Ninja 2: Squatters rights definitely should be abolished

I have two things to say about this. First, when did someone or a group of people breaking into unoccupied houses and living there illegally become a perfectly normal thing? And where are the limits then? Should I open my front door to anyone, should we all have a spare bed and give out spare keys of our apartments? I really don’t think so.

I obviously don’t want to come across as heartless person who doesn’t care about the world’s misery, but come on! Squatters are a problem, and still seeing homeless people in the streets in 2011 is a disgrace. Yes. But I highly doubt that the solution is to watch them occupy one house in November, another one in December and so on, without saying anything. There should be special places  (or more of them) where they could go, more transitional homes, but accepting that anyone could break into my flat when I’m on holidays and coming back only to face a family of 6 happily resting on my couch is a step too far.

Now concerning the fine and jail sentence, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and I don’t see how this is going to stop squatters from breaking into properties. Ask someone with no income who lives in the street to give the government £5000 because they’ve been naughty: sure, that’s gonna happen!

Squatters’ rights should be abolished, or at least, measures should be enforced, because I don’t see why I should go through months of legal procedures and spend hundreds or thousands of pounds to be able to get MY house back.

It has become ridiculous, every “offender” is being protected by some sort of laws: the tenant who does not pay rent, the stalker who wants to kill you, and now the squatters who want to use your house as their own. No, I really don’t buy that.

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Ninja 3: Squatters need an alternative

We’re not addressing this problem is a suitable way; authority stamping is not going to work.

Research by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University found:

“Around 78% of homeless people who squat have approached a local authority for help, but although recognised as homeless they have not been entitled to housing because they are not in priority need or are considered intentionally homeless.”

Define “priority need” and “intentionally homeless”? Who chooses to be homeless? I think that’s a terrible figure, our local authorities should be embarrassed.

It is simple, homeless people need a home and squatting doesn’t fit the bill. More needs to be done for them. I am a strong believer of people getting jobs, working and paying their way in society. If everyone did this we would be living in a perfect world. But they are not, the world is far from perfect and this scenario will never happen. Tax payers money should go into helping homeless people find suitable housing, get people off the streets and into jobs.

Furthermore, “Many squatters have significant welfare needs: 34% of homeless people who squat had been in care; 42% had physical ill health or a disability; 41% reported mental health problems”

Again I must ask myself, why aren’t these problems not being addressed? It is time we start at the root of the cause and deal with these problems then. These new squatting legalisations will only be ok if the state is doing the best it can to avoid people squatting in the first place. If 42% have physical ill health problems and 41% have mental health problems… what is being done about it?

Ken Clarke’s new laws on squatting are simply ridiculous. The fine is too steep and a prison sentence is just unnecessary. It’s a typical Tory idea where the less fortunate will suffer and the issue will only create more problems for society, has he heard of overcrowding in prisons?

I agree, squatting is a problem which should be tackled but more with a view of “how can we help these people” and less of “lets fine them or and lock them away”.
Strong viewpoint but hey! Thanks for reading, it would be great to have some feedback so don’t be shy and comment below.

Ninja 4: Squatting issues should dealt with case by case

Should squatters have rights? To me this question is definitely a complex on, that doesn’t simply have the answer of yes or no. Lets take into the consideration of why squatters squat. They are choosing to sleep in an abandoned house with no heating or electric and sometimes no furniture, which in mind my means they have no other place to stay and its either there or the street, and I know which one Id prefer.
You have to remember that these houses are usually completely abandoned and squatters normally go unnoticed for years upon years of them staying there. However its obvious that squatting is not the answer to homelessness and something needs to be done.
The coalition government is soon set to propose that changes in the law will make squatting a criminal offence and those found guilty of breaching this will be fined up to £5000 or given a year long prison sentence. But is this really going to solve the problem? These people are desperate and in need of help, is the possibility of going to jail or having a fine really going to stop them squatting in an abandoned house instead of sleeping on the street? I think not.

I understand that not every squatter is in such desperate need as others and some see squatting more as a lifestyle choice than a necessity, and for those select few this new law might potentially work, but what about the rest? Surely help is needed more than anything. And surely taking away someone’s shelter and safety should be the last resort?

The governemnt has seems to think that slapping a fine on the issue will make the problem go away. How they ever came to that conclusion I dont know. These people need support with whatever issues they might have and guidance in how to get better, a fine/imprisonment is not the answer!

Privacy: What do my social media profiles say about me?

Lets face it, privacy is long dead. With the invention of the internet and social media, there is almost no information that can be found on you after a fair bit of digging. The below graphic has came as quite a shock to the ninjas, who were before oblivious of the level to which potential employers screen us against our social media profiles.

