DRIP, DRIP, DRIP from The Chumbawamba home page.
Nobody chooses to live in slums - but some make a good living from renting them out.
"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community."
"Jack Linden lived in a small cottage in Windley. He had occupied this house ever since his marriage, over thirty years ago. His home and garden were his hobby: he was always doing something; painting, whitewashing, papering and so forth. The result was that although the house itself was not of much account he had managed to get it into very good order, and it was very clean and comfortable. Another result of this industry was that - seeing the improved appearance of the place - the landlord had on two occasions raised the rent. When Linden took the house the rent was five shillings a week. Five years after, it was raised to seven shillings, and after a lapse of another five years it had been increased to eight shillings. During his thirty years of tenancy he had paid altogether nearly 600 in rent, more than double the amount of the present value of the house."
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, Robert Tressell
"Landlords have no rights - they forfeit them by engaging in a criminal enterprise, for which seizure of dwellings by those who actually live in them, and complete discontinuance of paying "rents" are the only remedies."
From 'Rent: An Injustice', Fred Woodworth
"It's a typical fudge. (The new laws concerning strict controls on gas appliances) means landlords are ripping out gas fires so you have no heating at all. Or, if the tenant gets a fitter to put the gas fire back, then the landlord can say it's nothing to do with him. In that case you have the crazy situation where technically speaking the safety of the appliance is the tenant's responsibility - it's a very grey area and we're talking about people in poverty who can't afford to get their appliances and chimneys checked; or they can't afford to get into a tussle with their landlord about it if they want to keep the roof over their heads. Worse still, most people I come across don't even know there's a danger."
Gas fitter, Leeds 1997
"An English priest was on a visit to a remote part of the north of Ireland. A local farmer offered to show him the sights. 'That's Devil's Mountain,' said the farmer. 'Over there is Devil's Dyke. Devil's Wood starts on the other side of the river.' 'The Devil seems to own a lot of property in these parts,' smiled the priest. 'Aye,' agreed the farmer, 'and like most other landlords he seems to spend most of his time in London.'"
Old Irish tale
Langston Hughes, 1940
"Johnny Rotten - the man who once screamed about Anarchy in the UK - has booted squatters out of his luxury West London Flat. John ... was furious when squatters moved in at the same time his flat went on the market. Says a spokesman; 'Yes they were punks, but they're not there any longer. I am not sure how John got rid of them. John may have been a punk himself, but he's an upstanding citizen now. I am sure he never had to squat anywhere."
News cutting in Raising Hell Fanzine 1987
"Lets lynch the landlord!"
"Consider the igloo: maximum enclosure of space with minimum of labour. Cost of materials and transportation, nil.And all made of water. Nowadays, of course, the eskimos live on welfare handouts in little northern slums. Man no longer houses himself: he is housed."
Colin Ward, 'Anarchy In Action'