VIDEO: Last night's ITV squatting documentary

Tony Gosling tony at
Fri Dec 7 13:05:30 GMT 2012

Madeley Meets the Squatters (extract)

Thursday 6th December 9:00pm Duration: 46 minutes
Fascinating documentary in which Richard Madeley enters the world of 
the squatter to try to discover the truth behind the headlines. Do 
they deserve their negative press?
And yet, like a goodly proportion of the nation, I have always rather 
liked Madeley, and the encounter was at least intriguing. He can 
out-Partridge Alan for bons mots, sure, but there's a lack of 
cynicism about his goofiness that is refreshing and rather charming 
in ways that are not always immediately explicable. Besides, anyone 
who can ask Sophie Ellis-Bextor, as he is reported to have done, 
"Where did you get your face?", would surely not balk at challenging 
a squatter over, well, why they chose to live like that.
To his credit, he didn't hold back. The first stop was a derelict pub 
in Walthamstow in east London. "Ooh. Ripe. Ripe, ripe. This is worse 
than I expected," noted Richard after pushing his way in uninvited, 
though he did at least consider that the Lithuanian sleeping under a 
blanket in the corner might not appreciate their presence. "Are we OK 
doing this? It's their space." The Lithuanian, it turned out, wasn't 
OK with it, and they beat a hasty retreat.
During the course of what he called "one of the more interesting 
summers of my career", Richard met plenty of those with a view. 
Tristan, who called himself an "urban womble" and lived in a large 
Bristol block, promised Dave, the exasperated owner: "We're looking 
after your building. And that's a promise." A woman with learning 
difficulties told how the housing association flat she had been 
assigned had been occupied by a squatter on the day she was due to 
move in, leaving her homeless. Mike Weatherley, the MP who 
successfully campaigned to have squatting residential properties made 
a criminal offence, thought squatters weren't demonised enough.
The film won't have changed many minds -- "Do you want to carry on 
with this? Is there any point?" asked Dave of his debate with Tristan 
-- but for Richard at least, squatting was made less inexplicable and 
disgusting. "You can't label squatting simply," was his conclusion -- 
a banal discovery perhaps, but in its own small way, rather bold.

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"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which 
alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be 
revealed; and nothing hid that shall not be made known. What I tell 
you in darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye hear in the 
ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
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