Tag Archives: Grenfell Tower

Tories mark third anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy with a staggering display of hypocrisy

As it was then: firefighters are pictured dousing small blazes on what remained of Grenfell Tower’s outer cladding, after the fire three years ago. The extent of the damage is clear.

What a strange mob these Conservative brutes are turning out to be! It seems they think everyone can be fooled by a bit of public relations jiggery-pokery.

So on the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower blaze, they lit up 10 Downing Street in green, took a photo of it and gave us some flowery words about a commitment to uncover the causes of the disaster and ensure it never happens again.

Did it work?

Don’t make me laugh…

Another Twitter commenter added: “Oh do naff off. There are still families who have not been properly housed. There are thousands of properties country-wide cladded with flammable materials. No amount of cosmetic PR will exonerate you.”

Consider this:

And this:

If you’re wondering about the significance of the names, they’ll belong to the people who died.

The Independent tells us of the plight of the Grenfell families who are still living in temporary accommodation, three years after they were put there:

Figures from Kensington and Chelsea Council show that there are still seven households living in temporary accommodation. There are also said to be around 10 households who used to live in the tower who have since requested to be moved again as they were placed into permanent [homes] that [were] unsuitable.

Spike Western, housing paralegal at North Kensington Law Centre, told The Independent the delays stemmed from a failure by successive governments to provide adequate social housing:

“The households who have still to be rehoused permanently following Grenfell are the most vulnerable survivors. They represent either those with particular housing needs, such as those arising from a disability, or those on whom moving permanently is something that cannot be rushed and must only be done when the survivor is ready,” he said.

“The damage has been done, and that is severe lack of investment in social and affordable housing over a long period, meaning there aren’t a whole lot of suitable options.”

Then-prime minister Theresa May had promised them their stay would last a maximum of three weeks.

What a liar. And now she has gone, leaving her successor to handle the mess – or kick this can of worms further down the road.

And once again, people with disabilities are left to suffer the most.

Grenfell went up like a tinderbox because it had been covered with a “flame-retardant” cladding that was the exact opposite. Fire chiefs have condemned the fact that the Tories haven’t exerted themselves to replace the same flammable cladding that covers many other blocks of flats – endangering the lives of thousands, three years after the tragedy:

The National Fire Chiefs Council called for “a fundamental reform of building safety” ahead of Sunday’s third anniversary of the fire that killed 72 people.

A parliamentary committee warned that fixing all serious fire-safety defects in high-risk residential buildings could cost up to £15 billion.

Some 2,000 residential buildings are still wrapped in dangerous cladding, meaning that thousands of homeowners sleep in potential fire traps every night, according to the report by the housing, communities and local government committee.

And bandwagon-jumping Labour leader Keir Starmer has said the fact that hundreds of buildings still bear Grenfell-style cladding three years later is “unforgivable” – but, I don’t know… I’m not sure his heart was in it. He seemed much more comfortable siding with the Tories over the threat to statues of racists and slave dealers than against them over this.

The question in the tweet is a good one for all of us to ask, I think.

Are we really more concerned with the safety of a few chunks of rock than for the lives of thousands of our fellow human beings?

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Johnson humiliated again as woman he appointed to Grenfell inquiry resigns over corrupt link to cladding firm

Remember Benita Mehra?

This Site tagged her up as a sign of Boris Johnson’s corruption when it was revealed that he had appointed her to sit on the panel of the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

She has links to the company which made the cladding blamed for accelerating the blaze.

I said her appointment was a sign that Boris Johnson, who now has a huge Parliamentary majority and may impose any changes to the structure of the United Kingdom that he sees fit, is rubbing our collective nose in it.

And now she has quit.

It seems that, while Mr Johnson was completely indifferent to the depth of feeling about his appointment of Ms Mehra… she was not.

In her letter of resignation, she said she recognised and respected the “depth of feeling” some people felt about her appointment.

According to the source article (see below), survivors group Grenfell United and bereaved families welcomed the news after previously raising concerns about her link.

I agree with their opinion: They said Ms Mehra had “done the dignified thing by resigning,” but added that the government “should never have put families in this situation”.

That’s right.

Mr Johnson has accepted the resignation.

Now he has a vacancy to fill.

One wonders if he has an even more inappropriate candidate in mind.

Source: Grenfell Tower inquiry member resigns over link to cladding firm – LBC News

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This election, for all those who no longer have the chance to vote, please make yours count

Those are strong words from the Wear Red – Stand Up and Be Counted Facebook page (above).

For those who can’t read image files, it says:

“Up to 130,000 people have died because of austerity who aren’t able to vote on December 12.

“Hundreds of homeless people have died on the streets who aren’t able to vote either.

“Those from the Windrush generation who were unjustly deported aren’t able to vote.

