Another racist Facebook page from Belfast

Another sad racist Facebook page targeting Roma rose-sellers has already recruited 10,000 fans. The creators have have left the ‘info’ page blank but a number of the pictures and comments are from Belfast. As usual the comment zone contains pretty awful stuff.

Angelo Mulvey says: “dont be so horrible those poor smelly theifing c..ts they might feel unwelcome and fuck off back home haha”. Then there is Hannah McAllister “out side egg in belfast…. in the space of a 5ish min smoke…. 6 OF THE F****** came up to me and my mate. we were in wrinkles…. stef was so drunk and one of them said to her i need to feed my baby give me money… stef said , “y the fuck do you think you have tits?!?!?!?”

Thanks to Mark for bringing it to my attention. I’ll be passing this one on to the PSNI’s hate crime unit.

  • The Raven

    Conall, aren’t you one of those Assembly chaps that my taxes pay for?

  • Fabianus

    Conall,

    Sad, sad.

    It’s fear of the “other”, isn’t it? Coupled with a distinct lack of imagination, due perhaps to FAS. Their mums should have lessened their intake of Buckfast during their pregnancies.

    I reckon we can expect a lot more of this sort of thing. The underclass is burgeoning and there’s not a lot we can do about it.

  • Yes I am Raven

  • Jaggers

    Sorry Conall, but what makes you sure it’s targeting Roma -surely it’s having a pop at any rose seller (particularly in the run-up to St Valentines Day) that alights upon you and your partner (I’d guess they know how to spot the early dating couples where the male is easily blackmailed into getting a rose for his sweetheart).

    Speaking personally from my dating days, I could have strangled those little blackmailing blackguards but instead had to hand over a fiver through gritted teeth.

    By the way the facebook site could just as easily apply to Lucky Heather, being stopped on the street by gangs of NSPCC collectors offering you a free hug (yes, that was on Kings Road in Chelsea today). I’d guess its popularity might hinge on St Valentines Day when rose sellers everywhere are making a killing (ASDA is doing £2 roses by the way and M&S £19.50 for Roses delivered on the day itself).

  • Jaggers. Take a look at the pictures and the comments. Its targeting Roma.

  • Sammy Wilson’s calculator for the sums

    Good boy Conall, gold star for you! And what else did youndo at school today?!

    Fantastic to see today’s youngsters exercising their considerable mandate from the community – Mama Carmel muby be so proud. Yes we cooooooooop-opppppppt!!

  • Drumlins Rock

    want me to sort this one out too Conall?

  • Jaggers

    Conall, I’m not an expert user of Facebook but there appear to be 2 photos – of an elderly woman in a wheelchair – what makes her Roma? She’s wearing a scarf but it could be a hijab. There appear to be about 5 or so posts with numerous comments but none refers to Roma. Look, I think what happened last year was shocking but are you sure this is a racist bandwagon – it honestly looks like a bunch of people who object to being hassled to buy roses around Valentines Day (and if that is the case and if it was 20 years ago I would have joined them)

    Anyway if you think differently, good luck. What happened to the Roma last year was shameful.

  • Yes please Drumlins. The info page is blank though!

    Appreciate that Jaggers. I am pretty sure there is racist content there and that no right.

  • The Raven

    Indeed. Once this is sorted, I have a whole list of other things, none of them particularly relating to Roma, facebook, blogs, or indeed constitutional issues.

    Any chance…? I’m sure you’ll forgive me for being curmudgeonly over this, after the past few months…years…whatever.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Thank you Conall.
    And if you are indeed THAT Conall I wish you well.

    Some of the alleged creme de la creme of Norn Iron society (QUB students) hang about the Bot and the Egg. I have seen some act appallingly to migrants. I have seen some act very humanely.

    The Eastern mystics talk about karma. I prefer to think of it as what goes round comes around.

  • Framer

    Is it worse than the young SDLP attack on the Roma refuge at City Church in University Avenue last year?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Conall, no argument with your opinion or your actions, but I do wish you’d contribute more to Slugger than bigging up your stance on things or pushing articles on your own blog.

  • RG Cuan

    Almost all rose sellers in Béal Feirste are Roma, this Facebook group is targeting them.

