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Segregation by wealth
10:05am Monday 3rd February 2014 in Letters to the Editor
With regard to the acrimonious exchanges at the Poole emergency council meeting on the matter of accommodating travellers, the only way I can understand this is in full social context.
And that full context is that we live in one of the most class and wealth stratified societies in the world.
And this no more evident than in the borough of Poole where we have very large wealthy often gated areas and, entirely separately, other very large areas where deprivation could not be more evident.
It is in the end wealth segregation, if not wealth apartheid.
Many will thoroughly reject that view.
In my view because the truth is no more seen than colour segregation was ever seen or acknowledged in well known western countries for whole lifetimes.
However, land/wealth apartheid certainly comes to the surface when it is the matter of travellers and, in my view, speaks volumes about how we treat all who lack power, wealth, and most particularly land.
As for the solution from Poole council to spend £250,000 on developing a temporary site, I can only see this, in terms of the huge cost, as sheer lunacy when there is clearly at hand a very simple distributed solution.
And that is to allow small groups of travellers – for limited periods only – on to all the open space recreation grounds in Poole.
I can see no reason why not. It’s a matter of residents having the courage to accommodate and give travellers a chance to show they can reciprocate – not developing expensive segregation compounds (at residents’ cost!) to keep ‘them’ away from ‘us’.
Jeff Williams, Jubilee Road, Parkstone
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