“The sick people who died in hospital corridors waiting for medical treatment aren’t able to vote.

“The victims of unsolved knife crime because of 20,000 less police aren’t able to vote.

“The families burned to death in Grenfell Towers aren’t able to vote.

“They don’t have a voice any more, so on December 12, use your voice to speak for them and vote the Tories out.”

The text accompanying the image states [boldings mine]:

“This post is in memory of all those who can no longer vote because in some way their lives were irrevocably changed or lost forever because of how the Conservative government has treated them.

Remember them, because they could just as easily be you or someone that you love.

“We all fall on hard times at one point or another.

“That’s the whole point of society, is that we help each other in times of need, we do it without asking for anything in return because we actually care about each other.

“We don’t seek to sub-contract that care out to the lowest bidder and watch them make profit from your hardship.

“The Tories are ruining our society, they are selling it off in chunks to super rich private entities and leasing it back to you at twice the cost.

The by-product of this austerity is not only massive transfer of wealth into the hands of the few, but also thousands of people dying prematurely or being deported from their homes, widespread misery and stress for all low earners, sick, vulnerable and severely disabled people.

“We cannot emphasise enough how much good you will be doing by voting Labour in this election.

“Whether you care a little or a lot for politics, this election is a turning point for all of us.

“Protect your NHS, keep Trump’s hands off our health care, and most of all speak up for the countless victims of this warped ideology that would knowingly persecute sick people right up until the point where they died while being desperately in need of help.

“To think of this happening to one person is heartbreaking, but to 130,000 it’s almost unimaginable.

“Get out there on Dec 12, imbued with the spirit of these fallen souls, and send a clear message to Westminster that you’re not putting up with this way of doing things for one day longer.”

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Former Tory triggers row by trying to blame Labour for the Grenfell Tower inferno

Accusation: Sam Gyimah shows us the kind of man he is.

As ‘Third Sector Workhouse’ suggested on Twitter: “There is no sewer the Lib Dems will not crawl through.”

And what could we expect, after Yellow Tory Jo Swinson allowed so many Conservatives into her party?

Tories thrive on lies, perversity and falsehood.

So we have already seen the London Fire Brigade burdened with the blame for the deaths of 72 people in Grenfell Tower, after its officers followed safety procedures ordered by the Conservative-run local authority.

Meanwhile we know the main cause of the deaths was the flammable cladding that the Tory-controlled council allowed to be used on the building.

Now Sam Gyimah – a former Conservative who is now squatting with the Liberal Democrats – is claiming that current Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad must bear some responsibility because she was formerly a member of the council.

She was in opposition and had no power to stop the Tories in charge from doing any stupid thing they liked.

Former Tory minister Sam Gyimah has claimed his Labour election rival was partially responsible for the decisions that led to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Mr Gyimah, now the Liberal Democrat candidate for Kensington, refused to be drawn on suggestions his former party’s policies on austerity and the neglect of social housing played a role in the blaze that killed 72 people.

But he suggested current Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, who won the marginal constituency from the Tories by just 20 votes in 2017, could have stopped some of the decisions that led to the tragedy in her previous role as a Labour councillor on the Tory-dominated local authority.

The claim drew a furious response from Ms Dent Coad, who called the claim “absolutely sickening”.

She did indeed. And she said: “Labour councillors, working with the community, repeatedly raised concerns about cost-cutting by Kensington Tories, and residents were ignored when they said this was a tragedy waiting to happen.

“It is absolutely sickening that Sam Gyimah is trying to shift the blame for the horror of Grenfell away from austerity, which was imposed by his former party the Conservatives and supported in coalition by his current party the Lib Dems.

“Sam Gyimah trying to mislead the people of Kensington proves that you cannot trust either the Tories or the Liberal Democrats, and if you vote Lib Dem, you get Boris Johnson.”

Quite right.

I think you can tell who was talking sense – and it wasn’t Mr Gyimah!

Vote Labour, people of Kensington and Chelsea!

Source: Lib Dem Sam Gyimah triggers row after suggesting Labour election rival partially responsible for Grenfell fire | The Independent

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Barking fire blamed on cladding – and safety fears were downplayed. Grenfell Mk 2?

The conflagration in De Pass Gardens, Barking, was due to cladding breaking fire while safety concerns were ignored, it seems.

According to the Guardian‘s report (link below), it is believed the fire spread after someone lit a barbecue on a balcony.

The flames reached the wooden cladding that covered the building and, despite claims that it was flame-retardant and perfectly safe, spread across the whole building rapidly.

Apparently the sprinkler system did not work.

Concerns had been raised about possible fire safety problems in early May, after the BBC’s Watchdog programme had highlighted fire safety problems at a development by the same builder – Bellway Homes – in Scotland.

