Tuesday 2 July 2024

Mike Weatherley (As Alice Cooper Wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt in the Chamber of the House of Commons in Heaven), Wood, foam, hair, paint, Furry gloves, Swiss Army M70 Alpenflage Jacket, Mil-Tec French Field Trousers, Mars Bar 2024

Michael Richard Weatherley, now dead, was MP for Hove from 2010-2015, which following his election he campaigned an EDM alongside Kenneth Clarke to criminalise squatting in residential properties.,  SQUASH (Squatters’ Action for Secure Homes), a pressure group which reformed to oppose section 144 included the likes of John McDonnell in helping organise a meeting for the at the House of Commons. McDonnell said, ‘there was no need for a new law.  It was put through on the basis of prejudice … to pander to the media and the right wing of the Conservative party.  We are now finding young homeless people being sent to prison at great cost to themselves and to the exchequer.’ 34,080 families were homeless in 2012 which was a 12% increase on the previous figures. The campaign itself received Royal Assent on May 1st 2012. Its title was Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act & its enforcement ranged from 51 weeks in HM or hefty ‘fines’ & of course a criminal record. Weatherley wrote in August of 2013 to extend the law to commercial properties ensuring an effective re-writing of the social history of squatting from the 14th Century (Diggers & Peasants Revolt, et al.) Weatherley noted in Valedictory debate, that ‘scrubbing the law on squatting was a huge deal, and it has virtually ended squatting in residential properties in the UK. Wikipedia now lists it as Weatherley’s law. We won.’  Incidentally, in the same year he founded Rock the House Parliamentary Competition, to raise the importance of British Intellectual Property & to have ‘the likes of Fat Boy Slim, Whitesnake’s Bernie Marsden, national treasure Rick Wakeman and Slash playing live’. When asked why he spent over £12,000 flying Alice Cooper to the HoC, Mike said: “It was a privilege to welcome such a rock icon to parliament and I am grateful for Alice’s support for my Rock the House competition. I first got involved in politics as a result of an MP in 1973 trying to ban Alice Cooper from getting into the country. It is wonderful that now in 2011 we embrace the creativity of such a unique artist as Alice Cooper.”