London Grenfell Tower tragedy, government blood on its hands


This video from London, England says about itself:

Grenfell Tower Resident Nadia Speaks Out Against Government’s Response to Disaster

17 June 2017

Grenfell Tower resident Nada aka DJ Isla ha spoken out about Theresa May’s government’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, questioning the point of sending large amounts of food and clothing aid to the victims of the fire with potentially hundreds of them dead and their remains still in the tower.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 17 June 2017

PROFIT DRIVE CAUSED FIRE

LIFE as far as private contractors are concerned is cheap!

It emerged yesterday that private contractors that refurbished Grenfell Tower a year before it burst into flames decided to use a cheaper cladding on the outside of the building which was not fire-proof.

For just £5,000 more the private contractors could have bought fire-proof cladding, but they would not splash out the extra cash choosing to save money rather than save lives. Hundreds of Reynobond aluminium coated panels – which are banned in the US over fire safety fears – were fitted to the outside of the London high-rise last year.

The building was covered in panels with a plastic core costing £22 per square metre, just £2 cheaper than the fire-resistant version. The contractors were awarded £8.6 million to refurbish Grenfell Tower, and as the death toll continues to rise, furious survivors and family and friends of those who have died are angry that their safety and the safety of their loved ones was compromised for profit.

Thirty people are now confirmed to have perished in the fire and there are a further 76 people still unaccounted for. A salesman for US-based Reynobond told The Times that the version used on Grenfell, which has a polyethylene centre and is referred to as ‘PE’, was banned in American buildings taller than 40ft over fire safety reasons. It’s because of the fire and smoke spread,’ he said. ‘The FR (variant) is fire-resistant. The PE is just plastic.’

The PE version is used for small commercial buildings and petrol stations, he added, rather than tower blocks or hospitals. The panel with the plastic core sells for £22 per square metre – just £2 cheaper than the fire-resistant version.

Rough calculations suggest panels covered 2,000 square metres of Grenfell Tower, meaning contractors could have used the fire-resistant type for less than £5,000 extra. The PE panels conform to UK standards but are rated as ‘flammable’ in Germany. Labour MP David Lammy yesterday branded the Grenfell Tower blaze ‘corporate manslaughter’ and demanded arrests be made.

This video from London, England says about itself:

17 June 2017

BBC interviewer Emily Maitlis on the Newsnight program has confronted UK Tory Party leader Theresa May over her pathetic response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and her refusal to accept responsibility for the disaster.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Jail those responsible for Grenfell Tower inferno

Join the million march to kick the Tories out

SEVENTY six people are still unaccounted for after the Grenfell Tower inferno, police confirmed yesterday and also that criminal proceedings have begun to investigate those responsible.

Met Police Commander Cundy said: ‘We as the police have started an investigation… The investigation will look into what criminal offences may have been committed. He however hastened to add – ‘I am not sitting here and saying there are criminal offenses that have been committed.’

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham was more forthright: ‘If the preventable deaths of people burning in their homes are not a matter for the state, then what is?’ He added: ‘They were warned by the residents that there was an obvious risk of catastrophe. They looked the other way. We don’t need another review kicked into the long grass and years of equivocation – what a civilised country should demand is arrests and a criminal trial before a judge and jury.’

The Grenfell Tower tragedy is a class question and a product of the class division of society. The properties of the rich have all the health, safety and fire precautions necessary to keep them safe.

In the case of Grenfell Tower, there was no sprinkler system, no central alarm system, fire doors not fitted, cladding which seems to have spread the fire, only one stairwell and a fire policy which states ‘stay put’ in other words, the building was a death trap, a disaster waiting to happen.

There are 4,000 tower blocks in the UK, each and every one of them a potential Grenfell waiting to happen. Labour leader Corbyn went to the relief centres to speak to survivors and victim’s relatives and pointed to this class division. He said: ‘The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the country.

