Thanks to our country's incredibly liberal and ridiculously dangerous laws surrounding squatting in commercial properties, life for many in Bermondsey's Reverdy Road SE1 has been made a living hell over the past few months. Star of BBC television documentary 'The Secret History of our Streets', the north end of the Victorian street is becoming almost unrecognisable.
To the über-liberal-metropolitan-elite, squatting is cool, an answer to homelessness and a hard-fought human right. Any attempts to control it - both in residential and commercial properties - are met with cries of opposition and aggressive verbal berating by these advocates of the 'anything-goes-except-in-my-back-yard' dogma and ideology. To the hardworking working-class Bermondsey majority, squatting is illiberal, selfish and a scourge on our community.
So, as the long-awaited departure from Bermondsey's shores of these troublesome trespassers is heralded on the community grapevine, Bermondsey Beach takes the opportunity to indulge in a bit of 'squatterphobia' (that's fear of squatters):
"Swarming in under the cover of the Bermondsey darkness, they settled their feet under the tables of the disused Southwark Nursing Home and made their beds in the warm, well-lit rooms on the corner of Southwark Park Road and Reverdy Road - without paying a penny in council tax!
They came over here and took over our street and our homes, without giving back anything to the local community.
This influx of squatters stay awake until all hours, drinking and partying, singing and screaming, keeping our kids awake at night. They play their funny music at full blast without consideration for the indigenous neighbours.
They spray graffiti on the windows and the walls, creating with it all the fear of a Brooklyn ghetto.
They invite their scruffy friends and their barking dogs over to hang-out, toasting their cans of Special Brew, as they lie inebriated in the nursing home's once well-kept back garden.
They throw their rubbish out in the street, leaving it piling high around their wheelie bins and the surrounding land.
They blame everyone else - the bankers, the government and the system - for their own problems and failings, when the reality is that they're squatting to line their own pockets and feather their own nests, not Bermondsey's."
Indulgence over, this is a serious issue. And, before the über-liberal attack machine cranks into action, this opposition has nothing to do with ethnicity; these squatters appear to be white middle-class professionals, driving BMWs, and other fancy cars, while the glow of their collection of iPads and laptops adds new light to the south Bermondsey firmament.
Of course, opponents are branded nasty, uncaring and lacking community mindedness. The reality is that the residents of Reverdy Road have been tolerant, patient and polite, doing all they could to work with the squatters and the landlord. And Bermondsey's latest swampy-brigade? Well, they've demonstrated a breathtaking arrogance and complete disregard for the local community. Their Bermondseyphobia and anti-Bermondsey sentiment is offensive, hurtful and disrespectful to the local community.
For today, being 'squatterphobic' is perfectly acceptable here among Bermondsey's working classes - even if Southwark Council shuts its ears to our plight. Genuine fear and worry has been laid on local neighbours and businesses for far too long - it's a case of the wants of the few defeating the rights of the many.
Bermondsey Beach wishes them well and prays that they will be considerate and keep themselves safe, wherever they invade next time. As for the freeholder, if he or she cannot provide adequate security for the building, and hastily carry out redevelopment plans, the building and its land should be sequestrated without delay. Southwark Council, are you listening to Ed Miliband on this one?
BBC's 'The Secret History of our Streets' -
Reverdy Road, London, SE1:
Reverdy Road, London, SE1: