‘London Grenfell Tower victims were murdered’


This video says about itself:

Slam poet, spoken-word artist and contemporary playwright Kate Tempest has delivered a brillant takedown of Tory party leader Theresa May at the Glastonbury Festival 2017.

By Lamiat Sabin and Will Stone, reporting from the Glastonbury music festival:

Grenfell deaths were murder

Monday 26th June 2017

McDonnell castigates decisions which led to disaster

VICTIMS of the Grenfell Tower fire were “murdered” by political decisions made by central and local governments, John McDonnell said yesterday.

Speaking at the Is Democracy Working? debate at the Left Field stage, the shadow chancellor said: “It didn’t work for you if you were a family living on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower. “Those families, those individuals — 79 so far and there will be more — were murdered by political decisions that were taken over recent decades.

“The decision not to build homes and to view housing as only for financial speculation rather than for meeting a basic human need made by politicians over decades murdered those families.

The decision to close fire stations and to cut 10,000 firefighters and then to freeze their pay for over a decade contributed to those deaths inevitably and they were political decisions.”

Hundreds of people in the 24-floor block were killed, displaced and declared “missing” after the fire broke out in Grenfell Tower on June 14.

Some households that did not survive included elderly or disabled people living on the top floors.

PM Theresa May subsequently pledged £5 million to an emergency fund and ordered a public inquiry into the incident, which was exacerbated by shockingly poor fire safety — including silent alarms, only one exit staircase and combustible external cladding.

The tower had recently undergone a £10m refurbishment, which included cladding on the concrete exterior to improve its appearance for wealthier locals that was found to have been £2 cheaper per square metre than a fire-resistant version.

The Metropolitan Police has said that manslaughter charges are being considered by detectives after it was found that cladding and insulation samples failed safety tests.

The government has revealed that around 600 high-rises in England have some form of cladding, and combustible types have been found on at least 34 tower blocks nationwide.

Kensington and Chelsea Council chief executive Nicholas Holgate announced his resignation last Thursday after a barrage of criticism against him and council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown — who is still clinging onto his job — over the authority’s response to the fire.

Later in the discussion, Mr McDonnell told a huge crowd which spilled outside the tent that Labour is “on the edge of a huge victory” and that another election could come any day.

He vowed not only to defeat the Tories in Parliament but “mobilise in every community to demoralise, divide them and force them into a democracy” that will lead to a Labour majority.

A Labour government would then rip up the Trade Union Act in 10 days, he promised.

This video says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn in a rousing speech to masses at Glastonbury Festival 2017 talking about Donald Trump and Theresa May among other issues.

By Will Stone at the Glastonbury festival:

Corbyn draws huge Glastonbury crowds

Monday 26th June 2017

Labour leader cheered to the high heavens at music festival

JEREMY CORBYN drew one of the largest crowds ever at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage on Saturday, surpassing even headline acts Radiohead and the Foo Fighters.

Introducing him onto the stage, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis said: “At last we have a Labour leader who can put in place all the issues we have been campaigning for for 40 years.”

Supportive flags including one with the words “coalition of chaos” and “Ooh Jeremy Corbyn” beneath a heart shape could be seen among the crowds.

In an inspiring speech he challenged Prime Minister Theresa May: “We’re ready for another election as soon as you like.

The elite commentariat got it wrong. Politics is about the lives of all of us.

“Young people who got involved and voted for the first time, because they’re fed up of being told that their generation is going to have to work more and get paid less.

“Is it right that so many people are without a home and have to live on the streets?

“Is it right that so many people live in such poverty while others are surrounded by riches?

“I don’t want to live in a world where children are going to school hungry.”

Members of the crowd brushed away tears during his speech especially when he spoke about the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 79 people.

“Not so long ago we saw Grenfell Tower, a towering inferno in the middle of the richest borough in the country,” he said.

“People living in poverty, living in danger, in a place that simply went up in smoke.

“Not one of those people should have died.

“That fire was wholly and totally preventable.”

