Daily Mail celebrates squatting in 1940s

“An interesting thing about the Homefront squatters of the late 1940s is that they found support from both left-wing and right-wing politics. For the left – especially the Communist Party – the argument was that, just as the state had taken the lead in the war effort, ‘now a similar national effort to build houses was needed’ (Burnham 2009, p2). Whilst for the right, this was a perfect example of post-war national pride and the continuation of the ‘Blitz Spirit’, with The Daily Mail celebrating the squatters ‘robust common sense… [in taking] matters quietly but firmly into their own hands’ and presenting them as ‘exemplifying an English traditions of self-help made necessary by the government’s failings – a view which the squatters were happy to share’ (Webber 2012, p146). Overall, then, the actions of the ex-servicemen were well-received in the press and publicly celebrated as an expression of English patriotism.”

Burnham, P. (2009) ‘The Squatters of 1946’ Tenants’ History Conference