An email from Bellway Homes said the construction method in Barking was different and therefore the De Pass Gardens development would not be affected the same way.

But the company had hired a fire safety warden to patrol the building in order to address unspecified concerns.

It all seems highly reminiscent of the Grenfell Tower fire of almost exactly two years ago.

On June 14, 2017, fire ripped through the allegedly-flameproof cladding on Grenfell Tower, despite residents having been assured that it was safe. There was no sprinkler system.

That blaze killed 72 people.

The Conservative government of the day – almost exactly the same administration as the current Conservative government – promised that lessons would be learned (the old mantra) but here we are again.

It seems clear that building regulations are not robust enough to ensure the safety of tower block residents, their homes and their possessions.

I recall another Conservative government – that of David Cameron – promising a “bonfire of red tape”, scrapping regulaations on the basis that they were not necessary.

Is this the reason the people of Barking were endangered yesterday, their homes and possessions destroyed? If so, who will face prosecution for the threat against the residents’ lives?

Source: Barking fire: residents claim safety fears about flats were downplayed | UK news | The Guardian

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Huge fire in NEWLY-BUILT block of flats. Is this how the Tory government learned the lessons of Grenfell?

As I type these words, around 100 firefighters are battling a blaze in a tower block on De Pass Gardens, Barking, in London.

The cause is not known. There are no known injuries, and evacuation procedures are in place.

But there is no avoiding the obvious question: Why has this happened after the Tory government promised to learn the lessons of Grenfell?

Look at the strength of this fire, as shown in the following footage:

And did you read the comment about the cladding? Builders had been challenge about it only weeks ago, and said it was “fire retardant and perfectly safe”.

Does it look safe to you?

Sadly, it seems to be exactly the same stupidity as at Grenfell.

I’m sure you and I will look forward to the mealy-mouthed excuses that will flow from the same sources we heard after Grenfell. I hope there will be much less tolerance for them this time.

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Sickening: ‘vile’ group burns effigy of Grenfell Tower on Bonfire Night – in mockery of the dead

Do you know these men?

The images above were taken from a video in which an effigy of Grenfell Tower is burned, in mockery of the residents who died, were injured, or had their lives irreversibly harmed when the tower block was destroyed by fire last year.

Police have launched an investigation, as this report states:

“Scotland Yard have launched an investigation into a “vile” video of a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

“Party-goers … laughed and joked as they mocked the Grenfell tragedy.

“The Metropolitan Police are appealing for information on who was at the event that has been widely condemned as “sick” and racist.

“The footage, apparently shot for bonfire night in a private garden, shows the 3ft cardboard model with brown faces at the windows – and a woman in a niqab – being lifted onto a fire.

“[It] shows a group of white people laughing as the tower mock-up burns.

“They refer to “ninjas”, thought to be a substitute for either Muslim women who wear a face veil or the offensive term “n*****”.

“Men in the group call mockingly: “Help me!” and “Stay in your flat” – the advice given to residents during the UK’s worst residential fire since the Second World War, which engulfed Grenfell Tower in north Kensington last summer.

“Social media users felt sure the event was a hate crime, calling for those behind the burning to be punished.”

You won’t see the video in this article. I won’t give this kind of hate the oxygen of publicity.

But if you know any of the people in the images above – which were taken from the video – please contact the police.

The public reaction has been universally negative:

Some chose to make political points – but can anyone blame a person who says the following?

One of the people who offered their condemnation was herself condemned: UK prime minister Theresa May.

She tweeted:

Mrs May’s words were considered the height of hypocrisy, in the light of her own behaviour towards the victims of Grenfell.

Mrs May’s attitude was insensitive, but it was not a hate crime.

Making a racist effigy of Grenfell Tower, and laughing while burning it, is.

Take a good look at the images, and don’t hesitate to call the police if you think you can help identify the perpetrators of this abomination.

UPDATE: Five men have handed themselves in to police after images from the “Grenfell effigy” video appeared on the social media.

According to the BBC: “The Metropolitan Police said the men – two aged 49 and the others aged 19, 46 and 55 – handed themselves in at a south London station on Monday night.”

They have been arrested on suspicion of having committed a public order offence.

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Grenfell Tower: Theresa May’s face tells us all what her mouth won’t

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is this image of Theresa May saying? She’s pictured with artist Damel Carayol and his painting of Grenfell Tower, which she would obviously like to see burning like its inspiration. Shame on her.

Theresa May can be false in many places – but not, it seems, in the expression on her face.

When artist Damel Carayol presented her with his painting of Grenfell Tower, captioned “Eyesore!! Final Straw”, she could not hide her distaste.

The 55-year-old artist from north London lost family members in the fire, including his niece Khadija Saye, a fellow artist who died shortly before her work was to be exhibited for the first time.