    Apart from the disgusting racist comments, this also shows once again that racism is not class or education related as a lot of the group’s members are probably university students from affluent backgrounds.

    The police need to take action and we also have to tackle such views in our schools etc. but I’m very tempted to head out tonight and give these ignoramuses a good kick up the arse and a slap with a history book.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Sorry mate contacts didnt work this time, seems to be a different lot, strange that there are other people who dont like rose sellers either.

    Meanwhile over on O’Conall street there are rose sellers galore, operating from thier pretty flower shops and paying rent, rates, taxes, etc.

  • Sammy Wilson’s calculator for the sums

    Conall, given your passion for naming and shaming young adults allegedly involved in certain misdemeanors, why not add Kevin Briggs and Niall Colton (coincidentally son of former SDLP legal affairs spokesman and election candidate Adrian Colton) to the list, eh?

    The more the merrier! What are you getting up to tomorrow on the hill Conall? Exercising your democratic mandate, no doubt?

  • [i]Is it worse than the young SDLP attack on the Roma refuge at City Church in University Avenue last year?[/i]

    Young SDLP attack?

  • Framer

    Aye,

    Colton.

  • Mark McGregor

    Conall,

    I raised it with you because I thought you’d do enough to get it shut ASAP

    *Fail*

  • villager

    I hope these people remove themselves from this group if and when they want to get a job, I don’t think nice people like Conall researching an applicant would look too kindly on it.

  • I reckon we can expect a lot more of this sort of thing. The underclass is burgeoning and there’s not a lot we can do about it.

    Posted by Fabianus

    fabianus

    I suppose your shit does not stink, I will tell you one thing, when travellers or newcomers turn up amongst what you insulting call the underclass, they get a dam sight better reception than when they turn up for a round of golf or a drink at the 19th hole.

    Middle class racism is 100 times worse than that practiced by the economically disadvantaged, not least because sections of the middle class have the power to do real harm.

    Institutional racism, which is so prevalent in organisations throughout Ireland, north and south, was not built into the system by the economically poor, but nice well educated middle class people.

    What a piece of work you are.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Reply to Mickall post (21)

    Well thought out post.

  • Alias

    Rather than accommodating the Roma in areas where these beggars and thieves and are not wanted, the State should use hardworking taxpayers’ money to house them in areas where they clearly are wanted, i.e. in areas where Assembly members and other bleeding hearts live.

  • Fabianus

    Mickhall,

    “What a piece of work you are.”

    Thank you. I agree. I don’t attack Roma or anyone else. I wonder why that is.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Mick Hall
    Spot on. Working class people are looked down on with disdain by many in this society,frankly I dont care what they think of me.I believe that all men (and women) are created with seperate roles but equal dignity by God.
    A bricklayer is as important as a doctor in that he is using his talent in the best way he knows.
    I am equal to the pope , the queen and the man who brushes the streets.
    The only reason we have class is because their ancestors took it by force from mine,and I reject their legitimate right to anything they do not earn or the opportunities they had because of their ill gotten wealth.

  • Alias

    The social problems caused by uncontrolled immigration into the UK from the EU has simply been ignored by the political class since the Roma were last in the news in Belfast. Unsurprisingly, the problem has worsened since then with attitudes hardening among the public, as evidenced in this Facebook site.

    The Daily Mail article from back then is still relevant:

    [i]Ian Magill, 45, runs the only shop in The Village, which was once a stronghold for Loyalist terrorists. He is a calm, intelligent man, whose greatest wish is that his three sons do not get into trouble with the law.

    Dominic, his youngest son, was adopted from Croatia, so Mr Magill can hardly be described as someone with a hatred of foreigners.

    But he is under no illusions about why people from his area were involved in the violence.

    ‘People feel like they are under siege because of all the immigrants coming in,’ he said. ‘It’s getting to the stage where people just don’t care any more.
    ‘You get branded a racist if you speak out about the issue of immigration. But I think I’m being a realist, not a racist, when I say that this is something we must address.

    ‘Most of the Polish immigrants work — but these people [Romas] don’t,’ he added.

    ‘They are pretty uneducated and they seem to think that the only way they can survive is to bend the rules.

