One of the main items of news here at the moment is Sarkozy's attack on travellers and gypsies in France. While lily-livered rights groups shout about racism and pandering to the far right, your average citizen is applauding Sarkozy's actions vigorously.
Me included. I was burgled twice in three months after a bunch of travellers set up camp not 100m from a flat I used to rent. It was obvious I had been watched because they came when they knew exactly I'd be out. They then came back three months later which is the exact time for insurance to have been paid and new equipment bought.
Then I lived in Perpignan for a while and watched as a travellers' residence was built and equipped just outside the town. It looked really nice and would provide stable housing for those in need. Ha ha. As soon as they moved in, the travellers stripped the place from electricity wiring, to bathroom fittings, to door knobs to anything that wasn't part of the main structure. It was a shell within 24hrs. Then they moved on with their caravans to another town.
Of course, they complain like mad that towns do not provide facilities for them to camp with free use of electricity and water paid for by your tax paying mug. Strangely though, residents - the ones paying the taxe d'habitation - don't want them anywhere near their houses. This is odd, because while house prices plummet and house break-ins and theft rocket as soon as a camp is installed, I'm sure there's no real reason for thinking they're all a bunch of uneducated parasites who just want to sponge off society, feel entitled to live the way they want not paying taxes but benefiting from all society has to offer and getting aggressive about it.
Obviously they don't produce anything except the odd basket-woven chair and I doubt they could afford those vast Mercs (paid in cash) they drive as a result of reseating three chairs, so where do they get their cash? Ill-gotten gains? Which is not taxed, either.
Of course it's not politically correct to criticise a minority bunch and there are plenty of people out there ready to express their moral outrage at such injustice. What I say is this. If you are so outraged, why don't you open up the grounds of your second homes and welcome in all these lovely 'law-abiding' alternative-living caravan dwellers? Words are cheap and easy and no one is taken in by your manufactured outrage. Put your gardens where your mouths are. Open up and let them in!