Ian hits the news


An interesting discussion has followed the news story about Ian Gill’s public protest at BW’s removal of his license and attempt to interprete the law.

We are asking long and loud – and we will not desist until we get an answer – what is the problem with the boats that prompts these attempts at ethnic cleansing?


Ian's response to the latest threatening letter from British Waterways

“I float accused of breaking the conditions of my license. The license has been revoked. Now my home, myself are illegally afloat of your waterways.
The guidelines by which canal craft are governed are open to interpretation and it is many people’s concern that the waterways managment can manipulate and control us bargees by their misuse.
I have broken no law.
This is art.
Ian Gill”

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2 Responses to “Ian hits the news”

  1. Ian is living in peace on the K&A and has broken no Law. The terms and conditions of his licence are a severe breach of his civil liberties. Leave the boaties alone.

  2. Reading the responses to the article on the This Is Bath website, it is clear that there are some dreadful misconceptions about boaters, boating, and liveaboard boaters in particular. Much of it verges on what I would term racist, and which would certainly be deemed so by the courts if applied to any more homogenous group.

    There seems to be a common opinion that boaters empty elsans into the canal. This is a pretty warped opinion, and is wilfully ignorant. In fact it’s the passing tourists who leave most of the rubbish, and allow their dogs to foul the footpath, and urinate on boaters property.

    There is, of course, the opinion that boaters are just a bunch of freeloaders, whereas the reality is rather different. I for one have to give BW well over £1k a year for my boats, a sum directly comparable to council tax + water rates, and which pays for comparable services. As we all know, the real freeloaders are all those passing walkers and cyclists who are delighted to use the towpath in the mistaken belief that the council are paying for it all, and yet in reality contribute almost nothing financially.

    There is the comment that “even entire families” are living on boats. As if this has never happened before!

    There is the suggestion that boaters don’t work, and are all on benefits.

    So to sum up; we’re dirty, workshy freeloaders, who have too many children!These are the kind of common slurs flung at travelling communities the world over, and frankly we need to combat them!