But it seems that, what with the lucky heather and clothes peg trade being in decline and all, this much-maligned, yet gravely misunderstood community has had to reluctantly resort to slavery to make ends meet. Surprised, I said, but really Rupert and I were shocked! I mean we had no idea that these normally exemplary, law-abiding folk, who never do any more harm than cleaning up the odd tonne or two of live copper cable from along the railway embankments as they go about their traditional a-roaming, could ever contemplate such a thing.
So, next time you have a slave turn up at your door and ask, in the traditional Roma accent, "Would y'be after wanting y're droive Tarmacced, bejaysus?" you might want to consider that we're all slaves now and ask yourself how we got into this godawful mess. More particularly, what do we intend to do to dig ourselves out and do we, as a society, actually have the stomach for it?