After hearing reports a few days after the fire that the flammable cladding that turned the building into a raging inferno was attached for aesthetic reasons, he told Sky News, “That tipped me over the edge… it was pure anger. I didn’t plan or think; I just grabbed my one canvas that was left.

“My anger just poured out through the paint… it was pure anger and sweat and swearing and everything.”

A message on the painting reads: “To the Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May. Given from a good place with a righteous message. We all hope and pray that nothing like this will ever happen again.”

Mr Carayol said he presented it as a gift to Mrs May, who called it “powerful”.

But you can tell from the photo of her, taken with the artist, that she didn’t want it.

She doesn’t want anything to do with that nasty Grenfell Tower affair.

And a group of more than a dozen families was left with exactly that impression after meeting Mrs May last week to call for a diverse panel with decision-making powers to be set up as part of the inquiry into the blaze.

Their call came in advance of an Opposition Day debate on Wednesday, discussing a petition backed by rap artist Stormzy (you may remember his Brit Awards performance berating Mrs May), asking Mrs May to improve public trust in the inquiry.

But one of the representatives at the meeting last Thursday described it as a “total let-down”.

Nabil Choucair, who lost his mother, sister, brother-in-law and their three children, told Mrs May he had no confidence in her.

He said Mrs May responded to the group’s request and petition by saying she would “reflect on it”. But she left him with an entirely different impression.

“It’s like we’re talking and it’s going in but then out the other ear,” he told Sky News.

“It feels really very painful, very hard and having to go through it and keep going through it – it’s enough that we are all suffering… but we have to go and ask for this panel which she should clearly have understood from the first place… she’s caused a lot of pain and more suffering unnecessarily.”


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Remember when Tories scolded us for bringing politics into the Grenfell Tower fire? Now they are trying to ‘spin’ it for votes

Inferno: Grenfell Tower burst into flames last June.

Conservatives have no shame – especially when they’re trying to con you into voting for them.

At the moment, with the local elections approaching, it seems they have decided that it is a good time to politicise the inferno at Grenfell Tower – despite having deplored those of us who did so at the time.

According to the Mirror, “Tory canvassers were allegedly heard discussing how to spin the Grenfell blaze for political gain a mile from the scene of the tragedy.

“Local council candidate Maxwell Woodger is said to have been part of the group – which was also allegedly heard saying survivors still living in hotels were ‘milking the system’.

“Mr Woodger strongly refuted the allegation but a complaint has been made to Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham Conservative Party.”

For clarity: Any former Grenfell resident still living in temporary accommodation is there because Theresa May has failed in her promise to find them a permanent home. And you know how soon she said that would happen?

Within three weeks of the fire. It happened last June.

That should tell you everything you need to know about how Conservatives care for the people of London.

The conditions that surrounded the fire itself were bad enough for the Tories: I should not have to remind anybody that landlords put flammable cladding on the walls and Tory council chiefs, together with MPs, failed to review safety.

I wrote at the time: “Members of the local Conservative-held Kensington and Chelsea Council, their officers, and government ministers all knew that the tower block was a danger to life – but did nothing about it.

“Concern has been raised that these public representatives were too keen to bury complaints – because they would have required expensive remedial action by landlords, both here and in 4,000 other blocks around the UK.”

Others suggested that the tower block would have been earmarked for development in the ‘gentrification’ of the Kensington and Chelsea council area.

In such circumstances, a fire that destroyed the block would have contributed to those plans and any deaths would have been cheap collateral damage.

If there is any truth to the claims that Tories are saying survivors in hotels are “milking the system”, then it seems the Conservatives would have preferred more deaths than the 71 that have been recorded.

At the time, people were saying “Enough is enough” – that rules and regulations must be tightened to ensure no repetition of the tragedy.

In fact, it was far too much. And it was because of the Conservatives.

The same Conservatives who are seeking election back onto local councils across London so they can strip public services still further and endanger the lives of even more people.

Remember: When you are alive, they call you “stock”. If you die because of their plans you are “collateral damage”.

Londoners: For your own sakes, vote Labour on May 3.


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Grenfell housing boss finally quits – more than six months after the fire

Monument: The charred shell of Grenfell Tower [Image from the Evening Standard].

He took his time – and we can all see why, can’t we?

It’s a lot of work, helping the police investigation and public inquiry…

The housing boss responsible for running Grenfell Tower has finally stepped down more than six months after the tragedy.

Robert Black, former chief executive of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, quit just before New Year despite being under intense pressure to go since the fire.

Although he stepped aside from the top job in August he had remained on the company’s books on his full salary of around £150,000 a year.

The body said he had spent the intervening months concentrating on helping the police investigation and public inquiry into the fire.

Source: Grenfell housing boss quits more than six months after tragedy


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