Monday, October 13, 2008

Migration Dictionary

Asylum Seeker: A person who is seeking refugee status in a country that is not his/her own due to a well founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of his/her country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.

Age-related dependency: the increased rate of dependency on the provisions of the welfare state due to age.

Birth Rate: the number of childbirths per 1000 persons per year.

Brain Drain: the emigration of trained and talented individuals for other nations or jurisdictions, due to conflict or lack of opportunity or health hazards where they are living.

Bretton Woods System: the system of international economic management which established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the major industrial state, signed in July 1944.

Citizenship: membership in a political community.

Death Rate: the total annual number of deaths per 1000 people.

Demographic Time Bomb: with an ageing population this is the fear that there will not be enough people working to support the increased number of retired people.

Destination Country: a country which migrants wish to get to.

Displaced Persons: people who have been forced to leave their habitual residence spontaneously in order to flee an armed conflict, situations of widespread violence or systematic huma rights violations, or to escape natural or man-made disasters or their effects..

Economic Migrant: a person moving out of his habitual place of residence to another place in order to improve his/her quality of life.

Emigration: the action of leaving ones native country for another country.

Family Reunification: the right of a person to reunite with members of his/her family living in a different country - the degree of closeness required varies from country to country, however, generally it is only available to spouses and children under 18 or other dependents.

Feminisation of the labour force: the phenomenon of more and more women joining the labour force.

Feminisation of Migration: the phenomenon of more and more women migrating indepepently of their families, often to seek work abroad as principal breadwinners.

Fertility rate: the average number of child births per woman.

Forced migration: synonymous with diplsplaced persons.

Free Movement of Workers: every citizen of the EU has the right to work and live in another Member State without being discriminated against on grounds of nationality.

Funded Pension System: contributions are paid into a fund during an individual's working life, this fund is invested in assets and grows in line with the return on these assets.

Guest Workers: a person who lives and works in a foreign country for a limited period of time, doing low paid and usually unskilled work

Greying Population: the phenomenon of an increasing amount of elderly people in a society.

Gross Migration: the sum of the entries of immigrants into a country and the number of exits of emigrants.

Labour Migrant: a person who takes up residence and engages in a renumerated activity in a country of which he/she is not a national, excluding asylum seekers and refugees.

Immigrant: someone who intends to reside permanently, and not a casual visitor or traveler, in another country or region.

Immigration: the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently.

Irregular Migration: the movement of a person to a new place of residence or transit without valid documentation.

Internal Migration: migration within the borders of a country.

Migrant: a person who moves from one geographical unit to another across an administrative or political border, wishing to settle definitely or temporarily in a place other than their place of origin.

Nationality: a legal relationship existing between a person and a state in which the person becomes subject to the state's jurisdiction, even while not on the state's territory; in exchange the subject becomes entitled to the state's protection, and to other rights as well.

Orderly Migration: the movement of a person from his/her country of residence to another with valid documentation and in keeping with the laws of the state.

People Smuggling: the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a state of which he/she is not a national or a permanent resident.

People Trafficking: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or reciept of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion and exploitation.

Refoulement: the forced return of a person to a country where he or she faces persecution.

Refugee: a person, who owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationalilty, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside of his/her country of nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country.

Remittances: money sent home by migrants to their home communities.

Replacement Migration: the international migration that a country needs to offset population decline and population ageing resulting from low fertility and mortality rates.

Residence permit: authorisation which allows nationals of other countries to stay legally in a country’s territory.

Return Migration: the movment of a person returning to his/her country of origin or of habitual residence after spending at least one year abroad.

Rotation System: the action of a migrant coming to a country as a guest worker and then returning to his/her original country once his/her work visa has expired.

Sending Countries: countries that migrants originate from.

Snake heads: a term that denotes people traffickers.

Temporary Migrants (also known as Seasonal Migration): a migrant worker whose work depends on seasonal conditions and is performed only during part of the year.

Third Country Nationals: people from outside of the European union and the European Economic Area.

Unfixed Migrant: a migrant that does not take up residence in a particular place for a long term but tends to move from place to place frequently.

