British Grenfell disaster area and general election

This 28 November 2018 video from Britain says about itself:

On TyskySour, Emma Dent Coad MP spoke about the continued injustice for the people of Grenfell.

By Lamiat Sabin in London, England:

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Grenfell was more of a threat to the government than Brexit

Lamiat Sabin profiles EMMA DENT COAD who has a majority of just 20 in Kensington — Labour’s most marginal seat

KENSINGTON will be under the spotlight on election night in under a week’s time when millions of people will see if the once-Tory stronghold and one of the most diverse constituencies in the country will remain red.

Emma Dent Coad was just days into her new job when the 2017 Grenfell tragedy struck, and the pain of the catastrophe that killed 72 people is still very raw in the local collective consciousness.

I met her in Kensington where she was born and has lived for decades – on the same road where I have lived most of my life.

On the next road along stands the burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower, the charred structure symbolising the dangers of deregulation and authorities’ woeful neglect of the working class.

Grenfell was more of a threat to the government than Brexit — and it will be even more so in the second phase of the inquiry,” Dent Coad warned.

The second phase, starting next month, is expected to look into the actions, or inaction, of the Conservative-run Kensington and Chelsea Council, the tenant-management organisation, and the companies that supplied and fitted the flammable cladding.

Dent Coad has reported Sam Gyimah, her Liberal Democrat challenger and a former Tory MP, to the police for alleging that she had a role, as a local councillor at the time, in discussing the use of the cladding in the tower’s renovation.

She has stated that as a backbench opposition councillor she had not been on committees that would have made those decisions.

“Gyimah put me in danger actually, I had hundreds of death threats,” she said.

She also recalled that at a monthly Grenfell silent march, Gyimah “got it completely wrong” by placing himself at the front with survivors and the bereaved. She said Labour MPs always march at the back: “it’s not a gig.”

Dent Coad also described him as “entitled and disrespectful” for having repeatedly told residents that he gave up his East Surrey seat and a ministerial job in order to stand in Kensington.

Also out to unseat Dent Coad is Tory candidate and local resident Felicity Buchan. Rather than local issues, her campaign literature focuses on her pledge to the pro-EU constituency to “move on” from Brexit by embracing PM Boris Johnson’s deal, and promises to campaign to cut business rates and stamp duty.

For Labour, dozens of people have come from across London to canvass for Dent Coad, a hard-working, committed socialist who describes the volunteers as “absolutely amazing”.

On a cold, drizzly evening I bumped into a cluster of the canvassers who were accompanied by a reporter from Japan’s only communist newspaper, who said the constitiency is the subject of international focus owing to Kensington’s diversity and Labour’s slim majority.

Labour’s bedrock support is in the north of Kensington, where there is a higher concentration of social housing, which is home to Notting Hill Carnival and used to be the stomping ground of notorious slum landlord Peter Rachman.

The south of Kensington covers Kensington Palace and the “billionaire’s row” of mansions and embassies stretching up to Chelsea.

The choice for Kensington residents, when it comes down to it, is between Labour and a blue or yellow Conservative.

In the words of a canvasser, when I asked about what they thought of Gyimah: “He’s a Tory, that’s all you need to know.”

1 thought on “British Grenfell disaster area and general election

  1. Meanwhile, massive fire service cuts are continuing.

    Firefighters in Surrey on Tuesday 26th November balloted on industrial action to commence on 24 December, after exhausting all other avenues to prevent dangerous cuts to their fire and rescue service.

    The cuts, which include removing seven fire engines at night-time and cutting 70 firefighter posts, were approved by Surrey County Council at a cabinet meeting on 24 September. 68% of respondents to the official consultation opposed cuts to fire cover, with just 18% approving.

    Over 13,000 people signed a petition calling on the council to scrap cuts, but the council ultimately voted them through.

    Lee Belsten, FBU Surrey brigade secretary, said: ‘These cuts are extremely dangerous and will categorically leave Surrey residents less safe. We’ve exhausted every other avenue of resistance. We’ve held rallies, circulated petitions, lobbied the council and the government, receiving huge support from Surrey residents.

    ‘We’ve tried to negotiate with the brigade and the council to keep Surrey safe, but they will not budge. We have no choice but to go to our last resort, industrial action.

    ‘There is no other way to stop these cuts. It’s vital that every Surrey firefighter vote “yes” for industrial action.’

    Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: ‘It is utterly scandalous that further cuts are being made to fire services after the Grenfell Tower report. It seems those in power are willing to learn absolutely nothing about the risk of fire.

    ‘Fire service management in Surrey have acted disgracefully, ignoring the professional advice of their firefighters and the clear view of the public, bulldozing through changes that will make the county less safe.

    ‘Firefighters are here to keep their communities safe and we will do whatever is necessary to stand against dangerous cuts. Our hands are now tied – there is no other recourse left. Every Surrey firefighter should vote “yes” for industrial action.’

    This year has seen the steepest rise in Surrey fire deaths in over a decade. Staffing shortages in Surrey have left fire engines unavailable to respond to emergency calls over the last year, resulting in slower response times as crews often have to travel from neighbouring counties.

    The FBU is not releasing the result of the strike ballot until December 10.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.