Roma gypsies are tough. You really have to take your hat off. Never welcome in western Europe, we used to hang any who made a nuisance of themselves. The French shaved their heads and branded them, and the Czechs cut their ears off. They are one of the few races that sought refuge in Russia as a place of tolerance. The Nazis consigned several hundreds of thousands to the death camps but they found no respite in the post-war communist world. The Czechs had given up on cutting their ears off and removed their wombs and testes instead, in a programme of compulsory sterilisation. Yet they survived, stronger than ever, and now there are well over a million of them in Romania and Bulgaria all set to desert their villages and head for Dover and a life on British benefits.
As I've written many times before, you can't blame immigrants for immigration. It's not their fault. It's the fault of either treasonous and poisonous governments such as Labour's last administration, which used immigration as a tool to destroy domestic opposition, or of spineless and pusillanimous governments such as Cameron's, whose brave words aren't matched by his vacillating and ineffectual actions. But the Roma as the Press describes them are lawless; they're thieves, scavengers, squatters, polluters and destroyers, and will deface and despoil all they touch. The Mail chronicles the effect on a German town of the arrival of just 400 Roma gypsies.
There are difficulties. Roma form a minority of Romanians and Bulgarians, the majority of whom are no better or worse than any other east European migrant workers. Their originating nations don't want them and would be glad to see them depart for other European countries. And we can't make laws that target only Roma. They do apparently have some peculiar taboos - hens' eggs and frogs are both anathema to them - but staffing the benefits offices with amphibians is simply not practical.
However, this what politicians are elected to office to do - find ways through the difficulties. And when the results of both the Euro elections in 2014 and the general election the following year may well be conditioned by voters' experiences of the depredations of the Roma in their own neighbourhoods, if Cameron does nothing he will have only himself to blame for an unprecedented electoral drubbing.