Roma ‘hate’ speech of Cholet mayor Gilles Bourdouleix

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FRENCH investigators have opened a criminal probe into a politician who was allegedly recorded saying that Hitler “did not kill enough” Roma.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls had earlier called for Gilles Bourdouleix, controversial mayor of the western town of Cholet, to be “severely punished” for the comments.

Mr Bourdouleix reportedly muttered the remark on Sunday as he confronted members of the travelling community, also known as gypsies, who had illegally set up camp, according to a recording posted on the site of regional daily Courrier de l’Ouest.

“Maybe Hitler did not kill enough,” Mr Bourdouleix is heard saying after the Roma had reportedly given him the Nazi salute.

Mr Bourdouleix, who is a member of the lower house National Assembly with the centrist UDI party, is also facing expulsion from his party.

Local prosecutor Yves Gambert said his office had opened a preliminary investigation into the remarks on Monday, on…

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Reblog Pip Borev: An Open Letter to Carol Vorderman

Dear Carol Vorderman, 

I was somewhat shocked to discover that you still have a career after coming across your ignorant, vile and derogatory rant about Gypsy and Traveller communities in Closer magazine. This shock, however, was short lived when I remembered that, as you point out, there is one rule for us and one rule for the rest of society. Nonetheless, I am still rather bewildered as to why you feel so hard done by, thus, I would like to highlight to you the special privileges that you, as a rich, white and successful celebrity, are missing out on by not being part of a Gypsy or Traveller community. 

 
Under the Race Relations Act 1976, Gypsy and Traveller communities are recognised as ethnic minorities, thus, supposedly should be protected from discrimination. I guess you find this very unfair – why should a bunch of delinquents who decided to live in caravans be entitled to these extra rights that the hard working white tax payer doesn’t get? Maybe if you bought a caravan and became a Gypsy then you would also be able to bask in the privileges that the Race Relations Act supposedly brings, such as: being refused registration at your local GP surgery; being refused service from pubs and restaurants; being forced to deny your identity so you are not bullied at school or refused employment; and being refused planning permission whether it be on the green belt, a remote mountain peak or the moon. 
 
What more could Gypsy and Traveller communities want? All these extra privileges and still they have to snatch away the very few pleasures that the rest of society are given, such as cricket pitches, village greens, playing fields and the roadside. Of the19,413 Gypsy and Traveller caravans in England, 84% are on authorised sites while 16% on unauthorised sites. Under the Housing Act 1996, a person is considered homeless if they have accommodation but “there is no place where he is entitled or permitted both to place it and to reside in it”. Therefore, any Gypsy or Traveller living on an unauthorised site can be considered homeless. The Coalition government have withdrawn funding for and repealed targets to provide sites for Gypsy and Traveller communities whilst introducing greater powers for local authorities to challenge unauthorised developments. This was introduced in spite of the fact that there is a widely documented pitch shortage. In Preston, the home of the Hoghton Cricket Club whom you speak of so fondly of, there are an estimated 111 Gypsies and Travellers but just 14 pitches. The presence of unauthorised sites, thus, is hardly surprising. 
 
But what about the people “who pay their taxes and work hard to keep their homes and villages nice”? Why should they be subjected to the injustice of having homeless people living in their white middle class villages? Why can’t Gypsies and Traveller just live in houses like everyone else? Turns out, that around one half to two thirds of Gypsies and Travellers are living in bricks and mortar accommodation. If you would like the rest of us to join them then we will happily ditch centuries of nomadic tradition and move in next door to you and your hard working neighbours Carol. Oh wait, that’s right, you wouldn’t want the likes of me living next door to you would you? So where should we go? Should we only ‘invade’ the not so “pristine” parks situated in council estates, after all, as long as we’re not leaving behind “faeces” on the precious cricket pitches of middle class villages, does it really matter? Or do you simply want the “Gypsy problem” to disappear as Hitler advocated during WWII when he murdered 500,000 Romani Gypsies, including members of my own family.
 
The truth is that you are entirely correct. There is one rule for Gypsies and Travellers and one rule for everyone else, except it is your rule that comes crammed with extra privileges. Gypsies and Travellers are hated not because they ‘invade’ fields and cricket pitches, but because they have been a hugely maligned and despised minority since their arrival to Europe and the UK, centuries ago. They have been subjected to slavery, extermination, sterilisation, segregation both geographically and in education, evictions, poverty, hate crime, and the criminalisation of their entire culture. In spite of this, the rest of society wonders why we remain so resistant to assimilation. The sad truth is that despite Hitler’s attempted extermination of Europe’s Romani community, attitudes towards Gypsy and Traveller communities have not changed but instead have remained hostile and prejudiced. “Discrimination against gypsies and travellers appears to be the last ‘respectable’ form of racism” and goes without the same level of outrage that racism towards other ethnic minorities receives. Had your column included a similar article about any other ethnic minority, I am certain that you would be surrounded by shame and scandal. Perhaps then Carol, you are a very lucky that there is one rule for Gypsies and Travellers and one rule for everyone else, as if there wasn’t your career would certainly be over. 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Pip Borev.

Reblogged from: http://pipopotamus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/an-open-letter-to-carol-vorderman.html

Romany and Cornish – Minority Languages in the UK

“Even if the language were actually “dead” (I do not believe that it has, by any reasonable definition of “dead”), precedent suggests that should not be a barrier to its official recognition. Ned Maddrell was the last fluent, native speaker of the Manx language and he died in 1974. Dolly Pentreath, the last native Cornish speaker, died in 1777. That’s 236 years ago. Yet Cornish is recognised, and Romani is not.

Of course, this is partly explained by the effectiveness of lobbying for recognition of languages like Cornish, but surely there is also something else at play. The fact is that, in origin, Romani is not a language of white Europeans, and is therefore not so easily seen as part of the heritage of a northern European country.”Damian Le Bas: [more]

I would love to write my own report on this when I have the time, perhaps in another lifetime. As someone who is found of, and has a comparable comprehension in, both Cornish and Romani – being Romani by blood, Cornish by birth.

The comparative recognition of the two languages fascinates me. As Damian L Bas correctly identifies Cornish is a dead language with the last native speaker having passed away in 1777. The Cornish revival has not been a success and is more of an eccentricity than a true revival yet resources for learning the language and literature written in the language is freely available (at least within the Duchy itself) to anyone who would show an interest. I have never myself met a fluent speaker and I always react with surprise upon learning (on the very rare occasions) that someone I have just met might have at one point taken lessons. Perhaps at school for a project or a workshop at one of our many revivalist festivals. It’s a futile task yet public money is funnelled into it.

Romani however is a language still spoken, both in its Angloromani form and … lets call them … European variants. I myself am not a native speaker of Angloromani, as I am not one of Cornish, I speak English as is expected of everyone born here, even fluent Welsh speakers and the children of those new to the country. Yet it is ignored as not only a language spoken in this country today, for in the metropolitan centres a cacophony of Asian tongues can be heard, but as one with a long and rich history, fundamental to the modern variant of English itself.

Not even a passing remark can be found in official, or academic text (outside special interest “Gypsy” groups) referring to the use of a Romani tongue, as plus ultra a history or geographic of the British Isles will rarely document the presence of a Romani demographic. This lack of recognition seriously harms, in more ways than I can comprehend in an orderly fashion, the further development of the Romani people as a fundamental dynamic of British society. There is no way to study, or even to read, in the language spoken by our ancestors and spoken by our parents today.

My English is perfect, it’s only a shame that race politics means I cannot  speak in the language of my choosing.