Back in the 70’s and early 80’s squatters were dirty hippy/punks that lived in empty hovels that rats would’ve thought twice about moving into.
Those ‘anti-social layabouts’ had nothing better to do than protest and waste taxpayers hard earned cash by claiming twenty-eight pounds a week in benefits. I used to dream of joining their ranks when I was young and idealistic. Alas by the time I was old enough to leave home Thatcher had criminalised the movement and quashed the dreams of another anti-capitalist underachiever. The squatters movement all but disappeared.
Imagine my delight then when I heard Pauline Hanson was questioning whether or not squatters could be trusted with the Australian Tax system. Had I missed the revolution? Old punks and hippies from the seventies and eighties in charge of Australia’s purse strings. This was brilliant, there’d be free festivals from here to billabongawongaloo. All the funds that would normally be spent on wars, coal and toll roads would be reassigned to alternative, radical, progressive projects. The Sydney harbour bridge would be covered in alfalfa. Free hair implants would be offered to uptight bald men.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in arts grants would be awarded to men who were willing to paint their testicles pink. Which would be a post-modern statement, because they’re already pink! No problem with the squatters in power? Might offend some dinosaurs I suppose. Personally, I believe anyone brave enough to splash oil based external hint of pink on their plum bags shouldn’t be discriminated against.
Now try to imagine the depth of my despair when I learnt that there are two types of squatters. And Hanson wasn’t referring to the youth inspired political uprising I’m so fond of.
Turns out that Pauline Hanson, or ‘Donald Trump in drag’ as I like to refer to her, is complaining because the Australian Tax Office are building ‘squat’ toilets at their new home in Melbourne. The W.C’s at HQ will not discriminate against people who don’t shit like Hanson. I’ve never considered the ATO as a radical left-wing organisation, thanks to Pauline I now can.
Twenty percent of ATO employees are originally from non-English speaking countries and allegedly prefer to poo in a hole in the ground. The other eighty percent are the ancestors of convicts but I’ve heard nothing about supplying slop buckets to make them feel at home. That’s discrimination against descendants of convicts, isn’t it?
Hanson is questioning whether or not we can trust people who don’t know how to use westernised crappers to understand the tax system. God forbid some of the ‘un-Australian’ people might even wipe their bums on ‘our’ banknotes. ‘They’ probably don’t even know what money looks like so it would be easy to confuse a fifty dollar bill with toilet paper, or a One Nation policy document.
Of course, Hanson is worrying about nothing because, as usual, she’s ignored Australia’s true cultural heritage. If we hark back to Australia’s first people, remember the ones that have been here for tens of thousands of years, then we’ll probably discover that ‘squatting’ was the predominant method of shit expulsion from our earliest days.
Whilst I didn’t get to live my dream as a ‘house’ squatter I have luckily had the opportunity to experience the other kind. Many years ago in The Forest of Dean, I dug a small hole with a trowel, ‘squatted’ over it and dropped a log.
Of course, I didn’t know what I was doing at the time was ‘squatting’ I thought I was simply having a crap in the woods like a bear. it was a revelation, there was no sitting with my elbows on my knees grimacing, it just slipped out, nice, easy and clean. In hindsight, I don’t know why I didn’t continue the practice. Maybe it was because some racist councillor was fighting behind the scenes to rid England of non-British ‘thrones.’ Or perhaps I believed walking around my neighbourhood with a shovel and digging holes to shit in might bring me to the attention of the local police. Either way, I have fond memories of it and as soon as that new ATO building is open I’m heading down there to squeeze one out. If it’s really as good as I remember I’ll start a campaign to have ‘squat bogs’ put in every town across the land. If I fail I’ll consider dusting off the trowel.