    ‘But when you are doing this, and carrying out crimes against local people, it becomes a problem. They shouldn’t be here.’

    Not all Mr Magill’s fellow citizens are as considered as he is. At a nearby off-licence, a young, welldressed man of about 30 erupts in anger.

    He says all these ‘foreigners should be burned out of their f****** homes. All we hear about are their problems. For once, why don’t you write about the problems these people cause to us locals’.

    He is referring to a wave of petty crime that has swept Belfast over the past two years — the period in which the Roma have arrived.

    The crimes, confirmed by police, range from ‘mobbing’ elderly ladies at cashpoint machines, distracting them while they steal cash, to using razor blades to slice the straps of handbags and disappear with possessions before anyone knows.

    Roma have also been linked with prostitution and people trafficking. But it is the petty crimes that are causing such fury.

    Countless people I spoke to in The Village reported clothes being stolen from their washing lines — one man claimed to have seen a Roma wearing his distinctive jeans, which had disappeared while hanging out to dry, only for the thief to laugh in his face — and children’s bikes being taken from back yards.[/i]

    It goes on to note:

    [i]The British government, of course, insisted that only 20,000 people would come from Europe. In reality, a staggering 600,000 poured into the United Kingdom, putting a huge strain on health services, housing and jobs.

    But it was the admission of Romania to the EU in 2007 that caused the gravest problems.

    Interpol has since warned that organised criminals among the Romanian immigrants are stealing from indigenous populations on the orders of gangsters back home.

    British police said last year that they were struggling to cope with a staggering 800 per cent increase in crimes, such as pickpocketing, committed by Romanians since they started coming to Britain in large numbers.

    Forces in Germany and France have also reported more crime, some of it violent. In Italy, murders, rapes and kidnappings have been blamed on the newcomers.[/i]

  • Danny O’Connor

    When in Rome and all that.I deplore attacks on anybody,the government must step up to the plate, if people want to be a part of our society then they are welcome as long as they abide by the rules of that society.Equality by it’s very nature means that all are subject to the law of that society,

  • Fabianus

    Danny,

    You and Mickhall are confusing working class with underclass. In so doing you’re handing a free pass to the former: “I can’t help being a total tosser, guv. It’s my working-class background, innit.”

    Many of us have working-class roots yet were able to rise to great things. We don’t terrorise people on the streets, burgle and beat up OAPs, drink ourselves stupid at weekends and cause mayhem, have unwanted children, have children in order to claim benefits. And so on.

    Whether you like it or not there is an underclass and it’s growing. I mentioned FAS earlier (oddly enough, this is rarely spoken of) and could also mention the surge in diabetes among the underclass. Here’s news from Hull but it could be Belfast or Londonderry before long.

    Study author Dr Marc Farr said: “There is a clear correlation between weight and class. Logically, you might think wealthy people would overindulge or eat richer foods. But they have better education about health issues. They will also have money to buy lower-fat or organic foods.

    “Cheaper foods tend to be the unhealthier ones. If you are going to feed a big family in Hull, you will buy a big loaf of white bread, not the organic brown stuff. It is more filling.”

    “Performance in schools is not very good – applications to go to university are low. There is a general lack of education about health issues. There may not be the leisure facilities that exist in other communities.

    Mostly bollocks of course. We spend billions educating the underclass on the perils of smoking, binge-drinking and gluttony. Read Theodore Dalrymple to find out why those billions are wasted. Everyone is exposed to education about health issues. And exercise is free when you get up off your fat arse and walk.

    He also forgot to mention the money that an underclass family will spend a huge portion of their income on fags and drink. Then there are the mobile phones, plasma TVs and other extravagances designed for the intellectually challenged.

    Unfortunately it’s my taxes that will pay for their hospital treatment when they contract diabetes and lung cancer or develop heart conditions due to the shite they eat. I’m not sure I like that.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Fabianus,no I am simply making a statement of fact – that there is a group of people in society adopt an attitude towards people they think are inferior to them.I am saying that I believe all are created equal and therefore nobody is either more or less important than me.No matter what any human being does for a living or has in possessions-all are of equal dignity. Some may not always step up to face their responsibilities,that does not make them any less human.

