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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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We wrote recently about Travellers, who seem to be fast becoming the new Muslims. Hot on the heels of the news that these people are able to flout the law with an impunity not enjoyed by us ordinary folk who live in houses and pay our Council Tax like good little children, comes this delightful snippet ...
 
The residents of Oak Road are used to a rather bumpy ride. They do, after all, live next door to Europe's biggest illegal travellers' camp. But when it comes to the potholes littering their once quiet country lane, they want to smooth things over a little.
 
Unfortunately, work to fix the potholes seems to have been shelved - for fear it might upset their illegally camped neighbours. Council workmen are refusing to repair the road unless they have a police escort. The police, in turn, have refused, saying they are worried their mere presence could start a riot. Which leaves the residents of Oak Road, near Billericay, Essex, wondering just what they have to do to get a few potholes filled in.
 
The road is a narrow grassy-banked lane serving about 35 homes, mostly bungalows, at the edge of the Crays Hill travellers' site. Residents say it has been turned into a mass of potholes since the 1,000-strong camp was formed. Caravans, mobile homes, four-wheel-drive vehicles and cars have steadily made the problem worse. In normal circumstances, residents might expect a simple repair job.
 
But when Essex County Council was urged to resolve it as a 'matter of priority', it responded with concerns for the safety of its workforce. The council said it would fix the potholes but wanted a police escort for fear the travellers might confuse the repair team with an eviction squad. Police, however, said sending a police escort to the road could also send sparks flying. As a result, a few potholes have now become the subject of a 'communication strategy'.
 
This apparently involves leaflets being given to children at the local school to spread the warning that the potholes are due to be fixed. Little wonder then that some villagers were last night feeling vexed. Pam Cummins, a parish councillor, said: 'Talk about tip-toeing around people. When they fixed the road outside my house they didn't come and ask me first.'
 
Fellow parish councillor David McPherson-Davis said: 'The road is almost impassable for an ordinary vehicle. It's in a terrible state now and has been for four or five years. For the last year the parish council has been asking for the potholes to be filled in and it's been promises, promises, promises with no result.' He said a policeman questioned at a local meeting last week explained that travellers might think the road was being repaired in readiness for evictions and be 'up in arms'.
 
PC Nigel Scott said: 'If they think there is an eviction there will not just be people from Dale Farm (the Crays Hill site) but half the site in Cambridge and half the people from Wolverhampton turning up. It could all turn very weary, very quickly.' Chief Inspector Simon Dobinson, from Essex Police, appeared to back up this view. He said travellers needed to be fully informed before potholes were filled in. He said it 'required a clear communication strategy to minimise the risk of any false perception by the local travellers that the works are a precursor to any enforced eviction'.

 
The full article is here. In fact it seems, according to a spokesman for the travellers, that they want the road fixed as much as anyone else. So once again, it's not the minority who are demanding special consideration, but our public servants who are doing so on their behalf.
 
In a further example of the way in which our country is bedevilled by plain stupidity, have you heard about the judge in the West Country who is in hot water because he used a word some people are too thick to be familiar with?
 
Judge Christopher Elwen told the fraudster he had 'gypped' a student out of money on the eBay website, but gypsies are now claiming that he was referring to them, and that he is guilty of racist insult.
 
Judge Elwen used the word at Truro Crown Court while sentencing bogus eBay electrical goods trader Lee Scott-Major to three years' jail. He said that the harm the conman had done was not reflected in the sums involved, whether in the case of those ripped off for thousands of pounds or 'the young student who was gypped out of 169'.
 
"Travellers Times" editor Jake Bowers said: 'Gypped is an offensive word. It is derived from gipsy. Basically what Judge Elwen has done is ascribed thievery to an entire ethnic group. I'd say his comment reflects the amount of ignorance that there is, from the bottom of society to its top in the judiciary, about gipsies, and the idea that it's okay to have a go at the gipsy or traveller community without thinking about it.'
 
Romany activist Maggie Bendell-Smith said: 'I would have been right up on my feet if I'd heard that in court, asking the judge to justify his choice of words. It is derogatory and I think an apology is called for.'
 
See what I mean? Sheer bloody ignorance. Frankly this is what you get when people in positions of authority and influence don't have the wit to read a few books, and when you have an education system that actively discourages serious reading. Only from extensive reading comes a broad vocabulary and an understanding of the use of words.
 
Something as precious as the English language shouldn't be left to the whims of people who think that you can "outlaw" a word for any reason. Luckily for the rest of us, you can't actually do that. Language is a living thing. You might as well go out in the garden and command the weeds to stop growing, as try to "ban" a word because you don't understand what it means.
 
The word "gyp" turned up in the English language in the 19th Century, and has usually been a verb, although among the various definitions in the Oxford Concise English Dictionary is "a college servant at Cambridge and Durham universities". The GOS was at Durham himself and can confirm that the word does exist there, and is used to refer to what in some other universities is called "a bedder", surely a more insulting term than "gyp". As a verb the dictionary defines the word as meaning "to cheat, to swindle," or in some usages "to scold, pain or treat unmercifully".
 
Etymologist Dr.Philip Durkin is quoted as saying 'The consensus of most people who have looked at this word recently is that it does indeed derive from "gyp: thief", which itself derives (as a racial slur) from gypsy,' but he's wrong.
 
The word in fact derives from "Egyptian". If present day travellers want to claim descent from Egyptians, that's their business.
 
They'll be wrong about that as well.
 

 
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