I have a bit of a reputation for being a devil’s advocate. Show me a story and I’ll try to see another way of looking at it. I like to feel that’s me being open minded. Others think I’m being a pain the rear end.

On Monday the Adver ran a story regarding ‘travellers’ setting up camp at Lydiard Park and reported the outrage that one of Swindon’s favourite green spaces had been invaded. ‘Just Go’ was the headline.

Now, devils advocate or not, I do have a view that if you want things from society you should expect to contribute to that society. Making a choice to not live your life by society’s rules means you have chosen not to enjoy the benefits that come from doing so.

And the fact that I use parenthesis when I use the word ‘traveller’ is indicative that I believe to describe yourself as such means you should actually be travelling… not being a nuisance by staying put on someone else’s land.

The story suggested that this favourite dog walking territory was now unusable because there were dogs on it. And that children could no longer play at Lydiard Park because… well, children were playing on it.

Someone was quoted as saying they couldn’t use the pitch that they had paid for to camp on, because someone was camping on it.

So it was then, that I saw some double standards being applied.

It seems camping there is perfectly acceptable if you have paid for it. That dogs are allowed, as long as they are not ‘those’ dogs, and that children can play there as long as they are seen as ‘the right’ children.

And for me that was the irony. Both groups of people seemed to be doing pretty much the same thing, but the story was presented such that one group could be upset that they had been beaten to it by the other.

But of course the double standards worked the other way around as well.

It was suggested that it would be difficult to evict these ‘travellers’ as they were on private land. But what if the family who had paid for a camping pitch had overstayed their duration? Would it be equally difficult to get them to move on, or would they be forced out as they were now trespassing?

And back to the point about living outside of society’s rules. Council tax payers contribute the funds that maintain Lydiard Park, and surely it’s only fair that those who choose not to, shouldn’t enjoy the benefit.

I live outside the borough of Swindon and pay my council tax to Wiltshire. Am I allowed in Lydiard Park? Would the ‘travellers’ be welcome if they were just walking through with their dogs and kids, and their camp was set up elsewhere?

And call me a nimby, but I wouldn’t welcome ‘travellers’ into my village if they chose to invade land that they had no right to either.

Double standards there as well then I guess. Or a health dose of seeing the other side of a story.