  • fabianus,

    It is you who are confused not I and having read Danny’s contributions I find him spot on, his no 3 post above is exactly how people who break the law should be dealt with, ‘WHOEVER’ they are, but sadly as we have learnt from the expenses and banking scandals some are more equal than others under the laws of the UK and Ireland.

    It is true the UK and Ireland have always had a small number of people whom you call the underclass, in the 19th Century they were called the lumpen proletariat. However since Thatcher and Regan and their mini clones around the world, their numbers have increased considerable. This is specially true over the years when neo-liberal economics have held sway, which resulted in millions of unskilled working class people crashing to the ground with a very hard thump.

    A good example of this can be seen in the former Pit villages of the UK which until Thatcher embarked on the destruction of the NUM were some of the most cohesive societies within the UK.

    Once the union and the well payed employment which union membership created was destroyed by Thatcher so brutally, many of the people descended to what you wrongly call the underclass and I the section of the WC who are most economically disadvantaged.

    The youth in these areas, with little hope of the type of well payed jobs their fathers and grandfather took for granted became disillusioned and out of work etc, drug and alcohol abuse soon took hold. need I go on?

    Yet all is not lost as still many of these people still do their best to create a worthwhile life for themselves and their families, often poorly educated and facing enormous class prejudice of the type you have displayed, they often make a dam fine job of doing so.

    You idiotically make the mistake of believing the media campaign against these folk, the purpose of which is to place all blame on the individual, instead of the society and the politicians who run it and who have created the expansion of this section of working class people. (An example of this today is the total lack of planning over immigration, better to tar all newcomers with the misbehaviour of the few)

    After all when thatcher with Kinnock help destroyed the mining industry, etc, where the hell did they think those who worked in it or relied on it would end up. I will tell you, the scrap heap; and to cover their foul deeds they encouraged these workers to spend the rest of their working lives on the dole or sick. But hey lets ignore all that and simply placed the blame on their victims.

    Your mistake is, following the MSM lead, you view this section of the working class as a homogeneous lump, as if they all live like the characters in Shameless TV program, when as I have mentioned above this is simply not true.

    Instead of concentrating on the bright spots you concentrate your fire on those who break the law, abuse drugs and alcohol, etc, believe it or not such poor souls are a minority.

  • Fabianus

    Mickhall,

    What gave you the idea I’m middle class? I have a working-class background and worked hard to achieve the position I hold today.

    My parents are proud of their working-class roots, as am I. We struggled for what we have. Which is why I regard the underclass with the disdain they deserve. They give the working class a bad name.

    Hope that clears up any misconceptions you may have.

  • Greenflag

    Alias, Danny, Fabianus, Mickhall,

    There is a truth in what you all say . But it’s the truth of reaction to changing worldwide economic circumstances. Not too many give any thought to the reasons for this mass immigration other than the obvious economic impetus .

    Prior to 1955 /1960 most western european countries did not have large numbers of immigrants . That situation began to change with Caribbeans coming to the UK -Spanish and Italians going to West Germany and Algerians and Moroccans and Spanish going to France . Today there are Senegalese in Italy – and Poles everywhere and even Russians and Latvians etc etc in Ireland .

    So why has all this come to pass . I’m prepared to admit that immigration is a bit like arsenic – a tonic if taken in not too large a dose . Socially destabilising if it’s more than an economy can bear .

    But the question is why has this mass migration taken place and why have so few governments done very much to control it ?? And I mean prior to EU entry as well as post ?

    I read today that President Obama in his effort to increase employment for out of work Americans wants to enact legislation which would make the hiring of immigrants to do seasonal agricultural harvesting work more ‘difficult’ so that Americans could apply for and do these jobs .

    In my minds eye I see an obese 270 lb male American/EU citizen coucher climbing an orange tree or bending over to harvest tomatoes or stawberries and doing it for 5 dollars an hour or the euro /pound equivalent or less ? And then I see the ‘obese’ one falling and breaking a leg or an arm and being ‘uninsured ‘ and the harvest going unpicked etc etc .

