UK PRIME MINISTER David Cameron says he believes that to ensure what he calls genuine fairness for all communities, half of Dale Farm, the largest Traveller community in Britain, must be crushed out of existence.
Cameron’s reasoning was disclosed in the House of Commons last week after John Baron, MP for Basildon, requested a meeting with the Prime Minister to ensure that illegal Travellers’ homes in his constituency are cleared and thus, in his view, justice seen to be done.
“My honourable friend has persistently raised this case and this issue in the Commons. I know he speaks for many people about the sense of unfairness that one law applies to everybody else and, on too many occasions, another law applies to Travellers,” Cameron said. He said he would now set up a meeting between Baron and Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles so that they can look at what more can be done. Presumably a request by Basildon council for government funding of the huge eviction operation will top their agenda.
Head of Basildon Council Tony Ball says the operation will be of an unprecedented scale, risk and complexity. In addition to 400 residents, a large number of protesters and campaigners are expected to oppose the eviction.
He will tell a special meeting of the council on Monday night (14 March) that costs could be as high as £18 million for what may be a six week undertaking. This includes a policing bill of up to £12 million. However, Essex police have only £3 million available and have so far been refused additional financing from the Home Secretary Theresa May.
In the face of all this, Dale Farm residents and supporters are holding a meeting at 3pm on Monday, followed by a protest demonstration outside the Basildon Centre, starting at 7pm. Meanwhile, they hope that a Council of Europe investigative group which visited Dale Farm yesterday (10 March) will, like two previous UN bodies, urge that the eviction be postponed so that alternative caravan parks can be provided for those being made homeless.