Does the name Stewart Copeland mean anything to you?

01 Sep

If it doesn’t then here are a few clues. He’s American. His Dad is ex-CIA, he has a couple of very influential friends and he’s an ex-squatter. Still no further forward? He was, and still might be for all we know, the drummer with The Police.

At the time he met Sting, he was squatting in Mayfair, Green Street to be a bit more precise but still suitably vague. It was a big flat with lots of room for a drummer to set up his kit and for practising to take place if and when a band formed. There’s little indication that Stewart was in any way short of a few bob although he may have been in 1977 when The Police formed.

The owners of the flat weren’t aware that anyone was squatting there although they may well have petitioned the local council since, to erect a blue sign at the outside door stating that “Stewart Copeland, the drummer with The Police squatted here in 1976/77”. It may well have increased the value of their property and perhaps covered some of the costs of repair and cleaning following the squatting episode.

I’ve not been aware of any squatting what so ever and certainly none that have ended up with the Police, that’s the paramilitary force rather them the musical variety, throwing squatters out. I’m sure it must have happened somewhere close by at some point, possibly, maybe

The new law just enacted, which allows the Police to evict squatters quickly, is probably a good thing. Squatting had a nasty element to it involving squatters taking over a property when the owners were on holiday or just away etc. That just wasn’t right. Empty properties? Maybe there’s more of a case but it’s a fine line.

How will the law end up being used? Obviously as intended, but also in other less moral ways. Will landlords take advantage of it? Would the gypsy camp, which was cleared last year, have been cleared more quickly?

There always seems to be a “sting” in the tail with new laws these days. (Sorry I just couldn’t resist it!)


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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Justice, Music, Politics


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