He argued the reason the tenants who raised safety concerns were “utterly ignored” is because they were poor and working class.

This video says about itself:

Distrust in Britain’s Media Grows Following Coverage of the Grenfell Tower Fire

24 June 2017

Al Jazeera reports that a tower block fire in London that left dozens dead has channelled rage over class, race, economic and social divisions not only at Prime Minister Theresa May but also at the British media.

When reporters arrived to cover the blaze, local residents expressed anger that the media had not heeded warnings about safety or engaged more closely with issues affecting their communities during years of government austerity. Voices from a neighbourhood in grief demanded to know if only the spectacle of tragedy could make their lives newsworthy.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Austerity kills

Monday 26th June 2017

WERE there sharp intakes of breath when shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Grenfell Tower fire victims were “murdered by political decisions?”

McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and other political activists, supported by the Morning Star, have been agitating for decades to demand that housing be seen as a human right not a marketable asset.

Council housing was the primary means by which Britain combated the scourge of slum dwellings and destruction of countless homes through aerial bombing during the second world war.

Requisition of land, compulsory purchase, fire regulations and restrictions on the ability of private landlords to gouge rent from tenants for below-standard homes were all part of the postwar housing campaign.

They weren’t seen as dangerous revolutionary fancies, although the desire to rehouse the homeless in modern, sanitary and safe homes certainly had its roots in the left. But even Tory governments in the 1950s boasted of building hundreds of thousands of council homes each year.

Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government unleashed an ideological offensive against council housing in the 1980s, flying her “property-owning democracy” propaganda kite. She encouraged individuals to buy their council homes, while subsequent neoliberal premiers from both major parties pushed the transfer of entire council estates/schemes to housing associations or delegated their running to arm’s length management organisations.

Making savings not human decency became the watchword for managing council housing.

This meant taking out caretakers/concierges from tower blocks, cutting corners on safety and scrimping on the cost of insulation, as the minimal savings achieved through fitting flammable panels rather than flame-proof cladding at Grenfell shows.

Safety warning followed safety warning and complaint followed complaint, but they weren’t taken seriously because the tenants were poor and didn’t warrant extra expenditure, having failed to buy into the capitalist dream.

The Grenfell victims were effectively murdered by heartless political decisions and by the profits-first ethos of capitalism.

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30 thoughts on “‘London Grenfell Tower victims were murdered’

  1. Kate Tempest excellent for speaking out and stating the truth about the incident. The actions taken before the event by government have lead to contributing factors in this incident. There are many organisations at fault and if the basic safety management system was in place then lives may have not been lost and the incident may not have occurred.

    £5,000,000 is a drop in the ocean and is an insult to the residents. What the Prime Minister needs to remember is these people deserve more. We send more in aid to other countries, just shows what they really feel and think of us. I bet majority of the people did not have any type of insurance.

    The government cut our emergency services with regards manpower and freeze pay. However when was the last time they had a pay freeze or cut in manpower in the house of commons. Basic wage of an MP £74,000, this is without there travel, housing and office expenses. Remember this is just a normal MP, cabinet are over £120,000+

    https://homelessglobalspectator.wordpress.com/

    • Thank you for your comment!

      With one remark: the British government’s ‘aid to other countries’ is often military aid to dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and aid to British and other multinational corporations. That should be redirected to poor people in various countries.

  2. Monday 26th June 2017

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    Chalcots Estate buildings evacuated after failing fire safety tests after Grenfell

    by Lamiat Sabin

    RESIDENTS of a London estate that has been declared unsafe claimed yesterday that they were being intimidated by security guards ordering them to leave.

    Around 4,000 tenants from 650 households in the Chalcots Estate, north London, were told to leave their homes on Friday after the buildings failed combustibility tests carried out in the wake of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

    However some tenants refused to leave because they said that Camden Council had not offered them suitable temporary accomodation, which included sleeping on airbeds in Swiss Cottage leisure centre.

