Is this, too, what you get when a council’s response to Travellers showing up within the city limits is instant, paranoid, over the top (and blatant otherisation and criminalisation on the basis of ethnicity or lifestyle)?

“Now the part-time worker is calling for more community compassion, after both he and his mother were berated over his parking, despite Tony having a Blue Badge and parking permits for his camper van, his work van, and his personal cars.”

Does he have too many cars? Yes, that may well be the case, but it also sounds like only the camper van is parked in Middlesex Road.

So I then googled his name. Looks like he is the owner of “All About Classics vintage vehicle hire”. (Same face in the newspaper photo and in the Twitter account profile photo. Same face in the photos on the business website.) That explains it!

But his business address (according to the website and Facebook) is indeed Middlesex Road… So the problem may be of a different nature than what it looks like at first sight. Cost of living crisis, anyone? His business would already have been hit hard by the pandemic. But there is also the fact that his parents don’t get the practical support that they need. Council cuts, anyone?

I found myself becoming interested in the full story. “I don’t know, of course, but it could be that what he needs to do is register a limited company,” I thought, so I looked at Companies House records. It seems that he had a limited company earlier, but for less than a year, perhaps because the admin side of it was too frustrating. It was registered at a different Southsea address. It appears that the current business is a Limited that he started in April of this year, but it is registered at a Copnor Road address.

Could be that he has posted the address where is currently staying most of the time on his website so that people can find him more easily.

Whatever the background, a little bit of compassion can go a long way. One day, you might need someone else to be compassionate towards you and if that happens, you likely never saw it coming.

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