and violence that has been directed towards the Catholic minority in the north of Ireland for decades.

    I recall, although not with the clarity I would wish for, that a couple of years ago, when the housing executive had provided a new apartment complex in the Sandy Row area, that there were great disturbances against the Catholic residents who had been allowed to move into the new units. The local DUP councillor, whose name escapes me, was infamously quoted as having said that if they (the Catholics) didn’t like the daily demonstrations by one paramilitary group or another, that they could ‘go across the border to the Republic’. A similar sentiment seems to be directed toward the Roma, “go back to Romania (or anywhere else) but get out of Belfast.”

  • cynic

    Oldruss

    Is “Brits Out” not based on the same premise?

  • oldruss

    cynic, you are being disingenuous, at best, it would seem. The phrase, which you have chosen to spotlight, “Brits out”, doesn’t literally mean, all British nationals get out of the north of Ireland, does it?

    It is one of the main precepts of nationalism that all persons born on the island of Ireland have a right to Irish citizenship. That does not square in the least with your usage of the term, “Brits out”.

    Even for a complete outsider like myself, it is clear that the term you threw out above means that the British government and the British military need to leave the north of Ireland; allowing the Irish, Protestant and Catholic, unionist and nationalist, to work out their common future together.

    That is radically different from the violence directed towards the Roma community to forcefully expell them from Belfast, don’t you agree?

  • cynic

    Oldruss.

    Didn’t feel like that when IRA bombs were going off all around me in Belfast. I still carry the scar of a shrapnel wound. Maybe it was just my imagination but I could swear that I was included in the “Brits Out” mantra when bombs were left in public places designed to kill not only British Military members but anyone who was unfortunate to be close by. Please don’t ask me to start listing the examples.

  • oldruss

    There have been victims of the Troubles on both sides, cynic. I have sympathy for all those who have suffered. Yes, I am quite safe here in the States, and have never experienced anything close to what you have experienced there in the north of Ireland.

    That said, whatever the motivations may have been for physical force republicanism, and for the loyalist death squads (i.e. Rosemary Nelson, Pat Finucane, the Shankill Butchers) and the loyalist bombings (i.e. Dublin, Monaghan, Dundalk), and the burning of Catholic residential areas (i.e. Bombay Street); today the world is quite different on many levels. While some may have harbored, and some may still harbor, the sentiments you attribute to Irish-republicans, it seems clear, to me at least, that there is a new-found spirit of cooperation between unionists nationalists. Some days are smoother than others and there will always be issues that are not readily resolved; but on a whole, “Brits Out” should not be taken literally, unless, of course, you prefer to think of yourself as a victim under seige.

  • Ms Wiz

    It wasn’t long ago that Irish republicans were planting bombs in Britain and a good few of the right-wing press were lamenting the Irish proclivity for violence. Likwise Irish travellers have always had a bad press historically in Britain but it seems the behaviour of these two groups is not enough to stereotype an entire nation. However when it comes to the Roma, entire sweeping statements of outright racism can be said with little or no protest.

  • 6countyprod

    did he mean “cleansing”?

    Yes, there has been plenty of cleansing in this part of the world down through the centuries.

    The recent discovery of a ‘town’ at Dunluce reveals the practice of ‘cleansing’ during the 1641 rebellion when hundreds in the area were evicted from their homes and dear knows how many slaughtered by the ‘papists’. Estimates range from 4,000 to 200,000 Protestants murdered all over the island. Wouldn’t you say the ‘Romanians’ got off lightly, considering?

  • Big Maggie

    6countryprod,

    Nice bit of whataboutery there. Heavens, you must have created a record because it’s earlier than the Battle of the Boyne.

    “dear knows how many slaughtered by the ‘papists’.”

    I’ve asked Dear and he says he doesn’t know. He says few because most of the planters had skedaddled back to Scotland.

    “Estimates range from 4,000 to 200,000 Protestants murdered all over the island.”

    Odd how I didn’t come across that many trials for murder in my history books. I’ll have a word with Dear about this as well.

    “Wouldn’t you say the ‘Romanians’ got off lightly, considering?”

    No, I wouldn’t. The Ottomans made short shrift of the Romanians in the century whereof you speak.

    Or did you mean something else entirely?

  • 6countyprod

    Hey Maggie, as Turgon can get away with endless Greek analogies, I thought that one a little closer to home might be appropriate. Touch a nerve, did I?

  • Big Maggie

    6countyprod,

    “Touch a nerve, did I?”

    Yes, the one in my funny bone :^)

  • sj1
  • 6countyprod

    That’s a real cracker, Maggie. I haven’t laughed as much since, um, last week when I heard Bernie Devlin on Radio Ulster talking about ‘the cleansing’. She certainly knows all about it, eh?

    (Oops, sorry about the whataboutery!)

  • Big Maggie

    6countyprod,

    “(Oops, sorry about the whataboutery!)”

    That’s OK, I forgive you. Whataboutery is bad enough but let this please by the last time you delve back into the 17th century to fish for some.

  • 6countyprod

    Are you saying that Bernadette belongs to the 17th century?

  • Livin in a multicultural paradise

    Get a room you two. Sickening.

  • 6countyprod

    I always knew there was something not quite right about QUB students.