Work Permit: authorisation which allows a non-national to work legally on the territory of another country.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Clash of Civilisations

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future - Samuel Huntington

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Exam Questions

Submission Date: 19 November 2008

Length 1500-2000 words

Please bring a hard copy of the essay to class for submission. All essays must be typed and referenced correctly according to UCD Guidelines. The essay is worth 40% of your final grade thus late copies will result in reduced grades.

  1. With declining birth rates and an ageing population the EU needs to dismantle Fortress Europe and open the gates to mass in-migration. Discuss

  1. Multiculturalism and Assimilation have both failed. It is time for EU countries to rethink their integration strategies and to forge a new path towards integrating immigrants. Discuss

  1. Compare and contrast the different integration strategies employed in France and the United Kingdom. In your answer please evaluate which strategy you think has been more successful.

  1. The world in engaged in an ideological battle between two competing civilisations, Islam and the West. Discuss. Please support your answer with examples of events that have proven to be pivotal in this battle.

  1. The 20th Century saw dramatic demographic changes in Europe. European societies have been irreversibly altered by these changes. Explain some of the key challenges that this changing demographic has brought about.

  1. Ireland has in recent times transformed form a country of emigration to immigration. What do you think are some of the key challenges and opportunities for Irish society as a result of this change?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Integration of Immigrants in the EU

This class looked at the various policies and practices for integrating third country nationals in the EU. Primarily the focus was on the Multiculturalism versus Assimilation debate. The lesson started by trying to define what Citizenship means. The discussion of this notion took us from the legal definition to what it actually means to be a citizen in today's world. The notion of citizenship has changed dramatically in recent decades. Globalisation has changed the value that the rights and privileges our citizenship affords us. Indeed the concept of citizenship is continuously evolving. This can be illustrated by the concept of EU citizenship which emerged from the Maastricht treaty in 1993. Class discussion centred around the future role of EU citizenship and whether or not it will usurp national citizenship. The general consensus was that national citizenship is too intertwined with identity to ever have its importance reduced by a supranational concept of citizenship.

From the discussion of citizenship the lesson progressed to exploring the main integration strategies of Multiculturalism and Assimilation. The pros and cons of each strategy was examined. Attention was paid to the different policies in the UK and France as two paragons of each strategy. While exploring the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of assimilation policies in France the main topic of discussion, unsurprisingly, was the ban on displays of religious insignia in public schools. The French approach was evaluated and proved to be as divisive in class as it has been in global discussions on the issue. France's unshakable insistence on secularism was compared with the Irish approach and discussion centred around the possibility of a ban in Irish schools.

Next weeks class will look at the supposed 'Clash of Civilisations'. Please have a look at the Huntington Article and the Fox article as well. Class discussion will focus on the Media's role is propagating the notion of this clash.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Immigration in Europe

