Originally posted by The Realist
Somehow, and I’m not entirely sure how, a group of people in Central London have, with the total knowledge of the police, been stealing from the Council. But (and here’s the rub, kids) it’s been going on for 30 years.
That’s right, no-one there has paid council tax in 30 years. Due to unforeseen circumstances (well, holidays), I didn’t pay my council tax for one month and was threatened with jail within a week.
Apparently, it’s London’s oldest squat? So fucking what? This isn’t some cultural centre for an oppressed minority we’re talking about here. I don’t see many blue plaques on the walls there proclaiming ‘Kermit the Hippy lived here in 1977’. I have no idea why people have sympathy with their ‘cause’ – even the most hardened crusty must surely have choked on their dreadlocks when they saw one of their comrades throwing his dog out of the window.
This is what it boils down to: squatters are a hideous throwback to a political concept from the 70s. In 2005, the ‘way of life’ or ‘like-minded community’ argument doesn’t, like them, wash.
Whilst it is shocking that houses are left empty while people are homeless, that is a very separate issue. This isn’t the tragic tale of a desperate family’s desire to fulfil the bottom rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – this is a community of people who have got away with living rent free and refusing to pay any part towards the upkeep of their community.
For which read theft.