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Thursday, October 14, 2004
So that's what it means to be on the wrong side of an anti-social behaviour order

In February, open borders advocate Perry de Havilland offered this analysis even as he reclined from changing his position on immigration:

I also realise gypsy communities are on the receiving end of considerable prejudice and discrimination, though it needs to be said that not all of the reasons for the wider community's hostility towards them are baseless. The gypsies are a separate cultural group and are certainly entitled to live according to their ways... provided these ways are not based on theft, be it directly or via the state

I've always thought this sort of wishful thinking - that we can simultaneously fight the growth of the welfare state and impose no restrictions on the number of people likely to vote for a big government when they move here - to sum up exactly why libertarianism is a great philosophical outlook but an awful source for policy ideas.

Unfortunately, we didn't have to wait long for a foretaste of the latter concern:

A group of travellers has been given £600,000 by a London council to move on.

The authority handed out £30,000 of taxpayers' money per family to the "nightmare" neighbours.

But the payments have been condemned as bribes by residents of Wood Green who suffered years of intimidation and thefts.

If an alien observer wanted a concise insight into the culture and moral forces that run through our society, this report would be one of the first things I would point to.

With that precedent set, there will be plenty more where that came from. When Britain, unlike thirteen other member states, chose not to restrict migration from the ten new members then joining the EU, tabloid newspapers and migration restrictionist web sites warned that some of the first to take advantage of this would be up to three million gypsies - their current conditions in places like Romania looking very drab compared to a Britain where one can have a lifetime career on benefits so generous that you'll do better than millions of people who work hard, and where - for those who want a little more - burglaries and muggings go uninvestigated. Who would have imagined that within months local authorities in Britain's capital would be introducing this new incentive? Well done Haringey Council.

(Thanks to Laban Tall for the Evening Standard link.)

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