So this week the ninjas are trying out a little experiment. We will be examining our profiles and what is visible for everyone to see. We ask all you readers to take a quick look at each and decide which of us you would hire if you were interviewing us for a job. Click on the links below and then vote in the poll on the right hand side of the page!

Ninja 1

Ninja 2

Ninja 3

Ninja 4

#ninjahireme

Ninja 4: What do my social media profiles say about me?

Facebook

I definitely use Facebook completely for social reasons and to keep in touch with friends, so therefore my privacy settings are set so that if you are not my friend on Facebook the only thing you can see is my profile picture.  However is this enough? Or would future employees look at this picture and decide not to hire me?

Above you can see my current profile picture on Facebook.  Its a fairly nice picture where I’m smiling with a friend, I think the only thing that could be construed as negative is the fact that I’m wearing a carnage top, one of the biggest student drinking events in the UK.   If a potential employer saw this, and knew what carnage was, and then they may think twice about hiring me.  It’s not as if I’m falling over drunk or even have a drink in my hand but the association with carnage may have negative connotations for some people.  However overall I think my picture is perfectly suitable for Facebook and those that may see it.

Twitter

My twitter account is probably used as half social and half professional, as I have both friends and PR professionals alike on there, but have recently started to move it into being slightly more professional.

Looking at my profile picture above, I can see that it’s not the most professional picture I could have chosen.  I don’t think that there is anything practically wrong with the picture, and if on Facebook would be fine but I feel my tongue sticking doesn’t really give the right impression to future employees.

So taking both these pictures into consideration, what’s your opinion? Is there a certain view you now have of me?

And most importantly would you hire me?

#ninjahireme

Ninja 3: What do my social media profiles say about me?

Facebook

I have always seen Facebook as my most personal form of social media, I keep it private so only my friends can see my content. I always make sure I know everyone of my friends to a good level so feel happy with sharing information with them. My right to privacy is lost once I put information on Facebook therefore I must be careful what is on there and what others can access.

My privacy settings do however allow anyone to see a small version of my profile picture. But what does it say about me?

This picture was taken last Wednesday on a PR society social event, me and Sarah (Ninja 2) can be clearly seen posing for this nice picture together.

Twitter

I use Twitter very differently to Facebook as it’s completely public, anyone can view my tweets and follow me. I generally tweet about day to day happenings and sometimes PR content as I am following various PR agencies and other likeminded PR student from all around the country.

Although you can access more information about me on Twitter, what does my profile picture say about me?

This was taken on a warm sunny day in London where I am outside of a pub having a social glass of wine, watching the world go by.

But what do these two pictures say about me? Both times I am clearly holding a drink, does this mean I’m letting everyone know I like alcohol – which comes with various negative connotations or does it show I like to enjoy a casual drink from time to time. Both pictures are taken from outside, does this hint that I am a smoker?

Is there anything in these pictures that you can see/make assumptions on the type of person I am? Would this affect you deciding whether to hire me over someone else?

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I’d love to hear from you so do comment and vote for which Ninja you would hire on the basis of our social media pictures!

#ninjahireme

 

Ninja 2: What do my social media profiles say about me?

Facebook

I use Facebook only as a personal form of social media. My privacy settings allow my friends to access all my information and I always make sure that I personally know the people who I add as friends. This is why I feel comfortable sharing my pictures, updates and general information with them. However, for obvious reasons, I still keep some information private and would never put it on Facebook, such as my address, phone number and so on. Seeing as everything, once put on facebook, is out in the open for everyone to see, I always try to be careful.

The only thing that everyone can access is my profile picture. But what does my current one say about me?

This picture was taken last Wednesday on a PR social event. Claire (ninja 3) and me are posing in front of a camera looking at each other. Although it seems to me that it is a perfectly acceptable picture for Facebook, it clearly shows that I am in a club, pretending to blow a kiss at my friend.

Twitter

If you ever go on my Twitter page or start following me, you will soon realise how little I use it. Since the creation of my account, I have posted 5 tweets, none of them in relation to PR. My Twitter name is not even my full name but a nickname that my friends give me.

My profile picture shows me, again, at night, with a cigarette in my hand and Christmas streamers around my neck. This was taken during our house Christmas dinner last December.

Just like my Facebook profile picture, it shows me in a social/party environment but with no professional content.

What do these two pictures say about me then? Both times I am clearly not in a professional environment and information or content related to PR cannot really be found on neither of the social networks. Does this spread a very negative image of a lazy student who enjoys nights out more than she enjoys her course or does it show that between lectures I still manage to find time to relax and enjoy spending some time with my friends?

How would this influence you to decide whether to hire me or not? Can you draw conclusions on my personality from these two pictures?

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I’d love to hear from you so do comment and vote for which Ninja you would hire on the basis of our social media pictures!

#ninjahireme