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There are been a whole series of documentaries about Gypsies on TV recently, like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which are humourous profiles of native British travelling communities. They’re quite funny, sometimes educational and fairly harmless; I rather enjoyed them. At first I thought Gypsies on Benefits and Proud was one of these; I should have guessed better from just the second part of the title. Has my mind already blanked out my previous vitriolic bombardment of television producers? See here for important background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/on-benefits-and-proud.html. This programme is not about native Gypsies. Gypsy is actually a collective term in English for a whole series of different insular and nomadic cultures that exist in much of the world. The Gypsies under discussion here are ones from Eastern Europe where they are known as Roma and they constitute a disproportionate percentage of recent immigration into the United Kingdom. The programme follows the lives of several families and individuals who travel from their native countries to a new life, courtesy of the British taxpayer. In the opening scene the theme of the programme is set out in the statement from one of the Roma: “It’s very easy to get benefits in Britain… Thank you very much, England!” and another talking about her family of twenty-two people.
One of the new immigrants is Ion Lazar, a man with a wife and many children currently living in poverty in Romania, but he has a dream! He wants to spend a year or two in the UK and make £40,000 on benefits to give himself a better life back home. Another star of the show is Katerina Cisarova, a Slovakian Gypsy who is strangely similar in character to the indigenous matriarchs of On Benefits and Proud linked above. She has an unemployed husband called Peter who has an accent like a James Bond villain. I suspect that he can speak better English than he does in the show and has been coached to exaggerate his foreign twang. They have eleven children and eleven grandchildren, all living in a row of houses in Rotherham, “all paid for by the welfare state!” the narrator dutifully points out; just the four who live with their parents receives £24,000 a year in benefits. The others get a lot more. The camera pans round their lounge, taking in young mothers sharing packets of cigarettes, guzzling bottles of soft drinks and huge plates of food. Peter struts around talking about how “England very goot. Give me everytheenk! Benefeets, school, doctorrrr. I not go home, neverrrrrrr.” A third member of the cast is Viorel, a young man from Romania. However this welfare king was knocked off his throne at the age of seven when he was run over by a train and lost both his legs; since then he travels around by sitting on a skateboard and propelling himself along with his hands. He left his wife to come to the UK. He sometimes puts his disability to good use by getting work as a part-time actor for particular roles in the movies, but he can also earn £200 a day busking with his accordion… and claiming £750 a month in benefits of course. He reckons that this is not enough and he needs more, even though he has been given quite a large house in Nottingham, and his parents and nephew have been brought over from Romania specially to act as his carers. The amount of money they cost the nation is carefully included in the introduction of all the characters in the programme. Katerina speaks no English, but she doesn’t really need to because the council have employed a Roma language interpreter especially for her and she loses her temper at one point when her Job Seekers Allowance is sanctioned; her interpreter makes a few phone calls and gets it restored plus £500 of back-pay. All this is done at a community centre where the signs are in over a dozen different languages. She’s relieved because all her grandchildren are asking for luxury items and she wants to buy them. Ion travels all the way to Britain overland on a coach and claims child benefit for his children, even though they’re back home in Romania and he quite openly states that he intends to steal food and money as well as earn it. “If I am working alone in a house I will take money if it’s left there.” He’s already been deported once for working without a permit, but he just came straight back. He’s today trading scrap metal which he picks up wherever he can find it, whether legally or not. The council moves Peter and Katerina into a much bigger and more expensive house, but there the lino is cracked and it needs a new boiler so they agree to the improvements. A few hundred yards away an entire house has been given to their daughter Petra and her two year old son, “the next generation of immigrants living off the state!” Petra says: “I get tax credit, housing benefit and all. I never go home to Slovakia; living in the UK is very good.”
The purpose of Gypsies on Benefits and Proud is to make the viewer’s blood boil. Its rhetoric is almost as palpable as that in On Benefits and Proud. As with the former, its theme is simple, monolithic and aimed to appeal to any viewer, no matter what their level of intelligence or education. On Benefits portrayed unemployed people as the public enemy on which to blame our country’s economic woes; Gypsies on does exactly the same with immigrants. This is something I’ve discussed many times, how anti-immigration hysteria is being deliberately provoked in order to justify all kinds of fundamental changes to society that would otherwise be very unwelcome and which the people would never accept. The only feature of the programme that surprised me was that none of the characters were Muslims. A clue to all this is even given to us in the programme itself, when Ion and his cronies go and register at their local GP surgery. The receptionist demands identity checks on all of them; and this is something the UK Government is currently trying to bring into the NHS, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/health-tourism-crackdown.html. The ultimate goal is for there to be an electronic identity and entitlement system which everybody will have to be included on in order to function in any way within society, no matter whether you’re foreign or native. I can see a time when there will be no passports, no cash, no forms to fill out, and no licenses of any kind; instead we will all carry a single biometric tag connected to a national or international database that does all those jobs. Maybe it will be inserted directly into our body. This will give the authorities complete control over our entire lives; this is their objective… all they need is a reason to do it which the people will support. I wonder if Channel 5 are planning on making a programme called Bankers on Benefits and Proud; after all the bailout of 2008 cost the exchequer the equivalent of supporting every unemployed person and immigrant in Britain, based on the current rates, for almost a century. Somehow I doubt it. The good news is that many people are seeing through the flannel, based on some of the comments underneath on the video page. I know not everybody who watched Gypsies on will be reading this review, but if they are I’d like them to rein in their rage and look at the situation more rationally. I agree that mass-immigration is causing problems in all Western nations, but the reaction of “Send the bastards all back where they came from!” is a controlled response. This is how the governments want us to react. As I’ve said before, there is no frying pan so bad it warrants us jumping into a fire to escape from it. The genuine solution to mass-immigration has to address the cause. To be fair, Gypsies on does that, inadvertently I’m sure, while all the news coverage about this subject doesn’t. It is a very obvious question: Why do so many people want to come to Britain in the first place? And the answer is very simple: Life in this country is so much better than in many other parts of the world. Immigrants are not "lazy scroungers!", they are ordinary people just like you and me who are doing exactly what we would do if we were in their shoes. Most immigrants are not coming from wealthy Western nations; they are coming from Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and other regions hit by extreme poverty, famine and war. In my view, the answer therefore is to improve the quality of life in those regions so that people won't want to leave their homelands; after all, who's going to come to England for the weather? Let nobody kid you into thinking that it’s not possible; it's actually very easy: we can start by releasing Third World countries from their economic bondage through the cancellation of debt and land occupation. End all the manipulated wars over the resources in these regions. That alone would probably do the trick, before we even begin delving into the more outlandish elements like UFO Disclosure, the declassification of Free Energy and natural farming methods like ORMUS and Terra Preta. See here for more details: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/immigration-and-new-iron-curtain.html. All in all I give Gypsies on Benefits and Proud minus 5 stars. Utterly abysmal television. It’s almost as bad as On Benefits and Proud. I also suspect that, like the former, it’s been carefully edited to make a false point, and that the cast are exceptions rather than the norm. I recently read John Pilger’s book Heroes, which has a chapter about Pakistani immigrants in the early 1980’s and the decrepit penniless squalor they had to live in. I also live with three Sudanese men and have learnt a lot about the difficulties they face. Don’t believe the hype, guys. It’s time to get wise.