    The Roma are a much maligned people not just in Belfast but in their country of origin Romania and in the nearby Czech Republic , Slovakia , and eastern Hungary . They have a thousand years of being ‘excluded’ behind them . It’s a difficult problem to resolve not just in Belfast but in Dublin and Frankfurt and Hamburg and London etc etc .

  • Greenflag

    Fabianus,

    ‘Which is why I regard the underclass with the disdain they deserve.’

    In western England the Cadbury workers were told that Kraft (the multinational ) which had bought out Cadburys , and promised that jobs would not be lost locally, have now reneged on their promise and that yes the 400 jobs will be lost . A misunderstanding apparently and not an outright lie of course 🙁

    They will be lost because Kraft’s new 160 million dollar investment in Poland will do the business.
    In their announcement Kraft have embarrassed Mandelson and made him look like a fool .

    Many of the people you choose to disdain as underclass are the ‘remnants ‘ of Britain’s manufacturing classes which have been in decline now for approx 50 years, right from the time that immigrants from outside these islands began to compete in the UK Labour Market. Many will have ‘joined’ the underclass as a result of circumstances similar to the Cadbury situation .

    Yes there is a small number of people who abuse the system and they should be dealt with by the law . The ‘system’ abuses a lot more people imo than vice versa when one considers the overall relationship between capital and labour . It has to . Bankers come first followed by corporate and multi national interests , the remnants of aristocracy , followed by the professional and semi professional public service gougers that prey on the State for support etc etc .

    If you are looking for non ethical people to disdain there are better and more deserving targets out there than the Roma . The Roma and the so called ‘underclass’ represent just the tip of the iceberg .

  • Skintown Lad

    I’ll admit to finding the comment ‘what do you think t1ts are for?’ quite funny. I expect that will be met with criticism but I can’t help it really. Without denying that there may be a racist element to this Facebook thing, people generally don’t react well to beggars, especially when they use their babies as emotional blackmail. There are systems in place in this country, at great expense to the tax-payer, to ensure no one has to beg. I don’t really have much pity for those who fail to use that system or try to circumvent it.

  • Fabianus

    Greenflag,

    OK, let me make this as plain as I can.

    “Underclass” in my book is not synonymous with “working class”. The first are people who don’t take responsibility for themselves, their actions and their children’s lives.

    The second is a group of people I’m proud to belong to. Unlike the underclass, a sub-group of our group, we do take responsibility for the above.

    We also work hard to better ourselves in the face of capitalist bastards like Kraft (German for “power” of course) who don’t give a shit about anybody but themselves.

  • Framer

    Until next year, migrants from Romania and Bulgaria can only work as self-employed people and are not eligible for most benefits. That is why they have to sell papers or beg.

  • Drumlins Rock

    “people who break the law should be dealt with, ‘WHOEVER’ they are,”
    Your right Mickhall, now shall we get the police to also deal with illegal immigrantion and begging, whether its in the form of “flower selling, “no music busking” or blatant begging.

  • Greenflag

    fabianus,

    I hear you -Kraft btw is an American multinational .

    As Framer points out above Romanians and Bulgarians don’t have much of a choice . Once upon a time and not too long a time ago the ‘underclass ‘ comprised 95% of the population . For economic , political and other reasons they now comprise a minority albeit an apparent growing minority in some western countries .

    No easy answers .

  • Skintown Lad

    Kramer

    “Until next year, migrants from Romania and Bulgaria can only work as self-employed people and are not eligible for most benefits. That is why they have to sell papers or beg.”

    I’ll take your word regarding the rules. If they don’t know the score before they move to this country, they should be told it upon entry.
    That way they can’t complain when they find themselves on the street. Fair’s fair, no matter what race you are.

    But even assumming those are the rules, it doesn’t follow that because you can only work as a self-employed person your only options are to sell papers or beg! And you’ve no right to feel aggrieved when people react with some verbal abuse when you approach them (illegally) for money.

  • “Underclass” in my book is not synonymous with “working class”. The first are people who don’t take responsibility for themselves, their actions and their children’s lives.

    Fabianus

    Just because you say something does not make it so, a number of commentators here have pointed out you are mistaken, yet you repeat the same old stuff, without replying to your critics when they point out why this section of the WC has expanded so dramatically over the last 30 odd years.