Class 2 concentrated on Europe's fascinating history of immigration in the last century. Beginning with the first phase of immigration in the immediate post war years the turmoil experienced in the continent spurred thousands of refugees to move westwards from Eastern Europe to Germany and the Benelux. During this period France and the Netherlands began to experience their first waves of migration from their former colonial subjects. The cost of the war for the UK was huge not only in financial terms but also demographically speaking. The British nationality Act passed in 1948 went some ways towards addressing the shortcomings and creating 'citizenship' for all subjects of the throne. This act enabled the first waves of immigration to come from the West Indies in order to fill the labour gaps in the new Welfare State.
The second major phase occur ed between 1955 and 1960. Enabled by the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 workers from southern Europe began migrating to the north in order to fill the labour gaps created by post war reconstruction. However the first anxieties about immigration were beginning to be felt in the UK at this time and the Tory government signed into place the Commonwealth Immigration Act which began to limit the extensive rights that were enjoy by all citizens of the Commonwealth.
Phase 3 (190s-1973) is typified by the Gasterbeiter in Germany. Germany needing thousands of labourers to work on its building sites signed an agreement with Turkey in 1961 to allow 740,000 Turkish migrants to come and work in Germany. Initially this agreement allowed the 'guest workers' to come for 2 years and then to return. In 1964 this stipulation was abolished as Germany found itself needing more and more guest workers. The Turkish immigrants largely came from rural Eastern Turkey and spoke little or no German. The ramifications of this immigration policy are very much evident in today's' Germany with its very poor record of integration of the Turkish German community.
Various factors from beginning of the 1970s through to the 1980s caused Europe to begin to limit immigration. The Oil Shock in 1973, the ending of the Bretton Woods system, the Yom Kippur war, the second oil crisis following the Iranian Revolution all led to the end of economic recruitment of immigrants from outside of Europe. However, as the demand for migrants waned migration flows actually increased. This was primarily due to family reunification. For example, in Germany between 1981 and 1985 migration increased by nearly 100%. Following the end of the cold war thousands of ethnic Germans moved Westwards from the former Soviet countries seeking better lives in the economically advantageous west. Indeed the end of the cold war set the scene for the next wave of immigration into the EEC. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia and the wars that followed thousands of former Yugoslavians flocked to the West to seek sanctuary. Indeed the 1990s saw great turmoil all over the world in Africa, Asia and South America which increased the worlds population of Asylum Seekers and Internally Displaced Peoples. The general atmosphere in Europe began to shift at this time to one of hostility towards migrants. This was most evident in the media where all migrants tended to be labeled as 'bogus refugees' set on exploiting the good nature of Western countries for economic gain.
In more recent times the emphasis in the EU has been shifting away from control in the immigration debate. Having achieved the highly restrictive policies of 'Fortress Europe' the EU has been turning its attention to integration of its ethnic minorities. The recent troubles in the Banlieus in France, the London and Madrid terrorist attacks, the head scarf affair, the Mohamed Cartoons, Geert Wilders Fitna movie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's books and the murder of Theo Van Gough have all led to the realisation that Europe is not doing enough to enable integration. The previous policies of Assimilation and, to a lesser extent, Multiculturalism, are being scrapped and Europe is looking for a new pathway. Next week's lecture will look at the policy responses to integration in the EU and what needs to be done. Please have a look at this article for next week,9171,1590190,00.html

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

History Repeating

Violent attacks on Gypsies in Italy this summer, along with attempts to remove Travellers' homes across Europe, have struck fear into the heart of the Roma community. Novelist Louise Doughty who has Romany ancestors, reports on the sinister new wave of persecution against Europe's fastest-growing ethnic minority

Louise Doughty

The Guardian,

Tuesday September 16 2008

This is an article my father would rather I didn't write. "You want to watch it, you know," he has said to me, more than once. "If you're not careful, you'll get a brick through your window." In the working-class area of Peterborough where my father grew up during the 20s and 30s, it probably wasn't wise to mention that you had Romany blood, however distant.

At that time, my father and his family had no idea about the horrors about to be perpetrated against the Roma and Sinti in Europe under Nazi occupation but prejudice they understood, all right, even from within their own family. "My mother used to hit me when I was bad," one of my aunts once told me, "and she always said to me, 'I'll beat the Gypsy out of you, my girl.'" When my father first told me about our Romany ancestry, he asked me not to mention it to neighbours or friends at school - a suggestion no doubt at the root of my abiding fascination with what is, after all, only a small part of our family history. Even so, he finds it hard to accept that had Germany successfully invaded Britain during the second world war, he and his family would have qualified for shipping to the gas chambers alongside British Jews.

This would have happened despite our family having been settled since the turn of the 20th century. In common with many English Romanichal Gypsies, my ancestors found the traditional ways of earning a living - horse-dealing, harvesting - were coming to an end with increasing agricultural mechanisation. At that time, an astute social commentator could have been forgiven for predicting that English Romany culture would rapidly become assimilated into that of the majority population. "We're just going to fade away," a Romanichal man told me at the Barnet Horse Fair, as recently as 1993. "It's all going to go."

Instead, the opposite seems to be happening. In Europe, Roma and Sinti people now number close to 10 million and are the fastest growing ethnic minority. In this country, there is an increasingly vocal and visible class of Romany and Traveller activists and intellectuals, including the poet David Morley, journalist Jake Bowers, storyteller and playwright Richard Rai O'Neill and artists such as Delaine and Damien Le Bas, who appeared in the first ever Roma art pavilion at last year's Venice Biennale. Across Europe there are now Roma newspapers, radio and television stations and a Roma MEP, Lívia Járóka, of the Hungarian centre-right party Fidesz.

Despite this, and the growing politicisation and cross-cultural awareness of many disparate Roma groups, there is no denying that the majority of this huge and various group live in the most appalling economic conditions, with an estimated 84% across Europe below the recognised poverty line. In this country, the lack of site provision for Travellers has forced many into conflict with local planning regulations and straight on to the pages of the tabloids.