    Tenant Mandy Ryan said a security guard “bullied” her as she took her dogs for a walk on Sunday. She lives on the 22nd floor with her son who has disabilities.

    “He [the security guard] stood in front of the door and guys surrounded him and he said ‘we need to know who you are’,” she told the Press Association.

    She said the man told her she could not take her dogs outside.

    Using a different building exit, Ms Ryan added: “I was so scared, he got so close to me — I could feel his breath on my face.

    “We are not the villains here, we are the victims. We are not trying to impede any work whatsoever, we just want suitable accommodation.”

    Ms Ryan — now offered two hotel rooms for her, her son and dogs — said they were sent to a property on Saturday, but that it was in a complete state of disrepair, including unsafe wiring and broken glass.

    “I thought it was some sort of joke, I was just appalled,” she added.

    Another tenant Sayed Meah cares for his 78-year-old mother, who has had a stroke. He was offered accommodation late on Saturday night but said he will not accept until the care company which helps them, agrees to working at the new location.

    Tower blocks in the Chalcots Estate are among 34 across England that have failed fire cladding safety tests.

    Cladding was fitted to the north London estate as part of a £66 million refurbishment overseen by Rydon, the same company involved in the refit of Grenfell Tower, according to the Rydon website.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-027c-London-tower-residents-intimidated-by-security#.WVD80lFpwdU

  3. Monday, 26 June 2017

    ALL CLADDING SAMPLES FAIL SAFETY CHECKS

    THE CLADDING samples from each and every one of the 34 tower blocks in 17 council areas in England tested up until yesterday have failed fire safety tests.

    The government has said it is to examine cladding from 600 blocks in the UK and every single sample submitted so far has failed the tests. The Department for Communities and Local Government’s testing programme, began last Wednesday and is able to test 100 samples a day.

    Some of the 17 local authorities whose high-rise buildings have failed the fire safety tests so far have been named.

    They are:

    • Camden – where residents have been evacuated from four blocks on the Chalcots Estate.
    • Brent – where a housing association tower block, Elizabeth House, has cladding.
    • Barnet – where cladding put up on three towers in Granville Road, NW2, in 2012 is to be removed.
    • Hounslow – where Clements Court tower in Cranford is to have outer cladding removed.
    • Manchester – where 78 panels are being removed from one area of the Village 135 development in Wythenshawe.
    • Salford – where cladding is to be removed from nine tower blocks.
    • Plymouth – where three blocks on the Mount Wise Tower estate were found to have cladding made from similar material to Grenfell Tower.
    • Portsmouth – where the city council is removing cladding from Horatia House and Leamington House in Somerstown.

    The Chalcots Estate’s cladding is similar to Grenfell Tower in North Kensington. Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the same firm, Rydon, that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16. Camden Council tenants who refuse to leave their homes while the cladding is being taken down are being threatened with being forcibly removed.

    The leader of Camden Council, Georgia Gould, said staff will conduct further door knocking asking anyone remaining to leave ‘and issue another letter reiterating to residents who are still remaining in the Taplow, Bray, Dorney and Burnham blocks, that they must leave’.

    She went on: ‘By remaining in the blocks these residents risk delaying the work that is required and that we are undertaking to make these homes safe. It is not safe to remain in these blocks and our residents’ safety will continue to be the council’s number one priority.’

    Four of the five blocks on the Chalcots Estate were evacuated last Friday due to concerns about external cladding, gas pipe insulation, and fire doors. Camden Council said it had no option but to move residents from 650 flats while work takes place. The work at Chalcots is expected to take three to four weeks.

    Sayed Mead, a resident on the estate who left his flat, said not knowing where he was going to be housed had been ‘eating me away’ and the council has created ‘panic’ among the residents. Meanwhile, survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have been evicted from their emergency hotel accommodation.

    A letter from Kensington and Chelsea Council to the families said people needed to urgently leave their rooms by 4pm last Friday. Despite efforts to extend your stay at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, regrettably the hotel has stated that they do not have availability,’ the council wrote.

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/13395

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