    Personally I wonder if you are just up to mischief and whether you are truly that bigoted that you cannot see; like all sections of society, the people you continue to insult by calling them an underclass come in all shapes and sizes, etc.

    Drumlins Rock

    As much as I like the idea of open borders, I fear the pitfalls and lack of infrastructure would work against us building a cohesive society, so I believe those who arrive here illegally and fail to register as asylum seekers, should be dealt with by the police and/or immigration service. As to should those who are begging and hassling drivers at traffic lights etc.

    Although I agree with greenflag, the Roma are a complex peoples and they should be dealt with sensitively, even if some of them can drive you up the wall at times. What I am totally against is demonising newcomers, not least because it is brutish and counterproductive.

    I live in an area which is going through one of its periodic influxes of newcomers. I do not panic about it as I am old enough to have seen it all before. When I was a child people from the north of England Scotland, Wales and Ireland came here to work in the industries which were part of the post WW2 expansion of the UK’s industrial base. These were followed by a large influx of people from the Indian sub continent. Then we had Asians from east Africa; and so it went on, with Bosnians, Poles, etc, and now people from West and southern Africa have arrived.

    In the main most of this folk have/or will become productive members of society, many marrying into local families and by local I mainly mean the offspring of previous generations of newcomers.

    Just as I have become used to this, so will the rest of you, I have noticed my granddaughters generation, both of the girls have a melting plot of blood in their veins, demand the right to travel the world for educational, social and work reasons. I have a German niece studying at uni in Scotland.

    The one stipulation I would make is when you travel to other peoples countries it must be done legally, otherwise it opens a very large can of worms at the base of which is deceit and lies, never a good bases to start a new life on.

    As with the economic crises it has become increasingly clear immigration needs to be dealt with in a planned way and on an EU wide bases. The problem is the EU has operated in support of the multi national corporations and large EU based employers. Hence the member states have all but turned a blind eye to illegal immigration, as it created a reservoir of cheap labour which benefited the said corporations, plus ‘when’ employers collect it properly immigration provides governments with an additional tax base, which with the EU’s falling populations is to be welcomed.

  • Fabianus

    Mickhall,

    “why this section of the WC has expanded so dramatically over the last 30 odd years.”

    Could be due to the obesity epidemic among the underclass, resulting in ever-expanding bums.

  • fabianus

    Ahaaa, at last we have got to the bottom of this matter, I wondered how long it would take.

  • Fabianus

    Mickhall,

    With a nick like mine I couldn’t possibly comment.

  • Catherine

    Connall,

    Are you still a Managing Director at Weber-Shandwick?

    Where would I find onformation about the assembly’s outside PR budget and how much went to WB?

  • Greenflag

    Mickhall ,

    ‘As with the economic crises it has become increasingly clear immigration needs to be dealt with in a planned way and on an EU wide bases. The problem is the EU has operated in support of the multi national corporations and large EU based employers. Hence the member states have all but turned a blind eye to illegal immigration, as it created a reservoir of cheap labour which benefited the said corporations, plus ‘when’ employers collect it properly immigration provides governments with an additional tax base, which with the EU’s falling populations is to be welcomed.’

    That ‘reservoir’ of cheap labour was formerly supplied by indigenous English, Germans, French , Italians , Irish etc in their own countries prior to the 1960’s, but since then with the ‘working class ‘ opting out of reproducing their numbers as they did in previous epochs , to supply cannon fodder for wars and cheap labour for the mills, mines and factories – birth control and later marriages led to a raising of living standards and income standards for the bottom half of the population. This was achieved by enacted legislation by governments and by productivity increases in output . As the world moved into the 1970’s with the oil crises and corporations in the West being squeezed by wage demands from powerful unions and from the public sector -profits were squeezed and the great move offshore to cheaper locations commenced . This move was added to by the globalisation of the world economy and the technological and communications revolutions . The weakened unions in the private sector became ever weaker until now they are virtually powerless . Public sector unions now account for the majority of union members and still have some clout . But overall there has been rising inequality in incomes in the western countries with the USA probably being the economy with the greatest gap and also the country where the greatest amount of wealth has been accumulated in the smallest number of hands i.e as a percentage of the population . This phenomenon has accelerated in the past 15 years .

