Saturday, September 29, 2012

Deborah Orr on criminalising squatting

I did not blog about it at the time, but I was deeply disappointed that the Coalition government made squatting a criminal offence.

And Deborah Orr puts it very well in today's Guardian:
Alex Haigh, 21, is the first person to have been jailed under new laws criminalising squatting. He has been sentenced to 12 weeks. What a joke. If a small, basic, publicly subsidised room had been made available to him in the first place, he would not now have a criminal record, along with all the lasting psychological misery that comes with the experience of incarceration. 
This is what happens when the country is run by people who have neither experience of, nor a wish to imagine, what it is like to come to the capital as an unsupported young person seeking employment, and actually find a place you can afford to live in. What they can imagine, only too well, is having a spare house, and wanting to make sure it stays empty.

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