For example, the government has provided £70,000 to "the gypsy, Roma and traveller community" (for which read, a small number of self-appointed representatives of the said community), which has been used to fund a magazine, snappily entitled Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month Magazine (GRTHMM), 23,000 copies of which were distributed to schoolchildren across the UK last month. Like many such "anti-racist" politico-historical publications, it makes a number of rather questionable claims about the ethnicity of well-known figures, attempting to draw them into the ethnic group that is being "celebrated", whether the facts like it or not. However, while the website, 100 Great Black Britons, only claimed that a queen, Philippa of Hainault, was, contrary to all the evidence, of African descent, GRTHMM has gone further, and claimed that the King was a gypsy. Yes, apparently Elvis Presley was a gypsy, as were Charlie Chaplin and Rita Hayworth. Now, call me a bigot if you will, but, from the summary of the arguments used in justification of this assertion, it seems that its truth is questionable, to put it mildly:
Riiiiight. Elvis's mother was indeed called Smith, and that may well be a common gypsy name. But, well, it has been known to be held by people who weren't gypsies. All I'll say is, that if being called Smith is proof of gypsy origins, then there are a lot more gypsies in the UK than I'd previously thought.Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month magazine also suggests that Elvis’s ancestors were Sinti – German gypsies who emigrated to America in the 18th century.It goes on to claim that Elvis’s mother Gladys’s maiden name was Smith, a common Romany name.
Actually, it is a matter of supreme indifference to me whether Elvis was or was not a gypsy. And, since he's already been claimed as one of their own by the Scots, the Jews, and the Cherokee Indians, I see no reason why the gypsies shouldn't stake a claim as well. However, while people are entirely at liberty to believe whatever they like about anyone's ancestry, I do rather object to them being given large amounts of money to promote their pseudo-genealogy in the nation's schools.
But the education system is not the only part of the establishment which has embraced Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month. The Metropolitan Police are getting into the spirit of the event (by which I mean, extreme political correctness matched with tokenistic gestures) too:
...in a move which has caused disbelief amongst rank and file officers, Scotland Yard has asked staff to 'celebrate' the contribution of Roma gipsies to 'London's culture and diversity.'I wouldn't mind betting that many officers have rather a lot of experience of working with the gypsy community...
In a notice posted on the force's intranet website, Denise Milani, director of the Met's 'Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate', urges officers to observe the first ever 'Gipsy Roma Traveller History Month.'
Ignoring the huge drain on resources caused by Romanian pickpockets who target commuters and tourists in the West End, Miss Milani - a protege of Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair - says Roma gipsies are welcome in the capital.
She says: 'We welcome the celebration of the community's history and contributions to London's culture and diversity.'The Met Police works to make London a safer city for all and we are committed to understanding and working with all communities, including the Gipsy Roma Traveller community.'
Quite aside from the fact that the job of the police is not to celebrate anyone's cultural heritage, but to prevent crime, I have to ask what officers are supposed to do in order to "'celebrate' the contribution of Roma gipsies to 'London's culture and diversity'"? Sell pegs and heather? Tell fortunes? Camp out on people's lawns? It sounds to me like Miss Milani's command is simply (thankfully) an empty gesture, albeit one that serves to illustrate the extent to which political correctness has corrupted the police force, just as the very existence of Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month serves to illustrate the extent to which political correctness has corrupted the public sector generally.
'The Gipsy Roma Traveller History month celebrates their history, culture and contributions to the rich tapestry of Britain's diversity.'
The mother-of-two's comments were described as 'political correctness off the Richter scale' by one furious detective. He added: 'What planet is this lady living on? We have been run ragged by gangs of Romanian gipsies who are targeting innocent people in the West End.'How is that enhancing the rich tapestry of cultural life in Britain?'