    It may be gradually dawning on many people in the western economies that Governments are powerless to effect the major economic policy changes needed to restore some measure of equity into their countries . It may also be dawning on many that what we now call ‘capitalism’ will prove unable to provide /supply ‘full employment’ or anything like it and that Governments everywhere will be pressured to reduce social spending in areas as health and education .

    Not exactly the conditions that led to the Russian revolution but not too far away from them either . To those who say that the situations are not comparable given that the average American or European is so much better off than the average Russian serf was in 1917 I would say that the American and European are not comparing themselves with Russian serfs from 1917 but they are comparing the present situation with that of their parents genration who were a lot more optimistic about the future of their children and grandchildren . I had a telephone call today from somebody in the USA who saw their first ‘beggar mother ‘ standing at an exit ramp outside a town in Florida . The woman in her mid thirties held up a placard which said ‘mother of three -destitute -now homeless just needs money to feed children ‘

    Normally it’s men -usually veterans or ex Iraqi or Afghan war -who are seen in these situations and many are usually ignored by drivers . On this occasion my caller said that drivers were all slowing down and giving the woman a couple of dollars .

    How long will it be before ‘drivers’ won’t even slow down for ‘mothers of three ‘. She was a white woman and looked like dishevelled ‘middle/working class ‘ She had the three young children beside her which I suppose was ‘convincing’?

    And no my caller did not disdain the woman for he knows that in that State the working poor are turfed out on to the street within a month or two if they can’t pay their rent and there is nowhere for them to go .

  • Brian MacAodh

    “Normally it’s men -usually veterans or ex Iraqi or Afghan war”

    Veterans of Vietnam war, sure (and that encompasses a good portion of that generation at it was not a volunteer army then). I live in DC where there is a substantial homeless population who I work with sometimes through my Church and I have yet to meet an Iraqi or Afgan war vet. But yes, as in Orwell’s time, most homeless are male.

    ” (US is) the country where the greatest amount of wealth has been accumulated in the smallest number of hands i.e as a percentage of the population ”

    Nope. Check out a few of the middle eastern countries to see some sickening inequality. But compared to EU countries, yep.

  • Brian MacAodh

    But Roma are generally thieves and con artists wherever I come across them. They don’t give a sh*t about those outside of their group and will take advantage of them as much as possible. Not sure how it got that way, but that is the truth if you ask me.

    I’m not a racist person. This is based on my experience with these people.

    I haven’t come across any personally in the states.

  • Greenflag

    Brian Mac Aodh ,

    Below you can see a link to Paul Krugman and his facts re the issue of the why’s and wherefores of rising inequality in the USA . He shatters some myths . As he puts it the USA is unique in this respect for ‘political’ rather than merely economic or due to world wide globalisation.

    I believe South Africa is the worst followed by China , India , Russia , Nigeria and the USA is closer to the latter group than to other developed countries in europe .

  • Gaudi

    I went home for a visit to Belfast last October and while waiting for a friend in Blackstaff Square I was surrounded by four women selling roses. I politely but firmly said ‘no thank you’s several ttimes (being a well brought up working class girl) and after a few minutes they moved on. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience and I did feel I was being mobbed for those few minutes. I am well used to people begging as I live in London but this was much worse than anything I had experienced there. I know under EU rules Roma people cannot get work permits and this makes absolutely no sense at all and only helps to fuel resentment wherever they may settle in the EU as they are naturally going to resort to rose selling or begging in order to get by. It needs sorted otherwise the situation is bound to escalate.

  • [i]Aye,

    Colton.[/i]

    You are pushing it already by associating Adrian Colton with the SDLP but to suggest his son’s involvement in racist attacks has anything to do with the party is outrageous.

  • This is all quite amusing, but hardly relevant. Gypsies and Roma have been looked down on and mocked since we all fell out of the trees. It is a pity the one clutching War and Peace landed on his head. He went forth and multiplied, alarmingly so.

    Education is not just about books and exams. It is about experience and maturity. Gypsies and Roma have their own ways and their own definitions of education. I know this: I never met one who couldnt add up.