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Raggle Taggle

Appendix 1

For possible use in Act II, Scene 5, probably over the last verse of

'O You Freeborn Men'

(Big Ben)


Good evening. This is the News At Ten for Tuesday May the 5th 1999.

The Government is to rush through legislation withdrawing the right to camp in tents or caravans on common land or beside the highway; 'Just as soon as we possibly can', said the Minister. 'People doing so will have their tents and caravans impounded.'

Outlining the new rules, 'Three groups in particular,' he said, 'will be affected; Tourists, New Age Travellers, and some thirteen thousand traditional Gypsy families.'

'With regard to Tourists,' the Minister said, 'they will be perfectly free to leave their caravans or tents at the nearest police station and book in to bed and breakfast.' Or alternatively, they could make their way abroad, to what he called 'less punctilious' countries.

New Age Travellers. He emphasised it was no longer acceptable to draw Income Support while indulging in unconventional behaviour.

About the traditional Gypsy Travellers, the Minister said he appreciated there would be cases of hardship. However a similar scheme had operated successfully in Germany in 1936/7, when Gypsies were directed to custom built compounds where they were permitted to stay 'for the rest of their lives'.

'This is not the way to do things here,' added the Minister. Subsequent to the impounding of their caravans, Gypsies will be given places in one-star hotels and bed and breakfast. The cost to the taxpayer - some three million pounds per week.

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