‘The ward where this fire took place is, I think the poorest ward in the whole country.’ He demanded: ‘And properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, in order to make sure those residents do get re-housed locally. It cannot be acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and luxury flats kept as land banking for the future while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.’

Theresa May has ordered a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Of course there must be an inquiry but not a Tory government sponsored inquiry which covers up the facts.

After the Lakanal House fire in Camberwell in 2009, which tragically claimed the lives of six people, a special report was done by the all-Party Parliamentary Group on Fire Safety and Rescue.

This report which was sat-on for four years, recommended that sprinklers be fitted in every tower block – these recommendations were ignored. To add insult to injury we now find out that one of the main people responsible for suppressing the report was none other than May’s right hand man, her now top advisor Gavin Barwell, he was Housing Minister at the time the report was published.

Reporters caught him on his way into Westminster yesterday morning demanding: ‘Why did you sit on the fire report? Could the deaths at Grenfell have been avoided? Do you plan to release the report anytime soon? Mr Barwell, are you going to release the report? Could Grenfell have been avoided?’

To which all he would say is ‘I can’t comment I’m afraid.’ A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy will not resolve this issue. What will resolve the issue is bringing down this Tory government, and establishing a Labour government pledged to socialist policies which will build safe, council housing for all and instruct the judiciary and police chiefs to undertake criminal proceedings to jail all those responsible for this mass murder of tenants.

Speaking at the annual conference of the food-workers union, the BFAWU, Labour Shadow Chancellor McDonnell said: ‘What we need now is the TUC mobilised, every union mobilised, to get out on the streets. Just think if the TUC put out that call – that we want a million on the streets of London in two weeks’ time.’

However, the TUC as usual has kept quiet about this huge issue. The food workers union decided to support a million strong march on July 1, assembling at BBC Broadcasting House at 12 noon to march on parliament to force the Tories to resign and bring in a Labour government. Make sure you are there!

This video from London, England says about itself:

16 June 2017

A Grenfell Tower protester has told the BBC in an interview that Theresa May is cold like fish, with her response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

He is correct; except he should not insult fish by comparing them to Theresa May.

A commenter to this video writes:

There once was a PM called May,
Who called an election one day,
She was woefully unable,
To be strong or stable
So she hid in the fields of hay

By Robert Stevens in England:

Corporate mass murder in London

17 June 2017

Shock and horror has boiled over into raw anger and fury. Thousands protested in London Friday to demand justice and the punishment of those responsible for mass murder in the worst housing fire in modern British history.

Hundreds chanting “We want justice” for the victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno surrounded Kensington Town Hall, London to demand answers from council officials who had barricaded themselves in the building.

Prime Minister Theresa May while visiting Kensington was forced to remain in a church and was then chased away—surrounded by a heavy security detail—with protesters booing and shouting “shame on you” and “coward.”

This sentiment finds its echo throughout Britain and worldwide.

Millions are horrified by the loss of at least 100 and as many as 150 lives of working class residents in Wednesday’s fire.

Most shocking of all, this took place in Kensington and Chelsea, Britain’s richest borough in one of the richest cities in the world. But like so many other areas of the capital, extreme wealth exists side-by-side with extreme deprivation.

Kensington and Chelsea is one of the most socially divided areas of London, with those living on the Lancaster West Estate, where Grenfell Tower is located, in clear view of the homes of multi-millionaires and billionaires. The most expensive street in the country, Victoria Road in Kensington, has an average house price of £8 million.

This imparts a politically explosive dynamic to unfolding events—which is why, incredibly, the police and council officials have stonewalled the appeals of resident’s families and friends and have still refused to admit the real death toll.

Grenfell is not only an appalling tragedy. It is a crime. Those whose lives were taken were murdered just as surely as if a torch had been applied to the building.

Ruthless cost-cutting with no concern for public safety laid the basis for the Grenfell deaths and ensured the devastating, rapid spread of the fire from its initial source in just a single apartment.