The site provision crisis in this country can be traced directly back to 1994, when John Major's government abolished the Caravan Sites Act, which obliged local authorities to provide adequate sites for Travellers. At the time, Romanies and Travellers were urged to buy their own land to settle. Many duly did, only to find themselves refused planning permission to park their trailers on land that they legally owned. One Traveller who has fallen foul of planning regulations in this way is Bernadette Reilly from Brentwood. She can remember very clearly what it was like when the family was forced to camp by the side of the road. "We didn't have what most people would call a normal life, although it was normal for us," she says wearily. "We had no water, no sanitation, no electricity, and no healthcare other than going to A&E." In 2007, she and her family were granted five-year permission to live in their trailers on land they had bought between the villages of Mountnessing and Ingatestone. "At least we have water and flushing toilets now, if not electricity or a land line," she says.

Brentwood council - backed by the local Conservative MP, Eric Pickles, who lives near the site - went to court and overturned the decision. But the Travellers were later granted permission to appeal and the judge told the council to stop wasting public money fighting the case. Pickles did not respond to my requests for an interview, but directed me to his website statement opposing the site on the basis that it falls within the metropolitan greenbelt.

Professor Thomas Acton of the University of Greenwich is this country's first professor of Romany studies and an internationally renowned expert on Romany culture and history. He also spends a great deal of his own time helping and advising Travellers such as Reilly. "Eric Pickles has responsibility for Gypsy sites in the shadow cabinet, yet he has denied the existence of a long-established Traveller community in Brentwood and urged the local council to ignore their obligations until a Conservative government abolishes them."

Reilly and her family would like to enjoy their temporary reprieve from eviction, but the threat of being moved on in the future still weighs heavily upon them. As part of the planning process, they were allowed to see some of the bile-filled letters written against their application by local residents. "The children have local friends and go to clubs now, but I won't let them out wandering around town on their own, it's too dangerous for them, " she says. What is it like to have the MP on your doorstep campaigning against you? Reilly's reply is blunt. "We live in fear all the time." Opponents of Traveller sites are quick to criticise Travellers for being wary or hostile to outsiders without any understanding of the siege mentality the constant sense of threat engenders. After viewing the hate mail the planning office received, Reilly wrote a poem entitled I Am a Traveller:

"I bring up my children the best way I know how.
They are all I own, they are all I have now.
They have manners, they are kind, they are my delight.
But that's not what you shout as you drive by at night."

The climate of fear among Travellers in rural areas will not have been eased by the Red, White and Blue rally held last month by the British National party in Denby, Derbyshire. One of the guests invited to speak at the event was Petra Edelmannová, chairwoman of the Czech National party, a tiny fringe movement from the Czech Republic notable mainly for its overt antagonism towards the Roma. Edelmannová has written a pamphlet entitled The Final Solution to the Gypsy Issue in the Czech Lands, which advocates repatriating the Czech Republic's Roma population to India. In the event, Edelmannová did not show up for the rally, but she seems a strange choice of speaker for what the BNP insists was a weekend of family fun with bouncy castles.

When I raised this with BNP deputy leader Simon Darby he conceded that the phrase "final solution" was "not exactly the best title for a document" but added, "there is a Gypsy problem there. There is a problem in this country as well." What did he regard as the nature of our Gypsy problem? "Some of the Travelling community have been here for a very long time. They keep themselves to themselves and sort out their own problems within their own communities. They have the same morals as me. I don't have a problem with them." He identifies the "problem" as being foreign Roma who have immigrated into the UK since European enlargement, along with an undefined group of what he calls "homegrown pseudo-Gypsies".

This artificial distinction between different groups of Romanies and Travellers in order to justify discrimination was something I also encountered when I spent time in the Czech Republic as a writer in residence at the Masaryk University in Brno. I was told that the problem with the Roma was not "our Gypsies" but the Slovak Gypsies, many of whom moved to the Czech lands to fill labour shortages in factories after the second world war. The gadje (non-Gypsy) world seems to have less of a problem with Romany people as long as they stay in a folkloric pigeonhole and don't grow too numerous - ie, don't appear to be real people with real housing needs, hunger and educational ambitions for their children.

