Monthly Archives: June 2011

No round table with Camelot

**The following post is by Karen Eliot, who is involved with social and housing projects in London.** A recent article in the [Independent](, responding to the coalition governments’ intentions to [criminalise squatting](, proposes “vacant property protection” companies such as Camelot and Ad Hoc provide a compromise between the needs of those seeking cheap housing and the rights of the owner of an empty property. The article suggests that such agencies forge a “mutually beneficial union” between these two parties, and could therefore be a solution to the glaring mismatch between the housing shortage, and the abundance of empty properties. Given […]

Squatter hate Mail’s real agenda

**The following post is by Liz Davies, chairwoman of the [Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers](, writing here in a personal capacity. It was originally published in the [Morning Star](, and is reposted with kind permission of the author.** The Daily Mail and Tory MPs are obsessed with squatting. Every two months the Mail bangs home the message that squatting is “legal” in Britain. What it actually means is that squatting is not criminal. Trespassing on someone’s property has always been a tort or civil wrong. But the Mail is right. “Trespassers will be prosecuted” – ie will face a criminal […]

Housing Trust Praised for “Doing the Dirty Work” – forcing people onto the street and destroying their homes

**The following post is from Jenny Matthews, who is involved with the SQUASH campaign. Here she looks at another example of media myths and distortions about squatting.**     Housing Trust Praised for “Doing the Dirty Work” tackling A406 squatting problem Here’s a nasty little piece which was brought to our attention from the Enfield Independent: a particularly flagrant example of lazy journalism and the persecution of unauthorised occupants. Astounding in its lauding of deeply inhumane acts being perpetrated against the homeless by an organisation which supposedly aims to “help peple achieve more for themselves …[and] house people in need”, […]

OUR SOCIETY IS BIGGER THAN YOURS: Squatting and the wider political rumblings

**The following post, by Victoria Blitz, was originally posted on the [Critical Legal Thinking blog](** Despite the attempts of Tory backbenchers to delegitimize squatting, and divide it from the issue of homelessness, the two remain inextricably linked: un-met housing needs, a supply of empty property, and squatting, go hand in hand in hand. But that’s about as far as the generalizations go; squatting is both a means and an end, and the ways that different individuals and groups put squatting into practice varies enormously.   The goofy arrival of Cameron’s Big Society, which provides us with a nice neighbourly back […]

On the Naughty Step: The Telegraph Gets it Wrong (again)

**On the SQUASH blog we will regularly post pieces which highlight the innacuracies and distortions of media pieces about squatting. The following post is reprinted with kind permission from [Nearly Legal](, the housing law news and comment blog.** I don’t read the Daily Telegraph. Frankly I’ve failed to see the point since it stopped featuring details of the salacious trial of the day as a regular fixture on page 3, because the rest of it was preposterous blimpish nonsense, mainly full of regret that Britain ever came off the gold standard. I was dimly aware that it had a re-design […]

Campaign in motion but government consultation imminent

It was good to meet so many of you at the Squash launch event in May. What a reassuring gathering of people opposed to the criminalisation of squatting, and chaired expertly by John McDonnell, thank you. At the event Catherine Sacks-Jones of [Crisis]( gave a powerful insight into the realities of squatting for the hidden-homeless in England and Wales. [Paul Palmer]( provided the facts about empty properties and the speculators who do well out of them.