Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Conforming To Stereotypes
If only some aspects of life were not so predictable and if only certain people would behave differently than you imagine them to do so, wouldn't that make a refreshing change?
I have no gripe with travelers/gypsies/pikies/tinkers or call them what you will. All I have ever heard about this group of nomadic people is negative so when I noticed travelers setting up camp on Cemetery Road in Denton I was not going to allow negative stereotypes to cloud my thinking in relation to this interesting new development in the locality.
Anyone who knows me will confirm I am very much my own man. How ever much the BBC tells me immigration has been good for Britain, this will not alter my opinion until I have researched the matter for myself and come to my own conclusion based on all the evidence around me. You could spend all day telling how Islam is a religion of peace or that Labour politicians are community minded beacons of integrity, but what you say will have little impact on me forming my final conclusion because as previously stated; evidence not opinions is what influences my thinking.
So with that in mind I was not going to prejudge the travelers who set up camp in Denton. Admittedly the location is far from ideal as it is in a densely populated residential location and the field in which the travelers are camped is a genuinely busy field used by kids and people exercising their dogs. The lady dog owners of the area in particular use this field not only to exercise their dogs but also to catch up on gossip. However, travelers are a fact of life. How ever much people may wish they did not exist the reality is that they do and that means from time to time they will stop and set up camp, but does this cause nightmares for locals or have these traveling people earned a reputation which they do not deserve? Other than the temporary inconvenience of having to share their communal field with strangers from outside the area will this travelers camp have any other detrimental impact upon the local community?
My immediate eye witness observations I am afraid to say are not positive. The permanent police presence (police by day independent security guards by night) may reassure some residents and unnerve others but that is of minor concern compared to the rubbish which is beginning to become very visible on the field and the stench from the woods which are being used as an outdoor toilet.
The authorities are really damned if they do and damned if they don't in relation to the toilets. They could do nothing and allow the woods to become polluted with human waste, or to prevent this they could provide temporary toilets on the campsite but then they would be accused of making the travelers too comfortable and not encouraging them to leave.
The situation on Cemetery Road itself is now becoming interesting because some of the travelers have set up camp there too. You will see on one of the photos that the cemetery fence is being used as temporary washing line to dry clothes.
I have no idea how long the travelers will remain at this spot but I do know that every single local person I have spoken with is extremely anxious about the situation. I will keep an eye on developments and keep my fingers crossed that this particular group of travelers do not conform to stereotypes and that when they do leave they don't leave a mountain of rubbish or a mini crime-wave as their lasting legacy.