Gypsy's warning.

I was going to have a philosophical burble about hubris, about which I'll comment in a moment, but I've been overtaken by events which, in actual fact, coincide to a degree. Briefly, as scholars of ancient Greece will know, hubris is a dangerous state of mind that displays a gross contempt for others arising from extreme over-confidence and self-belief. In short, it's a lack of humility, it's about a victor's later actions taken further to shame the victim thereby making the victor even more superior. I was going to link this hubris theme to previous blog entries about world leaders and the like who, by their own actions and those of their protectors, seek to make the rest of us mere mortals feel even more insignificant, but there's something closer to home.

On the local UK TV news today there was what, at first sight, appeared to be an innocuous item about idiots who are not entitled to do so parking in disabled bays at supermarkets etc. However, the reporter superbly captured - and the editor kindly left in - an interview with a self-confessed Irish "traveller" (gypsy to most rationale thinking folk) who was guilty of the act. The gypsy's considered response was "I'm a gypsy and I can fucking well park where I fucking like". Spookily, in an unrelated article in the same program about caravanners the reporter, in summing up the joys of caravans, said " can do what you like, when you like.....". Well quite, but particularly if you're a traveller it seems.

There are large parts of Cambridgeshire, for example, that are virtually no-go areas for the beleaguered police who used to (and probably still do) get stoned or have ball-bearings fired at them by unidentifiable people who, if cornered, are all called Smith and conveniently forget their dates of birth. The Dark One has personal experience of travellers selling TV sets for £200 that contain no innards except two breeze blocks and who, when confronted, travel at great speed in some very dodgy vehicles. Ford Transit vans used to be a favourite and guess what type of vehicle was regularly found burnt out on the local sites? Ask any police officer with more than 10 years service about "travellers" and wait for the pause in their reply. It'll speak far more eloquently than anything inspired by training in culturally sensitive topics. However, it's quite wrong to stereo-type and I'd actively discourage anyone from jumping to any conclusions about where this entry has been or where it's going. Let me just say though, that hubris, which as I said in layman's terms is a gross lack of humility, has a huge down-side, normally in ancient Greek terms the ignominious downfall of the victor resulting in death, defilement and humiliation. Let's just hope that the traveller's spokesperson quoted above lives a long life, a very long life, suffering something very painful but incurable.