Well, the truth is out. It transpires that the “Romanians” reported as having been attacked in Belfast in recent days are something very different: Roma, or gypsies as we have traditionally known them. The omission of their ethnic identity from initial reports is significant, for the presence of a large group of Roma would (owing to their negative cultural traditions, if they may be euphemistically termed as such) excite rather more discontent than a similarly-sized group of Romanians. Whereas the latter would in all likelihood fall into the category of employment-seeking migrants, the former most probably would not, if we exclude the traditional ‘occupations’ in which Roma specialise. Most Romanians themselves would not feel very happy about being confused with Roma.
The anger amongst local Belfast people may therefore have very tangible and justifiable roots if a number of these Roma have been engaging in their traditional ‘occupations’. This does not of course justify the use of violence against the Roma incomers, but it does go a long way to explaining why it has arisen. As James Delingpole in the Telegraph notes, this is typical of the misleading politically correct reporting that has long brought the BBC into disrepute. The ethnic rather than the civic (I use this term in the most formal of senses with respect to the Roma of course, for it is difficult to think of an ethnic group less respectful of the wider societies in which they reside) identity of these people is likely to be central to the significance of this story, and should therefore have been highlighted from the outset.
For further details see: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/james_delingpole/blog/2009/06/17/what_the_bbc_didnt_want_you_to_know_about_the_belfast_romanians