The invitation extended by the BNP to Petra Edelmannová is significant because the historical treatment of the Roma in the Czech Lands provides an instructive example to modern Europe. In more than one European country, the roundup of Roma and Sinti people under Nazi occupation was made much easier by pre-existing legislation. In Czechoslovakia, as it then was, restrictive legislation against Gypsies was brought in as early as 1927. Law 117 required all Gypsies to be fingerprinted and to provide details of their movements around the country. The evidence gathered under Law 117 facilitated the internment of Bohemian and Moravian Roma when the occupying German army decided the time had come. In August 1942, under the guise of a so-called Registration Day, the Roma and Sinti were rounded up and imprisoned in two camps, Lety in Bohemia and Hodinin in Moravia. After a year, most of the inhabitants of those camps were sent on to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Of the 6,500 Roma in the Czech lands at the start of the war, fewer than 500 survived. What began with fingerprints in 1927 ended 16 years later in the gas chambers.

To draw analogies between the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust and the current situation for European Roma may seem alarmist, but in 1927 anyone who predicted the fate of the Czech lands in the 1940s would certainly have been regarded as alarmist to the point of lunacy. Czechoslovakia was a thriving democracy that had shaken off the shackles of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to emerge as one of the top 10 economically developed countries in the world.

The true numbers of Roma and Sinti people murdered by the Nazis will never be known - official estimates vary between one quarter and half a million, although many Romany experts believe a million might be nearer the mark. What is indisputable is that the Roma and Sinti were persecuted to roughly the same percentage of their population, around 85%, as Jewish people - and for the same racial reasons. Where the two genocides differ is that although the Jewish Holocaust was always openly racist, the Roma and Sinti were initially persecuted for being "asocials" and, for many years, successive German governments refused to recognise the racial element of the Nazis' actions.

This insistence that the exclusion of and discrimination against Gypsies has more to do with lifestyle than race has found its echo in recent events in Italy. In May, a woman in Ponticelli, outside Naples, reported that a Gypsy woman had attempted to abduct her baby. Whether the report was true or not made no difference to the thugs who descended with iron bars and torches upon local camps and slum housing. The response of the Berlusconi government and its allies was breathtakingly cynical. First came the announcement in June that all Gypsies, children included, would be fingerprinted and, crucially, identified by their ethnicity - a move unprecedented in postwar western Europe. Terry Davis, the secretary general of the Council of Europe, responded that such a scheme "invites historical analogies which are so obvious that they do not have to be spelled out". Even Berlusconi proved sensitive to the international outrage that ensued and the plans have now been modified so that all Italian citizens will be fingerprinted by 2010. The authorities have stated that ethnicity will not feature in this nationwide census, but their idea of reassurance is to present the measure as a general anti-immigration measure, rather than one aimed specifically at the country's 150,000 Roma and Sinti.

These moves would be sinister enough on their own, but they come accompanied by repeated and unpunished attacks upon Italy's estimated 700 camps. In July, the world was shocked by photographs of the bodies of two drowned Roma girls left lying on a beach outside Naples, while people sunbathed and picnicked nearby.

Of the many chilling quotes that have been forthcoming from Italy's political leaders since the attacks began in May, possibly the most frightening is that from Umberto Bossi of the far-right Northern League, a minister in Berlusconi's government. "The people do what the political class isn't able to do." The clear implication is that the politicians endorse "ethnic cleansing" and rather wish they could get away with formalising the arrangement.

Italy's Romanies, many already living in the most appalling economic circumstances, can be forgiven for feeling under siege. "Have you come to hunt us or help us?" asked Rogi, a resident of a small camp just outside Rome. He was speaking to a group of 10 Red Cross volunteers who arrived at the camp in July to conduct a census. The volunteers were not fingerprinting but they were asking each resident for their name, age, nationality, if they had been vaccinated and if their children were going to school - and they were photographing them. According to the news agency AFP, the Red Cross was insistent that this was not a police operation, rather aimed at providing the camp residents with health cards. "Mostly they have worms, gastro-intestinal illnesses and bronchitis," one worker reportedly said. "As for the authorities, we can provide them with anonymous information so that they are able to assess the camps, hygiene and health conditions."