The fire spread so rapidly due to the cladding on the building bursting into flames. It was added last year in a “refurbishment.” On Friday, what many already suspected was confirmed when it was revealed that the insulating material used was combustible. It was chosen because it was £2 per square metre cheaper than a “fire resistant” alternative. The saving made amounted to just £5,000.

This and other equally life-threatening decisions were taken or authorised by the Conservative-run Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, who ran Grenfell Tower on its behalf. The tower block had no central fire alarm system, no sprinklers in place and just one exit stairwell. The authorities ignored repeated warnings from a tenants group and residents over many years who insisted that Grenfell was unsafe and a “death trap.”

Such flagrant criminality has deeper causes. The essential fact is that the Grenfell deaths are the product of class society and the “normal” workings of the capitalist system.

London is a world centre of speculation and financial parasitism. And the property market is a vital element of this global web of corruption. Land and housing in the capital have become one of the most lucrative commodities in the world. It is not only that London is home to 80 billionaires, but the fact that fully 60 percent of its skyscrapers and vast numbers of luxury houses and flats are owned by overseas companies or wealthy residents who rarely or never set foot in them.

Catering to this market demands the social cleansing of council estates of their poor residents, especially when they are located in a desirable area. This has become so routine that residents of the Lancaster West Estate are correct to insist that the failure to invest in Grenfell Tower was a deliberate effort to drive them out.

Similar equally anti-social decisions are made every single day by the money-mad oligarchy and their political flunkies who determine every aspect of people’s lives to ruinous effect. Homes and schools are rendered unsafe. Hospitals closed, beds lost, vital social services withdrawn because someone, somewhere decides they are an unacceptable drain on profit—which must be maintained at whatever cost.

Forty years after Margaret Thatcher declared, “There is no such thing as society,” in order to justify the gutting of social services, privatisation and deregulation, the social conditions facing the working class have been reduced to levels once associated the so called “third world.” This testifies to the immense class divide and social inequality that now exist in all capitalist countries.

On Thursday in the face of mounting public anger, May ordered a public inquiry into the Grenfell fire. This is aimed at ensuring a cover-up and the protection of those responsible—above all within her own government.

Those responsible for these deaths must be arrested and face criminal proceedings with the truth to come out in trials. Among these should be the former London mayor Boris Johnson, who is responsible for the slashing of London’s fire service and mass deregulation, and Kensington and Chelsea council leader Nick Paget-Brown.

But while leading Tory figures such as Johnson were responsible for the last wave of ultra-gentrification in the service of the super-rich, all the bourgeois parties, including Labour, which runs many of London’s councils, are equally culpable. …

It should be stressed that the death toll from Grenfell is expected to exceed the combined total resulting from every terrorist attack in the UK since the beginning of the so-called war on terror in 2001.

Whenever a terrorist attack has taken place in Britain over the last decade, the full force of the state has been brought to bear. Police have carried out raids on every person who is linked, even in the most innocuous way, to the individual terrorist. They have been immediately arrested and hauled off to be detained and grilled for days on end. In response to the Grenfell fire, not a single person in any responsible position has yet been arrested, let alone charged.

Instead we are promised a toothless inquiry!

Whatever the outcome of ongoing police investigations and public inquiry, neither will uncover the essential cause of the corporate mass murder at Grenfell because it is rooted in the failed capitalist system, which is reaping untold misery, and death and destruction against the vast majority of the planet’s population.

The appalling loss of life in London demonstrates the urgent necessity for the mobilisation of the working class behind a socialist programme and putting an end to the subordination of every aspect of social policy to the interests of the financial swindlers and parasites.

This video from London, England says about itself:

16 June 2017

Solicitor Sophie Khan in an interview with BBC Newsnight has stated that Theresa May’s announcement of a public inquiry in not right without a full scale criminal investigation and prosecution.

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