Whether or not the Red Cross operation is going to help the inhabitants of such camps or the authorities who would like the camps cleared remains to be seen, but no one can blame the residents, many of whom are Romanians without papers, for feeling deeply suspicious of people in uniform who want to take their photographs and ask a lot of questions. Such suspicion has wide historical precedent.

The slaughter of the second world war was merely the apotheosis of centuries of persecution throughout the Roma's tragic European history. Although awareness of the Romany Holocaust is now well established, few people know that for five and a half centuries, thousands of Romanies in eastern Europe were bought and sold as slaves. According to Ian Hancock in his book, We Are the Romani People, "In the 16th century, a Romani child could be purchased for 32p. By the 19th century, slaves were sold by weight, at the rate of one gold piece per pound."

Throughout this history, Roma and Sinti people have traditionally survived by remaining out of sight as much as possible. In Poland, a small number of Polska Roma survived the Nazi genocide by hiding in remote forests. In Bohemia and Moravia, a few families were sheltered by Czech villagers. On a wider level, many Romanies or Travellers simply don't mention their family backgrounds. On a writers' tour of Romania in 2000, one friend said to me, "I think the attitude of most people here would be, we don't understand why you talk about having Gypsy blood. If you kept quiet about it, you could pass." The Roma living in appalling conditions in camps outside Rome or Naples would probably be happy not to venture out to sell trinkets or beg were it not for the fact that if they didn't, they would starve. Criticism of such subsistence activities rarely takes account of the economic necessity that underpins it.

Another example of a Gypsy community under siege is Sulukule in Istanbul. Sulukule is an historic settlement that has been occupied by a Romany community since the time of Byzantia and is now part of a Unesco World Heritage Site. The earliest records for Roma residence in Sulukule date back to 1054 and for centuries it has been famous for its entertainment houses where the Roma performed music and dance to visitors from all over the world. The enforced closure of such houses in 1992 pitched the area and its inhabitants into serious economic decline. Again, the reasoning given was that of providing safe, hygienic housing. "We have no intention of getting rid of the Roma but we have to do something about this slum," said the local mayor, Mustafa Demir. The local authorities now plan to demolish the tiny coloured houses in which the Roma live and replace them with villas that the residents could not possibly afford to rent, even with the subsidies offered. Homeless, and with no means of supporting themselves, what options will be open to them?

Seen within their Europe-wide and historical context, events such as these have a devastating effect on the morale of the wider Roma population, not just on those directly victimised - we are, after all, talking about a people who have genocide in living memory and whom are among the most poverty-stricken and excluded in Europe. These developments are viewed by Roma and Sinti people across Europe with mounting anxiety. For every firebomb thrown into a camp or slum dwelling, for every municipal move to get Romanies to move on, there are thousand petty incidents of scorn or prejudice. As one English Traveller acquaintance once put it to me, "Whenever anyone says to me, 'Oh it must be so romantic being a Gypsy,' I say, 'What's romantic about being spat at?'"

What is undeniable in this picture is that the current moves by both the government of Italy and British local councils such as Brentwood will only exacerbate the tensions between Romany or Traveller and settled populations. The immigrant Roma in Italy are there because they left countries such as Romania in search of better lives. The residents of Sulukule will have to go somewhere when the demolition trucks move in. Travellers turned off the land they own in Cambridgeshire or Essex will be forced to camp by the side of the road or on publicly owned recreation grounds. Bernadette Reilly remembers saying to one police officer who was moving the family on from the side of the road one night, "Where do you expect us to go?"

"Anywhere," the officer replied. "Just not in my borough."

However often the Romany and Traveller communities of Europe are moved on, from borough to borough or across national boundaries, they will not fade away or melt into thin air. Until there is pan-European political will to address the poverty and exclusion that many face, the situation can only worsen, and the right wing will continue to use this marginalised group as a vote-scoring chip. At my father's 80th birthday party, I told my aunt about his remark referring to bricks through windows, expecting her to agree with me that my father was an incorrigible worrier. Instead, she said quietly, "He's got a point, love, hasn't he?"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Course Requirements

Just recieved information from the school on the exam requirements for the course. They are as follows.

1 essay 40% (recommended word count approx 1,500 – 2,000 words)(questions will be on the first section of the course, submission date TBA)

Exam in December 60% (2 questions in 2 hours, topics on sections of the course not covered by the essay)